Birthday(s) in Bermuda – Part 1

Hi Blog! I’ve missed you! No posts from me in over two weeks…yikes! Let’s remedy that immediately.

Does anyone ever go on a vacation and then feel like you need a vacation from your vacation to catch back up? Surly I’m not alone in this? Bermuda was REALLY wonderful, but I hit the ground running full speed as soon as we returned. Between a sinus infection, lots of work to catch up on, throwing an engagement party for two friends, planning an upcoming wedding shower for two different friends (wedding season much?), hosting football parties (Go Tigers!) and trying to catch back up on laundry, cleaning, Renly, friends, LIFE….it’s been busy. But enough about being busy because really, aren’t we all? Let’s hop right into the fabulous, beautiful Bermuda recap!


Now, before you start thinking that I have some¬†fantastic, jet-setting lifestyle that allows me to travel midweek on a whim, let me remind you why we took this trip. Robert and his sister (my sister in law) are exactly 10 years and one day apart. That means this September, they turned 30 and 40 respectively. Two pretty big milestone birthdays! Then to top it all off, our Aunt Vanessa turned another number ending in 0 (but we celebrated it as 25 ūüėČ the day after Robert! Make that three milestone birthdays, three days in a row! We decided that three special birthdays in a row deserved a big celebration, and Bermuda was the winning destination!

We flew out of Atlanta early Wednesday morning and arrived in Bermuda around 2:00. We checked into our hotel, the Newstead Belmont Hills in Paget Parish, which overlooked the city of Hamilton.


Bermuda is divided into “Parishes” rather than districts or counties. Hamilton, across from our hotel is the center of the island and capital of Bermuda.

IMG_1508 IMG_1509

The view from the hotel was beautiful and our rooms were spotless. We shared a two bedroom condo with my sister and brother in law.  The bedrooms were on either side of a common area and kitchen and each had their own bathroom and private porch. It was very spacious and felt more like a private room than a shared condo.

                         Fresh off the plane

My sister-in-law had a friend from college, Belcario, who is a Bermuda native and he stopped by our hotel after we were settled to welcome us. After a few glasses of wine to kick off the vacation we decided to head into town for dinner.

Rion and Belcario

It was my sister-in-law’s birthday so she chose an Italian restaurant in Hamilton, La Trattoria. Belcario joined us for dinner and happily answered all of our questions about the island while we stuffed ourselves with pasta and pizza.

Rion Bday Dinner  Rion Bday

We decided to call it a night after dinner so we could make a full day of it on Thursday, Robert’s birthday!


We woke up bright and early Thursday morning and enjoyed breakfast at our hotel before heading¬†to Oleander Cycles to rent scooters for the day, per the¬†birthday boy’s request! Every family in Bermuda is only allowed to have one car, so scooters are the main mode of transportation. We quickly learned that the Bermudians are either brave or crazy (or both) the way they weave in an out of traffic and whip around blind corners on those things!

R and L 2
              Bermuda Bike Gang

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Belated Birthday Getaway in Amelia Island – Part 2

Happy rainy Tuesday! It poured here all weekend long which made me long for the previous weekend in Amelia Island when the sun never stopped shining! Take me back! The second part of my trip recap will be even more exciting than the first since it covers our full day on Saturday, so may as well get right to it!

I woke up Saturday very well rested and¬†decided to check out the gym while Robert got a little more sleep. On my way in I passed a personal trainer working with a few guests by the pool which hadn’t opened for the day yet.¬†The gym itself was small but clean and had good equipment so I knocked out a quick arm workout. Thankfully Robert was awake and starving when I returned to the room so we made our way down to breakfast. A southern breakfast buffet was included with our room rate and we had high hopes for what it would entail. I’m happy to report that we were NOT disappointed. It was hands down the best breakfast buffet I have ever seen at a hotel. There was everything from a cereal, yogurt and oatmeal bar, to fresh fruit, lots of different pastries, bicuits and gravy, pecan cinnamon buns, to traditional pancakes, bacon, sausage and veggie¬†fritata. YUM. They also had a selection of meats, cheeses, house smoked lox that was to die for, AND an “omelette of the day” station that served the best omelette I’ve ever eaten…Sunday was Caprese Omelette day – marinated tomatoes, mozzarella and a delicious basil pesto. I will absolutely attempt to recreate this and share it with you! After breakfast we went for a nice long walk on the beach.


Once we finished our walk we showered and made our way back into town to explore.


Downtown Fernandina was absolutely precious. Cute little boutiques, art galleries and a coffee shop were we stopped in for an “Ultimate” iced mocha.

AI Coffee Lemon Creme Cookies

I also drooled over these lemon creme cookies but refrained since I watched her put two scoops of vanilla ice cream into my “ultimate mocha”.¬†Most of the shops had a funky, beachy vibe and we also came across this cute art installation.

Fernandina Art 3 Fernandina Art 2

After we had had our fill of walking through the town, we headed back to our hotel to catch some late afternoon sun by the pool.

Pool Speckled Turtle

The attendant found us two shaded seats and I enjoyed reading my nook and listening to the live music. It was very relaxing and the perfect way to unwind before our much anticipated fancy dinner! On our way back to the room we discovered a mini gelato bar in the lobby… how did they know ice cream was my favorite appetizer?

Mini gelato bar

We got ready for dinner and got to the restaurant a little ahead of our 8:00 reservations. Salt, the restaurant is not only rated number one¬†on Amelia Island’s trip advisor/yelp but it also happened to be right in our hotel. Win!


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Belated Birthday Getaway in Amelia Island – Part 1

Happy Wednesday! Hope everyone is having a great week. I am still soaking in the bliss of a weekend away…and for once it was near enough that we got back early on Sunday and got the house in order and errands run in record time! Confession: We were both in bed by 8:00 on Sunday night (7:30 for Robert) and it was blissful. Normally if we are out of town for the weekend I am up until midnight trying to get everything¬†unpacked and¬†ready¬†for the week. Amelia Island was the perfect distance (2 hours) from home. Far enough to feel like we are on vacation but close enough that we truly could enjoy the whole weekend without dreading the car ride. Robert and I both agreed that we would definitely be back!


I’m sure you are dying to hear all about it and check out my iphone pictures since we forgot the camera at home…whoops. Or maybe you could really care less but you’re bored at work and would like to see my pictures anyway? Either way, I’ll get right to it ūüôā

We arrived around 5 o’clock on Friday and I liked the look of Amelia Island immediately. The marshes were beautiful and the weather was perfect. It reminded me a lot of Hilton Head except less developed and a lot less crowded. Robert decided to be extra splurgy for my 28th and had booked a room at the Ritz Carlton! Neither of us had ever stayed at a Ritz (and based on the price we probably won’t ever again!) BUT I could sure get used to it! They definitely take service to another level. Both of us remarked several times that we felt like we were back on our honeymoon in Riviera Maya. Everyone calls you by name and is so eager to help with anything you may need.

As soon as we checked in I noticed how much the hotel really went out of their way to accommodate children. This surprised me since you don’t normally think of expensive hotels being overly family friendly. We were greeted by a pirate in the lobby (already surrounded by his own pint-sized fan club) and his treasure chests full of candy! So cute!

Treasure Treasure 2

And lest you fear the kids were going to have all the fun, we were quickly offered a pina colada shot by a sweet waitress (who also had Shirley temple shots for the pirate fan club). Our room had a nice view of the ocean and overlooked a seating area outside the lobby.

View from room

After situating our bags in the room we decided to explore the hotel. The hotel itself is beautiful with woodwork every where you look. They also had a nice gym (and I actually went!), an indoor and an outdoor pool and sweet little nooks with swinging benches.

Pool 2 Swing

We grabbed a drink at the pool side bar and walked down the beach access to enjoy them on the sand.


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Back with a Birthday Update!

Hello and happy hump day! It’s been a little longer than I would have liked since my last post about our wonderful engagement in Las Vegas. Not only did I go back to work last week (yay), but my computer decided that my first day back was an appropriate time to bite the dust (boo) and it is still undergoing repair attempts (double boo). I am currently using Robert’s Macbook which is taking me an embarrassingly long time to master (creatures of habit such as myself do not learn new technology very quickly).

On top of¬†starting school, my social calendar has kept me quite busy over the last week and a half. I had a girls night, celebrated my birthday with Robert’s family and celebrated one of my sweet friends turning 30¬†with a day on the water!¬†Busy in the best way ūüôā

Early Birthday Surprises from Justice and Lindsay after girls night!

Robert’s family always makes a big deal out of birthdays which is so much fun, even as an adult. Robert obviously picked up on this trend and always manages to make my birthdays extra special (except for that one year he took me to lunch at McDonalds and forgot to buy me a card, but we don’t talk about that). This year he REALLY went above and beyond.


I woke up Wednesday to messages on the bathroom mirror… ignore my 5 a.m. workout attire and awkward’s hard to take a picture of a mirror!

bday getaway

The mirror informed me that we would be going to dinner that night at Frankie Bones, a delicious restaurant on the island and it gave me my first hint about the birthday weekend getaway Robert had planned: Somewhere in Florida. Hmm. Once I came¬†downstairs, I found a birthday note from Renly, only this time it was written on tinfoil from last nights dinner and sitting on top of the stove! That sweet dog of mine is so resourceful ūüôā

Renly's card

After work, I came home to find flowers, several sweet cards from friends and family ( I LOVE mail!) and a box which Robert insisted I open before dinner.

Robert and Ren  cards

robert gift

Inside were three pictures which he told me were the remaining hints about our getaway.

pic 1 pic 2

pic 3

A beach, a pool and a hotel…I still didn’t have a clue! We laughed about how ambiguous the pictures were and I opened what was left in the bottom of the box.

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