Monday, December 28, 2009

Day 5 Oranjestad, Aruba

We safely docked in Oranjestad, Aruba at 7:15 AM on our 5th day, Nov. 6, 2009. The weather was warm, around 86 degrees.

Aruba (pronounced /əˈruːbə/) is a 33-kilometre (21 mi)-long island of the Lesser Antilles in the southern Caribbean Sea, 27 kilometres (17 mi) north of the Paraguaná Peninsula, Falcón State, Venezuela. Together with Bonaire and Curaçao, it forms a group referred to as the ABC islands of the Leeward Antilles, the southern island chain of the Lesser Antilles.

An autonomous region within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Aruba has no administrative subdivisions. Unlike much of the Caribbean region, Aruba has a dry climate and an arid, cactus-strewn landscape. This climate has helped tourism as visitors to the island can reliably expect warm, sunny weather. It has a land area of 193 square kilometres (75 sq mi) and lies outside the hurricane belt.

We could have stayed onboard and enjoyed the ship activities such as Low Impact Aerobics, Pilates, Photo Editing in the Digital Workshop, Ping Pong Tournement, Cribbage, Basketball, Charades, Wii Bowling, the Team Trivia Challenge, Napkin Origami, and Bingo, but instead we ventured onshore to see the sights of Aruba. There didn't seem to be a "Search for Natalie Holloway" tour, so we boarded a tour bus and had an enjoyable day seeing the tourist attractions of Aruba.

This was the view from the ship when we docked in Aruba.

This made me feel right at home.

Aruban stores seem to decorate for Christmas even earlier than American stores.

"One Happy Island" for most people.

I knew I gained a few pounds on the cruise, but............

This is the bus tour we were going to take but the driver didn't get enough tourists to make it worthwhile so he found us a smaller bus and guide.

Here's our guide giving us his spiel. I don't remember his name and I didn't get a picture of his bus.

This is one of the usual tourist attractions on the island. It is an odd outcropping of rock. Geoligists seem to be baffled as to why it exists there.

Here's a view from the top of the rock. You can see our ship way off in the distance.

This yellow Caribbean house made me realize my house isn't too yellow after all.

Here's a picure, way off in the distance, of another tourist attraction..... The Lighthouse.

This scene reminds me of the California coast.

And here's the Light House up close.

A typical look on this Dutch Island

I got a quick glimpse of the Aruba Harley Shop.

Later, we dressed "Smart Casual" for dinner.

This was some sort of raw appetizer.

I ordered the Escarcot. A few of the little critters are trying to crawl away.

For my main course I ordered Salmon, which I did often.

My dessert was a "No Sugar Added" Chocolate Mousse.

Every evening our room attendants left a towel animal. I KNOW WHAT YOU ARE THINKING!!!!!! But I think this was supposed to be a sea snail.

My spell check isn't working, so I apologize for all my misspelled words.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

More Home Improvement Projects

I've been busy sprucing up my little house. I removed some of the carpet and hired Mike and Bill to lay some "wood" flooring in the entry, dining room, kitchen, hall and bathroom. It's actually vinyl which is quieter and more cushy than real wood and a lot less expensive. I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out.

Then Mike and Bill replaced the old 2 1/4" baseboard with new 3 1/4" baseboard. I really like the way that turned out! New living room carpet will be installed soon.

My next big project will be new paint on the kitchen cabinets and walls, new counter tops, new sink and new appliances. That will be next fall. OOOOH, and maybe some crown moulding and some chair railing. And a new living room window and blinds.

The battery on my Harley was almost 4 years old and not behaving very well, so I bought a new one and installed it myself. I removed the sissy bar/passenger backrest and the seat. It turns out I didn't need to remove either to get to the battery. Everything went back where it belonged and my bike fired right up. = ) NOW I'M READY TO ride!!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Day Four

Day Four was spent at sea cruising from Grand Turk toward Orangjestad, Aruba.

Looks like a storm is brewing up ahead.

Ready for a "Smart Casual" dinner.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Cory's Graduation Day

A four hour drive brought me, my mom, sister and brother-in-law to Brawley, CA. We arrived in time to check into our motel, The Brawley Inn, and then drive 15 miles to my daughter's graduation ceremony from the nursing program at Imperial Valley College. Most of my pictures came out blurry for some reason, but here's a few that came out OK......

Each graduate wrote an inspirational statement of thanks. Here's Cory's.

Here's the Happy Graduate

My granddaughters Torey and Natalie, who are very proud of their mom.

Three generations.

Natalie, Cory and Torey.

Cory's Grandma gets a hug after the pinning of "The Pin."

Cory and some of her friends.

Cory and her friend Ariceli who is an RN and who encouraged her to sign up and get her degree.

Cory, her daughters and her Man, Danl.

Hmmmm, does Danl have thoughts of becoming an RN?