Day 124

This morning we had an early excursion, 8:20am, to a snorkeling activity. The bus ride took our group to Port De Palm, a small pier on the northern end of Aruba where we would catch a small ferry boat for a 5-minute ride to De Palm Island, a small resort open to the public. The bus driver passed out waiver forms with all kinds of legal language saying that they are not responsible for anything that may happen to us and we give assurance that we are in good health for any of the activities we may do on their property. However, they never told us what our wrist bands entitled us to do on the island. The ferry waiting area was full of tourists and local week-enders even before our buses arrived. We waited for a couple of ferries to shuttle the crowd across the water. We were really on our own when we arrived. There were many shaded cabanas and lounge chairs, more than enough for the weekend crowd. There was also a water park for kids of all ages, including us. We dropped our gear on the lounge chairs and made it to the water park before all the little kids arrived. We found out this was included. Lisa and her father Morry chummed around with us on the water slides. After about four slides, we let the youngsters have the area and decided it was time to snorkel. The wind was blowing strong and the waves were high. We got into the water beyond the breaking waves and floated with the undulating water while watching the colorful fish eating off the reef algae. We needed to keep floating along the surface to avoid getting close to the reef barriers, especially those that were vertical and closer to the surface. After about 30-minutes of wave-riding and snorkeling, Pat went off to float in the swimming area, partially protected by a breakwater. I came out a few minutes later and somehow touched a coral structure with my heel. I only felt a little bang and figured there will be a bruise. On the way back to join Pat, Sandy, a fellow world traveler, caught my attention saying my foot was bleeding. I couldn’t tell under the coating of sand so I rinsed if off in the shower and saw a slice in my heel. Off I went to the first aid station, where I got good attention. After some pressure and time, the first aiders wrapped my heel and I went back to spend the rest of the time on the lounge chair in the shade reading a paperback, something I haven’t done the entire cruise. Something a little spooky happened when I started reading this paperback novel. At the beginning of the second chapter, there was reference to Natallee Halloway, whose body was never found in Aruba. Is this a coincidence? Well the scenery was nice, Pat was floating in the water in front of me, the wind was strong so it didn’t feel as warm as it was, and overall it was peaceful. Food and beverage was included in our tour and I utilized the soda fountain frequently. When the time came, we joined Lisa and Morry for lunch and drinks on the patio overlooking the ocean. That was a really pleasant setting. We had to leave by 12:30, but we would have liked to stay all day. Our group met on the pier for the return ferry to the buses.

After returning to the pier, Pat did a little look-see in the souvenir shops, before returning to our suite and writing about today’s activities and downloading pictures. We took a break for Mensa and Trivia and scored points in both, but could not stay afterwards and chat things up with our team. We had to Facetime with the grandchildren because it’s a weekend and they are likely to be available. One call could not get through because the five-year-old was playing on Mom’s cellphone and kept hanging up on us. We were apparently an unwelcomed distraction to the game he was playing on Mom’s phone. We tried about four times, saw him briefly and attempted to talk to him but were cut-off each time.

There was an early show tonight that the show’s cast of singers and dancers created; a tribute to 50 years of James Bond 007. There was some background introduction of each movie before singing of the theme songs from Goldfinger, View To A Kill, Diamonds Are Forever, For Your Eyes Only, Golden Eye and others. The dancers also performed in the background while the theme songs were being sung. We saw this a few weeks ago, but it was great to see it again and recognize the talent of these performers.

Joanie and Art invited us to a Chinese dinner at Compass Rose tonight. There were 14 of us at this special dinner. Joanie is Chinese, had grown up in Hong Kong, and wanted to share some of her heritage. She has been a United States citizen for many years. I actually tried some different types of food tonight. We met a few folks we hadn’t known before, so it was a wonderful experience.

Tonight was the second show for Jerry Goodspeed, the ventriloquist. Again, he was entertaining and funny. He used three character dummies this evening, along with an audience volunteer. We never saw his lips move.

Yours in travel,

Pat & Mac