Well, the summer sojourn is winding up, or down, depending upon how you look at it. This stay in Aruba was particularly enjoyable because work on the shack is just about complete. No more bathroom rebuilds, no more concrete work outside, no more guys traipsing through the house. All that remains is a few patches and some paint here and there.
In San Nicolaas I met quite a few guys working for Valero at the refinery. Many of them are from Texas and they linger at the Hollywood, where the food is what they like. Valero is spending some money at the refinery and this is good for San Nicolaas, which needs the boost. The Carubian Festival on Thursday nights has also been good with the one man steel band I say at the event about as good as that type of live music gets. My pal, Josť, has remodeled his bar for the best, and he's doing well. Hard working guy that one.
My regular joints: Sultan, Casa Vieja, and JoAnn snack are prospering, too. JoAnn got a remodel to the dining room finished. Pork chop with salsa criollo is better than ever. Nice lady there puts up with my poorly spoken Spanish.
Club Arias has opened a pizza shop out front. Right now a medium pie is 10 florins. Get them while they last. I hung out with Snorkel Kent and his wife a few times. Great folks and his wife has some WILD stories. You know they have to be most impressive if I label them wild.
On the other side of the bridge, had a few good meals at Screaming Eagle and Elliotti's. You have to be careful "off-season" as the B-team can sometimes be at work in the kitchen. Everything was at par this trip.
Lots of road building still going on, especially further inland and north. The Ritz is on the Rize. The malls were quite busy. Lots of people milling about. The linear park is also marching along. Saw those guys working on it Sundays.
I'll be making more of those driving videos and posting them along the way. Hopefully this will help regular and new visitors alike, find their way to some enjoyable locations. The first one is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfw0oHq4EvU
...but you knew that already. Flying Fishbone, Zeerovers, and so on are coming up. Stay tuned.
The battle on my patio continues between #1 stray, Tux, and #2 stray, Ashburn. Ashburn refuses to mellow out, share the chow, and be cool. He got the blast of water from the hose a couple of times. Doesn't like that. Neither do I. Tux will be on his own for a while coming up here. He's a survivor; plus I left instructions, food, and stuff with the neighbor, who will probably forget to take care of him, but it's a try.
It'll be American Airlines soon, running up north between the hurricanes. I've always believed it's good to leave a place when you don't want to go. Keeps you coming back.