Thursday, March 15, 2007


We had a fantabulous time.

Aruba, albeit fun and very relaxing, isn't an overly photogenic island.

The sea is, of course, the Caribbean - turquoise, clear, calm, and very shallow on the leeward side of the island.'ve seen one picture of the water itself and, well, you've seen it. The impact of actually experiencing it is much headier.

The island is arid, and its vegetation consists primarily of cactus and divi divi trees. Here are a few shots.

It was windy. Bloody windy. Permanent trade winds. But not unpleasant windy. The island is hot and relatively dry, so it helped to cool us down.

Snorkeling was great at Boca Catalina (pink, yellow, and blue shades of many different types of coral, sponges and anemone, as well as parrot fish, squid, sea urchins, sargeant fish, and many unidentifiable little swimmers in shades of blue and green).

After Boca Catalina, we got to check out the Antilla - a wrecked German WWII freighter. It was covered in coral and surrounded by schools of thousands of tiny fish. The ship itself was large and awesome - we'd have loved to be real divers and go exploring. Next time!

The food was wonderful. The Caribbean is pricy, but this wasn't quite as bad as I expected. The spousal unit especially recommends Cuba's Cookin'. They made the meanest mojito I've tasted anywhere, and my lobster enchilada was delightful, as was the spousal unit's plato mixto.

I got a wicked tan. And the spousal unit didn't burn.

The Marriott was crowded, but gorgeous. Rooms were huge, and the pool and beach were the best you could ask for. I highly recommend ordering the Razz-berry Mudslide at the swim-up bar.

Here's a cool beer bottle chandelier we found at Moomba, the beach bar frequented by locals that became our haunt.

We also took a jeep and explored the north side of the island, which is too rough for swimming. We didn't expect to encounter these myriads of cairns, whose purpose Google has yet to unearth. Here's some shots of cairns, the rough sea, and the only wildlife we encountered on the excursion.

Oh, and they have casinos! The only gambling we did was at a poker tournament where I made it to the final table but, alas, didn't finish in the money.

Good times!


Tanya Espanya said...

Yay, welcome back! Looks like you had a nice relaxing time.

How's your weather at home now? Is spring springing yet?

And now starts the planning for the next trip!

Slave to the dogs said...

Tanya - yep, spring is indeed springing. Our forecast this weekend is in the 70s (sorry, I'm really bad at the F-C conversion).

It does work that way, doesn't it? Already I can't wait for Europe.

chelene said...

Welcome back! You both look so stress-free in the pic. Aruba doesn't look like I expected but I still want to visit someday.

mur said...

That is wicked looking sunburn, did you both peel?
We get the skin care msgs all the time down here in Oz, mainly because we are the skin cancer capital of the western world unfortunately, but its hard to stay covered up in a tropical climate as you can imagine.

justacoolcat said...

Sounds like the perfect trip. Aruba looks nothing like I'd expect either. (except the ocean) Very cool.