Palm Beach, ARUBA Archives

March 2, 2007

Aruba Arrival


An easy three-hour flight from Miami to Aruba (whole row to myself--sweet!) deposited me at the Oranjestad Airport. Aruba is a little less than twenty miles long and six miles wide--a pretty small island just off the northern coast of Venezuela. Having left Perth, Australia on January 22 and traveled through Asia, Africa, Europe, and back home to North America, my arrival in South America this afternoon means I've logged time on six continents in just under six weeks! (I also visited six continents in 2006, but it took me almost exactly twelve months to do so.)

The Sabbatical Map, Once Again

Here is the latest update to where I've been, where I am now, and where I am going before my sabbatical officially ends on March 20:

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Here is a bigger version of the map.

Tropical Breezes

I had dinner at the sushi bar by the casino here in the Marriott complex. Afterward, I took a walk along the beach under the full moon and it was windy, but the breezes were pleasantly WARM!

March 3, 2007

Song Of The Day #62

R.E.M. playing "Man On The Moon."

R.E.M. - Automatic for the People - Man On the Moon

Return To The Nile


I caught back-to-back episodes of Digging For The Truth on The History Channel this afternoon. Both shows brought me back to my time in Egypt a few weeks back, with their backdrops at the Giza Pyramids, the Egyptian Museum, the Valley of Kings, the Karnak temple in Luxor, and Abu Simbel. One episode was about Tutankhamun and the other about Rameses II.

Indiana Jones wanna-be Josh Bernstein, who hosts the program, recently announced he is jumping over to The Discovery Network, which may mean the end of Digging For The Truth, at least as we know it. Bad news for The History Channel, as this has been its highest-rated show.

March 4, 2007

Just Like Kermit The Frog

Apparently my aura is green:

Your Aura is Green

You're very driven, competitive, and even a bit jealous.

However, you seek out balance in your life - and you usually achieve it!

The purpose of your life: inspiring others to be better

Famous greens include: Tony Robbins, Donald Trump, Martha Stewart

Careers for you to try: Guru, CEO, Talk Show Host

Song Of The Day #63

This song was ubiquitous during my very first Caribbean spring break vacation in 1989 in the Bahamas: "Don't Worry, Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin.

Bobby McFerrin - Best of Bobby McFerrin - Don't Worry, Be Happy

Choate Girls' Hockey Wins New Englands


Congrats to the Wild Boars girls' ice hockey team, which captured the New England championship this afternoon, defeating Noble and Greenough School 5-2 in the final round.

Steel Drums Forever

The Marriott Surf Club here in Aruba sure is a swell place. Because it's set up as a time-share property, the units are fully furnished with complete kitchens, full living and dining rooms spaces, laundry facilities, etc. There's a marketplace right downstairs to stock the kitchen. The beach is beautiful and the multiple pools are clearly the centerpiece of the resort (although the poolside bar is an interesting concept, in that I've always thought that alcohol and swimming were not the best things to mix together). One of the pools is essentially a river, with a strong current that pulls you around an artificial island as you float your troubles away. The only critique I have is the resort's incessant soundtrack. This place pipes what I'd call "elevator music" all over the grounds, except that all the familiar radio-friendly tunes are performed exclusively by steel drum bands. It was cute at first, but after three days of this tropical treacle, I am about ready to go postal.

Goodbye, PC


At the end of the month--March 30, to be exact--I'll pick up my new school-issued laptop, which will be a MacBook. This means I'm turning in my Dell Inspiron and cutting my use of Wintel machines to about nil. (Of course, I've asked the IT folks at school to load Windows on my new Intel chip Mac, so I'll have the best of both worlds.)

March 5, 2007

Song Of The Day #64

Another tropical party tune: "Hot Hot Hot" by Buster Poindexter.

Buster Poindexter - Hot Hot Hot - EP - Hot Hot Hot

Gabriel Allon Returns


I'm enjoying the latest Daniel Silva spy novel, The Messenger, featuring the adventures of Gabriel Allon, an art restorer who is secretly an Israeli assassin. It's about the sixth in a series of novels featuring this character.

Monday Night Choices

Since 24 and Heroes are airing at the same time--10 p.m. here in Aruba, which is an hour ahead of East Coast time--I had to choose which one to watch live. Then I remembered I bought a Season Pass for 24 on iTunes while I was in Australia, so I'll watch the NBC show now and check out the adventures of Jack Bauer when the episode downloads tomorrow.

I was planning to watch Prison Break in the time slot before, but I realized in the first minute of the show that I had not seen the previous episode, in spite of watching what I thought were the last two shows earlier in the day. So I have to download last week's episode of that show, as well as tonight's, to get current.

March 6, 2007

Song Of The Day #65

Keane's album Under The Iron Sea was everywhere I looked when I was in London in 2006. Here is "A Bad Dream."

Keane - Under the Iron Sea - A Bad Dream

Does Whatever A Spider Can


At the end of last night's airing of Heroes, NBC ran a short clip from the upcoming Spider-Man 3 flick, then announced there would be seven more minutes of footage posted on the NBC website for the next 24 hours. So I watched it this morning. The clip was basically the fight scene between Peter Parker and the new Green Goblin, Harry Osborne (formerly Peter's best friend). I think this is set in the beginning of the movie (as there are supposed to be two other villains--Sandman and Venom--on tap for the major story). At any rate, the action sequence featured some amazing visuals. I am looking forward to this movie.

The Hard Sell

Oh, the things I'll do for 15,000 Marriott Rewards points!

This being a time-share resort, the sales staff invited me to an exclusive 90-minute tour and presentation on the benefits of "fractional ownership." Spending this time would earn me the aforementioned points (and my mom would get bonus points, too, as my "referrer").

Anyway, after nearly three-and-a-half hours in which my host was determined to get my signature on a commitment, I finally escaped unscathed. I had to make up all kinds of stories about why this was a really bad time for me to make an investment. Of course, the sentimental sap I am, I actually felt guilty about the salesman not closing then deal.

March 7, 2007

Song Of The Day #66

David Bowie singing about ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.

David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars - Changes


The local language here in Aruba is Papiamento, which is a curious patiche of Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, and a smattering of West African tongues and English words. It's also spoken in Bonaire and CuraƧao. But virtually everyone speaks English fluently, too, so tourists have no problem here.

Silent Bob Speaks


To get out of the sun for a while this afternoon, I digested two entertaining Kevin Smith Q&A sessions--one in Toronto and another in London--in this international sequel to An Evening With Kevin Smith. (Look up the easter eggs for these DVDs online if you watch them.)

March 8, 2007

Song Of The Day #67

"Change" by Tracy Chapman.

Tracy Chapman - Where You Live - Change

Tennis In The Wind

Just got in from the morning tennis clinic on the Marriott courts--an hour of light drilling and an informal doubles round-robin. It's nice to be back on the courts after a layoff of nearly five months. There's something truly satisfying in simply finding the sweet spot and hitting the ball well. What's different here is the incessant wind, a bit frustrating when one is trying find his service timing after being away from the game for a while.

A Convenient Crop

Apparently, Aruba's primary agricultural export over time has been aloe--which is a pretty handy thing to grow locally, given all the sunburned bodies I see around these parts.

This Series Is Growing On Me


As an unabashed fan of all things Ricky Gervais--I loved the original British version of The Office and have listened to all the episodes of his podcasts--my initial reaction to the Extras series when it first aired on HBO was mild disappointment. But having seen the entire second season and now taking in the first six episodes again (and the hilarious gag reels) on DVD, it's really quite good.

March 9, 2007

Song Of The Day #68

As I'm about to jump on a flight to Miami, today's song is "Jet Airliner" by The Steve Miller Band.

Steve Miller Band - Book of Dreams - Jet Airliner

One Happy Island . . .

. . . is the tag line on the license plates here. I'll miss the warm weather, the tropical breezes, and the friendly people. I won't miss hearing "Stand By Me" on the steel drums multiple times a day!

About Palm Beach, ARUBA

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to As Far As You Know in the Palm Beach, ARUBA category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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