Upon our arrival in Bermuda, I quickly realized that I had not thought to look at the weather forecast.  I started to shiver when I found out that, unlike the Caribbean, Bermuda seems to follow the weather patterns of South Carolina, it's US neighbor, based on the latitude lines.  So, rather than beaches and pools, it was obvious that we'd have to find other things to do here in the 68-70 degree weather.  My visions of Rum Swizzles or Dark 'n Stormies by the pool/beach while the kids were entertained for hours (fully slathered in sunscreen, mind you) were not to come to realization.  This momma had to kick into tour guide mode... right after buying a few jackets and pairs of pants for my little Caribs.

Crystal Caves in our new pants...
You've already heard about our fun-filled trip to the aquarium and zoo from our very own Elizabeth, but the tour didn't stop there!  Once I figured out where the bus terminal was and that the bus stops were color-coded based on which direction the buses took you, we were unstoppable.   Our next tour was the Crystal Caves.  I must admit, it was a total tourist "attraction", but being a girl who grew up near Meramec Caverns in Missouri, who visited Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky, who went spelunking a time or two in college, and who now lives near Cave of the Winds in Colorado, we must see the caves.

Chandelier and Popcorn Formations
The best thing about these caves, was that the floor of the caves was crystal clear Bermuda sea water.  Seriously, how lucky is this island in the middle of the Atlantic to have caves!  The other best thing was that they have different formations than any other I've seen.  One is formed from calcium deposits and is called "popcorn" due to its appearance.  It really does look like popcorn or cauliflower along the walls.  But my favorite formation was the 'chandelier', created by multiple formations combining to form such a shape.

The kids had a great time on this tour, and I was surprised at how much they were listening.  When we reunited with Mark, Michael was retelling him the whole story of how two boys who were playing Cricket lost their ball, and when they were looking for it, they found a hole.  They were only 14 years old, and once they used a rope to lower themselves to the water, they decided to swim around (in the pitch dark, I guess) for three hours before finally realizing they needed to figure out a way to climb out!  Our tour guide was nice enough to walk us up to the top where the boys found the hole!  It was the main entrance for tourists years afterwards.  They had to climb down a rope ladder!  On our tour we only had to climb up and down 160-something steps and across a floating bridge.  It was much easier, I'm sure.

Well, by day three or four, it was time to tour the beaches.  The weather was reaching the mid-70's, and the water was supposedly 72 degrees.  Warm enough, maybe.  We rode the hotel ferry to the sister hotel, because we had discovered that we were at the "city" hotel, rather than the "kid-friendly" one.  Thankfully, they had a ferry and trolley car that brought us from our hotel right up to the other.  The kids had a blast playing in the pink sand beach for a while.  Unfortunately, the beach had signs posted warning about jellyfish-like creatures called Portuguese Man-of-War in the water.  We decided not to swim at the beach, but the kids loved sliding down the water slide at the hotel pool!  The sun was shining, I had my Rum Swizzle, and everyone was happy...

As I heard one local say... it is a "BERMUTIFUL" day!

Amidst all the touring, we were again adjusting to life and school in a hotel room.  The  kids have gotten really into playing UNO, and there were many a marathon game.  We also enjoyed watching The Food Network before bedtime.  Our favorite is the Cupcake Wars.  Meanwhile, I tried to avoid going bankrupt by room service!  After a $50 breakfast of 2 bowls of cereal and a 2-egg plate,  I figured out that I could get a small refrigerator brought to our room at no extra charge.  I did my best to avoid expensive room charges and instead made a run to a nearby grocery store for bread, cereal, milk, yogurt, peanut butter, and fruits and vegetables to last us at least 5-6 meals.  Oh, and wine, of course!  A girl's gotta live, right?  It was a fun little challenge, to see how little I could spend during our extended stay.  I think we had 3 room service meals total during our 6 day stay.  Mission accomplished.   We didn't starve, by any means, and sometimes ate lunch out.

By the end of the week, this tour guide and budget guru was plumb tuckered out.  We were all glad to see Daddy-o and the rest of the crew from the Atlantic Cup Rally pull into St. George's Yacht and Dinghy Club.  We hopped back on board, and have been continuing to explore Bermuda together.  The weather continues to warm up and the adventure continues...

Crew from Escapade and Field Trip in Bermuda! 


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