Friday, June 20, 2008

Cruise Day 3- Aruba

Brian got up nice and early and went and worked out and I of course slept in some and got ready to go in port. For breakfast we decided to go to the dining room and sit down and order instead of room service or the buffet. We ended up with a couple that didn't speak English but were very nice. Every time you get off the ship, you pretty much are grabbed by a photographer to take your picture. So this is us after we got off the ship in Aruba.

I had booked our tour of Aruba through an independent agent for about half the price that Royal Caribbean charges. We met up Marc Wix of He told us that no one else had booked for the morning and that he needed to move us to the afternoon tour. At first we were a little aggravated but it actually worked out in our favor. We went through the town of Oranjestad and did some shopping before it got too hot. Now later the tour guide told us that it had been so hot and that the old people were predicting that it would rain soon. Hot was 86 degrees. People I had just left San Antonio were it was 100 degrees. Maybe we need to move to the Caribbean- just joking because gas in Aruba was over $7 a gallon.
When we got out of the terminal area, this is what we saw
Brian kept telling me how beautiful the color of the water was and wanted me to take pictures. Now my thought is, What do you do with a bunch of pictures of water? We found these palm trees just right in the middle of a shopping center.

At lunchtime we went back to the ship and ate and then headed back out for our tour.
Our first stop was the Aruba Aloe Factory. I grew up looking mainly at cotton fields riding back and forth on a 45 minute bus ride to school in Northwest Louisiana and cornfields on my summer trips to Wisconsin. The nice neat rows are the same in Aruba but they are Aloe plants.

We took a tour of the factory and then shopped their store. The island of Aruba is VERY windy. So much so that the trees are wider on one side than the other. Here is a picture of a tree and you can see that the branches are much wider on the right side than the left.

Next we went to Baby Beach. It's called Baby Beach due to the fact that it is only about waist deep without any waves so it is perfect for kids. Here is Brian- It's early in the week so he hasn't gotten aggravated with my picture taking yet.

Here is why it is Baby Beach. These rocks help break all the waves.
Okay so everybody else just ignore this pic- I am posting it just for my husband. He has been working out so hard and I was so excited to show him this picture because you can see he has abs- well you could see a little better if he was a little darker- but remember this was the beginning of our trip.
Too bad there wasn't a really great money making opportunity for Cactus because this place would clean up. Years ago, some residents needed to find a way to fence their property and didn't have the money for materials. Those geniuses found a way
Yep, they made Cactus fences. This would definitely work to keep Peyton out who for some reason every time she sees a cactus in San Antonio hollers, "Cactuses, Run for your lives." Don't ask why, I have no idea. So Brian and I spent a lot of our day, "Cactuses, Run for your lives."

So next our tour guide takes us to see some landmarks. This looks like a nice boulder. You then go around the other side and find native drawings that were in the indentations of the boulder.

I was going through our tour and never thought I would have any type of spiritual experience. Here are pictures of the same type of tree used to make the Crown of Thorns for Jesus. Of course we have all read the descriptions in the Bible but seeing the size and sharpness of these thorns were a little breath-taking. I know that the crown of thorns was only a minor pain that our Savior suffered and I can't even fathom the brutality he suffered. Seeing this makes me even more thankful for the torturing he endured for us.

So then the tour guide took us to see the Natural Bridge. One side of the island is completely barren. Due to the high wind that comes off the ocean, the salt content is so high that nothing grows there and the government doesn't allow people to live in that area. However, the scenery is beautiful. Brian loved how the waves would hit the rocks and create spray so he had me take a picture of him. Lets just say I have many pictures of Brian and this landscape because we had to wait for it to hit and he kept turning around to see if it was coming yet and of course that is about the time it would come.

So you see how the waves are hitting here. Over the years, they have were so strong that they eroded away the rock and created a natural bridge. There used to be two bridges and you could walk on them. A year or so ago the larger one fell during the night so they no longer allow you to walk across. They were right about the air being so salty. If you licked your skin, you could taste it and my hair was pretty nasty it was all said and done.
Now, I LOVE my children but I do enjoy a break every now and then. However, I usually see other children and then miss my own. I saw this family with a little girl that let me know I was glad to not have my children with me because I'm sure we would have been fishing Landree out of the ocean at some point.
We finally headed back to our ship and isn't this a wonderful sight.

We showered and got changed and headed to dinner. After dinner, we wandered around for awhile until it was time for the show, "Cool Art, Hot Ice." This was the ice skating show. Of course I forgot my camera and didn't get any pictures but it was great and we were really impressed with it. We were starving by the time we got back to the room and of course ordered room service at 11:30 at night. I think I am seeing how I gained weight on the cruise.

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