Sue Behrle has “Going to Bermuda” tattooed on her wrist (photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)
Bermuda is Sue Behrle’s Happiness (Photo by Jessie Moniz Hardy)
Sue Behrle’s Going to Bermuda tattoo (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)
Sue Behrle is one of Bermuda’s biggest fans.
Sue Behrle’s 3D inflatable Cathy posing on a police bike (Photo provided)
She has visited over 50 times in three decades and has “Going to Bermuda” tattooed on her wrist. She uses the same phrase as her email username.
“I first arrived in the 1990s,” said the 66-year-old resident of Landsdowne, Pa. “I don’t even remember how I first heard about Bermuda, but I know their proximity made them appealing. You had only spent about an hour and a half in the air.
The Royal Gazette met Ms. Behrle at the Salt Kettle guesthouse in Paget in the middle of a 17 day visit.
The Covid-19 did not slow her down.
“I have been here five times since the start of the pandemic,” she said. “It’s not difficult if you know how to do it.”
For Ms. Behrle, visiting the island is a great way to relax. His job, working for a retina specialist, can get stressful.
“I’m in charge of drug and injection approvals,” she said. “It’s very stressful because each injection is worth around $ 1,500. It’s my happy place where I can come and relax.
She is taking her semi-retirement at the end of this month.
She has seen the island change over the years. When she first started coming to Bermuda, she loved to rent a moped. Now his enthusiasm for mopeds has cooled a bit.
“It’s just a means of transportation,” she said. “It’s no longer fun to drive, with people passing you left and right, and you go at a decent speed. “
Ms. Behrle likes to think outside the box in Bermuda. As many times as she has visited, she still finds new things to do. Often times, she just enjoys driving while taking pictures of what she sees.
“I have probably driven 50% of the streets and neighborhoods in Bermuda,” she said.
She makes notes from the photographs she takes and gives them out.
“They are all different,” she said.
She has stayed at the Salt Kettle Guest House on several occasions and remembers her late owner Hazel Lowe with great fondness.
“She was like a grandmother to me,” Ms. Behrle said. “She had her opinions.”
Mrs Behrle was here this time over Christmas.
“I bought my own Christmas lights and decorated them,” she said. “We exchanged gifts in the living room. Everyone here usually comes a lot. We got to know each other. It’s like a family.
There aren’t many things she hasn’t done on the island at different times of the year.
“I love the Christmas Walkabout in St George,” Ms. Behrle said. “I love the Christmas boat parade. It happened the night I arrived so I couldn’t go to town. Instead, we watched the parade of boats pass right by Salt Kettle.
She got up every morning and left her apartment at 8 a.m., following a strict visiting schedule.
“Now I have no more agenda,” she said. “I’m just saying which way am I going to go today?” Am I going to Somerset or St George’s? “
She is not the type to “sit on the beach”, but rather “to walk on the beach”.
“I love walking the Horseshoe Bay in Southampton on the left end at low tide and you can go all the way to Warwick Long Bay in Warwick to Jobson’s Cove.”
She loves to walk the beaches in search of sea glass or shells.
“It’s therapy for me,” she said.
She just started swimming in Bermuda five years ago, and now she loves it.
St Georges is one of his favorite places in Bermuda.
“I love him because of the story,” she said.
But she’s a bit disappointed with the old town’s decay in recent years, especially with the new St Regis Hotel which has just opened.
“You would think the government would have ensured that everything was repainted before the hotel opened,” she said.
She often brought groups of 15-20 friends with her on her visits.
“We have all met here a number of times,” she said. “We all stayed in different places. They come because they love the Bermuda experience. Everyone knows I’m going to Bermuda. They ask me about it and then they come.
She thinks Bermuda needs to redouble its efforts to dispel its image as a dear destination. She has developed some tips for saving money on the island. For example, she often brings her own meat and condiments, for a few days of her stay.
“The best deal on the island is to go to Art Mel’s (on St Monica’s Road) for a fish sandwich,” she said. “It feeds my best friend and me. We both have half of it. Hamilton’s Head Breakfast Truck has a great burger. You don’t have to have a drink. You can just grab a soup and a coke and spend $ 20 with a tip.
She feels that many potential visitors to Bermuda are turned away when they first research hotel prices.
“They see hotel rooms available for $ 400 a night or even $ 1,200 a night,” she said.
But she said there were a lot of good accommodation options available in Bermuda that should be promoted.
“I once stayed in a house on White Sands Road for $ 400 a night,” she said. “It was two bedrooms, two bathrooms and there was a pool and a dining room. If you bring another couple with you, it’s $ 200 a night, instead of $ 400.
She laughed a lot while she was here. One July, she toured Bermuda in a full Santa costume.
Then she and her friends had lunch at the Swizzle Inn in St George’s.
“You can believe I was sweating,” she said. “But we went out and took pictures and I waved to people passing by. The next day I went back. The regulars there were like where’s Santa’s costume? “
Five or six years ago a friend from Wisconsin called Cathy couldn’t make the trip to Bermuda. Ms. Behrle blew up a photo of Cathy’s head and put it on a stick, so that wherever the group took photos, Cathy could be included. Then she went further and bought an inflatable doll to represent Cathy.
“I rode with Cathy 3D on the back of my bike,” she said. “She was facing traffic and was wearing a helmet and a Bermuda T-shirt. It was just hysterical.
One day Mrs Behrle was on her way to St George when Cathy’s leg started to deflate after hanging part of the bike. Mrs Behrle walked into a bicycle shop and they happily performed emergency surgery on Cathy with a patch.
Cathy 3D quickly posed in the back of a motorbike owned by amused St George cops, then had her photo taken in a jail cell.
“You have to have fun,” Ms. Behrle said.
She once hosted a mock wedding for her friends on the beach at Coco Reef Resort in Paget at sunrise. She prepared the event with mimosas and cannoli brought back from Philadelphia.
“I had been there since about 5 am to install this,” she said. “I had an alley built. I wrote vows. It was just a great time and great food. There was a guy from South Africa walking the beach, who joined us for everything.
She already has three trips to Bermuda scheduled for next year.
Ms Behrle believes the Bermuda government should offer incentives to attract more tourists to the island, to help recover from the pandemic.
“They have to bring people here,” she said.
She thought they could offer small discounts at hotels and restaurants.