After a week of hard-core tourist activity, we decided to slow things down a bit. Allie and I found a fabric shop tucked into the third floor of a neglected department store called La Linda in downtown Oranjestad. The store even had a greeter in a top hat, perched on a pile of junk. Fortunately, the fabric area had tons of sequins and feathers that allowed us to complete our educational & cultural mission: make an Aruban Carnival costume for Allie’s doll. Allie did the overall design, pants sewing, sequin sewing, and feather gluing. Mel was in charge of knot tying and was backup sequin artist. Pics below. She came out quite well!
After two weeks surrounded by glitzy restaurants and casinos (which have at most one craps table, sadly,) Greg and I craved to experience the gritty heart of Aruba. We found it at the Aruba Golf Resort. Mel was not in the mood to spend $129 per person on greens fees at the ritzy Aruban golf course after blowing that much on one bikini in the local shops, so the Golf Resort was perfect. $75 got us two fees for a nine-hole, a golf cart, balls, tees, and 6 drinks in a cooler. Why so cheap? There are no gardeners. The course is dirt, sand, and coral. The greens are oiled sand, which was easy to get in the heyday of the now-defunct oil refinery on the island. This is a relic from the 50’s and 60’s, with no upgrade since. There are Mad Men in the ProShop. They watch you tee off on the first hole while they smoke. The goats and burrowing owls there can dodge your bad shots, but the rows of cacti can’t. Since Greg and Mel haven’t golfed in over a year, there was a lot of searching amongst the cacti. One clump yielded five balls for our one! Better luck there than in the casinos!
After that exciting weekend, we restarted school after a two-week hiatus. Let’s just say that when your kids go back to school after a two-week break, be nice to their teachers and bring them something awesome, like chocolate. They deserve it.