Location: Southampton, Bermuda
Sequin Skirt: AllSaints (similar here)| Pink Swimsuit: Body Glove | Hat: Hurley (similar here) | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Grey Shorts: Aritzia (Heather/White Oak Color) | Flamingo: Amazon (this one includes a motorized pump)| Round Towel: Cotton On (I also like this one and this one) | Speaker: Nixon (Marbled Multicolor)
Bermuda, an island with pink sand beaches and a travel campaign I can certainly get behind, “More Pink.” Ironically, my 21st birthday was a pink party, so I guess I came full circle for my 30th with a birthday trip to Bermuda. Turning 30 was a bit bittersweet because Norma always said “it’s all down hill after 30”; so far the anticipated rapid aging hasn’t set in but the night is still young.
We stayed at the newly renovated Fairmont Southampton which is known as “the big pink lady on the hill” and has a private beach off of Horseshoe Bay, the infamous pink sand beach. Since the Fairmont grounds span 100 acres and we had taken a later flight, we dropped our bags in the room and headed down to the pro shop where we convinced them to let us borrow one of the pink golf carts to drive around the grounds and get the lay of the land. After dinner and a firework show, Stephen had arranged a surprise birthday cake to be awaiting our return, it was complete with a “happy birthday bunny” (my nickname) and two hotel robes, so we spent the night in bed eating cake by the ocean.
Our first full day on the island we rented a Boston Whaler to explore the west side of the island.
I have this weird bucket list of things I want to do:
1. Candlelight dinner on the beach
2. Picnic on a deserted beach
3. Camp in the Sahara Desert (Morocco is at the top of my travel list)
4. Hold a wombat (I told you it’s a weird list)
5. See the Northern Lights
6. Ride in a hot air ballon
7. Swim with horses
8. Stay in a treehouse
9. Hike Machu Picchu
10. Go on an African safari
11. Visit the lost city of Jordan – Petra
The list goes on…we knocked a couple of these items off in Grand Cayman but figured Bermuda + boat was the perfect combo to check off #2 – picnic on a deserted beach. We ordered a picnic basket from the Fairmont, complete with a box of red velvet cupcakes and birthday candles, then headed out to Somerset Bridge (which holds the title of world’s smallest drawbridge) to pick up our boat. We took the boat through Ely’s Harbour and out to the Atlantic along the west coast of the island, enjoying the sun and scenery all the while looking for a secluded beach to make my picnic dreams come true. We found the perfect spot by the abandoned 9 Beaches overwater bungalows and set up camp. The bungalows actually looked pretty cool with their weathered blue paint and tattered gauzy curtains, just sitting over the water in a Swiss Family Robinson sort of way. I wanted to swim out and go inside one of the bungalows but then I remembered spiders exist…and broken glass. The beach picnic was relaxing and Pinterest perfect, BUT Bermuda is HUMID and it was really hot so I would recommend beach picnicking in a less hot environment. Luckily, as are the nature of beach picnics, a cool dip is literally steps away. Given the humid weather I didn’t bother doing my hair for the entirety of the trip, my hair doesn’t frizz in humidity but it wants to be stick straight so it seemed like a futile effort to attempt anything other than a braid. Also, as you can see I own a ginger (Stephen), so when I take him to the beach we have to get serious about sun protection (45 SPF and above), we’ve been through many sunscreens and finally landed on one that works and is hypoallergenic (because let’s face it if he’s wearing a sunscreen it’s going to end up on me and I have the world’s most sensitive skin). I highly recommend this one from Shiseido and if there was any doubt that it worked he was beet red in a tiny spot he’d missed during initial application. We also purchased a sand and water proof speaker from Nixon and created an offline playlist on Spotify so we could listen to music while cruising and lunching on the beach. Its permanent home is now our bathroom so I can ‘Juju on that beat’ in the shower. I only packed two swimsuits since it was a shorter trip, one being this hot pink ‘1989 The Look’ one-piece from Body Glove. As the name suggests this style is a throwback to their roots, a time when Body Glove was quintessentially cool and reminds me of California surf culture at its finest. As a former swimmer I am typically not a one-piece fan since I know the perils of tan lines, having spent years with the dreaded “O” emblazoned on my back. This suit was an exception, neon plus a tan was giving me Kelly Kapowski vibes in all the right ways and the high cut leg was surprisingly flattering. Although I’m not usually a Sporty Spice, I like an athletic influence when it comes to swimwear (I think it juxtaposes the nakedness) and had actually been looking for an 80’s revival suit from Body Glove when they introduced the 1989. After we ate lunch we grabbed Mingo (our pink flamingo float—we like to name things, we’re weird) and took the boat out to explore the Great Sound. We ended at the historic HMS Vixen, just off shore from Daniel’s Head, a shipwreck that was scuttled over a break in a coral reef. There were literally THOUSANDS of fish that you could see through the crystal clear water and they filled every inch of the small waves. Just as we decided to move the boat to a safe anchoring spot so we could snorkel through the wreck, our boat died. Somewhat ironic considering we were at a shipwreck. We called back to the boat shop and then floated over the wreck on Mingo, feeding the fish, until a jet ski pulled up to attempt to fix our boat. Turns out the boat’s engine needed a new part so we were towed back by the jet ski. We got a lot of looks from passing deep sea fishing boats and no one could resist snapping a picture of a 10 foot flamingo…dragging behind a whaler…being towed by a jet ski.
We were a little disappointed that we didn’t get to swim through the wreck, especially knowing we had booked a boat in Tucker’s Town for another day and wouldn’t have time to revisit the wreck given our limited stay. Despite the equipment malfunction it was a perfect birthday and there is nothing we like better on vacation than having some alone time without a person in site; and as mentioned before driving (in this case a boat) and listening to music is a novelty no New Yorker takes for granted.