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Dear Forest Hills Club Friends,
If you did not make the cruise to Bermuda, you missed a great time. We had 35 folks signed up in August ready to go, but, unfortunately, mostly due to illness, 13 had to cancel before we sailed on October 24. So, with 22 strong, we sailed the ocean blue on Royal Carribbean's Explorer of the Seas amid 22' high waves on Day Number 2 and made it to Bermuda safely.
Actually, several of us had dinner with Henry Hof and his wife, Sally, on the evening before departure at the historic Stony Hill Inn in Hackensack, N.J. Joining us were Stan and Nancy Peck, Jed and Joanna Clauss, Bob Taylor and Linda, and Ginger Trempy Clark.
We all had a great time.
We set sail from Port Bayonne, N.J., on Saturday evening with 3200 other people on this gigantic ship which seemed like a floating Las Vegas Sands Hotel with 10 decks and dozens of amenities and activities including several lounges , restaurants, musical shows, a great Olympic quality ice skating show, a large fully equipped gymnasium, rock climbing, basketball, golf, a running track, several swimming pools, a surfing pool, a spa, a casino, trendy and fashionable shops in a mall setting, and more elevators than you can imagine (we lost count at 16, not including service elevators). At dinner , we occupied three large tables and switched around each evening so we wouldn't get tired of each other.
Our final FHC guest list included Leonard and Lynda (Sener) Kunkin, Ted and Margaret Conroy, Keeve and Phyllis (Pugatch) Schecter, Webb Wade, Bob Taylor and Linda Broadway, Thom and Kathy (Ney) Brunner, Alan Hevesi, his lovely daughter, Laura, and her friend, Susan Ross, Charles and Ione (Kourides) Zaroulis, Ginger Trempy Clark, Jed and Joanna Clauss, and Peter and Hermie Cullen. Finally joining us were two lovely ladies from New Jersey, Martha Thomas and Denise White who were put at our tables by mistake, but we enjoyed their company so much that they are now honorary members of the Forest Hills Club and we hope they will join us at our 2010 Convivium.
After sailing all day Sunday, we arrived in Bermuda early Monday morning and docked at the Royal Navy Dockyard at the western end of the island. We departed the ship and most of us took a city bus for an hour's ride along a scenic coastal highway to the City of Hamilton, the capital of Bermuda, in the center of the island. Everyone spent the day shopping and visiting a few tourist attractions, taking time to have lunch at Flanagan's Irish Pub, a fine old bistro in the heart of Hamilton. Later that day, we took a ferry back to our ship at the Royal Navy Dockyard for dinner and evening festivities. Early the next morning, Tuesday, most of us hopped on another ferry to go to the Town of St. George at the western most end of Bermuda. Here, we did the same shopping and sightseeing, stopping to have lunch at the Carriage House downtown. Then we ferried back to the ship again.
One thing really striking about Bermuda is the cleanliness and the apparent lack of poverty on the island. If they have much poverty, they have done an excellent job of hiding it from casual visitors. In this regard, it is in stark contrast to many of the Carribbean islands.
Wednesday was another day on the ocean traveling back to the U.S. This time, with calm waters, we made good speed and arrived back at Port Bayonne early Thursday morning in plenty of time to say goodbyes and " see you at next year's Convivium.”
On the photos page, are some excellent photos taken by the group. We thank Lynda Sener Kunkin as well as Bob Taylor, Linda, Ginger, Joanna, and Hermie all of whom are sending photos or discs to Jeff McGann for placement on the FHC website www.foresthillsclub.org.
Lago Mar was great in '07. Jamaica was great in '08. Bermuda was great in '09. Where do we go in 2010 ???
Please give us your ideas.