To read our first post click hereLuckily Sarah felt a lot better on our first full day there (Friday). So off we went to explore Aruba. Sarah has never been out of the country, much less really explore our own. So when we came across the incredibly narrow streets, with not much in way of real traffic rules, and parking where ever your vehicle would fit. We found they parked on sidewalks, corners, and where ever they could slide into.
It took some research and time to learn the new street signs, and get used to the turn-abouts, or round-abouts where every one drives in a circle and you quickly pick the road you are wanting. Sarah learned to control her fear and nerves, while I enjoyed the new experiences.
Before we left the states, I called the local church to confirm there was even a current active church there. Since they don’t have street signs, it was very hard trying to find anything there. In our case it was drive east and pass two subways, 2 turn-abouts, a car dealership, then turn right after the “Hong Kong Market” (there were tons of Chinese influenced stores there too). And that was just to find the first turn. Then we would go past 10 left turns, and ta-da church!
In the quest for the non-touristy things, we wanted to find local places to eat. We found this place (below with Sarah, and the yellow building in the first photo on top of the post) I read in spanish they had chicken and pork… so we found a place to park with the locals on the sidewalk. The moment we walked in and noticed all islanders and the lady at the counter spoke no english we knew this must be a local place. It smelt great, and was packed with locals. The first day she got chicken breast, and I got the pork chop. It was good food and luckily she was feeling better and it perked her up! With the meal they also served this yellow rice. It wasn’t normal “spanish rice”. The only thing we could figure out is that it was saffron rice and was also delicious. But one thing while we were eating is that we were the only ones with this menu choice. Out of 5 different main entree selections, every local there had the rotisserie chicken, either half chicken or whole. So we made it a point to come back and get the rotisserie chicken which was the best chicken ever… Watch out Boston Market!
After eating we ventured into town and checked out the tourist trap shops. Right on the edge of the shops was some bar that had a Holstein cow on top. Sarah’s parents are dairy farmers and so where ever we go, if we find dairy anything we take a picture for them. Hence the cow photo.
Across the street from the little shops were some more buildings with shops in them. The buildings were so awesome we had to take a photo. Any palm trees you see in photos were brought in for the tourist. Back in the 1700’s Aruba’s main economic resource was lumber exporting. And they had no conservation laws. So they wiped the island clear. It went from a tropical island to a desert island with thorn bushes and cactus plants everywhere.
From the second floor of the pink building in the photo above, we took this picture below. It shows the tourist trap shops below. We had so much fun laughing and giggling and had to cherish our trip. So we took lots of photos of our self’s.
We went to Fort Zoutman there and paid $5 each to walk around on our own. There were no tours, just paid to enter. The best thing about it was they had air conditioning inside!!! So we both hovered over the air vents to cool off and dry off since it was humid and not much of a breeze in town. Sarah caught me pretending to look out of the firing areas for any attacking pirates! Argh me booty…