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.
We hope you had a wonderful birthday. We are so glad you agreed to come to our family (after much begging and arm twisting, we're sure)! You have taught us so many things. We remember when you were just born and mom used to rock you and sing you lullabies and then sob and sob about how glad she was to have you (we refuse to admit postpartum hormone fluctuations had a thing to do with that). You were such a sweet little baby. We knew right away that you were brilliant. You had an assured complacent, sweet countenance that we really enjoyed.
Thanks for your thoughtfulness. In everything, but especially the way you put together memories for our enjoyment. We appreciate all the effort you have shown us over the years (the 25th anniversary trip, the 50 memories book, the thoughtful presents in general).
December 30, 2011 - We were met by some of Marty's family at the Sacramento airport. We had a great visit with Kevin, Juleen, Dan, Maurine and Steve. We really appreciated the send off.
About 11 hours later, here we are in Aruba outside the airport. We checked in as tourists, our papers were not completed yet. We are waiting to see if we have to fly out and back in with the papers or if the will waive that requirement.
It was pretty comfortable outside. There was a nice breeze, so although it was around 80 degrees and 80% humidity, we didn't mind the weather.
Here is all our luggage, about 400 pounds worth. We had a baggage handler help us. He even called "Deals on Wheels" to pick us up and take us to our waiting company car, a grey Ford Explorer, which was a klunker.
I “heart” Aruba seems to be popular. Their license plates say, "One Happy Island."