Sunday, September 2, 2007

This is going to be a long post, comprising most of the last week. It has a lot of pics, and I can't get the text to match up with the pics :-( And the web page is all in Dutch, so I'm a bit limited on using the web tools. We cashed in all my American frequent flyer miles and are down in Curacao. We planned a whole week of a whole lotta nuthin'. Brought guitar, crocheting, snorkel gear and a couple of trashy novels. We're staying at one of those "all inclusive" places, so you can just stumble downstairs anytime and there will be some sort of food available. Maybe not what's top on the list of cravings, but considering my aversion to cooking, I'm happy with whatever I find....AND, they clean up after us, too. What a bonus! Not many Americans down here. Mostly South Americans and Hollanders. Duh! We're 35 miles off the coast of Venezuela, and Curacao IS part of the Netherlands Antilles. Of course, everyone speaks Dutch, Spanish, the local dialect and English, leaving us, per usual, as the Anglophiles with only one language.
OK, it's a couple of parrots. Can't add much to that.

The town looks a lot like Amsterdam with humidity.

All the buildings are old stucco colonial construction that has been maintained/restored. The historical story is that a governor said the color white hurt his eyes, so all the buildings are brilliant colors of the rainbow. No mamby-pamby pastels for these folks.
Here's a shot of an alley with a way kewl 3-D relief. I guess it's cement. It doesn't appear to be molded, and I don't know how they shaped everything in situ, but it sure is pretty.

There's a water channel to the harbor that divides the town in half. They built a 600' pontoon bridge that spans the channel, and it swings open when ships pass through. It's about half way open here.

So each time a ship shows up, a long whistle blows to let everyone know that the bridge is going to open -- because they'll be stranded on one side or the other. But it's really a signal for the crowd to run like hell and either get on the bridge, or off it, before the gap gets too wide. One guy just came barreling along behind his family, pushing a baby stroller. As he got to the gap, he grabbed up the stroller and leapt to the other side. What a HOOT! This should be an Olympic event.
The hotel is right on the beach. Here's a view from our balcony.
We haven't told them yet that we have NO intention of leaving. Curacao is a mighty fine place, and I'm sure I could get used to living like this LOL
The hotel is right smack-dab in the middle of of a marine reserve, so we just wander outside and fall in the water to snorkel. Creighton has an Olympus waterproof digital camera, so we're having oodles of fun documenting the fish. Look out Jacque Cousteau. We just fill up the memory, run inside to download, and head out again (It would be nice to store to a memory card, but the bastards at Olympus designed the camera to use an expensive proprietary memory stick instead of a standard SD card). Paula and Teresa, I had to take the bracelets off. There are a BAZILLION little barracuda here that seem to find the bright and shinies facinating. They're probably harmless, but they really freak me out....and I've seen a few of their bigger relatives hanging around, so the jewelry had to go. Here are some pics of the less intemidating fish

...and one purple squid.

And just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water.....

It's Karoke night, so we're holded up in the room. We gave it a try, but it was too painful, in any language. Sour notes still leak into the room, so I have the telly tuned to a Spanish weather channel while I write to you, dear readers. There are warnings for tropical storm Felix passing near here sometime tonight or tomorrow morning. The weather station shows video from Aruba, but since I don't know if Aruba is just over the horizon, or up in the northern Carribean, it doesn't do us much good. From the video, it looks like it just got very wet there. C and I are quite excited, as this will be our first tropical storm.
I'm hoping to find an Internet location tomorrow so I can upload it won't be like the postcards that arrive a week after we return home.
...later in the night....Karoke is still going strong, and they're coming around to tape "X's" on our sliding glass door. Storm is due to hit here at 5am. This is SO exciting :-)) ...
Later still. The Karoke has degraded to a group participation discord, and the bar is about shut down. The employees are busy bees gathering up all chairs, tables, beach loungers, etc, and everything else that isn't tied down, and hauling all into the bowels of the hotel. Guitar is back in its case, and stashed in the closet. The laptops and everything electronic are in a dresser drawer, so I guess we're as ready as we're going to be. I wanted to set the alarm for 4am so we'd get up for the beginning, but C says we'll probably hear it coming!!


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