Second Trip To Aruba
Monday 6th August was the first Monday in a long time that I woke up not feeling ticked off or apathetic towards it being Monday. I woke up a few times between 2am and 5am but quickly drifted back to sleep with the hum of the air conditioning unit to lull me to sleep. Speaking of the AC there is a note in the room where they tell you what level to keep it at. They recommend that we keep it at 25*, which was really honking cold. For a while there I thought that I had fallen asleep in line at the airport. The first time I woke up was to grab the heavy quilt from the small closet to cover with, I would use that quilt for the duration of my stay. Getting up and out of bed was a bit difficult as I felt soooooooooooooo relaxed!!! But the thoughts of what the day had in store was enough to convince me to get up and moving. Breakfast that morning was leftover barbecue, I had planned to make it last till Tuesday, but it was just too damn tasty and impossible to ignore. The remainder from Sunday night was finished off that morning.
The relatives plans for the day involved going to Moomba Beach after midday, then out to dinner later that evening. With the huge amount of time that we had left I made some plans of my own. First I went over to the reservations desk where guests normally check-in upon arrival. It’s where guests can also go if they need to get currency changed or broken up into something smaller, purchase tokens for the washers and dryers, pick up some of the local tourism magazines, and inquire or make arrangements to go on tours into the city or around the island. I went for the magazines and to also inquire about a certain outing that I had every intention of going on. The staff at the front desk were courteous, cordial and friendly, and sent me in the right direction to the activities office. More on that later on! Trust me, I’ll get to that later on down the line.
Till we left for the beach I spent most of the morning relaxing on the porch/gallery of the room, got re-acquainted with the basic cable channel line up for Aruba. Divided my viewing time between ABC Family, National Geographic Channel, NBC( for the Olympics) Boomerang and a few of the movie channels. Once I had that figured out it was off to Moomba Beach. How to describe Moomba Beach? Picture Pigeon Point with whiter sand, more hotels within close proximity, several beach bars and restaurants, and a mixture of tourists and locals all up and down the beach. That’s Moomba Beach!! As CPV is part of an arrangement with several of the beach facilities on the island we were allowed to use the beach chairs for free, we did have to pay for the huge beach umbrella though. The afternoon sun on the island makes for a hot time, as my feet could testify to. The umbrella provided us with some good shade, except that with my long legs stuck out and my feet were baking in the sun. No matter how many times I applied sun block or poured water on my feet, they were baking and from time to time I had to get up from the beach chair, and walk into the water them off. I also learned a really important lesson, when it comes to applying sun block be careful how much you put on your face. Some of it got into my eyes from the perspiration which lead to irritated eyes. Which got in the way of reading and observing the fine talent that was on parade( i.e. local and tourist women) walking up and down the beach. Those women could give Trini women some stiff competition!!
We stayed there till the beach staff began to gather the chairs and as beach goers began to depart to their respective hotels, walking back to the car reminded me of going to Pigeon Point with my dad and having to wash our feet off before we got into the car. The trick to that is to wait till you get to your car then begin washing your feet off, that way you won’t have to do it twice. With the beach behind us it was back to CPV to shower, relax and cool off before going out to dinner. All that we need to do was figure out where we were going for dinner, deep down I was hankering for some TGI Fridays style burgers, I had a great burger from them the last time I was on the island and was looking forward to the prospect of getting to experience it again. My cousin made the request for Iguana Joe's, which was a Mexican restaurant in the mall within the Palm beach area. While not what I was hoping for just being on Aruba was enough to convince me to go there for dinner( note to self, next time speak up with regards to where to go for dinner).
Iguana Joes was on the second floor overlooking the mall plaza down below, where we were seated situated us right behind a tree which made it challenging to see the goings on down below. That night a local youth dance troupe had a performance in the plaza. From where we were sitting it was a challenge to really see what was going on along with hearing what the MC was saying. There was no problem when it came to the music, we heard that loud and clear. As for everything else it was a challenge. Could not help but think that we would have been able to see and hear if we had gone to TGI Fridays. That night was to be the first night that I would catch a glimpse of the Ribbon Dance, which is a traditional dance done in Aruba to commemorate the Queen’s Birthday. I would see it performed two more times.
One of the dance numbers would come as a major surprise for me. It was in the part of the show when they were on their Carnival Season which coincides with ours, that I would hear Soca, and it was a song by Destra. Believe it or not Soca is quite popular there, both local and regional performers have songs that are in heavy rotation. Nigel and Marvin’s Follow the Leader is still a big tune over there. Anyhow it was great hearing a soca song that I recognised, which helped to emphasise that T&T has made contributions to the culture of the island, and that service was slow and my stomach was complaining.
There were four waiters and waitresses on duty that night, and they were obviously swamped. For the most part they were all trying to keep up, with the exception of one waitress who was moving s-l-o-w!!!. In the time that it took her to deliver an order and return to the kitchen to collect another order, her fellow co-worker had already delivered orders to two tables and taken the orders from three tables. In spite of that dinner was good, I had the Mexican Burger. What makes it a Mexican Burger? The huge serving of avocado or guacamole that was heaped on top of the burger. I ate it off the burger before putting the bread back on top to eat the burger.
Before leaving we took a quick walk around through the plaza which I learnt is always busy no matter what day of the week. Judging by the number of people that we there, both tourists and locals, it was a sure sign that businesses in that mall were doing well. Looking around I could not help but think that this is what Tobago could be tourism was doing right. I could picture something like Palm Beach in the Pigeon Point , Mount Irving areas. Something like that could probably even work in Trinidad. Maybe someday the authorities will take a page from Aruba’s Tourism play book, apply it and actually get it right. Just a matter of time I guess.
Day one came and went all too quickly, but I still had six days left on the trip. Six more days to enjoy, two more days than the last time.
To Be Continued……….