Daily Archives: March 7, 2011

Monday in Aruba: Reunion Day!

It was a beautiful day in Aruba:

not a bad morning sight!

I did not win at BINGO! (more on that in a minute)

I had no sooner stuck my nose out the lobby of the resort this morning than I met my friend Karen from Michigan:

karen and i are both morning people and very social!

We met Karen and her husband Rick the first year we came to our timeshare. As we were chatting (never a lack of conversation with Karen – love it!), she FYI’d me that due to Carnaval, the grocery store would only be open til about noon today. So I changed my day’s itinerary so that I hit up Ling’s earlier than I had planned (I anticipate writing more about “Grocery Shopping in Aruba” another time).

I cabbed it to the store and back; in typical Aruba fashion, the taxi ride there cost me $13 and the return trip was $15. No rhyme nor reason to fares, here, believe me.

I love grocery shopping even at home – and it’s only MORE interesting down here! Products come from the U.S., the Netherlands, Brazil/South America – it’s a fun totally  experience. The grocery store was pretty insane, but selection was really good (Aruba can be very hit-and-miss in terms of available products, freshness, selection).

we always go to ling's for our first grocery shop due to the availability of american products

holiday hours, example #1, from today

I was back home by 10:30 a.m. and ready for some SUN!

Other years, at the Aruba airport, they have handed us red plastic bags filled with brochures, advertising and vouchers for various Aruba attractions. I always just use this bag for my beach bag. This year, the freebie bag has a new and improved style!

a reusable tote! this one will be coming home with me!

My other constant companion on this trip is this clutch purse that SIL Ana brought back from Finland for me:

a delightful "kiki pattern" and colour combo, plus it's the perfect size to hold my room card, camera, money...it's in my possession 24/7 this trip!

At the towel hut, I found my favourite lady:

elva is a complete dear and one of my favourite resort employees

With this view in front of me…

waterfall goes into the swimming pool and that's our timeshare, in the rear

…I set up camp for some tanning time:

tanning as competetive sport: monday skin tone

[Sidenote: I loathe and detest sunglasses and refuse to wear them. I finally learned from past experience and didn’t even pack a pair with me. Hence, a lot of squinting!]

Now, let’s talk about BINGO!

I never gamble, ever. Except in Aruba. I must, and I DO play BINGO every day because I love and adore the game of BINGO. Don’t play it at home, but it is an integral part of my daily joys in Aruba.

I really can’t complain about my luck over the years. I’ve won a few times. My fingers are crossed that I will win at least once this week!

The best reunion of today was with my Aruba Moms:

ginger, elaine and marian

These three ladies, all from New York, are my dearest friends here. We met playing BINGO the very first year we stayed at our resort – heck, I think it was day two that first year – and I’ve played BINGO with them at every opportunity since.

new BINGO cards since i was last here!

I play three cards every game. The way we play here: it’s $1 per card per game for the first four rounds; final round is $2 per card. So I spend $18 per day gambling playing BINGO. This is my entertainment, here; I’d much rather spend $18 on BINGO than drink it away, lose it at blackjack or slots, or dine at a fancy restaurant. Plus, BINGO is my mind-exercise of the day! 🙂

ginger won the very first game! hooray! if i can't win, i love when my moms win!

The second game today was a new one for me: the picnic table

straight line across the top, then an "X" - just a demo for you, wish i HAD won!

The winning pots today varied from $85-$88 for the first four games; the final game was $190! I was close today, a few times, but no cigar.

Another reunion with more BINGO friends!

these three couples have been coming here for eons!

Today, I also met our friends Paul and Mary from Toronto, and their friend Lisa. And visited more throughout the day with Karen and Rick.

We met Tony and Marie (also from NYC) within an hour of arrival our very first year here; they’re the type of people that if I ever needed anything, I would feel comfortable seeking them out!

two of the sweetest people on the face of this earth!

Sharon and George! Fellow Canadians! They live just an hour west of us in London, Ontario!

hello, they say!

Today I also saw and spoke with many, many more people whom I had forgotten about until I saw them. I feel so at home!

evelina and lourdes: friends at the front desk (i asked about cathy, another fave staffer...she has married, had a child and moved to boston since last we were here!)

*#*#*#*#*

In unrelated news, Beardie Man has a name!

Zo had proposed Laird. I really liked this suggestion, and was 99% convinced to call him this name. Then, my bestie Gina emailed me today to say that her hubby, Jeff, had thought of the name Leif for Beardie. THAT IS IT!!! Perfect-o!!

So, many thanks to Zo for getting us on the right track, and to Jeff for conjuring up Leif. Leif and Meg – love it!

*#*#*#*#*

I just went out for a walk we call The Loop – basically, a tour of the High Rise section of resorts. Footwear of choice:

it's heaven to have vibram-appropriate weather + temperature!

The plan for tonight: shopping!!! A mall opened up across the street just 3-4 years ago and it has a ton of stores, restaurants, a movie theatre; I am going to go poke about. Gotta love when it’s 7 p.m. and still tshirt temp.

[Sidenote: Blogging serves two purposes for me: to share with family and friends, and to record experiences for my own future reference. Some items may be more of general interest than other topics; read as you wish, or skip along if you want to!]

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Aruba Report: Good Karma

Despite the rocky start to the day yesterday, things improved dramatically.

The plane ended up leaving only 1 hour 15 minutes late – not at all bad considering the horrid snow conditions in Toronto. And a surprise was on me! Given the way the boarding gate was angled, I couldn’t see the plane; I thought it wasn’t even pulled up to the gate yet, and then all of a sudden we were called to board! What a pleasant situation! (Good thing I hadn’t wandered off!)

The flight was uneventful. I got 112 pages read of my novel. Can’t remember the last time I read for hours, uninterrupted. Loved it.

How’s this for the most excellent luck ever: back at the airport, I had overheard a young mom tell another passenger that she was heading to [my resort] to stay with her parents. On the plane, I noticed she was sitting right behind me. So I initiated conversation…and all of a sudden are eyes alit in mutual “A-Ha!s” – her parents, Ed and Marge, are friends of ours from our previous years at the timeshare, and we have met before when she’s visited them in the past, down here!

Amy was travelling solo (brave soul!) to meet Ed and Marge, along with her 19 month old daughter, Hannah. Amy offered that I could share her taxi to the resort. This weekend is Carnival in Aruba, so taxis are in high demand. But Marge had pre-booked a taxi for Amy, and Amy asked me if I would like to join her in the ride to the resort; by sharing, we could split the cost of the journey. Wow!! Can you believe the luck that Amy would be right behind me on the plane, and that I would chance out with her graciousness in sharing the taxi ride. Thank you, God, #2 moment of the day.

all aboard!

hannah and amy en route - child seats in aruba?? not so much...

We landed at 5:15 p.m. Aruba-time, and I was in my condo by 6:15 p.m. Gotta love a tiny island.

open lobby at my home for the next week!

I settled in…

please excuse the blood-shot eyes and tired traveller look - it was a long day! but i want a photo so that i can do a TAN COMPARE at the end of the week!

…and did a short walk-about to search for a Wifi Internet card (yea, sorry, but being connected while on vac-ay was stressing me out). I bought a 1 hour card for $5 after the front desk staff advised that I NOT purchase the unlimited Wifi time online because it would be unpredictable (although this is what we have done other years).

So I got my one hour card, got online hassle-free, and caught up on emails and blogs.

Good Karma: the Internet connection in the kitchen is faster than my internet at home!

After my one hour expired, I decided to try buying the unlimited seven day internet connection online, anyway. Biggest loss that could happen – I lose $35 in trying (hey, gambling is big in Aruba!).

But I had no issues! So far so good!

I have my computer set up just like I have it situated at home:

i'm so at home with this set-up!

Other years, we have moved our computer about the condo, spent time online in the lobby, poolside etc. But I am not going to mess with perfection…let’s leave well-enough alone, and keep the computer in its spot til I leave!

The day is off to a good start. Coffee!!

i amusing the MEASURING CUP for my mug, as the one provided is NOT BIG ENOUGH - hey, my substitute is ROUND and HAS A HANDLE - that's a MUG in my books!

Here’s the rough plan for today: beach, groceries, pool, beach, BINGO, beach, beach walking, shopping. Tough day at the office ahead.

I’ll be back tonight with Day One Recap!