It’s Fall … or Summer Extended

The calendar says it’s the first day of fall, or autumn.  The temperatures say it’s still summer.  No matter.  We can extend summer a few more weeks, I don’t mind.

Is it only me, or are the days going by faster and faster?  Is it me not managing my time and schedule efficiently, or are there less hours in a day?  I really don’t know where the time goes.  We seem to be spinning around and around and the march of time is measured by the changing seasons and schedules, and yet I don’t feel that we’ve even stayed long enough in one season, and the next one is upon us.

I’ve also realized that one of the reasons why I haven’t blogged much is because I’ve become predictable.  Just like the changing seasons, you know what I’m going to write about … the hectic and chaos of schedules, the new school year, the sports season … And yet, that is what life is all about at the moment … there’s not much going on, in between running between home, school, work, soccer games, home, school, work …

Oh, we did manage a two-week beach vacation .. yeah!!

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… which didn’t stop the boys pokemon-huntingPokemon-hunting everywhere on the island … you’ve heard of this game, right?  lol

They even went riding all around the island to hit all those Poke-stops and catch those creatures …

I didn’t mind … that kept them busy, and I was left to my reading, crocheting, knitting and just plain being a beach bum .. We need that sometimes, don’t we?

 

Here’s hoping that the last quarter of the year doesn’t go so fast …

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Orange Skies

I can usually count on one beautiful sunset while in Aruba.  It’s different each time I’m here.

This time, it was a blazing orange sky, which I almost missed.  I caught it at the last few minutes, as the sun fully sets.

DS2_6179And a bird flies into view, which I somehow manage to get a clear picture of 🙂

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Beautiful, isn’t it?

This and That in Aruba

This was mostly a relax and vegetate vacation.  Other than the jet-skis and the solo drives in the desert, a drive down to Baby Beach, or to the supermarket,  we pretty much spent our time between the beach and the pool.  We did go out for dinner once – to Senor Frog’s, a restaurant-bar targeted to the college-age crowd – and only because Justin had to go there because big brother went the last time.  Gasp!  I  hope this doesn’t become a big spring-break destination, like the other locations!  We like uneventful and relaxing vacations.

Here are some sights that you might see when you are there:

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Stained glass window on hotel wall

The divi-divi trees point the way home …

Boat crossing …

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At Baby Beach at one end of the island, Big Mama’s Grill and Bar is new, with a Flintstones theme.  Look at those humongous furniture!  And to complete the look, their servers were dressed like Fred and Barney – not Wilma or Betty! lol

The California Lighthouse at the other end of the island … birds out on the desert … kite-surfing where the waters are rougher … Justin says he’ll try that next year …

Souvenirs and trinkets …

There was only one new hotel being built – they must have gotten that approval in just before the moratarium on new constructions several years ago.  Maybe the next time we’re there it’ll be completed, and there’ll be something new to see.

But for the most part, the rest of the island away from the high-rise hotel has pretty much stayed the same … And that’s how we like it.

 

The Palm Tree

Driving back to the hotel, I looked out the window while at a traffic light, and my eyes found this palm tree, silhouetted against the late afternoon sun.

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Nothing special … I just liked the look of the almost symmetrical pattern of the leaves and branches!  Plus, I needed to start up my 365-project theme again.  There must be other trees that I’ve taken photos of, but not posted about.  Anyway …

Such delight in a simple thing as a tree on the road.

 

 

 

Rites of Passage

While exploring the desert dunes and tracks during one of our visits, my oldest son asked if he could drive the car.  He was only seven years old at that time.  There was nobody else around us so hubby sat him on his lap while he worked the pedals.  Christopher took the wheel and steered the car.  And so began a tradition.

At the age of seven years old, Justin sat on the father’s lap, just as Christopher did, and steered the wheel of a real car, for the first time.  Such concentration!    He kind of ran us off the road a bit, says the father, but I didn’t notice … either I was too busy taking pictures and video, or I just wasn’t looking where we were going!

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And whatever the older brother does, he has to do the same thing, of course.

But he doesn’t like it that he has to ride with either the father or the older brother when it came to riding the jet-skis and the ATVs, or any other motor sports.

Decidedly not happy that he has to ride behind the father on the ATV the first time …

… but doesn’t seem to mind it so much the following year …

But he did get to ride his own horse, Pebbles, who he said had to stop and eat and munch on each shrub as we passed by … And he did get tall enough to drive a go-kart by himself … well, it looks like he had stretch those legs a bit to reach the pedal, but no matter, he was driving his own cart …

And so this year, in his last days as a twelve-teen (as he calls himself) before officially becoming a teen-ager, he was finally old enough and big enough to ride solo.

A little tentative and hesitant as he gets the feel of steering and working the pedals on his own … no goodbye wave, because he wasn’t letting go of the handles … but by the second day, there he is standing on the jetskis again!

And we have come full circle now, as he takes the wheel for the first time, out on the desert dunes and tracks …

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He turns thirteen this weekend.  Another set of milestones to look forward to in the coming years …

Catching Up on Reading

Relaxing on the beach means reading a good book.  Or any book.

I was already hooked when I read the synopsis of ‘A Discovery of Witches’ when it first came out two years ago or so. It’s about a search for a manuscript! Well, of course it had to be a good book, never mind what the plot was! But just like my piles of projects waiting to be finished, I had a shelf full of books waiting to be read, and so I refrained from buying the book when it first came out.

Knowing that I was going to be on the beach for a week, this time I didn’t hesitate to buy the book. And a bonus! The second book in the series was already out as well, so of course I had to buy that too, so I could continue with the story as soon as I finish the first book.

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‘A book? an actual book?’, exclaimed hubby Charles. Well, yes, an actual book that I can hold, and turn the pages. If I brought the Kindle or the iPad to the beach to read, then I’d be worrying about the sand or drops of water getting on the screen, the iPad overheating or running out of battery … So yes, an actual book to the beach and if it falls on the sand or gets wet, then it’s no big deal.

And you know what? The book did get wet, from the water leaking from the cooler, shortly after the picture above was taken!  Can you tell from the picture below that it’s been wet and beat up a little?  I was a little annoyed.  I like to keep my books as new as possible, but on the other hand I also like to it to look like it’s been well read and enjoyed.  I know, it’s weird.  Anyway, I just laid it out to dry in the wind and the sun. Now, can you do that with an electronic reader? ha!

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And you know why else I knew this was going to be a good book?  The main character’s parents had traveled to Africa (which always delights me), but more than that, they had travelled to Nigeria, where I grew up!  and they even mention Hausa, one of the main languages!  Wow!  That’s a first for me, usually Africa travel is to the more common safari countries such as Kenya, South Africa, etc.  Not much is said about that Nigeria trip however, and the happenings there were not so good.  Maybe the second book will have more details about Nigeria.

Ok, enough writing … going back to my reading …

King Ribs

Time to get something to eat … so we head down to another of our must-visit places each time we’re here.

King Ribs.  They’re open only on weekends … so we make sure to reserve a Saturday or a Sunday to make it to this home business eatery.

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There are no tables to seat yourself – I think this is a private house turned into a weekend food business.  You either drop by, order your food, then wait for it, like we do.  Or you call in for a pick-up.

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The chef grills the meats just outside the front door of the house.  Yes, those are our ribs on the grill.

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Over to one side of the house, the take-out platters are prepared from the make-shift tables.

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We were so eager to eat, that I forgot to take a picture of the completed platters.  They give generous portions – along with the meat, the platter comes with rice, plantain, salad.

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Make sure to drop by King Ribs when you’re in Aruba.  It really is worth it.