First, two things (to go with the two days worth of posting)–one, seeing my house on my header, with snow in the gable creases (real architecture term) and no leaves on the trees…it is bumming me out a bit. Earlier, I was reading some P.G.Wodehouse, a love I share with Mr. Jerry and I was thinking that when I got back home and saw him at the pool, I’d see if he’d read this one too. But I will not see him at the pool, for the pool deck is covered in snow. Two–I’m typing this one on my father-in-laws grown-up sized laptop and I’m much happier. Having the weeny keyboard slowed me down enough to think and lord knows THAT doesn’t help my writing any.

So, I didn’t post last night out of a dread of the third world PC. I’ll fill you in now b/c I know you are nearly frantic at having had to wait so long. Yesterday, we decided to hit the “flea market.” Turns out it was not so much a flea market as a row of stalls selling identical crap about 200 yards from the cruise ship port. So it’s guaranteed to be quality merchandise at discount prices, right? Well, the prices weren’t horrid but the stuff was pretty ratty. Once I get home and get the photos on the ol’ Mac, I’ll have to treat you to a picture of my youngest child holding a hash pipe. Don’t panic, it was the one with the iguana on it, not the one with the supernaturally endowed Rastafarian headin’ for his lady friend’s waiting back door. The sun was insanely hot, the breeze was blocked by the buildings, Grandma was shopping, Lily didn’t feel well, the menfo’k had gone for a walk, I couldn’t find a wrap made of anything but rayon, and while I could get a backpack with both Dora and Garfield on it, I couldn’t seem to get one with both Minnie Mouse and Popeye. Disappointing. I did score a chess set which pits the Incas against the Conquistadors. Which is pretty awesome, you have to admit. Doesn’t really say “Dutch Caribbean colony” though.

Everything else does, though. I find it odd to see everyone here at the Marriott compound wearing Aruba shirts and Aruba hats and Aruba skirts/shorts carrying Aruba bags…It’s, I don’t know, it seems kind of like pinning your phone number to a toddler in case he gets lost in the train station. The urge is strong to say, “Hey, where’d you get that shirt?” But they’d just point me to the gift shop in the lobby, I imagine. Or the Flea Market. I guess my idea of a souvenir is something OF the place I’d been, a product of the island, in this instance. But I’ve really not seen anything like that. Aloe is a big product, but I don’t think burn cream is what I’m thinking of. Today we picked up a bunch of shells and some sand. White sand of Aruba to go with my black sand of Tenerife. And pictures, lots of those. Brace yourselves.

ANYway, as I was saying before I wandered off on one of my superior rants (really people, enjoy your T-shirts. If it makes you happy and doesn’t hurt anyone, it’s okay by me. Just know that I will mock you), it was wretchedly hot and Lily was sick, so we headed back to the hotel. We thought about heading out to see what was once the Natural Bridge and is now the natural almost-bridge, but Steve fell asleep, I was reading my book, Lily was resting (which is to say, watching TV) , and Ben and Julianna were similarly unmotivated. We managed to drag ourselves down to the pool around 3. At 4, I left them with the Grands to go get ready for dinner.

Dinner! We had a reservation at a restaurant on the beach. Our table was right at the water’s edge. A boat came through, making a wake, and all the sand washed out from under us and tipped our table. Crabs came up and checked up out. It was quite a view. And the sun set right over the water…gorgeous. The food? Well, the view was very nice. The Dutch influence was strong and there seemed to be a cheese or cream sauce on everything, competing with the flavors of the food. Our waitress was an insanely cute Dutch girl we named Heineke. She had dimples and a fabulous body and a sweet waitressing gig on a Caribbean island. She is happy here. Go figure. We hung out until it was dark and the saxophone player showed up. Live music is so often my key to leave. In addition to having had a little rack on which we could hang our shoes, they had a wee footwashing station as we left. Little things please me. The food was shit, but there were washcloths for my feet! I give it a 10!

Back home, a night of indigestion and the (quick, squeamish guys look at the sidebar for a minute!) surprise arrival of my period. As always, I was caught unawares and unprepared. Grr. Oh, and did I mention that I didn’t pack underwear for myself? I didn’t. I have one pair that I wash every night. So thank goodness I had THIS on top of it.

Today, today was snorkling day. We have a new favorite thing. People can there be a better activity than just floating, still in the Carribean while tropical fish swim up to you? If we could have found a way to eat or drink beer at the same time it would have been HEAVEN. None of us had snorkled before and oh man, we are hooked. FISH! Now, they weren’t quite tropical coral reef quality, but they were a far cry from those brown minnows that bite our toes in the lake. There were big tangs that were silver with electric blue outlines, little purple and yellow fish, fish that look like that peanut butter log candy,and these great big fish with huge clearly outlined scales like they’d been drawn by a five year old. And they were just THERE. Right by my face. It was like swimming in an aquarium. My very, very favorite thing was when a school of little silver fish swarmed around me and I was just surrounded by them and they stretched off into the distance. Really magical. Loved it. And did I mention I just had to hang there? Ben and Julianna took to it like the children of lazy people that they are. Lily was utterly unconvinced that fish were worth a wet face and had no part of it.

Back at the hotel, the in-laws went out to dinner and Steve and I took the kids to a bar/sandwich place on a pier over the water. The food was okay, the view and the breeze were incredible. Just that perfect tropical breeze. And Lily danced. She twirled around in her flowing sundress and sang to herself. Steve said, “Will this ever get old?” And I said no, but I now think that it probably would be kind of sad if she was doing that at like, 35.

And now we’re sending them off to bed and I’m realizing that this was our only day without the pool. Hmpf. Tomorrow morning we have our rescheduled submarine. We might go to the park after that. Or we might just hang out here until it’s time to go. Back to the snow-covered pool deck.

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