New Year Vacation in Aruba

As is our annual tradition with my siblings, we spent the New Year holiday in Aruba with Mom. 
We arrived on December 28, 2005, and stayed for two weeks.

Oma has a Plumeria tree that produces so many flowers that Stephanie
made a flower bracelet like this almost every day.

Dinner at Ah Mah's house.  As usual, it was a loud fun meal.

Since it was the Christmas/New Year season, we had many dinners out, both at the homes of
families and at restaurants such as this one.  The name of this place is "Different".

After many years of talking about it, Agnes organized a trip to De Palm Island for us.
Here we are at the entrance board walk.

The island is small, perhaps a few thousand feet long, and is really a reef covered with beach sand.  Meals and snorkeling are included
with the Fls 50 admission price.

Note Christopher's smile.  He is lighting up the whole island!  Here he is with his typical "Hello" wave.

After a light lunch, snorkeling!

All done swimming and ready for a nap.

Watch out Pete!  Here comes a pelican!

On the boat trip back to the big island.

I spoke twice at my classroom.  Both talks were well received.

I was also invited to speak at the Universidad di Aruba (University of Aruba) in their Aula.
This used to be a chapel inside a monastery.

The university expected 30 people, but about 100 showed up. The small place was packed.
The talk was about Hubble, and was very well received.  It was supposed to last one hour,
but due to the many questions stretched to two.

The lecture was written up in the local papers.  This one (Bondia Aruba) gave the evening a full page.
The evening was also featured on the web site for the Science Club of my former High School.

We also visited the Aruba Beach Club several times.  On this occasion, we caught a little "Totolica".
It was later released.

Go ahead!  Jump right in (pool at the Aruba Beach Club).

Christopher took to the water like a fish and did a lot more swimming than the past years we were there.
It really indicated to me his progress in the water over the past year.

He had not used a diving glass before, and like the ability to see clearly under the water.

After a day of swimming, the little guy is plum tuckered out.

A nice sunset on the ocean.

Stephanie's first experience lighting fireworks.  She had fun!

Since the loss of Aruba's natural bridge, it has highlighted other smaller natural bridges such as the
one in the background.  This one is in Seroe Colorado.

On one of our last nights there, we lit a little campfire and roated marshmellows and sausages.

We made it back home safe and sound on 1/11/06.  Here is Stephanie with Snowbelle. 
She was very happy to see us and would perch and preen on Stephanie.

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