(UPDATE: Yeah, no time for other posts. Have a great weekend y’all — I’ll be back on Wednesday!)
Good morning all! If you’d told me a year ago that, given the opportunity to sleep in on a Friday, I could only stay in bed till EIGHT-THIRTY, I don’t know whether I would have laughed or cried. But seeing as how I’ve had my breakfast, and my coffee, and I’m not leaving for Canada for another handful of hours, I figured I’d start publishing photos of the honeymoon. (I’ll see if I can forward-date a few posts, too; I wouldn’t want the five of you who diligently read my blog to get bored!)
Aruba is not nearly the lush, tropical place I thought it would be. In fact, it’s kind of a desert island; the most vibrant vegetation we saw were cacti:
We took a van (air-conditioned! Thank you God!) to Rancho Notorious. The name sounds bad, but it was actually a nice place. (We confirmed this later with one of the other guests who lived in Aruba; she told me that whenever she had guests or clients who wanted to go horseback riding she brought them to Rancho Notorious, as it was the only place that really treated its horses well. Whew!)
Notorious couple, we . . .
I didn’t actually enjoy the first part of our ride, as they’d given me the saddle with the shortest stirrups (naturally!) and the buckle kept digging into my bare leg. Nevertheless, walking the horses through cacti and across roads gave way to walking them along the beach, and there you’d have to be soulless not to find it beautiful:
Pretty horsies! Once we reached the beach we all dismounted for a water break. We climbed on the rocks and looked at purply-red crabs and I swear if I’d been wearing a bathing suit under my clothes I’d have stripped down and dived in. (Okay, jumped in. One never dives headfirst into strange waters.)
They adjusted my buckles before we started up again, so I enjoyed the second half of the ride MUCH more than the first! I was seriously sad to reach the Ranch.
How many horses' asses do you count? On second thought, don't answer that!
There’s not all that much to the downtown tourist-y section of Aruba. (With the exception of the gem merchants — NO I DO NOT want to buy diamonds, thank you, please leave us alone.)
Of course, we never strayed too far from civilization:
We had lunch in an absolutely lovely Brazilian tapas bar. However, we did run up against that not-uncommon warning in island communities:
BLECH. (In four different languages.)
We stopped at a store to buy a few toiletries and saw the following interesting sign:
I do not think it means what you think it means. But if it does -- thanks for the warning!
Still on the theme of “Um, is that the impression you meant to give? Really?” — you’ll be sad to see that the Arubans are really falling behind on their goals for this year:
Just before re-boarding the ship we stopped at a little shop to buy Cuban cigars. No offense to the artist, but the only reason I’d buy this would be if I wanted nightmares:
Right next to it, the shop had a display that would soothe the dreams for some of you, and for others would only worsen the nightmares:
We had a dreadful accident right before sleep that night. I was admiring the towel-rabbit our kindly stateroom attendant left us . . .
. . . but then I sat down next to him and his head fell off.
AAAAUUUGGGHHH! DON’T BOIL THE BUNNY!!!!
Off to shower and Wal-Mart and other errands, folks . . . If I’ve time I’ll add another post before I take off for Canada, but I can’t promise!