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Posts from the ‘Travelogue’ Category

Work vacation

At home in Sarasota, Florida this evening after a whirlwind and exhausting eleven day work trip, or as my daughter calls them work vacation’s.

A Five night kick-off in Las Vegas is not to be recommended, although the time there was more dominated (other than work) by sports more-so than gambling. I actually didn’t even get to sit at a table to lose any money. One reason I wasn’t that bothered was due to mandatory mask wearing at all times within the casinos.

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The night’s are drawing in

I got an unexpected sunny welcome landing at Heathrow Airport this morning. Fast forward ten hours and I’m sat in my parents conservatory looking out at the South Downs which are quickly becoming shrouded in November darkness.

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Just back from a little trip to Florida, a couple of days in Miami followed a couple in Fort Lauderdale, just 40 minutes north along the coast, and a place I hadn’t been for 13 years. It had changed significantly, and grown like a sunflower.

Neighbouring towns of Hollywood and Oakwood Park have been engulfed by Fort Lauderdale’s expansion. Once a renowned centre for spring-breakers’ high jinks the dive bar and burger joints had all but disappeared and have been replaced by boutique hotels, upscale apartment buildings and a burgeoning restaurant scene.

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Tokyo 2020

It is the longest wait for an Olympic opening ceremony in history, but tomorrow morning my time the 2020 Tokyo Olympics that never looked like happening finally opens.

A year late and stymied by all the regular hosting city controversies of construction, corruption, dodgy resignations of officials and even logo arguments, last year the Tokyo Olympics was taken down by the biggest disease of all.

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Covid in the U.S. rear view mirror

I’m back in Bermuda after our little sojourn to Miami Beach. We stayed just a couple of miles south of Chaplain Towers in Surfide, the site of Thursday’s building collapse tragedy. We drove by it last Monday to have dinner in Bal Harbour, a condo building in a row of non-descript 1980 oceanfront buildings punctuated occasionally by plush hotels.

My heart goes out to every family and friend waiting on news of loved ones 💔

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Roaming Miami

A little bit of a mini break for the next couple of days as we head to Miami later.

Florida has long moved on from the pandemic and apparently visitor numbers are almost back to pre-Covid times. Double vaccinated Americans are increasingly moving around the country and I expect Miami Beach to be busy.

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Travelogue – Florida Keys

Bermuda’s airport re-opened last week, but I am in no rush to get on a plane. Lockdown has had me constantly thinking of travel, past trips and what future ones look like. I also realized that I never did write about the families trip to the Florida’s Keys at the end of last summer.

The Florida Keys are a coral string of islands that form the southernmost part of the United States. The iconic Overseas Highway runs from Miami to the bottom tip of the keys at Key West. American Industrialist and important developer of the Atlantic Coast of the state of Florida Henry Flagler attempted an ambitious plan to run a train the 160 miles across the 800 islands from Miami in the early 1900’s.

Flagler’s aspiration was to take advantage of the growing but geographically challenging trade between the U.S. and Cuba and the rest of Latin America. Yet despite some innovative engineering, the railroad was continuously hindered by a run of hurricanes but engineers persevered until the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935. This CAT 5 devastated the Keys and killed 400 people.

That was the end of Flagler’s project, yet many of the track beds, trestles and bridges remain and form part of today’s Overseas Highway.

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Travelogue – Vail, Colorado

I’ve been to Vail in Colorado a fair few times. The first occasion was with a mate well over 20-years ago, that was in the summer time. Two years ago I was there with the family on a ski trip, the time I got myself in a bit of trouble with a Russian mafiosi who tried to steel the other half. That’s for another day and over a few pints. I’ve had the odd day stop there as well, and then I was back there last week, albeit briefly.

So, a well overdue CA Travelogue me thinks.

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Dwell time

I woke up far too early in Las Vegas this morning (I did plan to be here) as body clock and eyes were completely out of sync. After a little bit of tossing and turning, my brain kept replaying Matt Smith’s goal, which wasn’t good for the soul, so I went for a walk. Las Vegas in the early hours is a sight to behold I can tell you. Give’s south Bermondsey a run for its money.

I’m out here on a work trip, today was a chill day, but from this evening onwards we have a very busy schedule as we venture all over south and north California. Sleep will be a distant ambition by the time I return home from San Francisco next Saturday.

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Red rocks

I forgot how beautiful Sedona is. The 23-mile drive along Highway 89A from Flagstaff around and down the Oak Creek Canyon dropping a couple of thousand feet into Sedona rivals many of the best drives in the United States.

Towering trees line the beds of the Canyon’s mountainsides, whose natural springs are said to have healing powers. There are plenty of stop-off’s to get closer to the beautiful rock formations, and Midgely Bridge, is one. The steel bridge that arches gracefully over the canyon is a proper Kodak moment, or a less fussy iPhone moment if you will.

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Mr Popular

Mr popular at home this morning as I crashed and banged out of the house at dusk lugging a suitcase for a work trip. I leave behind a family and an island that is bracing it for its first major hurricane in three years.

Hurricane Humberto is moving east-northeast at 7mph and then is due to take a sharp right turn as it finds Bermuda’s warm waters and will roll very close to us as a Cat 2 storm on late Wednesday night.

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Travelogue – Cartagena, Colombia

“You’re taking your 8-year old to Colombia” people said. Well Colombia isn’t the dangerous gang infested place it used to be, and indeed Cartagena never really was, an historic north coast oasis away from drug fuelled murders and kidnapping.

It was this time a year ago I was looking at some places to get a quick getaway for a week, and Colombia kept coming back to me, so despite some other people’s reservations we did it, and it was great.

Cartagena is for the adventurous, the history buff, the coffee lover, the romantic. The walled city is full of majestic churches and palaces, picturesque balcony-lined streets and lively plaza’s.

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Travelogue – The Lanes, Brighton

I’ve spent many a day and weekend in Brighton, in fact our recent family get together was a little flick through my brother and I’s memory book of younger boozier and clubbier days.

We gathered the CA clan together in Brighton for a long overdue get together and I purposely chose the Hotel Du Vin to stay because of it’s location within The Lanes.

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St George’s

Very appropriate that I spent today in St George’s, the oldest continuously-inhabited English town in the New World and settled 407 years ago, and three years after Admiral Sir George Somers deliberately beached the ship Sea Venture onto Bermuda’s reef’s to avoid sinking.

Now UNESCO World Heritage site, the town of St George has slowly started to come back to life, helped by regular cruise ship visits, and a couple of good eateries. There was no ship in today but many, and mostly Japanese, visitors were walking around the town’s narrow and colourful streets.

It has a way before it becomes as beautiful as somewhere like Cinque Terre, but the pastel coloured hilly streets still ask to be explored and much work is being carried out on many of the large homes such as Whitehall, for years occupied by the town’s mayors.

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The 2018 Shower Gellies™

13 years I’ve been judging the quality of the quantity of hotel shower gels. I will never get that time back, but fortunately for you I’ve also spent the past 13 years telling you all about it. I always coincide my Shower Gellies™ with that perhaps better known award ceremony in Hollywood, but whilst theirs comes to you from the Dolby Theatre, mine come from my armchair. No, not my shower.

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