Caribbean Diary ’09: Aruba
Posted by Lissa on April 22, 2009
We were scheduled to arrive at Aruba at eight this morning and needed to be onshore by eight-fifteen. Consequently, Mike sucked it up and performed his husbandly duties without grumbling – he went off and brought back coffee, then went BACK out and snagged us both food from the breakfast buffet. I didn’t have to roll out of bed until I had bedside delivery of coffee AND ham-and-cheese omelet AND bacon AND sausage AND pineapple and cantaloupe and honeydew AND hash browns. (Like one piece of each, not huge helpings. I’m not wedding-dress-fitting crazy anymore, but neither am I a 300-lb football linebacker.) He is a good husband-kitty J
Off the dock and into a tiny little bus for Rancho Notorious! (I’m hoping they’re notorious for happy horses, ’cause they claim that’s what they’re known for. Not once-famous now-dead rappers.) They divided us by experience level and then assigned us our pretty horsies. Just like last year, I got to be the first person assigned to the horse – I wonder if they customarily assign the most-excited person first? I’m not saying that if I had to wait around I’d wander about petting random horses . . . but then again I’m not saying I WOULDN’T. I ended up on a pretty white mare named Pocahontas, while Mike ended up riding . . . Hillary. As in Clinton. Yes, really.
We mostly did a brisk walk, through residential neighborhoods and trails among bushes and cacti, before reaching the beach path. We rode alongside the beautiful rolling blue-green Caribbean and I very narrowly restrained myself from trying to gallop headlong into the surf. After all, there might be sharks. PONY-EATING SHARKS, Y’ALL.
The only really sad thing about the horsies as that their stirrups were MEAN stirrups that chafed me and occasionally bit Mike. I have leather-burn on the inside of my calves and poor Mike looks like I playfully pinched his calves over and over again. With a pair of pliers.
(Interjection at Mike’s request – he would like me to mention that one of the guides at Rancho Notorious was wearing a Yankees shirt that read, “Four In a Row – 2001.” He found this very amusing and wanted to take a picture to send his Yankee-fan uncle. For the non-baseball fans, he explains that they LOST that fourth-one-in-a-row, so the T-shirts got donated to folks from developing nations. It’d be funnier if there weren’t “Perfect Season” Patriots shirts that got the same treatment . . .)
After the horsies were done we stopped at an Italian/Brazilian tapas bar and split caprese salad, abondigas, cold sliced chorizo and sautéed shrimp. Upon wandering back to the boat, we encountered a sad kitty with a hurt paw – he was limping and licking at it, wah! Didn’t look like anything was broken, and not much I could do about it anyway, but we checked on it twice later that day – I hope it was just a thorn in its paw or something similarly superficial. It was a pretty kitty, too, looked like a little mini lion L
The rest of the day was fairly uneventful; we picked up a few souvenirs, sampled the local Aruban beer, ditched our stuff in the room and went to play a little mini-golf. I was pleasantly surprised; I haven’t played mini-golf in about ten years and I’m not NEARLY as terrible as I remember it. Of course, the last few times I played were at a course right next to a lake; it seriously throws my swing off when I have to swat six mosquitoes in between shots. Two, or three, or four I can handle, but even a superwoman has limits, you know.
We had a light snack because I didn’t think I’d make it till 8:30 – roasted vegetables on a cheese roll for me, a slice of pepperoni pizza for Mike, and a cookie apiece should take care of us until dinner. It’s Italian Festival night; Mike has just informed me that he intends to wear his pale (almost white) khakis and his green polo shirt. When added to his red nose (bad Mike! More sunscreen!) he’s got the whole tri-colore thing going on. And I thought *I* was good at color coordination . . .