I say this every year - the first two weeks of December in BDA are madness.
This year remained true to form. Even though it is a frenzied time, I know deep down I am going to miss it one day. Probably when I am trolling the malls of NJ and cursing the feet of snow on Rt 4.
Miss Mina enjoys some challah bread baked for her class to celebrate Hanukkah!
Both kids had their Christmas pageants this week - on two different nights.
As a year 6, this was Jordan's last go at it. He was Elf #6, celebrating eco consciousness with "Santa Goes Green for Christmas." The soundtrack this year was pretty good, actually; and I am sure we will enjoy the two different DVD recordings I ordered, each capturing a different night of performing.
Weekend baking began - I made a tray of my most requested recipe: nutella bites. They can easily be made festive with some holiday sprinkles. See, look how festive!
Theo had his first encounter with Jolly St. Nick. His reaction is less than ideal. No cute Christmas ornament out of this one. At least he wasn't flat out screaming. Although that might have been more amusing.
He was slightly mollified by me sitting next to him. Unfortunately, the moment happened so quickly Mina wasn't able to get the best shot. Oh well.
One of the highlights of the weekend was the 2015 Bermuda Boat Parade. Held on alternate years, we were so happy we could see one more before our departure. Even better, good friends invited us to their boat party, held in their room at the Newstead Hotel. With two decks overlooking the harbor, there is no question we had a phenomenal angle to watch the festivities.
It's also one of those ideas that would never have occurred to an ex pat like myself. Our friends are Bermudian, and they reserved the suite a year ahead of time with their extended families. Everyone get together, brings food, the kids run around, and the adults can relax knowing no one is going to fall into the water off Albouy's Point (a popular viewing spot directly in town - and the last place we took the kids to see the show years ago.) The next day was warm enough for swimming in the hotel infinity pool.
We got there early enough to catch the sun setting in the harbor.
Theo was in a good mood.
As night fell, the illuminated boats made their way around the water promenade. There were some showings from the teams racing the America's Cup as well. Japan's team had a Hello Kitty boat, complete with the Japanese flag, the trophy and an amazing sound system that echoed off the water. Of course I couldn't get a decent picture of that.
At the end, fireworks exploded from Wright's Island. Once again, I lamented my inability to fully understand my camera features. Many shots later, I got a couple that aren't a complete mess.
The weekend drew to a close with a farewell party at the Botanical Gardens. Saying goodbye to our friends, the Schwartz's was very hard. They have been on the island for eight years and were the first family to welcome us here. I still remember their welcome basket (complete with a pineapple - the symbol of welcome!) being driven to the grocery store by them the first week since we had no car or license, being invited to their home for so many holidays and meals. Our kids have played together, we've broken bread many times (and maybe a few glasses as well.) And we've shared in the very unique experience of two American families abroad in Bermuda.
Seeing them leave feels like the end of an era.