Photos! At last! I had all this written, then the whole thing crashed and I couldn’t find a draft and I was wailing and gnashing my teeth and I stormed off. Today, it came back! yay! So here it is:

If you’re on dial-up, just give up your day, ’cause here come the photos…

Maggie really wanted to go too. She thought that hunting lizards would be awesome. And maybe they’d have pudding, too!*

well over the weight limit

*for those who did not hear the tale…Because of a sale, I had six boxes of pudding mix in the basement on the shelf for excess food. Because I don’t always read well before I click “add to cart” I had about 11 boxes of ice cream cones on that shelf as well. Steve went down one night to get a bag of Trader Joe’s hot mustard won ton chips. The bag turned out to be totally empty, with a wee mousie hole in it. That’s when he noticed that ALL of the pudding and ALL of the ice cream cone boxes were also empty. We realized that the reason why the cats never catch the mice is that the mice are giving the cats pudding. in ice cream cones.

On the way from NJ to NY, we stopped at the Liberty Science Center to kill a couple of hours. From the balcony, you can see the Statue of Liberty, which impressed Lily quite a bit. In person, it seems much closer; in the picture, it looks like we were standing in Indiana.

thanks Frenchies!

There were cool interactive exhibits, including one in which you could generate a headline with a photograph to put up on a big board for all to see. This was mine:

lol

Oh for the love of Pete (Best, not Sampras), why is she not showing us any photos of the damned island?! Oh, all right. Here is the view from our hotel room balcony:

pot o gold

Why yes, that IS a rainbow over the Carribean Sea. On our first day. Those Arubans know how to treat a guest. The lazy river and pool was right below us:

totally fake

The majesty of the hotel iguanas. This one might be Octavius. Or, it might not.

Iguana rampant

I think this is Sheldon.

or, maybe not

This was how we spent the bulk of our time:

laaazy

There aren’t any photos of me in the river, so imagine me in a big ring like Steve, but with my feet propped in Lily’s little ring, eyes closed, bumping into everyone and not caring even a little. This is before I got in the pool and snagged it:

gimme dat

After the just-cooler-than-a-bath temps of the pool, the Sea seemed chilly. In fact, it was really warm:

brrr, it's barely 80!

But Ben still wouldn’t go in, so he isn’t in the family shot.

just take the pic, jeez

Did I mention before that Steve is not quite 4 ft tall? No? Well, there you go. He seems taller b/c of his shoes.

The hotel property goes down to the water, so there are lots of little umbrella tables and chairs with awnings. This photo was from one of the disposables the kids had. Disposable Cameras, the Official Last Known Photo Cameras.

grainy

(this is where the original post fell apart. So now is the actual Sunday post.)

Aruba in general was deserty-er than I thought it would be. The landscape isn’t very colorful, but everything else is. Even, as stated in an earlier post, the shopping carts. How flippin’ cute are these?

It makes the homeless more cheerful

The houses were really bright. My house is a boring old white colonial compared to the houses there:

cute!

where are the people?

That was a fairly representative shot of the roads off of the main drag through Oranjestadt. Deserted and brightly colored with an air of decay. It seemed that if you wanted a house or a business, you just build a new one. There’d be bright shiny new right next to abandoned and derelict. I’m sure we could have asked, but I wasn’t sure these guys would give us the best info:

My only regret is that I wasn’t able to go poke around a cemetery. They all had locked gates, but look how lovely they are:

bright colors and such. And all above ground, of course. I’ve lost Ben as a gravestone buddy. He just doesn’t want to poke around the dead any more. Sigh.

There an ancient volcano in the middle of everything, and that looks pretty odd:

The kids thought about working up some anxiety about it, but luckily that passed. “Look at it. Does it look as if lava has flowed there recently? And by ‘recently’ I mean ‘within the last million years.'”

The Butterfly Farm was a favorite. The kids nearly used up their disposables there. And, of course, once I developed them, I found I had about 80 photos of blurry green foilage with the occasional arm, finger, or –if the aim was true–wing in them. Here are a few of my favorites from MY camera:

lucky!

That’s a male and a female of…something. This one of the little cabinets they have for the butterflies and moths to hatch in. When they find one on a plant out in the “farm,” they carefully move them to the cabinet. They’re just a little creepy looking.

reminds me of

here’s a scarlet swallowtail that just hatched out!

We kept remarking on how butterflies, at fluttering distance, are pretty pretty! like flowers that fly! and up close they’re BUGS! GAH! I have many more photos, but I’ll spare you. For now. All bets are off if you visit.

We went to the “flea market” right where the cruise ships let off. Quality stuff. Lily checks out the lizard that will soon be hers, while Ben stands limply and complains of the heat.

“Mommy look! It has an iguana!”

hey look, Dora and Garfield are vacationing together! Seriously, copyright violation never gets old to me. It’s my favorite part of any carnival–ill-drawn cartoon characters airbrushed on the rides.

Now photos of our mediocre dinner on the beach! Look, there was a rack for our shoes:

Seriously, we were ON the water:

This was our view. It’s a house you can rent. No electricity or running water, but who cares?

And the sun set right there, much better table-side entertainment than the sax player that later showed up:

This was a couple of houses up from the restaurant. That’s the Aruban flag in his hand, so I guess it’s the guy that fought for them to have their own constitution. But damn, people, that’s some patriotism.

Abandoned playgrounds are never not creepy.

Couple of cool photos from Baby Beach, where we went snorkling:

I’m going to skip over submarine pics b/c they’re all…blue. Not very good. Once I mess with the video, I’ll see if there’s anything worth sharing. So on to Natural Bridge!

So, the Natural Bridge collapsed in 2005. It used to look like this:

Now it looks like this:

doh!

Not nearly as majestic, is it? Well, there’s a smaller version forming a few yards to the left. It looks like this:

here are the grandparents with Ben and Lily on it, to give you some scale:

As I mentioned in a previous post, there were all these stones atop other stones. Here are Ben and Lily with one WE made. Because we are horrible followers who come to the islands of others and mess up their rocks:

Ben was so happy climbing rocks. In the car, later, he sighed and said “I’m just so happy.” Which, if you know Ben, is rather a big deal. By nightfall, he was mad about something and declaring it The Worst Day Ever, but for a while, it was nice.

what time is it?

It was a wild and wooly coastline. I guess it’s coral? Really rough and porous:

Wild donkeys! They never moved, except to wiggle an ear or tail. I told the kids that they were actually animatronic. Which they believed. I sometimes forget not to lie to them.

A quick stop at the Bushiribushi Gold Smelter ruins for more rock climbing…

Last night on the island. sigh.

The girls enjoyed the sand one last time:

And Ben enjoyed his hair.

This is the sight that greeted us at the airport. Thats our plane, btw.

This collection box was at our gate. They were all over the island:

When I have the time, I’m going to add the word “terrifying” after the “are.”

There you have it. A quick picture tour. Come visit for more. and now, back to your regularly scheduled winter.

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