Tag Archives: aruba

Selectively embracing research

We’ve been staying with Frank’s parents for the last week and a half while we beat our own new house into shape.  It’s coming along, and I think we’re actually going to sleep there tomorrow night.  Yay!

One thing I’ve noticed about my mother in-law lately is how she only selectively believes “research”.  Mostly, if something goes against the firmly-held superstitions old wives’ tales beliefs she has, then the research is simply dismissed out of hand.  If, however, she gets junk mail that says eating cream cheese is good for your kidneys, then she would find a way to incorporate cream cheese into her next twelve meals, and insist we all eat it too.

I cannot convince her that:

Cold feet do not cause colds. She makes Jake wear slippers every minute he’s in her house, because he might walk on the tile floor in the kitchen and his feet would get cold, and then he’d get sick.  Even when it’s 80 degrees out, like today.

Sitting too close to the TV will not cause brain damage. Maybe a little temporary eye strain, but it will not give you cancer or brain damage.  She firmly suspects being too close to a TV can cause a variety of ills.

Men determine the gender of babies. She understands the basic science, I think.  But she still insists that the mother must have something to do with it, too.  Like with enough will, their cervixes can block out all Y-chromosome sperm or something?

The slippers thing is the most exasperating.  I don’t really fight her on it.  She buys the slippers for my kids, and puts them on their feet.  And it’s not like it’s detrimental for them to have warm feet.  But I never insist that the kids wear them against their will.  But she’s crazy-insistent on it sometimes.  Because, if they got a cold (assuming even for a second that having non-toasty feet is virus-inducing) it would be the Worst Thing Ever.  But then in the next breath will imply I’m overprotective because I insist the kids use car seats (even in Aruba, where they’re not even required so why would I bother?!?) and didn’t want to use the crib they saved from when Frank was a baby, with every modern crib-safety violation on the books.  These are things that could be the difference between life and death, and I’m silly.  But slippers to prevent a sniffle are requisite.  I don’t get it!


Flying Fishbone

I want to tell you about (me and Frank’s? Frank’s and my?) our date in Aruba.

Nothing too exciting, out to dinner, and then to a casino to play with some comped chips we were given for sitting through a timeshare presentation.

But the dinner itself was quite special.

We went to a restaurant called The Flying Fishbone – you must click the link.  Yes, that is the ocean.  Yes, those are tables right in the water.  Yes, it was every bit as amazing as you might imagine, to sit and take in some fine dining with your feet in the sand (because if you’re smart you wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off – even the waitstaff was all in flip-flops or just barefoot altogether).  We ate there after dark and it was enchanting.  We had the sound of the ocean, the lights of boats sailing by and the glow of Oranjestad in the distance.  A musician meandered among the tables playing smooth-jazz versions of Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole songs on a tenor saxophone.  You’re completely outside, not an awning in sight… just the stars and moon as your shelter.  Since Aruba never really gets below like 72 degrees at night, and there’s always a breeze, it was comfortable even at nearly 10 pm when we were paying our bill.

We had some yummy and very alcoholic drinks, shared a delicious crock of creamy corn soup with chunks of crab, then enjoyed our chosen entrees (I had shrimp and lobster, Frank had barracuda) and during the leisurely pace of the whole meal, talked about stuff we simply don’t have the time or energy to talk about on an everyday basis — stuff we might do when we retire, if and when we’ll be adding a third child to the mix, was there any way we could manage to stay on Aruba forever because it is so idyllic.  The food was good – not the best I’ve ever had, to be sure, but very good – yet combined with the amazing, unique, incredible ambiance it made for perhaps the best dining experience of my life.  The total with tip came to like $120, but that was with three drinks, soup, entrees, and a generous tip.  Well worth it, in my humble opinion.

So, two thumbs up.  I hope you’ll get the opportunity to experience it some time!  We left with full bellies, renewed spark, sand between our toes, a lighter pocketbook, and plans to definitely do it again.

Bon dia!

That’s Aruba for hello, I think.  Most Arubans speak English pretty fluently so I was, admittedly, geocentrically lazy about learning much in Papiamento, the native language.

We are back.  The trip was awesome.  I have a ton of shit to do tonight, but I wanted to say hello and I wanted to share some random thoughts about the vacation upon which I will probably elaborate more in days to come.

  • My landlord is frigging crazy.  Not like dangerous crazy, but neurotic crazy.  He noticed we weren’t around for a few days, and our mail wasn’t coming.  But despite Frank’s car in the driveway, and our stuff still visible through windows (like our plants in the kitchen window), he left me a rambly voice mail wondering if we had stopped living there and should he start looking for new tenants?!?  I think all the creepy sex between him and his hotty Latina girlfriend has decreased the bloodflow to his brain or something.
  • Frank and I went out to dinner our last night there, to an awesomely awesome restaurant.  Good food, incredible ambiance.  I can’t wait to have time to tell you more about it!
  • Lane was a little stressed out by the general situation of two whole days without Mommy in an unfamiliar place, and her stress carried over into the rest of the vacation.  Overall she handled it well, for her.  However she wasn’t keen on doing much without me the rest of the trip, and tears were shed any time Frank and I went off to do something without the kids.  But it got better as the time passed, to be sure.  I am happy to report that she learned to swim by the end of the vacation, and since I was a lifeguard/swim instructor in a previous life that has me all sorts of proud.   And she won’t do that swimming-with-her-face-out-of-the-water-for-fear-of-getting-her-face-wet business… in fact we have the opposite problem, she can’t quite figure out the mechanics of lifting her face out of the water to take a breath, so her swimming is limited to about six feet before she runs out of air.  But she swims, and floats, and there were no floaties required to get her to that point so I am all sorts of proud of her.
  • Jake loved every minute of it.  He loved the ocean, and the pool, and the toilet in the room, and eating sand, and throwing coral rocks with me and Lane, and more than anything the eight days down there cemented his Grandpa Frank as unequivocally the coolest person in his universe.  They truly are like peas and carrots, to borrow a turn of phrase.
  • I have decided I simply love Aruba and would stay there forever, if possible.  The weather is amazing (highs of 88 degrees F like, all year, lots of low humidity, constant trade winds which make it never feel really hot even when it is, and no hurricanes).  The people are friendly, and there is stuff to do without there being too much to do.  You can lay on the beach every day of your vacation and not feel like you really missed anything.  There’s stuff to do if you really are inclined, and it’s interesting and fun, but you’ll never on your deathbed regret not doing it.  It’s not a cheap place to visit… but we will certainly be back.

I think he’s going to like Aruba

This post originally contained a funny story about Jake and his love of the toilet and dog water dish.

Then WordPress did some server maintenance shit in the middle of my writing, and made me all sorts of promises that my work was being saved. They are lying liars who lie! They saved my title and my tags, but not the 450 words in between. Irksome!

Anyway… short version:

Jake likes water and tries to douse himself with toilet and dog bowl water at any and all opportunity. He also likes putting his right foot (not his left, just his right) in the dog’s water and finds it hilarious.

I thus concluded he will enjoy Aruba where wetness will not only be permitted, it will be encouraged.

Tomorrow, we leave. We return next week Wednesday. Bailey’s going to a farm.

(No, really. Our fish, however, who at least timed his untimely demise this morning with Lane’s absence, is REALLY “going to a farm”.)

There will be some posts in that time, prescheduled and not live accounts of our vacation (but I’m not ruling those out…. just not making any promises).

Later, peeps!

She’s gone :(

Well, Lane and Frank have left for the in-laws’.   They will sleep there tonight, get up in the middle of the night, and attempt to get to the airport by 4:00 a.m. for a six-o’clock-ish flight to Aruba.

I got in about a dozen big hugs, and I only welled up a couple times, and cried for about five seconds after I closed the door behind them.  The crying was a surprise, I’m not a big crier.

Lane knows that flying to Aruba requires two different plane flights and that it will be really hot and sunny down there and that she has to listen to grandma and grandpa and stay really close to them all the time and to wear a hat when grandma tells her to.  She also knows she won’t see me for three going-to-beds (goings-to-bed?) and seems totally at ease about it.  She was cheery and chipper but couldn’t say good-bye enough as she was walking away from the door and getting strapped into her car seat, and threw in an “I love you, Mommy!” or two for good measure.

Then Jake and I waved good-bye from the window as they drove off.  Jake’s really big into saying “By-eee” lately so he totally enjoyed it.

She’s such a handful and I admit, I am excited to have a little time with just my little buddy for the next couple days.  But I already miss her.

Trial run

We’re going to Aruba in a week and a half with the in-laws.  Yes, I’m excited about going to Aruba… not quite as excited about spending 8 solid days with my in-laws but I’d rather be in Aruba with them than here in the cold without them.

Lane is going down with them, two days before we go.  We’re talking up how she’s going to go to the beach with Grandma and Grandpa and how much fun she’s going to have, and all in all I think it will be good.

Tonight and tomorrow night, though, we’re doing a sleepover trial run, where she’s spending tonight and tomorrow night at the in-laws’.  Despite missing her a bit, I certainly don’t need the trial run.  When we suggested it to the in-laws, it was intended with two purposes – for Lane to experience two nights away from us before she has to do it a five-hour plane ride away from us, and for the in-laws to get a feel for what it’s like to spend 48 straight hours with Lane, without a break except at night.  For either part of the equation, I’d like them to experience any kinks now, when we’re just a phone call and a 4 minute drive away.

And… just maybe… I can get the house cleaned up tomorrow too.  Jake doesn’t have the knack for utter destruction that his sister has.  But he does like to put his feet in the dog’s water an awful lot.