Can You Warm Up Formula Milk In The Microwave Aruba – One Happy Island

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Aruba – One Happy Island

When my husband told me he had won a two-way package tour to Aruba, I certainly couldn’t beat him with excitement. To me it was a Caribbean cliche without any real exploration or adventure. Yes, I now realize that I had dementia from the cold caused by the gray skies and freezing colds. In fact, it got so bad that I heard myself complaining to another New Englander, “But we’re going to miss almost half of March!”

Fortunately, my frostbite disappeared shortly after our flight arrived in Aruba. At the airport I was a little shocked to see a pile of burning garbage in a landfill overlooking the sea. However, this one eye soon disappeared and was replaced by oceans of electric blue that kept us on the short bus ride to our hotel.

It’s easy to justify a few small spots in Aruba, the “jewel of the Caribbean.” Only 15 kilometers from Venezuela, Aruba is small, only 20 kilometers long and 7 kilometers wide. The most famous of the “ABC” islands, (Bonaire and Curacao are B and C), a small group of islands that form part of the Dutch West Indies and enjoy a perfect climate, without storms throughout the year.

With its strong economy, harmonious population of less than 100,000 and luxurious standard of living, Aruba seems like a political paradise. In fact, it has the highest literacy rate in the Caribbean and the average Aruban speaks four languages: official Dutch, English, Spanish and native Papiamento, a mixture of African, Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch developed by slaves in Curacao in the 1500s to communicate with their owners who had fled the Spanish court.

We enjoyed Aruba as most tourists do, in a resort on the south coast. Starting in the capital city of Orangestaad near the western tip of the island, the resorts extend up to ten kilometers to the highest-priced stop on the northwestern tip near Boca Catalina, a world-famous windsurfing spot. Aruba, nicknamed the “One Happy Island,” has plenty to entertain and please any taste. And, as we later learned, there is a real opportunity for white entertainment.

But that doesn’t come until later. First it’s pure Aruba fun. GWV put us up at La Cabana, an all-suite resort across the street from Eagle Beach, prized for its soft, sandy beach. (GWV offers 7-day summer trips starting at $1025 per person) The kitchen, living room, two TVs and phones exceeded our needs although we did use the microwave to heat up leftover snapper or wiener schnitzel. The concept of light meals – with the exception of MacDonalds or Wendy’s – has not caught on, and it is difficult to find anything less than a multi-course dinner. The “Dine-Around Plan” we chose provided us with seven breakfasts and four dinners at restaurants. ($ 419 per person.) Breakfast was worth the few minutes it took to ride the bus to one of the high-end places like Marriott and Aruba Grand where we got a great view and a rare treat of real milk and a half. -and a half. There are a lot of goats in Aruba but no cows so what you usually get is coffee with sweetened flavored milk that matches latex paint.

Speaking of goat, they serve a nice baked version at Boonoonoonoos, a popular tourist spot in Orangestaad with Caribbean food and funky decor. The Jamaican Jerk Ribs were hot: 20 on a scale of 1-10. (Entrees start at $21) Another standout was the Villa Germania where you can slurp down a fantastically rich sauce alfresco (entries start at $23) while ogling boats in the harbor and tourists on their way to the Casino next door.

Most days include time at sea, usually under one of Aruba’s famous divi divi trees, low-slung, bent specimens from 15-knot trade winds. They provide shelter from the sun, which is 12 degrees from the equator, which is terrible. When we weren’t on the beach looking at the turquoise water, we were reveling in its warmth and brightness, a quality that makes for good water sports. Snorkeling is perfect for water wimps like me because it’s a great fun experience, while being very easy. Down there with the lemon yellow angelfish, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one wearing a mask and fins who thought he was a fearless diver of the deep.

Aruba offers many organized water and land activities. An early morning orientation session at a local casino offered by GWV on our first full day was invaluable. Despite the hype, it worked well: we were able to hear about sunset, jeep adventures and snorkeling trips and then sign up with a discount. Another favorite was the Jolly Pirate, a 4 ½ hour snorkeling cruise with a group of eye charmers who gave rum poisoning and lunch and showed us how to swing. ($55 per person) We also enjoyed the cool sunsets ($40 per person) and the food and open bar. (Yes, almost every business in Aruba has an open bar.) Most of the boat and land tours are offered by De Palm Tours, the island’s oldest and most established tour operator.

It was on our DePalm bus tour that we saw the “other Aruba.” (About $42 per person for a half-day snorkeling tour.) The Atlantic Ocean hits the rocky north coast from the California Lighthouse at the northwest tip to San Nicholas at the southeast tip. Cacti and aloe plants fill the desert-like landscape that is brightened by brightly painted homes. In Aruba, the color of the house is a family matter; even the burial vessels decorated above the ground are painted to match the home of the deceased. Our bus tour took us to the Natural Bridge, a coral formation that has been covered over the bridge by centuries of surfing. Unfortunately, the thing I miss most about the site was having to pay a quarter to use a dirty toilet without toilet paper. I think that’s more.

Our favorite spot was Arikok National Wildlife Park with its abandoned gold mines and the ruins of a pirate fort. We looked at cave paintings and befriended a very brown “wild” donkey in this nature reserve that covers about a quarter of the island. As our tour bus traveled along dirt roads through a large park, the bus driver assured us that if the vehicle broke down (which seems to be a very likely possibility in some places) we should not worry because it is “impossible. to get lost in Aruba.”

A few days later when my husband and I were definitely lost in our rented jeep in the middle of Arikok Natural Park, we remembered his words. We tried hard to remember where the bumpy road was, since we were off the road looking for a shortcut to the Natural Pool, a swimming spot on the north shore. Our short path turned into a series of washed-out paths strewn with rocks the size of washing machines. After two hours of fear, danger and a heavy dose of wedding stress, we pulled over to find our corners and have an argument waiting to happen. (You see, I forced us to take this path.)

After a short but satisfying fight we passed our remaining 6-oz of warm water between us, watched the sun set and vowed to cooperate. From the vantage point we saw another garbage dump – a newly appreciated sign of civilization. “Boy, this junk looks good to me now,” said my husband. With clear heads we decided to retrace the path. By some miracle, we finally met an Aruban who was also lost but managed to find his way out.

Please dear reader, don’t repeat our mistake. I learned after our trip that off-trail hikers are a big problem in the park. Park authorities are developing maps and guides to help tourists enjoy Arikok Park and its amazing rock formations, plants, prikichi (Aruban parakeets) and natural beauty without being a destroyer of the environment or seeking rescue.

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