It's August 1997 and we visit Aruba for the second time in one year. Due to some low low last minute prices on TNT Charters from Boston, we get round trip for $299. a person and could never say no to it. Being self employed at the time it was easy to plan a trip in less than 2 weeks, and it turned out to be one of the MOST memorable trips to Aruba. We arrive late morning after picking up our car we head to our timeshare PBV, the workers were pleasantly surprised to see us again after all we had just been there in April. Our children already were use to the routine and once we checked in they put their swim suites on and head for the pool, the pool were they both learned how to swim along with my wife. My wife and I head to Publeo’s Supermarket my parents watch the children and enjoy some sun. Publeo’s at the time was the market of choice, now it’s the smallest market by some other name, we pick up our needed beverages and food and return for some drinks and relaxation. We enjoy the sunset on Eagle beach and after a light meal call it a day. Its Sunday morning and we get a quick breakfast and head downtown to San Francisco Church for Mass, even on vacation we try to go and thank the good Lord for allowing us to once again spend some time on this wonderful Island paradise. We know by now that this mornings’ mass is in Papiamento and being that we speak Portuguese we understand 90% of the mass and love the singing with all the instruments. It would not be a trip for us without experiencing Gods word and seeing the little birds flying in and out of the church and chirping, it puts the final touch on a special mass and a great way to start our unexpected week. Our plans for this trip were to relax and take one day at a time, we had a very busy May – August of photographing weddings and need to unwind, before heading back to a couple more months of nonstop weekends with weddings and other events. The usual beach in the morning and late afternoon pool midday , building some sandcastles with with children until they give up and leave me by myself to finish them off. I have to say that its my way of relaxing and enjoying the sand and water, call it therapy, I can sit for hours sculpturing while my wife worships the sun and watches the children swim and play and once in awhile cooling me off with buckets of water or bringing me something to drink. Being August it was not too busy so it felt like we had the Island to our selves it was fabulous. My son wanted to on a snorkeling trip so we decided to take an afternoon one, this was not the first time we had taken one but this time we decided on a catamaran. We arrive at the Palm beach and meet the guide who takes us out on a small dingy, for some reason we ran a bit late and were concerned that we had kept people waiting for us. When we arrive at the Catamaran we see only two people and the one that took us out. This was strange where is everyone I ask? They inform me that it was just us, wow just us are you sure do we have to pay extra I ask? The captain tells me to sit back and enjoy they were at our service, the look on my son’s face was as astonished as on mine. We stopped and snorkeled in 2 areas then we get back onboard and they gave us snacks and beverages, this was amazing 3 people catering to us. They ask if we wanted to do anything special or go anywhere so I request a ride towards downtown passing all the hotels and timeshares and they agreed. Both of us sat back as we sailed the coast of Aruba enjoying the calm waters, warm breeze and sun and sipping on some drinks. After a few minutes of this of enjoying the wonderful view my son turns to me and says “Dad this is what I call quality time” and gives me a hug. It was hard to hold back tears and made this last minute trip one of the most memorable to date. The rest of the week went uneventful and relaxing, and before we know it another week had passed in beautiful Aruba, but this one is one for the books.
Yesterday the 12 year old boy in the above story, now 25 arrived home from South Korea for a two week stay with family. He is currently serving in the US Army as a MP and has completed his first 6 months .....time to spend some quality time again but this time at home, cant make it to Aruba