Harbor Nights in Hamilton Bermuda

 

When we stayed in Bermuda as a land trip in 2010, we didn’t go into Hamilton for Harbor Nights so maybe we’ll go this time.

Harbor night celebration takes place on every Wednesday during high season (May through September) on Front Street of Hamilton Bermuda.

So what is Harbor Nights? Basically, Bermuda at its best. The front street in Hamilton gets closed to all vehicles after sunset. The shops and the restaurants remain open till late at night. And the street comes alive with sparkling lights and music. Large number of vendors wearing colorful dresses sell various kinds of local arts and crafts. Many of them will be the local artists themselves who are generally willing to chat with you and explain their artwork.

There will also be a number of food sellers selling different kinds of food – both Bermudian and ethnic. And then comes the Gombey dancers with their lively music and rhythmic drumming. They are huge crowd pullers. It’s a great experience even if you just take a stroll along Front Street and enjoy the ambience of the Harbor nights. People mix freely and talk to each other. This is a great family event and gives a wonderful insight into Bermudian culture.

Harbor Nights at Hamilton

If you plan to take your dinner in Hamilton on Harbor Night, make reservations and come early. Choose a restaurant with a balcony facing the Front Street and the harbor. You will watch the whole festive world below on the street with a backdrop of the beautifully illuminated harbor. Dining experience can’t get any better than this. We just love it.

So Harbor Nights at Hamilton Bermuda essentially features:

1) On-street celebrations from 7 to 10 p.m.

2) Shops are generally open until 9:00 p.m.

3) You get to see Bermuda’s local Arts and Crafts

4) Live Music and Entertainment

5) Food Court

6) Lots of activities for Children in the Children’s Court, including fun castles in all sizes, the ever-popular train, face painting, tattoos and hair braiding.

7) You can see the Bermuda Regiment band, which marches down Front Street in full regimental apparel with pipes and drums.

Update May 2015: This year Harbor Nights is scheduled between June 3 – September 2, 2015 (7pm to 10pm). Additional ferries beyond normal hours will be provided for visitors returning to dockyard.

via Harbor Nights in Hamilton Bermuda.

NYC Weekend

This is a real surprise.  I had wanted to see Aladdin for some time but they were always sold out when we were in NYC.

Our son got tickets for Aladdin for this weekend, in addition to The 39 Steps!  He had sent calendar invitations.  My DH had accepted and forgot we were going and I never got my invitation.  :(

~~~~~~

Backing up to Friday.  This weekend was supposedly so that my son and I could practice for our next Steinway Hall event.  This time, we’re playing the duet Capriol by Peter Warlock.

The day that we do this, we’re also heading out for a cruise to Bermuda.  Busy day!

The train ride to NYC was uneventful, if late.  We have a timeshare in NYC but it’s always full so we can never go :(  We had a favorite alternative that we really liked but they converted into a long-term stay hotel.

So, we went to a new hotel for this weekend.  I kept it in the same neighborhood so I’d know my way around a bit and we could eat at our favorite restaurants :)

We got to our new place and Michael was waiting for us.  Hooray!  After checking in, the next order of business was getting something to eat.  We decided to Uber over to Union Square to be close to The 39 Steps show at the Union Square Theater.

Lots of places to eat but we decided on getting a snack at the Barnes and Noble and having a real meal later.

The show was wonderful!  Very clever with only 4 actors doing all the parts with just a few props.

Different actors but you’ll get the idea:

After the show, we walked around a bit and ended up at Paul & Jimmy’s for dinner.  It was a good Italian dinner.  We didn’t have a refrigerator at our hotel, so I sent my leftovers home with Michael.

Saturday

Up early the next morning to go to breakfast at our old favorite – Scotty’s Diner on Lexington.

Michael had been to a place called The Cloisters and thought we might like to go so we Ubered (spell check doesn’t think that’s a word) north of Manhattan up the Henry Hudson Parkway.

The Cloisters museum and gardens is so peaceful and beautiful.  You almost feel like you’re back in the middle ages.  We had headsets as a guide and they used period music to help get in the mood.  The Cloisters is a branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art which is  devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe, was assembled from architectural elements, both domestic and religious, that largely date from the twelfth through the fifteenth century.

Tom got a ton of pictures.  I just got this one, in the garden:

cloisters

After the briefest stop at our hotel and a too-short nap, we went to Michael’s to actually practice some.  We had a snack at Ramen.co.  I had a bento box and the others had burgers.  The interesting thing about the burgers was that the bun was made of ramen noodles pressed together.

We then walked up past South Street Seaport, although there was a lot of construction going on so we couldn’t go in. We’d been there before, in January 2010 and took lots of pictures so it was ok that we couldn’t go again.  When we were there in 2010 it was way colder and I’d had to buy a new hat and mittens.

After that, we walked along the bike/pedestrian path for quite a ways and it was very nice, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, even though we were walking next to it, and under an overpass!  There was one poor guy out in a rubber canoe or kayak having trouble paddling in the current.

Back to the hotel to get ready for Aladdin!  That was playing at the New Amsterdam Theater.  Both the hotel and theater were on 42nd street so we walked – and made it on time!  What a beautiful old theater, built in 1903.

Aladdin was fantastic!  What can I say?

aladdin

 

 

 

 

 

After the show, we stopped at Cafe Metro for some take-home food, then we hiked back to our hotel to eat that and for much needed sleep.

Sunday!

We made a change in our traditions and stopped at the Pershing Square Café for breakfast.  We’d seen it while we were walking by the night before.  Quite $$ for breakfast. Pershing Square is also on 42nd Street, directly across from New York’s famous Grand Central Terminal’s main entrance and underneath the Park Avenue Viaduct.

Our next stop was Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises for a partial sightseeing trip since we were short of time.  We were 1 pier over from the one where our cruise ship for June 7, the Norwegian Breakaway, was docked.

breakaway2

The Statue of Liberty:

statue-liberty

And, most importantly, Michael’s office next to the Staten Island Ferry

office

A bit of lunch (we eat a lot!) at Mr. Biggs in Hell’s Kitchen then over to Michael’s for more practice – the reason for this trip.

We took the subway back to Grand Central, then our hotel to pick up our bags.  We took a cab back to Penn Station to catch the Acela and head home.

I think that’s it – we did about as much as anyone could do in 48 hours.

39 Steps NY – Official Site New York City

We’ll be in New York this weekend and have tickets to see this show – looks very cool!

39 Steps is a comedic spoof of the classic 1935 film, with only 4 actors portraying more than 150 characters, sometimes changing roles in the blink of an eye. The brilliantly madcap story follows our dashing hero Richard Hannay as he races to solve the mystery of The 39 Steps, all the while trying to clear his name! The show’s uproarious fast-paced 100 minutes promises to leave you gasping for breath… in a good way!

via 39 Steps NY – Official Site New York City.

From Wikipedia:

The play’s concept calls for the entirety of the 1935 adventure film The 39 Steps to be performed with a cast of only four. One actor plays the hero, Richard Hannay, an actress (or sometimes actor) plays the three women with whom he has romantic entanglements, and two other actors play every other character in the show: heroes, villains, men, women, children and even the occasional inanimate object. This often requires lightning fast quick-changes and occasionally for them to play multiple characters at once. Thus the film’s serious spy story is played mainly for laughs, and the script is full of allusions to (and puns on the titles of) other Alfred Hitchcock films, including Strangers on a TrainRear Window, Psycho, Vertigo and North by Northwest.

 

See more videos here.

 

I’m very excited about this neat surprise from our son.

Norwegian Breakaway Pool Areas

Note to self!  From http://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=189

Which Ships: Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway

Sun Deck: Sun decks on Norwegian’s Epic, Breakaway and Getaway begin with the typical pair of pools, surrounded by fountains and an ocean of loungers, but it doesn’t end there. Little ones have their own place to frolic in the Splash and Play Zone, a shaded oasis of fountains, wading pools and animal sculptures (SpongeBob-themed ones on Breakaway and Getaway). This kiddie area is tucked under the waterslides of Epic’s mammoth Aqua Park. The main attraction here is the Epic Plunge, in which tube-riders zip into a giant funnel before dropping through a 200-foot-long chute into a pool below. On Breakaway and Getaway, passengers will also find ropes courses (complete with planks that jut out over the sides of the ships) next to the waterslides, one deck up.

For a quieter retreat, head to Spice H2O, a tiered, stage-like space that serves as an adults-only pool during the day, complete with the huge outdoor LED screen that’s becoming a staple of cruise ship sun decks these days. Another peaceful spot is the nearly hidden, unfrequented sun deck aft on Deck 18.

Distinctions: Staff are on hand to bring sunbathers chilled towels and spritz them with Evian water on hot days. In addition, you’ll no longer be harassed by waiters hawking drinks; if you’re thirsty, put the flag on your lounger up, and someone will come over to take your order. But the real VIPs are the ones who can afford a pricey Owner’s Suite, Penthouse or Villa, all of which allow access to the semiprivate Villas sun deck with pool, whirlpools and comfy sun loungers.

Poolside Dining: The Grill offers limited breakfast items and typical grilled lunch items, such as hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken, as well as salad and dessert.

 

2015

So far this year its been mostly work, snow, ice, work…

I did get to go to a Rare Disease Conference at the NIH last month.  That was just a day trip but it was a good one.  I always like going back to NIH.  I spent so much time there when I was being diagnosed with Cushing’s and post-op that it feels like a second home to me.

We had lunch in the real cafeteria – more memories.  When I was an inpatient, my DH and young son would come visit most nights and we’d have a late dinner there.

Last November 30, my son and I got to play a 2-piano duo in the Steinway Hall Rotunda in NYC.  As it turned out, we were the last ever people to play there before they moved to a new location in Manhattan.

 

Steinway Hall, November 30, 2014

 

Here’s a brief video of him playing his solo and one of us playing 2-pianos:

 

 

 

We are currently getting ready to play a duet (1 piano) at the temporary location for Steinway in early June, 2015 …the same day we leave on a cruise to Bermuda.  Talk about a tight schedule!

After the November recital, we went to see the Intrepid in NY Harbor.  Across the water, a couple berths over I saw a cruise ship departing.  I didn’t know/didn’t care where they were going but I found out.

For Christmas, everyone’s gift was a cruise on the Norwegian Breakaway to Bermuda.  More on that later.

Also, this summer will be a trip to Scotland to see and hear the Edinburgh Tattoo.  This has been on my bucket list for a long time.  My grandfather was in the Black Watch and I just love to hear bagpipes. Even my cellphone ringtone is Scotland, the Brave.

A bit more about him here.

This weekend is a Handbell Festival in Maryland – kind of exciting, too :)

MaryOColorfulButterfly

 

Costa Rica, Day Seven: August 21, 2014

Volcán Arenal aka Arenal Volcano

A majorly early day, we had to be up the 4 flights of stairs by 6:45am. There is still no sign of anyone fixing the elevator. Our driver (Ernesto) and guide (Jorge) arrived just after 7:00 and we were off. We had 3 stops to pick up others. At the 3rd, there was a slight holdup since one of the women fell in the lobby. She turned out to be ok and sat behind us on the bus.

map-arenalThe total bus trip to Arenal was about 4 hours and I learned a LOT about the folks sitting behind us, including entire highschool dating scene.

We made a stop along the way at Aroma Tico in Tilaran for a bite to eat, then we were on our way again, always climbing up the steep roads.

Arenal volcano was dormant for hundreds of years but in 1968 it erupted unexpectedly, destroying the small town of Tabacón. Due to the eruption three more craters were created on the western flanks but only one of them still exists today. Since October 2010, Arenal’s volcanic activity appears to be decreasing and explosions have become rare, with no explosions reported after December 2010.

We finally arrived at our spot on the Arenal Volcano to hike through a bit of the rainforest/meadow. Tom said our hike was 2.5 kilometers (about 1.6 miles) – not so bad but it was all UP. It wouldn’t have been so bad for me, except someone had put in “stairs” for much of the way.

These stairs were made of the mud from the trail, held back with vertical pieces of metal, They were uneven height and many reached nearly to my knees so these were very hard for me to climb.

When we got to the top, our bus was waiting. We didn’t have to go back. HOORAY. There were other busses there letting people off to hike down. I wonder if that would be easier?

We went to lunch in La Fortuna and had another tipical meal, except we could choose the meat (or vegetarian) off the menu. I had pork chops along with the casado, plantains, salad, fried plantains, white cheese and corn tortilla. We all had rice pudding for desert. It was a wonderful meal and I was stuffed.

Next stop was the hot springs at Baldi Hot Springs.  There are 25 pools that are large and small, hot and cold with walking paths between them and beautiful landscaping.  We were here about 2 hours, then it was time to eat again.  I just wasn’t that hungry, although they had a fantastic buffet.  I had only onion soup, salad, roll, pineapple and a tiny piece of cake.

Then, the long, long ride home and sleep!

My pictures:

DSCF0552
Bird (or big insect!) nests
DSCF0566
The lava flow shows up fairly well in this picture

DSCF0551 DSCF0553 DSCF0554 DSCF0555 DSCF0556 DSCF0557 DSCF0558 DSCF0559 DSCF0560 DSCF0561 DSCF0562 DSCF0563 DSCF0564 DSCF0565