After leaving Aruba, we had two full days of sailing to return to the States. With our land excursions at an end, we spent the rest of our time on board the ship, hanging out.
Just outside the Aruba Ostrich Farm. We learned that the males have dark feathers, and the females have gray ones. Part of the tour involved an opportunity to walk up and feed the ostriches (using a bowl). We were warned that the ostriches liked shiny objects, and advised to remove jewelery and such.
Due to the weather throughout the night (it was a rough one), we were pretty delayed on our way to today’s destination: Curaçao. While we were planning on arriving sometime in the late morning, we didn’t pull into port until around 4:30 PM. Kind of a bummer, since we were hoping to have a full day ashore, but wound up only having a small handful of hours to look around.
We were warned by the captain that we might be in for some rough travel, and he advised folks who might be prone to motion sickness to take some Dramamine. I’ve had a bad history of seasickness – most notably when I was traveling to Cozumel a few years ago. I made the mistake of trying to video our ferry ride, and watching the camera viewscreen while we were moving more or less did me in. I felt nauseous for a few hours afterwards, and it was a terrible feeling that took a long time to get rid of. It wasn’t something I really was wanting to experience again.
Starting at around 9:00 AM, the cruise began shuttling people from the boat to shore in what are called “tender” boats. Each person on the cruise is issued an ID card, which is typically used at meals or to buy things, but they’re also used to track passengers – we each had to get “scanned” on departing and re-entering the ship.
I was a bit nervous about getting seasick on the ride over, and a few times the tender boat made some pretty serious dips in the water. But I focused mostly on the horizon, and arrived on land without being too much worse for the wear.
Pulling up in our cab, we were greeted with the enormity of our ship: the Caribbean Princess. I had heard cruise ships likened to felled skyscrapers, floating on one side… and it’s a pretty apt comparison. The closer we got, the more we felt swallowed up.
The thing with dry ice is that, through a process known as sublimation, it shifts from a solid to a gas without an intermediate liquid stage.
If you’ve seen it done in science classes, you know the cool “fog effect” that happens when you mix dry ice and water. The present we got Cameron was basically this experiment, but with a slight twist. Luckily for us, Cameron had never experienced dry ice before… so it got to be a cool thing on multiple counts for him.
Before we knew it, we found ourselves at a very large, wooden structure standing at the edge of a very lengthy field. This was nowhere near 1.5 miles, and it wasn’t something Julie remembered at all. Though we saw a few other paths nearby, we also saw signs warning against trespassing. So we decided to stick around at the main viewing area, and would perhaps return for a future search for the original spot.
Over the weekend, Liz and I traveled with Julie and Bob to Iowa. This weekend was a surprise birthday party for her great uncle Bruce, and several Denlers (including Uncle David, Aunt Beth, cousins Lauren and Brandon) made their way out to help celebrate.
For Mother’s Day, Liz and I woke up early and made our way to the I-80 Flea Market in Tinley Park. This is the flea that Liz’s mom goes to, but it’s a bit of a hike for us (as we typically go to Wolff’s Flea Market, up in Rosemont).
Julie, shooting video and sending it via her new Android phone. Posted for posterity! Bob and Julie are currently en route to Florida in my car, which we loaned them thinking it would be more comfortable than Bob’s truck. They’re visiting family along the way, but Liz and I are headed to Florida soon to meet up with them.
A little later in the evening, Katie got on Skype with Tricia and her family. It was a lot of fun to watch everyone on the laptop, talking with everyone down in Atlanta.
To celebrate Christmas, Liz and I headed down to Frankfort to visit her folks. We went a day early, and ended up spending the night there – spending both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with them.