Mini-tour: Jan and Jake Wharton on Horseshoe Bay. *Photo by Shari-lynn Pringle
Mini-tour: Jan and Jake Wharton on Horseshoe Bay. *Photo by Shari-lynn Pringle

One would only need to look at my sister, Shari-Lynn Pringle’s Facebook page to see how committed and infatuated she is with Bermuda’s beauty. I swear – everything she does captures a picture of all Bermuda has to offer.

Her iPhone works overtime snapping pictures of things that make me even wonder if this is the same gal I grew up with. 

Last Saturday, while having a rare day to loaf off, Shari asked me to tag along with her to a few specific locations. I sighed then reluctantly agreed.  She offered to pick me up so I took solace in the fact that I’d sit back and relax — and save my gas. On the drive to the first destination we made numerous stops to snap pictures of Poinciana trees in full bloom... this was going to be a long day

We became hungry and after debating on which restaurant we’d patronize we opted for fish and fries from Art Mels. (The food, as always, turned out to be great). As we stood waiting for our order, a couple walked in, clearly taken aback by the heat of the scorching sun. 

We thought they were lost but a quick ‘hello’ followed by short conversation led us to understand that they had just arrived in Bermuda the day before — their first visit, to celebrate their tenth anniversary. 

Although Shari and I always connect naturally with tourists, for me the conversation was extra special when they shared that they were visiting from North Carolina — the state where I attended university. They had taken a bus from their lodging place, Fourways Inn, and spent time in St. George’s.  Having read about Art Mels in a magazine, they got off the return bus on the North Shore and walked to the restaurant.  

A newfound friendship was formed with Jake and Jan Wharton.

We offered them a ride from Art Mels back to Fourways when they realized that their intention to walk back to the hotel would not be pleasant due to the heat and distance. 

They’d heard about Bermuda from a friend and thought from the map they carried that most places they wanted to visit were within walking distance. 

Great conversation ensued along the route as Shari and I gave them a tour of our island. As they had barely been in Bermuda for 24 hours they did not object to being shown a few places where they were also able to have photos taken.

Our unplanned tour took in Elbow Beach, Warwick Long Bay, Horseshoe Bay and as far west as the Lighthouse before heading back to Fourways some three hours later. 

We even stopped to see one of my favourite spots, Henry VIII, and when Jake spotted the sushi bar and determined that he and Jan might have dinner there that evening – and stay after for dancing. Noting the distances travelled, Jake and Jan laughed when Shari joked to them that she had saved Jake a divorce!

Jan shared that she’s a freelance writer for their local newspaper. Wow, I thought! How uncanny is that?

By the time Jake informed me that a night at Henry’s was on the cards I was exhausted — but off I went to finish off my day with our new friends. 

And what a time we had.  DJ Uncle and maitre d’ Bishnu  made them feel welcome and helped them have a memorable anniversary that they won’t soon forget.

Tourists are guests to our home and I believe it is incumbent upon each of us to make them feel welcome — no matter how small the gesture. 

Shawnette Somner is a mother and an educator. Email