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11:41 pm: Aruba, day N
Lost a couple of days somewhere in there. I have a sunburn. Life is hard. Here's what I can recall of the gap:

We left off on Tuesday, post catamaran snorkeling and just pre-nap. tachnolope and I deferred the naps and instead drove to the northeast side of the island. We discovered a martian landscape with incredibly sharp coral baking in the sun, and little tide pools drying into rimes of salt. Once everyone woke up, we put on what passes for formal wear (pants AND shoes at the SAME time) and went over to redmeds friend Vicky's house. Vicky used to work with redmed but has retired. She spends half the year in a house she and her husband built down here. It was Valentine's day, so she had put together a bunch of people to go out for dinner at Madame Janette's. We laughed and ate and laughed and drank and laughed some more. We wound up back home around midnight.

Wednesday was a really good day. In the morning, redmed and I woke up early and went for a walk on the beach with the fancy high rise resorts. We saw a phenomenal rainbow. Once we got home, we decided to take a drive to Arikok national park in search of fancy and unusual birds. That took longer than anticipated, and when we got back it was time for lunch. We made a shopping expedition to the rum factory, the cigar-rolling-shop, and the Aloe plant. Of course, this concluded with the by-now-usual nap. We all trundled into the car around 4:30pm and went back up to a beach on the Northwest side. We spread out blankets, swam for a while, and then sat down to watch the sun set. I had obtained a nice stogie, so I retroactively added an item to the proverbial "life list:" I watched the sun sink slowly into the Caribbean while smoking a Cuban cigar. Once the sun was well and truly set, we came back to the apartment and made dinner. A day well spent.

Today we struck out in the morning for "Baby beach," at the very southern terminus of the island. This beach is basically a 5 or 6 acre wading pool. By around 2pm we were sun scorched and tired and made our way back. Had dinner at Vicky's, and now we're planning our last full day on Aruba.

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