Sunday, April 03, 2011

Aruba was such a different visual experience from the other islands we visited. It’s primarily a desert landscape with cactus and other shrub plants rather than the tropical rain forests of the others. We hired a cab for the day, Bully the taxi driver, who had come highly recommended on the online travel sites. He was a very nice man. He told us about his family and his now 11 yr old special needs child. His observations of his child’s medical needs were very interesting to us. We went to some caves that included many cave paintings, checked out the interesting rock formations and visited the donkey sanctuary. G loved the donkeys! They were a port highlight for sure. While we were there we saw a neon green iguana! I’ve now seen many iguana but never one of this color. I guess they’re common in Aruba. I tried so hard to get a picture but couldn’t unfortunately. It was truly neon green.

After that, G fell asleep so we had Bully drop us off at a place called Salt and Pepper so we could eat while G napped in the stroller. It was in the Palm Beach area which is super built up and touristy. There’s a Hooters, Benihana, etc. After lunch we went to the beach. I was still sunned out –I was a bit burned –so I rented a chair and sat in the shade and Bobby took G out to the water. The sand in Aruba is gorgeous!!! At least on this part of the island it is super soft and very white. Awesome! Palm Beach –and I believe Aruba in general—is popular among Europeans. I had some pleasant conversation with some families from the Netherlands and Sweden while their kids played in the sand.

On the way back to the ship, Bully drove us by Eagle Beach where the famous divi divi trees are. I really wanted to get a pic of us with them. Bobby didn’t really understand my preoccupation but in Aruba the divi divi trees are iconic. We finally found the famous ones but there were people under them. I took the photos anyway… I wonder if I could photoshop them out???

Dinner was yummy!!! I really love starters so chose two: a spicy red snapper thing and an antipasti plate. Bobby had a pork loin dish he said was tasty and I went with the shrimp scampi. G chose mac and cheese but didn’t like it so we got her the hot dog meal. (I know right? All these food options and she chose a hot dog? Oh well) The chocolate marbled cheesecake for dessert was delicious!

The entertainment was a comedian. He was actually quite funny. He told mostly cruise humor which is probably common for this type of show. Unfortunately, G was pretty bored. She didn’t get the jokes, of course, so after about 20 mins or so we left. No biggie.

Us near the entrance of the cave. We went back a ways but I got tired of being bent over pretty quickly. The park ranger who did our little tour said that if we went back about another 50 feet or so we'd be able to stand up again but we passed.

At the donkey sanctuary. If it looks like G is about to have her fingers chomped off by a donkey, I think you're right.
Bobby decided to help her to ensure we didn't lose any appendages.
G loved those donkeys!!
Inland view of the island. As you can see, pretty barren.

G enjoying the water at Palm Beach
Random guy in port terminal playing drums. G liked him!
These are some of my favorite pictures taken on the ship. G would just stand there, do funny poses while the photog snapped away.

Next stop Curacao!

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