We might have missed the chance to celebrate Canada Day (on the day), but we can still celebrate our blogger Nicola’s mom!
It was her 60th birthday not so long ago so how did they celebrate? Calling all family from across the sea to return to this 21-square-mile island. How did it go? Nicola will let us know:
Happy Canada Day Weekend! Canada Day was Sunday, and I’m wandering off to Chicago for the first time. Seize the day… the day off work, that is! Although I did botch up the chance to celebrate fireworks twice, as I will be in Chicago for Canada Day… but in Toronto for American Independence Day. Oops!
Fireworks aside, let’s get down to the real deal. This blog post centers in on a sub-tropical island adventure that occurred this past May.
After 6 months of secrets, plotting, organizing, and email flurries, we finally executed our master plan: a surprise 60th birthday bash for one well-deserving lady!
The well-deserving lady being my mother, lucky Elizabeth. “We” pertains to myself, my sister and her fiancé (Katie & Deneys), my father, my university friend and her husband (Christine & Gavin) and several other key accomplices in Bermuda and abroad. It was quite the feat! We even slipped up once or twice in planning, throwing in something about “when we’re in Bermuda” in Skype conversations, and emailing mom directly one time (instead of emailing dad’s work email). She swears dad did damage control and she remained clueless (or at least was confused and didn’t investigate any details).
Arrive for a walk on the beach... SURPRISE!! Party time.
Needless to say, photographic evidence shows the event was executed to perfection. Not only did we host a beach bash with up to 40 people, we also created an 80-page printed scrapbook with anecdotes, well-wishes, photos and memories from 1952 to today regarding Elizabeth Arnold. Oh and did we mention the iPad gift? There was a lot of work put into this fun and exciting event. And, as you might imagine, also overwhelming. Especially for such a short period of time.
Lucky Liz with her overseas guests from London, Philadelphia, Toronto and Guelph.
In between surprises and birthday happenings, we managed to show my guests a bit of the island. Dockyards, rum cake company, Gibb’s Hill Lighthouse, Grape Bay, Elbow Beach, Horseshoe Bay, Grotto Bay Caves, Swizzle Inn and even a boat trip to see the Vixen shipwreck in Somerset. Not bad for 2 full days playing tourist!
Obliged to taste test some rum swizzles, dark n stormies and local beer.
Let’s have my friend Christine and my sister Katie describe their Bermuda adventures in their own words!
Christine’s thoughts on Bermuda:
We didn’t get to spend too much time as tourists so I can’t talk about that much. However I can say that all the people we met were fantastic and I felt like we were living (almost) like locals. We went for an event so it was a different type of vacation. I still felt relaxed when we got home though, so even though it was busy it was fun, too.
Most surprising: How hill-y Bermuda is. I wasn’t expecting totally flat, but there are some steep hills on that island! [We didn't even drive them up Knapton Hill!]
Most relaxing: The water. I really liked the sound of the water and being able to see the horizon when you look out. You don’t get to see the horizon like that in Guelph that often. And napping on the beach at Horseshoe Bay! that’s a great beach. I can’t wait to go back.
Regrets? I wish it was warmer in the caves so I could have gone swimming. I know, I know, I’m a wimp!
Best view: Gibb’s Hill Lighthouse – I loved being able to see almost the entire island from there.
Something tells me C&G were fans of the moongate...
Katie’s thoughts on Bermuda:
I hadn’t been home for 2 years!! The words popped out of my mouth to everyone I came into contact with a week before leaving, as well as the week I was home. This was an unforgettable week, spending time with friends, family, and the Bermuda sun!
Most missed: Standing in that magic place between the wave and the shoreline, never knowing if the water is going to wash up onto your feet or not.
Thing I was surprised to enjoy: The feel of humid air on my skin. It feels clammy and usually unwelcome, but this time it was a reminder of home.
Best sound: Tree frogs chirping… without a doubt!!
: Seeing mom’s joyful face at the beach party and when she opened her scrapbook. I will always remember her reaction to me as I surprisingly walked through the door (time stood still and sped up all in one). Her response to the scrapbook ‘this is so touching’.
Best birthday memories for a great mother!
And there you have it folks. Once again, time well spent in the Bermuda triangle.