Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Happiness is a medium-rare hamburger and a salt shaker on the table…

Today was a we’re-not-going-to-do-anything-but-wander-around day in Aruba. Our memories of Aruba are fuzzy at best but what memories we do have are of the sort that it’s not a place we would go back to. It’s pleasant, not too hot, not too humid, not much to do. Do we didn’t do much. Except shop. Randy—yes, Randy—convinced me that he really—REALLY—wanted to buy me a 50th anniversary present. Never mind that the cruise, in a suite, no less, was a 50th anniversary present. And that the ring with his mother’s diamonds was a 50th anniversary present. So I am now the proud owner of a sapphire and diamond pendant necklace from Diamonds International.

My new necklace

I have to say I am impressed with Diamonds International. Randy went in there with the idea to trade in my diamond ring for a better quality one or a bigger one. They told him not to (!), it would be too expensive (!!). They also said we should increase the insurance on the ring  because it was worth a lot more than we thought. Of course the manager did sell us the pendant but that was a lot less than a new diamond would have been.

One thing we had to do while ashore was update the computer and the GPS (have I mentioned how slow the connection is on board?) so we found an internet café and did that for two (!!!) hours—and that was at high speed, just think what it was like at the glacial pace of the ship’s satellite connection. Don’t even try to imagine that because it’s so slow I couldn’t even connect to Garmin on board to start the process of registering and updating the GPS. And I often can’t connect to MSN to get my email or even to Facebook to see what everybody’s up to, or my bank to see if we still have any money (I doubt it).

Once that little chore was out of the way we looked for food. Have I mentioned that we seem to be like Hannibal’s army and we travel on our stomachs? We found a lovely little restaurant where we were hard pressed to make a choice; nevertheless I chose my perennial favorite, a hamburger. My friends and family know that I could eat a hamburger every single day of the year. The ship hamburgers are OK but always cooked to the approximate consistency of a hockey puck. Imagine my joy when the waiter asked how I wanted my hamburger cooked! I forget what Randy had, it pales in comparison to my medium-rare hamburger.

Aside from the medium-rare hamburger, we actually had—O, Joy!—a salt shaker on the table. You may never have had the pleasure of having someone else salt your food but we have been subjected to that since about two days out of Dover or about three weeks. No salting our own food, the server has to shake the salt onto your food—cross-contamination may occur if we hand the salt or pepper to our neighbor. Same with pepper, same with ketchup (Aussies call that “tomato sauce”) and mustard. If we order room service we do get little salt packets and tiny dishes of other condiments. But at a public table for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, anything along the lines of condiments or anything we might hand to another person—gasp!— is Not Allowed. Yet the ship still does not sanitize the “pokies” (slot machines) except once a day; the internet café now at least has sanitizing sheets next to each computer but that has only been in the last three days and is dependent on the person using the keyboard etc.; and the library is still closed so that we aren’t handing books to one another; and there are only hand-sanitizers in the food venues, nowhere else. Do I sound fed up with what I consider ridiculous “feel-good” and inadequate rules?

All our chores completed—well, a hamburger certainly wasn’t a chore—we just wandered about town, looking in windows and chatting with the occasional friend we met from the ship. That was pretty much what we did in St. Thomas as well, a couple of days before. Except in St. Thomas we actually went up the cable car and got a beautiful view of the bay and our ship.
Randy and Flat Stanley in Aruba

Aruba yachts

Randy at lunch in Aruba

Pam getting high-speed internet in St Thomas

Flat Stanley in St Thomas

Pam and Flat Stanley in St. Thomas

Our ship, the Sun Princess ,from the tram in St. Thomas

Another view of the Sun Princess

1 comment:

  1. Well Bethanie and I have been going through the pictures of Flat Stanley tonight. First time since she has been back from her summer with her dad I have been able to show her his adventure. We plan on taking pictures and making a book of him. She thinks this is just so cool that he gets to go around the world and she can see.