Sunday, July 29, 2012


We kicked off our six-week summer vacation with a weeklong Aruba trip! We stayed at the fabulous La Cabana Beach Resort and watched the sun rise and set on the Caribbean sea from our room. The family-friendly resort has a large freeform pool with a dolphin fountain, a family jacuzzi spa, a myriad of activities, an art gallery, an area with Wifi computers, a poolside bar, and two restaurants. It took us less than five minutes to walk from our room to the beach. The sand felt like playdough, cool underneath our feet, while the sun's rays heated us and the ever-present breeze made sure it was pleasant.
The kids went from pool to beach, beach to pool. We munched on pastechis - dough filled with cheese or ham and cheese resembling empanadas but with their own distinctive taste - and Husband drank more of this Korean aloe beverage than water.

My mom got to see me and her three grandchildren, and we all had a terrific time. My mom and I went out one night for all-you-can-eat fajitas right downstairs at the Island Grill. We laughed so hard tears pricked our eyes.

A highlight of our trip was a visit to the Aruba Ostrich Farm, where the journey was almost as exciting as the destination. Builder and Ballerina went with me as I drove first through Aruban neighborhoods, then the Aruban countryside, known as the cunucu. We gawked at houses, pointed out churches, and Builder stared at the map and helped direct us to our destination.

At the ostrich farm we went on a tour where we learned that emu eggs are dark green and male ostriches' feathers are black and their beaks turn red when they are ready to mate. Builder and Ballerina both fed the tall creatures. The fastest land birds, ostriches can clock 65 miles an hour. They stared as much at us as we stared at them.

The children were exposed to the Papiamento language all around them, mingled with diverse people from more than 50 different nationalities, and enjoyed new sights, tastes, and sounds. It has been said before, but for me nothing broadens your mind and opens your heart as much as traveling. Sharing the island where I grew up with my children is priceless.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Cuisenaire Rods

I give Ballerina - she's 4 - Cuisenaire rods, and this is what she does with them. My little artist.