Bermuda: Church Beach & Royal Naval Dockyard

It’s been a while since I wrote about my trip to Bermuda, but I realized there is still much more to share. The first two posts in my recap can be found here and here. Monday was one of my most favorite days of our vacation, perfectly balanced with all the best things. The day began with a family breakfast on the pool deck as we all discussed our plans for the morning over coffee and plates of fresh fruit. The sky was clear, the air was warm, and there was a lovely island breeze. My parents, my brother, and I all decided to venture to Church Beach, a picturesque, quiet beach in Southampton Parish. We made our way to the pier and found a transportation service that would drop us off right where we wanted to go, so we climbed aboard and began what was the most perfect mid-morning drive across the island.
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Like our journey to Horseshoe Bay the day before, I savored every minute of our drive through the island. It was the perfect day and I wanted to take in every detail that I possibly could.

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When we pulled up to the beach, the landscape seemed to be straight out of a travel magazine. Other passengers wondered why we were essentially being dropped off on the side of the road at a lesser-known beach, but we were just eager to be there and enjoy a place where we’d never been before. I took off my sandals and made my way down a winding wooden staircase that leads down to the sand.

2015-08-09_0003Stepping foot onto the beach was an incredible moment. Something about being one of the few people there, combined with the weather, combined with my deep desire to connect with God in an entirely new place made for a combination that had my heart nearly ready to burst. My parents and brother waded out into the water to snorkle, while I cozied up with my journal and book to write, relax, and pray. I looked up at God’s creation and felt His presence so strongly and clearly in that time. After some quiet prayer time, I grabbed my earbuds and sunhat and walked along the rocks (seen below in the distance) while I listened to the worship playlist that I created the night before we left for the trip. Oh friends, the past few months have been a storm of doubt, fear, bleakness at times, and uncertainty, but that precious hour on the beach, alone with my savior in God’s beautiful creation, was one of the most spiritually incredible times in all of my life. That time on the beach was separate from any of life’s stresses, problems, or fears. I am so, so grateful for that time.

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By the end of our time at the beach, I was glowing inside and out. I just wanted to bottle up that experience to hold onto forever, but I’m grateful that I still carry the vivid memory with me months later.

2015-08-09_0006We made our way back to the Royal Naval Dockyard around lunchtime, where my mom and I ate on the pool deck while we watched the search and rescue team practicing drills beside the ship. I had a strawberry napoleon that was all good things wrapped into one dessert and then went back to my room to change before exploring the Dockyard. When I got back to my room, I had a voicemail from the charming British officer from Saturday night (not as dreamy as it sounds because he was simply answering a nautical question I’d asked him a couple days before, but his accent was lovely nonetheless). After listening to that once (or three times), I changed and grabbed my bag to go adventuring.

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I walked around the Dockyard for a couple of hours, venturing into shops and talking with locals. I treated myself to an Aero bar and savored every chocolatey bite, then explored the architecture and details of the Victualling Yard.

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When I returned to the ship, I had a bit of time to relax before the family was meeting for dinner. I sunk into a lounge chair on the promenade and journaled a few pages, translating the beach experience into words as best as I could.
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For dinner, the whole family met at the Asian dining room on board for my favorite dinner of the entire trip. I enjoyed potstickers, egg drop soup, beef chow fun, and samplings from my loved one’s plates. We ate and laughed with a view of the Dockyard as our backdrop.

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After dinner, I ventured back onto the Dockyard in pursuit of another Aero bar for dessert (I was hooked) only to find that the pharmacy was closed for the evening. I enjoyed a quiet walk back to the ship just before the sunset. After watching the sky turn orange and pink as the sun sank below the horizon for the last time on the island, I joined my family for some live big band music in the lounge. My Tappy and I made our way onto the dance floor for one of the iconic songs and made quite the spectacle as we brought out our best dance moves as a granddaughter/grandfather pair. I will cherish those few minutes forever. The day concluded with half the family taking a dip into the pool while the rest of us lounged and talked on the pool deck. I went to bed with a very full heart that night and lots of gratitude for all that the day had held. 🙂

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