Cotton fields as far as the eye can see.
Cotton in bloom.
Hunter, preparing for his dive.
Views off St. Joe’s island–popular for fishers and surfers alike.
The husband, all decked out and ready to dive.
Dad, on the hunt. Fish beware!
Hauling in a sheepshead!
Hunter, proudly displaying his kill.
The war wound.
One of the many (
many MANY) odd quirks of Foreign Service life is a little something we call “Home Leave.” A congressionally-mandated series of leave days following the end of an overseas posting, Home Leave is designed to help culture-shocked American readjust to life stateside.
Since July saw the official end of our time in Suriname, we’ve been spending our month-long Home Leave traipsing around the country, visiting loved ones and preparing for our move back to ‘Merica, where we’ll be posted to the D.C. area. Our trails took us from D.C. to Michigan to Indiana to Texas, seeing treasured family and friends all along the way. Continue reading “Texas: There’s No Place Like Home”
As mentioned in last week’s photo-gallery based post, I recently had the blessing of vacationing on the beautiful arid island of Aruba. The trip was made all the better by the company: my husband, my best friend, and her fiancé.
For my readers contemplating their own Caribbean getaway, I wanted to offer reflections on what made our Aruba trip a successful escape: Continue reading “All About Aruba: 5 Hints for Making the Most of Your Trip”
Aruba’s California Lighthouse.
Couldn’t’ve said it better myself!
A wild iguana breaks into the axis deer enclosure at Philip’s Animal Garden.
Husband and me, claiming our own slice of the Caribbean.
A posturing peacock at Philip’s Animal Garden.
For this Texas gal, this sign was a hard buy to resist.
Husband and me, in front of the anchor honoring those lost at sea. (And, in the distant left, a cluster of kite surfers with neon-hued sails.)
My view from our dinner table at The Flying Fishbone.
A look sea-ward from The Flying Fishbone’s bar.
Me and my bestie. When we met as 3-year-olds, we couldn’t have imagined sharing a Caribbean adventure one day.
One of many, MANY staggeringly beautiful views.
Tucked beneath a cliff, a hidden cove where we took a rather chilly swim.
My beautiful best friend.
A crab joins our dinner party at The Flying Fishbone.
Ocean spray cascading into the Natural Pool.
Pelicans set sail near Arashi Beach.
Our own private oasis at our AirBnB rental.
Husband and me at The Flying Fishbone, a lovely little restaurant where we got to eat with our toes literally in the water.
Aruba’s starkly beautiful arid landscape.
See the tiny people in the water at the left-hand side of the photo? They’re swimming in the “Conchi” Natural Pool, located in the Arikok National Park.
Palapas on a crystalline blue Caribbean beach.
These shockingly blue chaps were to be found everywhere on the island.
A storm rolling onto Baby Beach.
Everybody needs a break now and again–a chance to get away from that job, that place, that set of circumstances wearing you down. A chance to refuel.
For me at least, living overseas has made this need particularly pronounced. Functioning in a culture distinct from that of your homeland, coupled with being so far from family and friends, can make the stress ratchet up more quickly.
But I’m happy to report that, thanks to a week-plus in Aruba with my husband, my best bud, and her fiancé, I’m now more rested, relaxed, and (bonus!) tanned.
Even before heading to Aruba, I knew it was an “arid island,” lacking the rainforesty climate and foliage often associated with island atmosphere. I wasn’t sure how well I’d like this aesthetic after traveling to spots like Maui and Thailand. Continue reading “Aruba: Our Arid Paradise”