After all the years we’ve been going, I still get so excited about Aruba. Perhaps it is the anticipation of relaxation under the sun with drinks and food that, no doubt, will satisfy anyone’s palate or the view at anytime at any given day… from sunrise to sunset.

Bon bini, welcome home, is what they greet you with when they ask you if it’s your first and you say, “no, this is our _th time coming here”. It sort of makes you really feel at home. Bon bini, is Papiamento for “welcome” which is a mixture of Spanish, Dutch, English, Portuguese, French, and it also has some African and Arawak Indian influences. This is the main language in Aruba. I can understand some Spanish words here and there, but most are also fluent in English.

One can always tell an old timer from a first timer while vacationing in Aruba. An old timer will say “the high rise”, when talking about where they are staying which means that part of the island where multiple-storeyed hotels are located. A first timer stalks and takes a lot of iguana pictures. Iguanas are in abundance and don’t shy away from people especially when there is food. Upon knowing that your trip to Aruba is your first, people who have been to Aruba will tell you not to miss Baby Beach, a shallow man-made lagoon southeast of the island. As beautiful as this lagoon is, it is too remote from where everyone is staying, it lacks the usual tourist amenities and the lounge chairs and hut rentals are outrageously priced. An old timer is contended lounging on the beach resorts and the first timer will make that long trip so that at least they can say, “yes we went, we saw, we loved it”.

As an old timer, I will let some of the pictures I took do the talking. Indeed, it is easy to fall in love with this One Happy Island!