I am really enjoying your posts. I have been travelling to Aruba since 1985. Getting ready to arrive in a few weeks for my 32nd visit. I split my time between LaCabana and Playa Linda so I could really relate to your trip. Good luck keeping ahead at the casinos!
Have you seen any 8-6 machines on the island anywhere? I have not.
There are 8-6 machines at the bar in the Glitz Casino at La Cabana, which also have a progressive Royal Flush jackpot that is standing at better than $8,000 right now. There are 9-6 "full pay" machines at the Crystal Casino downtown.
We have been to Scala's twice and enjoyed our meals both times. The first time we were lured in by the man handing out coupons for a free glass of wine with our dinner- I was so excited because my husband doesn't usually drink wine- figured I would get 2 free glasses-Well you guessed it he ordered the wine and drank it- I was like what are you doing that was mine! Last year we got the coupon again and the waitress said it could be used for wine,beer or a mojito. I ordered the wine, husband got the mojito. He kept going on and on about his mojito so I tried it. Best mojito I have ever tried- once again he made me mad! This year I am having a mojito with my dinner!
Wednesday morning check-in, with the realization that today marks the half-way point in my trip....
Yesterday, I did my usual pool time, followed by an afternoon nap. As I was getting ready for my nap, I got a call asking if I could umpire a game. I gladly accepted.
The game was at Pos Chiquito, and I experienced a genuine Aruba traffic jam. I take the highway that goes from Eagle Beach, through Paradera and Santa Cruz. It was bumper-to-bumper all the way from Eagle Beach to Paradera. My usual half-hour trip took about 45 minutes. Luckily I always plan to be at a ballpark at least a half-hour before game time, so I had the cushion to absorb my delayed arrival. It turns out the game started on Aruba time as well. The 6:00 game didn't get going until nearly 6:30. It was a good game (Big League, 16-18 year-old) and it went an extra-inning. Tonight, I have the plate for another game at the same place. I will allow for extra time to get there.
I think that perhaps the extra traffic might be related to the fact that many Arubans have taken to the shore for their traditional camping out for the week leading to Easter.
I didn't get back to the resort until 10:00, and I didn't really feel like going out. I just made a sandwich and had a couple beers in the room, and got caught up on some emailing and computer stuff.
Getting ready to enjoy my favorite casino comp this morning -- the breakfast buffet at The Hyatt. It's a great breakfast, but perhaps not worth the $28 cash price. But with the casino comps, I enjoy it several times for free per trip.
Until these two baseballl games to umpire came up, I was planning to get to a few different casinos in the late afternoons and provide updates to my video poker report. Still plenty of time between now and and April 12 to get that done.
Made a drive-by video of Eagle Beach and beyond -- from Riu Antilles through to the intersection by Ling and Sons. As I went to upload the video, I found my Little League World Series highlight video. It's 22 minutes long, with the first 7 minutes being the highlights of the team from Aruba in their game against Chinese Taipei. I was honored to be the plate umpire for that game. Enjoy the highlights and I will have the Eagle Beach drive through video posted a bit later.
It was a memorable April 1st for me in Aruba. After my usual routine of pool time / lunch / afternoon nap, I headed to my baseball game at Pos Chiquito. It turned out to be one of the most memorable games of my long umpiring career. If you will pardon the umpiring and rules jargon, I will paste the text of the email I sent to a couple fellow umpires back home describing the game and the scene:
Probably the most surreal game of my umpiring career...
I had the plate on a Big League game at the Pos Chiquito complex in Aruba. I
started the game by myself. My Aruban partner, who I hadn't met, showed up with
two out in the top of the first.
In the top of the second inning, a batter squared to bunt. The pitch was up and
in. He pulled the bat back and turned his body away from the pitch and was hit
in the back. To me, a no-brainer HBP. The home team manager argued that he
turned into the pitch. He insisted that I check with my partner several times
and I emphatically told him I saw exactly what happened and I am not checking
with my partner. His continued arguing almost earned an ejection here, but
umpiring in a foreign country, he was given the long leash.
We resumed the game and soon there was a distinct smell of smoke in the air.
The smoke was coming from beyond the left field wall and the strong Aruba wind
was blowing the smoke into the field.
In the third inning, with runners on second and third (perhaps bases loaded),
there was a passed ball. The runner from third was coming home, I was on third
base line extended, and the toss from the catcher to the pitcher covering was
wild. The pitcher lunged for the ball amd missed it, and the runner in
side-stepping the pitcher and reaching for the plate went into to kind of a
rolling tumble. A couple of rolls later he bowled me over, knocking me flat on
my ass. I got up to one knee to get a perfect look at the close play at the
plate on the runner from second, who was attempting to score. I banged the out
from that position and nobody argued. Wow!
By now, in addition to the smoke, there was a distinct orange glow beyond the
8-foot outfield wall. The Aruba winds were whipping what I presumed (correctly)
to be a brush fire into a bigger and bigger blaze by the moment.
Now in the fourth inning, a runner from third is attempting to steal home. The
pitcher, from the windup, had taken a step back and, upon seeing the runner
going, started forward and hesitated. I called the pretty obvious balk and the
manager came unglued. He started arguing with me, then ran to the base umpire
and pleaded his case, then came back to me and put two finger right up towards
me and said, twice, "That's two calls you miss. Two calls you miss" I ejected
Because he was the only adult coach, that also meant the game was now over.
At the moment the game ended there were flames visible over above the entire
left field wall.
Definitely a surreal night of umpiring in Aruba!
Today's agenda will probably be my usual daytime routine. Tonight is El Gaucho with an Aruban umpire friend and his wife.