The picture above shows the chikkie where Eammon and I spent all of our days during the past couple of weeks. This was our temporary real estate where we read, chatted, solved puzzles, relaxed and enjoyed numerous afternoon naps. Below are a couple of pictures of my view of the world looking past my deeply tanned toes, during various times of the day.
Here's Eammon working on his savage tan.
As in years past, this year we enjoyed beautiful weather, with only two mornings of rain. Each year Eammon and I discuss doing activities such as going Snuba, snorkeling sailing, parasailing or going to De Palm Island and doing Seatrek or even, going on a submarine, but laziness, lack of motivation and intense relaxation take over thus, we've never made it off the beach during the day.
Mornings I enjoyed being on the beach, sitting in the sun or floating in the ocean with friends, discussing the obligatory topics of: where everyone went for dinner, what they ate and where they're planning to dine on upcoming nights; news of weather reports from home and how pleased we were not to be there; and of course the depth and color of everyone's tan. Afternoons, I enjoyed sitting in the shade of the chikkie, reading, doing my puzzles, watching boats sail by and enjoying my afternoon alfresco naps. This year I was reintroduced to a girl that I grew up with, who I haven't seen in over 20 years. It was wonderful seeing her again and who knows, maybe we will keep in touch.
Evenings we often ate out on our patio, watching the sunset, as the view was spectacular and with the tradewind breezes, it was always comfortable
Of course we did dine out a couple of times with friends. One night we had a very
Eammon and I had eaten at Tulip in December'04 and found the food only to be fair, and service relatively slow. This year the food was still only fair, but the service was painfully slow...So now it's off our list as there are plenty of other wonderful places to dine.
Our next dinner out was with Barb & Joe at the Calypso Restaurant at Casa del Mar. It was a Caribbean dinner and show. The food included numerous seafood salads, lobster tails, curried beef, pork loin, Keshi Yena, grilled fish, Island Ratatouille, Cinnamon Baked Plantains and various desserts.
The dancers were fun to watch and at the end of the evening Joe was pulled up on stage to learn a dance and then he and Barb had a nice dance with each other.
Eammon and I love Iguana Joe's and thus we ate and drank there a couple of times. One night we dined with (from left to right) Sue, Me, Eammon, Carl, Sandra, Allan and Bob. We enjoyed wonderful drinks, including my favorite Cactus Colada and Eammon's lethal drinks, Kunuku Moonshine and Hurricane Joes.
Everyone in our group flipped over Joe's Award Winning Shrimp and the Original Recipe Baby Back Ribs.
A return visit was in order as everyone wanted more ribs and drinks, so a few days later we made a return visit. This time our very tanned and lovely group included (from left to right)Allan, Sandra, Carl, Eammon, Me, Ruth & Phil.
Our final night on Aruba, we dined with Karen and Laurie at Madame Janette. It was the perfect way to end our time on the island as both the food and company were wonderful.
Overall, the trip was wonderful and it was so nice to see all our friends on the beach, especially since Eammon and I hadn't planned on visiting Aruba this year, with the China trip in the wings.
We did have a number of mishaps along the way which could have potentially put a real damper on our trip, and that is why I say that we had relaxation for the most part. Our troubles started the morning we left for Aruba. Our alarm sounded at 2:30 am and we were out of the house as scheduled at 3:00 am. It took us 40 minutes to drive the 31 miles to the off-airport parking site and then we took the courtesy shuttle to the airport, arriving at 4:00 am. We waited a while in line and when we got up to the counter, the ticket agent asked us for Eammon's immigration papers or green card. Holy crap! Since we just got new passports, the information that was stamped in his old one wasn't in the new one, and we didn't have his green card with us. By then it was after 4:00 am and our flight was scheduled to leave at 6:15 am. We check our bags and then make a mad dash to the taxi stand to take us back to the off site parking place. We arrive back there at 4:40 am and then literally flew through Atlanta making the 31 mile trip in 25 minutes flat. I knew exactly where Eammon's green card was located, so I dashed into the house as Eammon delt with the house alarm. We were in and out of the house in less than one minute and back on the road. Thankfully it was a Sunday morning and the lights were in our favor. We made it back to the parking place at 5:33 am, just under 25 minutes! The shuttle raced us back to the airport and we arrived there at 5:43 am, we raced to clear security and had just enough time to make a very brief bathroom stop and pick up a cup of coffee as they were closing the gate. Thankfully we made the flight because we wouldn't have been able to catch another connection from Miami to Aruba until the following day. So, after all that stress it was good to make it to the beach that afternoon and unwind.
On our flight coming home, for some reason the pilots in Aruba arrived late, so the boarding could not start until their arrival. Then when we landed in Miami, we sat on the tarmac for just over an hour. Then they started pulling up the the terminal, but they sat about 20 feet short, waiting for the ground crew to do something. Had things been on time, we would have had just shy of a 2 hour layover. But, by the time they opened the doors to the plane, we had less than 12 minutes to make our connection and of course it was in a different terminal. We raced through the airport and arrived just as they called for all rows to board, final boarding. So, we made the plane...yippee!! Get to Atlanta and we circled for a good 40 minutes before we landed, but finally on the ground. Waiting, waiting, waiting for our luggage only to get to stand in line with over 70 other passengers to file a missing luggage claim. Now, our luggage has been delivered, laundry has been started, the tan is already starting to fade, the good memories of the trip supersede any of the problems we may have had. We loved our trip, but it feels wonderful to be home!