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....