Monday, August 13, 2012

Under Water

There is a channel that starts near a place known as the Pet Cemetery, it flows until you get to Baby Beach.  Here are a few pictures and video I took.

One day I saw a sting ray, so I followed it with my camera.  I wasn't wearing fins because of the need to walk from time to time, so I did my best to keep up.

Fish hiding under the coral.
 I don't know the names of the fish, I just know if they are pretty.
 The fish under the coral? He let me get a close up.
 There are a number of hermit crabs around.  This is a hermit crab checking out a larger shell.  It happens that I saw the larger shell a couple of weeks before I took this picture and decided not to take it home, just in case.  Sure enough, it is being investigated for a new home.  (And yes, this is under water, in about 6 feet of water.)
 There are eel around, at least that's what I think this is.
 I see a lot of these fish around.
 I don't see too many of these black and white fish and usually they hide quickly.
 This uninteresting spherical blob is actually a type of coral.  This one is about 2 feet across.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Carnival Aruba Style - Video Clips

This post has video clips we took of the Carnvial parade in San Nicolas.  Most groups had some sort of band on the back of a big truck.  They pumped out the tunes in ear damaging decibel levels.

Carnival Aruba Style

A few weeks ago it was Carnival.  They take it seriously here.  We were told there was a pajama parade at 4 a.m. in San Nicolaas.  We figured life is short, so we went and took a few pictures.  The main parade was to start in the afternoon at 2 p.m.  We went about 4 p.m. to a place near the end of the parade route.  After watching for an hour or so, we left.  It was all the enjoyment we could tolerate at one time.  So, here are a few pictures.

There didn't seem to be a pajama parade, but there was a crowd. 
Besides all the crazy people, there was lots of loud music.

And here are a few pictures from the afternoon parade:
Notice all the drinks?  I was kindly offered a couple too. 
 We saw a few nice looking floats.
 Then we saw the power behind the floats.
This group represents the small owls that are found on the Island.

 Each group had lots of people in them.
 Apparently, anyone who wanted to be in a Carnival group, could be. 
(And yes, that is a beer in her hand. It was hot, and they said it took three hours to walk the route.)
 Entry requirements were only limited by desire. 
(Lower left, a very common scene.)
But the costumes were fancy and elaborate.

 This group represented the natives that once lived on the Island.
Again, the the real power behind the parade.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Happy Birthday, Joel!

Like this picture, you always try to stay in the background, but we still notice your gentle kindness anyway. You care about family and family traditions, you care about the gospel, you are kind to your fellow man, and you will go above and beyond to make sure no one goes wanting.

We especially appreciate you last year for your calming spirit. You were there as great grandma was making her earthly transition. You took time off when there was no vacation left to sit with her and soothe her aches by touching her forehead. She said she needed your calming spirit, and you were there. Hour after hour. We can't tell you how much that was appreciated. Thank you is all we can think to say.

We appreciate how gentle you are with all your children, your nieces and nephews, and your friends' children. They love being around Uncle Jell-o.

Thanks for helping us move when you were working so much overtime. We appreciate all that you do. It's usually done in secret, and you are usually in the background, but we appreciate your quiet support.

Happy Birthday, and this saying is a family tradition, "You are very old."

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Happy 8th Birthday, Sam!

Dear Sam:

We love you very much. We hope you have a wonderful 8th birthday!

We like that you love your remote controls. We've seen them in your hand since you were six months old! The great thing about those remotes is that you knew how to use them from close to the age you were in this picture! You have been a computer genius almost since you were born!

We love that you are a very kind, loving young man with a very tender heart. We love how much you care about things. We love that you love your family very much. We love your smart brain and your good looks!

You were our family's miracle baby, and we are so glad you are here. We love you more than anything we can think of. Have the best birthday ever!

Gramps and Grammie

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Happy 31st Birthday, Jonathan!

One of the things we like about you is your kindness to children. This picture is of you and Camryn around 2002. This picture shows your countenance as we see it. We like that you never met a stranger, like your maternal great-great-grandfather, Hoken, and your paternal great grandfather, Basil. You can meet friends wherever you go. We like that you are confident, kind, caring, and cute. An alliteration, since alliterations are sounds, not letters according to Wiki. We like how you are so helpful to others, fixing things for people, going the second mile for them (the neighbors, and old ladies, and old neighbor ladies, and people with English language questions where you make their cell phones work, and your installing things and fixing of things).

Good luck with your studies, we are rooting for you! We hope you like the snow right now.

We love you.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Another Pet

One day, this nice little bird was singing to us while we were on the patio.  As soon as Marty got the camera going, he gave one more whistle, then went silent.

Island Dining - The Paddock

We were at Customs in Oranjestad the other day. It was early afternoon when we were done waiting in line and we hadn't eaten.  We had passed "The Paddock" numerous times and also had many suggestions from friends to eat there, so we did. It was just across the street from Customs.  We have no idea why there is a cow, a VW Bug limo or a dinosaur on the roof, but it sure got our attention!
 The Paddock is primarily an outdoor restaurant.  With the constant breeze, it was a comfortable place to eat.  We took a couple of pictures of our fellow dinners.  They were a little skittish, but not because they were trying to avoid the camera, more like they were trying to avoid being stepped on.

 Drinks and specials are on the chalkboard.  We each had a hamburger.  Marty's had pineapple bits between the patty and the melted cheese.  He enjoyed it, and a quarter of Peggy's too.  But this will not be one of our favorite places to eat. A little bit too many "ride-alongs" on our plates.
 Inside the restaurant, autographed dollar bills and other currency were stapled on the walls.
 The view consisted of people and cars on the street (not shown) and in the other direction a large cruise ship.

Then there was the occasional sailboat.

 We took a picture of this fellow diner because of what she was holding between her fingers--a cigarette.  Generally there is very little smoking in restaurants.  We don't recall seeing "no smoking" signs in the restaurants, people just tend to avoid it, thankfully, probably because most of the resorts have a "no smoking" policy.

Two more things:  This restaurant had menus in Dutch and menus in English.  Peggy picked up Dutch menus on the way in since there was a "please seat yourself" sign. Peggy didn't notice a difference, which spoke well of her German memories. Then the waitress brought us English menus, which we could suddenly read better. We find we're often mistaken for Dutch tourists on the Island. Arubians learn four languages in school. They initiate conversations with us in Dutch first. We wonder if that's because of our blue eyes.  The other thing: In the tourist areas restaurants show dollars on their menus. Everywhere else on the island, it's Florins, which is the same as the Dutch Guilder.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Arubian Seascapes and Landscapes

The Caribbean, from our front yard:

 The Caribbean from our kitchen window:

 Whenever we go just about anywhere, we take a rough and curvy road through what we can only call a green desert.  Here are a few views from out our car window:

Plenty of cacti, dogs, goats and iguanas, all oddly beautiful. And the storms--spectacular!

Friday, February 3, 2012

The House Lights

Early in January we were told that the House of Lights would be open on Thursday and Friday, but not to go on Friday, it would be too crowded because of the bands playing.

 So we drove to where it was, without a map.  We found it because of all the lights, and it's on a hill.

 As near as we could tell, they did it to open Carnival.  It was enjoyable milling around with the crowds.

 It even had a manger scene.

It actually was quite pretty.  The "House" was made of plywood, so apparently it's not there all year.  But one of the things that fascinated me was the cacti were wrapped in lights too.  I wonder if they got stuck decorating or un-decorating the cacti....

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Caribbean Sunset from Our Front Porch

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Watch Where You Step!

We just wandered out to our front yard to enjoy the evening air and heard some clattering--so that reminded us to show you:

 Our Pets

A nice thing about the outside of our home is that we have so much tile (see above). The bad thing is that it amplifies the creepy crawler sounds.

Aruba - New Years' Activities

From the car place, we went straight to our new favorite membership store, Price Smart.  We joined last November while we were here.  Very similar to a Sam's Club or a Costco.  We stocked up with about $350 worth of groceries and headed "home."
This is "Home." The picture was actually taken last November.  Since then they have trimmed the hedges and repaired the planter out in front.

After we unloaded, we decided to go get a few more things.  But the Ford Explorer, well, the engine kept dying and let's just say it was possessed and dashboard alarms kept going off.  As we were sitting dead with in an intersection with an 80km per hour car bearing down on us, Peggy " gently suggested" we go rent a car.  So back to Oranjestad.  We got a "full" size car.
Yes, this considered a full size car here.

We purchased some fireworks.  $6.50 got us 100 cherry bombs and 12 larger bombs (3/4" dia. X 4").  It was late, so they were sold out of everything else.  We got a call from one of Marty's collegues inviting us over.  So we watched them fire off a few rockets and things.  Then someone brought out "the big package."  It was about 30" x 30" x 5" and held a string of 200,000 fire crackers.  They lit it out in the street. From start to finish it must have taken about two minutes.  All over town we saw scenes like this:
All that red stuff is from those 200,000 strings of firecrackers.  We saw debris like this everywhere we went during the week.

We were tired, so we went home before midnight and went to bed.  But at midnight, well, we didn't need to look at the clock, it seemed that fireworks--fire crackers, really, were going off everywhere around us.