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Aruba 2016

We left home at 15:45 on 2 September, and had a most interesting ride to the Ezeiza International Airport. Apparently there were demonstrations going on all over town, and especially around the Obelisk, which is on the normal route taken to get to the airport. Our drive knew about these demonstration, so he took an entirely different route to get us out of the city. We saw neighborhoods we had never seen before. After nearly 45 minutes of wending our way through the city, we arrived at the freeway, only to see that the cars were not moving at all, and the freeway looked like a parking lot. Our driver proceeded under the freeway and took us on another merry chase through even less familiar neighborhoods. We arrived at Ezeiza 2 hours before our flight was to depart, so we spent almost 2 hour in the VIP lounge, relaxing and enjoying the perks of Platinum status with American Airlines.

We flew from Buenos Aires to Miami on one of the new 77W aircraft, and we always fly coach. I swear the seats in coach are just a little closer together than on the older aircraft, so I've gotten into the habit of selecting our seats in an EXIT row. Row 31 gives us tons of leg room, and we can usually get a bit of sleep on the 9 hour flight. We arrived in Miami at 4AM with a 6 hour layover, and spent the time in the Admiral’s Club there.

There was plenty of stuff for breakfast. I had some oatmeal, and mocha coffee. Also a bagel with cream cheese.

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They have one of those amazing coffee machines that can make almost any thing you want. At 4AM there were not a lot of people.

Pete loves his toasted bagel with Philadelphia cream cheese.

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Our flight to Aruba departed at 11:41 AM and we arrived in Aruba at 2:26 PM. We checked in and stopped by the concierge to make dinner reservations that evening at the PureOcean restaurant, which is on the beach.

The view from our balcony was of the pool and the PureBeach restaurant and pool bar. We were very happy when they told us that we would have our same room for the second week. It’s such a hassle to pack up and move mid vacation.

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Of course we had to start off our first meal with a traditional martini. We asked for a table on the beach, and under the stars.

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I started off with soup and salad, and from the grill, pork ribs, with corn on the cob (cow corn), and sweet potatoes. Since this was Saturday night, it’s traditionally a BBQ buffet, so no carry-out with our Tupperware for lunch the next day.

After dinner we went to our room and spent the night in a real bed. It was heaven, after our long flight in coach seats.

The next day we enjoyed relaxing on the beach, reading and continuing to unwind. I was finishing up “The Picture of Dorian Gray” and Pete was reading Book Three of “Game of Thrones”. At 4pm we went to the pool bar for happy hour.

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Before going to dinner we enjoyed a game of “500” on our balcony, and watching the sun set

For dinner on Sunday we went to “PureBeach Restaurant”, where we discovered they were putting more effort into the menu. Pete had a wonderful shrimp & scallop linguine and I had fish and vegetables. Both were excellent.

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Plus, they make a great martini. Pete pointed out that the shirt I was wearing was the one I had bought for our going away party in 2000. I can’t believe I’m still wearing it 16 years later. I guess that just shows how much I dislike shopping for clothes. ;o)

On Monday it’s more reading and relaxing on the beach; Happy Hour with a couple of mojitos and a pizza to hold us until dinner. I finished Dorian Gray and started “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austin. I have never read one of her books, but I remember this was one of the books I could have read and reported on in high school for extra credit. I didn’t read it then.

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Life around the PureBeach pool bar was lively, and everyone seemed to be enjoying it.

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Also, there were these crazy little yellow birds who tormented the bar tenders by flying down and landing where they could

find a little sugar spilled by the bar tenders, or they would land on the bottle tops and peck around for some sweet liquid.

On Tuesday night we went to “Blossoms” and had their teppanyaki. We had not done that in a while, so it was fun to watch the crazy chef noisily beat the grill with his spatula, and displaying his skills at creating horrendous bursts of flame, almost singing ones eyebrows.

At the entrance we pose in front of the amazing Qin Dynasty Terra Cotta Warrior from Xian, China. Our chef induces the newly weds into his routine, of tossing an egg in the air with the spatula, and using it to split the egg in half before it hits the grill.

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The guy was more proficient at it than his bride. Big mistake. He missed his chance at gallantry, and it’s bound to cost him. ;o)

I found myself wondering what they must pay for fire insurance. The meal was excellent. I ordered the beef filet, and while I was sure it had to be Kobe beef, I knew that’s not possible. I was not IN Japan. True Kobe beef is not exported.

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It is now Wednesday, and the sunset was pretty spectacular.

In the first frame you can see the DePalm catamaran Sunset Dinner Cruise heading across the setting sun, and in the second frame is the DePalm Pirate ship Dinner Cruise. We see them both every evening about this time.

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The atmospherics here often make for a really boring sunset, but sometimes the conditions are just right, like this night.

We went to Fishes & More for dinner. For years we were always greeted by Jerome (a tall blond Dutch lad), but three years ago he left this restaurant and went to one further up the road. His understudy, also a Jerome, greeted us after that. But this year, even Jerome #2 had moved on, and Alex has taken his place as the No. 1 waiter.

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Pete has his martini, and his appetizer was raw ahi with a delicious sea weed topping.

For my dinner I chose blackened mahi mahi, and Pete ordered a really delicious shrimp and calamari pasta dish. The TupperWare boys were at it again. We took half of each dinner home, and had a great dinner the next night from Pete’s pasta, and lunch the next day from my mahi mahi.

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Alex suggested the apple strudel for my dessert, and Pete was really happy with his Irish Coffee. Actually, the apple strudel was the best I had ever tasted. It was heated just right, and that really went well with the ice cream and whipped cream.

Another day at the beach. Those colorful chairs were pretty cool, each one a different color. However, being in the direct sun, they didn’t get much use. That Caribbean sun can beat down pretty relentlessly. I don’t know how Pete stays out in it for hours.

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Pete is a true sun worshiper. I’m glad his skin can handle it. Mine sure can’t. I always seek the shade of an umbrella.

Thursday’s sunset was a little less exciting, but you got to see just how fast the world is spinning as the sun sank below the horizon.

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I found myself feeling a little sorry for Galileo, the Italian scientist whose scientific papers proved that the earth was not the center of the universe, and who was sentenced by the Catholic church to house arrest for heresy for the last ten years of his life. How far we have come since then. I was in awe of the universe, and our significance in it. I hope I never lose that sense of awe.

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Friday was much like any other day. We read on the beach, and at Happy Hour Pete had a mojito and I had a mud slide.

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We had another pretty awesome sunset. It is so much fun enjoying the simple pleasures of life together like this.

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For dinner tonight we went back to Blossoms, but for sushi this time, not teppanyaki.

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I believe that they were in the process of cleaning the aquariums, because the water was crystal clear and everything was so pristine. There were very few things in it, a lobster, a few shrimp, an eel and one fish. There are normally a huge array of various tropical fish, so I thought they were just adding them back slowly. It’s a very precise science maintaining aquariums of this size. The sea enemanies were really beautiful, and such strange creatures they are. Sea life is truly amazing.

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Well, this pretty much takes care of our first week. I may as well send this one off now. I hope the photos have not been too boring, as I know I got a little carried away with the sunsets. Enjoy!