wow. this is the life. 89 degrees, but a very steady breeze, so just when you start feeling a bit warm, you suddenly are cool.
The beaches are white sand and some of the cleanest we have seen. We must have walked a mile 1/2 on the beach this afternoon after arriving here in Aruba. We are staying in the Palm Beach area. The view from our deck looking out into the Caribbean Sea, the hotel pool 10 stories below under a canapy of palm trees and a live steel drum band seranading us is a beautiful thing. Have you ever heard Land Down Under by Men at Work done by an Aruba Steel Drum band? Its awesome. It beats the few renditions we have heard of Kokomo (you know, from that Tom Cruise movie (pre-crazy), Cocktail?) But even that sounds good.
Here is some history on Aruba. It is a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, just as Belize is a commonwealth of GB.
The State of the Netherlands, the State of the Netherlands Antilles, and the State of Aruba form a Commonwealth. They all share Dutch citizenship and the Dutch passport.
Dutch and a local dialect are the national languages, but we have heard Spanish and of course English so far which no doubt has been adopted for the massive amounts of tourists. However, right now-- the island doesn't seem crowded. Aruba of course falls victim to the cruise ships and the millions of people that visit each day and depart each evening. Luckily, Palm Beach is a distance from the Cruise area which saves us from the tacky souvenir shops and the annoying, not at all persuasive offers from street salesmen to take you fishing, or boating, or diving or hiking or whatever else you may want to do on the Island, but in the way where you feel like you never left the cruise ship.
We'll hit this part of town for sure to check it out-- i am a sucker to an extent for souvenir--but we'll wait until the ships have departed.
The weather is fabulous as I described above. Supposed to be this way for the rest of the week. We aren't sure what is on the agenda for tomorrow yet (I am the activity director for us tomorrow, Tom has Friday and he has already lined up diving at two local ship wrecks and possibly a plane wreck) but I do know it will involve the pool, the ocean, two floaties and some cool drinks.
Here are some pics from today: view from deck, palms at night and a friend.
Here is an interesting fact that was a surprise to us-- we are currently only 17 miles north of Venezuela.