Bermuda first choice for Freunds’ golden years
A New Jersey couple who fell head over heels in love with Bermuda during their honeymoon have returned to celebrate their 50th anniversary.
Peter and Mary Ann Freund are so fond of Bermuda that they have been here 32 times — and plan to return for more.
Before they were married on August 16, 1969, they had not travelled to many places and weren’t sure where they should go for their honeymoon.
Mr Freund said: “My uncle and aunt had travelled all over the world, and before we got married, we asked them what their favourite place was. They said Bermuda because of the warm people, the climate, the natural beauty of the island and the soft sand.”
Mrs Freund added: “We love it and will never get fed up of it — we started to stay for two weeks because we hated to go home afterwards. We always look forward to coming back.”
During their stay, they are spending time visiting their favourite spots and catching up with local friends whom they consider “family”.
Mrs Freund said: “We have had such beautiful weather, this time we have been at the beach every morning.
“We went to Flatts and St George’s. Our friends took us to the Dining Room at the lighthouse and we sat out on the lawn — the view was spectacular.”
Mr Freund added: “In the evenings, we try to get around to as many different restaurants as we can.”
The Freunds, both retired teachers, met at college in Pennsylvania, where they married.
They say there have been many highlights over the years and they have noticed some changes to the island along the way.
“We always stayed at the Sonesta Beach Hotel before it closed,” Mrs Freund said. “On our honeymoon, we took a picture of ourselves in the mirror, which Pete likes to call the very first ‘selfie’.”
Mr Freund added: “Back then, we were always assigned a waiter and a table for the entire week. What always amazed me is about 20 years ago our same waiter was still there.
“The entertainment would go from hotel to hotel, so that you would see each band at your own hotel, but you stayed pretty much on the ground.”
Mr Freund continued: “About a year before the Sonesta closed, we asked our friends at the hotel where should we stay the next time and they recommended the Fairmont Southampton.
“A lot of the staff moved there, too, so it was like bringing our family there with us.
Mrs Freund explained: “Even when we were at the Sonesta, we would come up for dinner at the Windows on the Sound and listen to Earl Leader and [Quinton] ‘Tiny’ Burgess.
“Earl is still playing there now and we always make a point to see the Jasmine Lounge Dancers,” she said.
“We brought our sons a few times — it was fun to share Bermuda with them and go on the mopeds.
Mrs Freund added: “Last year, we heard about the Twizy vehicles and so we will be driving them for the next 30 years.
“A few things have changed, but the people and beauty of the island haven’t.”
While they have collected many wonderful memories over the years, the Freunds also recall a few run-ins with Mother Nature.
“When we first came, the hotel staff pulled all the lawn furniture into our rooms and gave us candles because two hurricanes — Camille and Bonny — were supposed to meet over the island.
But the couple are always prepared for a disaster.
“There was one time when the hurricane was hitting the island and the hotel recommended that we should fly home, so we went home, waited it out and came back.”
The Freunds do take time to visit other countries every so often, but Mr Freund said: “We always make sure that we have enough time and money to come back to Bermuda — it is truly our priority.”
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