Hi, this is Liz. I’m hijacking Maggie’s blog to let you all know what we’ve been up to.
In January, Jim went to his company’s yearly management meeting in Arizona. He was informed that he won a trip for two, all-inclusive, to Aruba. The trip would take place the last week in April. Of course, we were delighted, but knew there would be a lot of preparation for just the two of us to leave.
I started out by making lists…of course. And enlisting help. Mike, (Jim’s oldest), Jamie, and Laurel, my dearest friend, were called upon to take care of things on a daily basis, while Erik kind of “satellite coveraged” on his part. They all did a fantastic job.
I’ll spare you the grind of buying travel items, packing, getting pre-checked with TSA (which is great here in the US but doesn’t mean diddly-squat in another country), preparing more lists, and cooking for the week we would be gone. You get the idea. I had to have all the i’s dotted and t’s crossed before we actually left America. I bagged up and labeled Maggie’s food and medication, and food for the fish, too. (Unfortunately, while we were gone, Spazz, the big, beautiful goldfish, died. Jamie gave him a nice funeral in the side yard with a commemorative brick. Swim free, Spazz my friend.)
I was extremely concerned because we did not have a direct flight to Aruba. We flew out on American on the most super red-eye flight imaginable. We had minutes to spare in Miami, where we had to criss-cross the terminal to make our connecting flight. That was definitely a foreshadowing of future running-across-terminals to come.
We arrived in Aruba from the grey, rainy skies of Chicago to the bluest skies and water as you can see. Wow! Here is a picture of the resort. There was one side for families and the other was adults-only. We stayed at the adults-only side.
Just incredible. And I must say, the Arubans are extremely nice, well-educated people. They speak five languages: Dutch (it’s independent, but considered part of the Netherlands), French, English, Spanish, and the “street pigeon” which is a combination of all four languages listed plus some Portugese. By the time they graduate high school, everyone is fluent. And very, very, friendly. One thing that was different about Aruba vs. Punta Cana is that the grinding poverty that is off-resort in Punta Cana was not there, or at least not to that degree, in Aruba. We went all around the island, which is about 20 X 7 miles, and hosts 120,000 people.
I will turn the blog over to Maggie when I am done relating our adventures. However, I don’t want to make this blog too long, so I’ll break it into a couple of parts. I’m sure Maggie will have a lot of things to say about being left at home.
Thanks for reading!
Your friend, Liz