Monthly Archives: December 2015

Looking back

Well, today is the big day! IKEA is coming somewhere between 12-3PM and after that I should be able to fast track myself to organizational and unpacked nirvana ๐Ÿ˜‰ Getting in just under the wire of 2015.

The random firework has been going off since yesterday, so far nothing like the marathon that will come tonight. It is pretty slow on the work front so I spent an hour this morning moving all the boxes out of the way to give the IKEA people room to work.

I’ll be home tonight, doing my duty as pet protector. I have a friend coming by and we’ll have a pretty low key evening with an exceptionally fine Spanish cava and some good things to eat.

My mom really liked New Years Eve. With her love for fireworks, it was a time that we would gather in her apartment which had a view of the fireworks above the Space Needle and. We’d have a crazy selection of fingerfoods and champagne. Sometimes, it would just be us, other times we expanded the circle. It was always a good time. I think that is really the heart of any celebration, being with people you enjoy. I’d rather do that for a holiday than go to one of the wild parties that will be happening tonight.ย  Of course, having pets kind of impacts what sort of celebrating you do. The pets are fine with parties here. We’ve had 20 people in the house and they were perfectly well behaved.

I went to dinner last night in Alkmaar. I had missed it last week when I was under the influence of the dengue. We rescheduled and last night we had a build your own burrito dinner and lots of conversation. The burritos were still worse than Taco Bell. No fault of the hostess, simply the “Mexican” food ingredients here are really bad. This simply gave us more time to talk. It is funny to think sometimes that there are people who think that I have answers to questions that they wrestle with. I do the best I can with that, knowing that the answers that we all seek are hidden within ourselves. Next time, we will have dinner here and then go out late into the city. I still have alot to learn about living here ๐Ÿ˜‰

I am listening to alot of Alison Krauss & Union Station these days. I remember watching the specials with my mom on PBS during their pledge drives. I find the music comforting and I am a big fan of the banjo work! And it suits my mood, as I find myself thinking about all of the things that I have learned about myself and the world around me this year. Some of those lessons were heart breakingly painful. And yet, I got out the crazy glue and put myself back together. The pieces that wouldn’t stay stuck in place, I had to trust other people to be there to hold their fingers over those places. Not sure I would have been able to accept that kind of care a few years ago. I can now.

I also faced some big fears this year and wow, do I have a little bit of a Wonder Woman attitude now about certain things. I also learned to place more importance on what is important to me and how do I want to cultivate those strengths and talents further? I’ve learned that I can take a two week vacation and I am ready to try for a three week one next year.

I went to three new countries for me this year. I think I need to try for four in 2016.

I’m wishing you a radiant 2016, full of dreams and hope! Thank you for inspiring me.

On to the fireworks

which will be no small thing here. I am not telling the boys that it is coming. Instead, I am looking for their homeopathic pet remedy and getting ready for an evening of closing as many curtains and doors as possible, piling blankets on the sofa for them to hide under and preparing myself for a good three hours of holding shaking and barking dogs. I can’t explain to the pets why the boom booms come so we just go through them.

Yesterday, I braved the masses at IKEA to find a solution for my lack of closets. I marched right through to the closet section, grabbed the nearest person wearing yellow and said “I have the measurements and I know exactly which system I want – how to we make this happen?” Because normally they like you to sit down and play with the closet planner app and then go from there. No way, I was not falling into that abyss. Within 15 minutes, I had a printout and a delivery date and all I needed to do was hike the kilometers through the rest of the store to get to the checkout.

I was really disappointed to learn that they have done away with their Dents and Dings section aka AS-IS. That’s always been my favorite part of IKEA. My mom and I would enter the store through the exit because Dents and Dings is near the cashiers. We would scope it out and then go through the rest of the store backwards and return for one last pass by Dents and Dings, since it was always changing.

Anyway, the closets will be delivered and assembled on the 31st. I plan to spend the rest of the day filling them up and finally unpacking the last of the moving boxes so that I can say I moved in 2015 ๐Ÿ˜‰ I think it will be a big relief and I will start to feel a little more like I live here. And there will be less boxes for the boys to leave their graffiti on. Yesterday, I caught George doing that bold as you please. He immediately had to go to Time Out. He was actually rather well behaved for the rest of the day. What can I say? I love him but sometimes I want to send him to live with his biological parents…

Most of my colleagues are out of the office this week so this morning has been very peaceful. I’m listening to 2Cellos and listening to Excel grind out power queries. The nice part is not having to compete for network resources!


Here we are again

It is Christmas Eve. How quickly the year has gone. It is only 1030am so this is still prime working time for me. In the Netherlands, 1st and 2nd Christmas days are the days you celebrate, Christmas Eve is still a work day. It is grey and rainy outside so I am not really distracted.

My canine coworkers are also “working” since yesterday evening I came home with their Christmas presents in the grocery bag – placed up on the chair. The presents were meant for under our tiny little living tree. I turned to put things in the refrigerator and heard a crash. Turning around, there’s my normally well behaved Henry emerging from the grocery bag with his Christmas package. I was in complete shock. He was making full eye contact and not ashamed at all. By the time I got to him, he had already run around the living room and was opening his package. Which then meant that his brother decided to get in on the action. So, the boys determined their own time line for Christmas.

I suddenly understood why all those years that I would find and figure out what the Christmas gifts were irritated my mom so much! It didn’t get better when I decided to showcase my sibling power and started telling my brothers what they were getting as well. As you can imagine, this shorted the lifetime of Santa Claus in our house and lead to one Christmas that I got nothing at all. While I was watching the boys, I thought my mom would be laughing and saying “well, now you know how it feels!”

I have plans to go to Marum tonight. The little church is open for Christmas Eve services. At least I know to expect a glass of wine and Christmas cake when you come in for the service. I will try not to fall apart this year.

Tomorrow I am going to a friend’s house to share in first Christmas day celebrations with her family. I had originally said no. She encouraged me to think about since it would be something very different. I told her I would think about it. Yesterday she called and I said yes to going which delighted her daughter, who is 6, to no end! And the boys are invited too, which means they get a bath tomorrow. Since no one there will have known my mom, I won’t have to deal with any memories of the last time we celebrated there together, which is what I struggled so hard with last year at my cousin’s. That everyone was there who had been there last time, except my mom.

I will go to my cousin’s for 2nd Christmas day which has less emotional weight since it is something that we didn’t celebrate in the US. I got Pieter an enormous magnum of wine that is called “Justย Fucking Goodย Wine” . For the label alone, I would have bought it. However, I tried it at the little wine merchant and it definitely lived up to the label.

I am listening to Andre Rieu’s Home for the Holidays album. It fits, what can I say? Especially after having seen him this year in Maastricht.

I hope that as this year draws to a close, you have been able to cherish and be cherished by those you love. In the coming year, I hope you will be able to flourish based on the knowledge and purpose you have gained from the past. I hope you will be loved if you seek it, strengthened if you need it and fierce if you want to be ๐Ÿ™‚ And thank you, for being part of all of those things in my life.

Paying for travel

A quick checkin to let you know that since Sunday morning, I have been throwing up, fighting a fever, feeling like something was kicking my skull and stepping on the rest of my body. It got so terrifying that today I finally went to the doctor. She doesn’t think it is a BENDS related sickness, more like something mosquito borne. Either way, I have stopped panicking which helps.

It was really terrifying. The poor pets were practically hostage since I could barely make it to the bathroom to throw up, let alone get functional enough to feed and take care of them. I missed a dinner party, a date and Margaret Cho’s comedy performance. So weird because I was fine Friday and Saturday.

Anyway, I am hopeful that we have turned the corner and I will start getting better. I am grateful to be able to drink and hold liquids down. I am not eager to try food yet, which is okay because I can certainly miss a meal.

Lesson learned is that next time I go to a mosquito country where dengue and other fevers are endemic, I will use the DEET repellant, no matter how bad I know it is.

Back at the ranch

We landed early this morning, around 630AM local time. While it is good to be home and I loved the enthusiastic pet greeting, the temperature left a little to be desired…

And has we are heading towards the shortest day of the year, the darkness is a bit much. However, we are headed in the right direction as my mom would say.

I did do the dolphin swim yesterday morning. I would do it again in a heartbeat. It was one of the most incredible experiences in my life. At the one point, the dolphins were following me instead of minding their trainer. We all got a little reprimand for that since they are supposed to be learning manners ๐Ÿ˜‰ There were only two other people scheduled at the same time so we had six dolphins between us. My mom would have loved it. It was beyond magical. At the end, we could put on masks and dive with the dolphins, which I did! That was even more breathtaking. If you can Scuba, you can go with the dolphins for an open water dive. I think that’s going on my list of things to do.

I was so concerned that I not miss the dolphin swim that I showed up 45 minutes early… I was leaving nothing to chance!

I spent the last couple of hours before heading for the airport sitting on a terrace above the beach so I could see everywhere. And then it was time to head for the airport. I am glad I left earlier than I thought I would need to because it turns out I needed the extra time. Let’s just say I had my fair share of delays between returning the car, checking in and getting through security. This was my ride home.

Still my favorite kind of plane…


It was a good flight. I slept pretty well, partly because I didn’t let myself start watching movies and I bored myself to sleep by creating a root cause analysis PowerPoint which is just about as exciting as it sounds! Getting home, I fed and hugged the zoo and then started working. I am pretty tired and I know I need to go grocery shopping but I am really not interested. I’ve been cold too, I think my blood must have really thinned out in a week!

Pushing through the comfort zone

I had a long day today. From 3am local time I was busy with work and Skype meetings. By the time I finished around 11am, the people in the bungalow across the way were just getting up. I guess they are a little better at vacation than I am ๐Ÿ˜‰

I left at 11 to head up to Playa Porto Mari for my dive lesson. The roads here are mostly unmarked with lane markings so every trip out is a lesson in patience, hypervigilance and closing your eyes and hoping for the best. Not exactly stress free. I have become really good at navigating around here, which helps and occasionally I pull European driver moves which is more aggressive than island style driving. I was also a little amped up from all the meetings and slightly nervous about my dive lesson.

After a serious half hour of going over safety information, equipment and what we would practice underwater, it was time to suit up. Holy smoke, talk about a lot of gear. I suppose some people can pull off scuba gear with a fashionable sense of style but I felt like a very clumsy, overbalanced sausage. I memorized all the directions and it was time to go in. No pool, straight into the ocean. Once I got into water more than chest deep, I sort of got a little tense. Actually, I was tense before that, I just wasn’t acknowledging it…

I am a good swimmer, I like to snorkel yet diving was sort of big barrier. The idea that I would deliberately sink to the bottom and let go of my breathing apparatus to practice finding it again was more vulnerability than I was ready for. It took a good four tries to let myself sink. Not because of faulty instruction or equipment but because I couldn’t make myself that vulnerable. I mean, deliberately deflating everything so you go to the bottom and aren’t really all that sure that you will be able to breathe. What if something goes wrong?? It was also at this moment that I finally acknowledged to myself that I was actually afraid to dive and this was a pretty massiveย invasion of my comfort zone. For anyone who knows me, the difficulty I have with being vulnerable is no surprise ๐Ÿ˜‰

When I finally got to the bottom, I wasn’t doing that well. I was struggling to remember to keep breathing, clearing my ears and just being calm. Luckily, I had an instructor who has clearly seen more than one Nervous Nellie and she figured out that a good way to distract me was to point at all the fish nearby. It worked, while my eyes were popping out in wonder, I stopped fighting the feeling of not being in control and managed to regulate myself. It got alot easier from there.

It was amazing! Swimming amongst all of the coral, we saw an enormous moray eel, an incredible spotted eagle ray and a sea turtle. Not to mention all the other fish. I saw a puffer fish that was more than a foot long. It was beyond description, it is a whole different experience than snorkeling. I was in LOVE! I really wish I had my underwater camera. You’ll have to take my word for it that it was not to be missed.

We dove for an hour, until we had half a tank left and then it was time to go back. When I surfaced, I didn’t have enough words to describe it. My instructor was really happy since seeing the turtle and the ray are definitely outliers. She told me we were going to go diving more often. ๐Ÿ™‚ Getting back out of the water with all the gear and getting it all off was definitely a workout. And as we were soaking the gear, that’s when I told her I had been afraid to dive so today was a big deal for me. I figure that’s probably something better not to tell at the beginning!

After diving, I sat in a chair under a palm tree in one of the few spots of shade, absorbing what I had seen until I was joined by a Columbian journalist and his college age son. We had a very interesting conversation about snorkeling, politics and travel. It was funny because I was perfectly content in my lonesome and all of a sudden comes a pretty heavy conversation for the beach. Eventually, I had my spot to myself again and I stayed to watch the sunset, which was really beautiful. That’s the picture at the top of the page.

This afternoon, I finally felt like I was on some sort of vacation. I know, it took forever to get to this point and tomorrow I am leaving. I still have one more cool experience, swimming with the dolphins tomorrow morning at 8am. I have set my alarm for 6 so I don’t miss it.

Something else I have learned on this trip. People at the beach don’t care what they look like, that seems kind of different from the US. Or maybe I don’t have much US beach experience. Here people just don’t care, which is kind of refreshing. I found myself letting go a little as well. I am by no means ready to go topless but I stopped having bathing suit anxiety – which is a nice gift to give yourself. I wish it hadn’t taken 42 years to get to that point but I am here now.

While I haven’t accomplished as much recharging as I would have liked on this vacation, I have learned some things. That’s always a bonus. And I think I am definitely going to go for SCUBA certification in the future. And next time I go on vacation, I will make sure I can disconnect properly ๐Ÿ˜‰


That’s a good word for today. I was up early for a 6am call with the Netherlands, which then wrapped me up in a number of things so that by the time I left here around 815 to go to the Dolphin Academy for my snorkeling session with the dolphins, I was already in a state of stress. I got there, only to discover that my turn had been at 8am and I had missed it. I will tell you, I didn’t know what to do with myself and I started crying right there in front of the poor people staffing the check in. They only do it a few times a week, six people at a time and I had missed my chance. I was devastated. Probably also because this would have been something I would have really liked to do with my mom and all that grief that she is not here to do these things with came crashing down at once.

Despite their no changes policy, I think they really didn’t know what to do with me. In an effort to get the waterworks to stop since they have saltwater enough in the dolphin lagoons, they found a spot for me Thursday morning but not for snorkeling. I can do the dolphin swim but I have to keep my head above water and you are pretty closely supervised instead of being allowed to free snorkel with the dolphins. I am not crazy, I very gratefully accepted the offer. I spent the rest of the morning wandering around the Seaquarium and watching the sea lions and hanging out in the underwater observatory communing with a 400 pound Goliath grouper named Herbie. He was pretty chill, kind of like a zen master.

From there, I walked over to the closest beach – not hard to find here in Curacao, and spent a couple of hours under a palm tree staring at the water, thinking about stuff. Until I got so worn out from the emotions and the thinking, I fell asleep. That lasted until a Swedish father and his toddler decided to play under the palm tree. I thought at first I was having Swedish dreams but no, it was an alarm clock of sorts.

I didn’t really know what to do with myself this afternoon, other than I needed to stay out of the sun. I went to the mall. It is enormous, with very few stores and even fewer people. I didn’t buy anything, just wandered it from one end to the other, collecting steps on my FitBit. Like I said, today’s been weird.

Yesterday, I was out the gate around 7am and headed west to Christoffelberg National Park. What I have been thinking is North is actually West. Which explains alot. I got lost in the park and eventually came across two young park rangers on foot who were happy to show me how to get back to the park if I would give them a ride. So I did. They explained to me how to orient myself according to the wind, which is a near constant here. The ladies at the ticket booth found it hilarious that I got lost and gave me another token to go into the mountain side of the park, which was my original intended direction. I guess I won points for picking up the park rangers. I ran into two more on the other side when I was at another crossroads. They gave me directions cheerfully.

After that, it was up the road to Boka Sheke National Park which is a sea turtle nesting place and sanctuary. Somewhat oddly, they serve iguana soup there. There were some gorgeous iguanas walking around bold as you please. I wanted to send them in the other direction of the snack bar but iguanas don’t really follow directions well. I followed the hiking trail along the ocean and over to the natural bridge. It looked easy on the map. However, I forgot to take water and it was blistering hot. And I didn’t have enough sunblock on so by the time I got back, I was sporting a second layer of sunburn. Let me take a moment to point out that in the morning I had purchased three more sunblocks and they were all in the trunk of the Kia.

Going on from there, you are basically at the top of the island, so you only have a choice to go around. I ended up at Playa Portomari, which was beautiful and charming. Including more iguanas, one who sat in the tree next to me, waiting for something. I spent a couple of hours there just reading and trying to stay in the shade. I am going back up there tomorrow, I signed up for an introductory diving class. You can’t dive within 12 hours of flying so I have to do it tomorrow. I have to work a full day tomorrow, starting at 330am local time so I figure after that, I will have earned the right to spend the afternoon at the beach.

I have a really rough time with all the stray dogs here. They are everywhere and they cross streets and roam. I hate it. It makes me think of Henry and George and how devastated I would be if something happened to them. Then it makes me angry that there are so many strays. I know I can’t take any of them home but it doesn’t stop me from wanting to find a way to solve the problem. I think this has bothered me most about being here. I realize I am coming from a perspective that dogs are pets and well loved, hell, even taxed annually with the pendant to prove it. I see these dogs, who fend for themselves and like I said, I want to solve the problem. It looks like there is one organization here that cares for them but they don’t even have a building yet Curacao Straysย I did the one thing I can do and made a monthly recurring donation.

I have a lot of shit on my mind and things aren’t all that great right now but I can still make small differences and that’s something I need to focus on. Maybe that’s the point for each of us, we all make our own small differences. I have learned some things about myself on this trip too. One being that I am unlikely to take another beach vacation by myself. I solved the practical challenges by buying spray on sunblock but this was too much time alone with my emotions. City vacations or country vacations no problem but no more beaches. Okay, that sounds just a tad entitled ๐Ÿ˜‰ What I really should say is that places like this are best enjoyed with the company of people you like.

I am going to make the most of the next two days since I fly back to the cold on Thursday night. I’ll be glad to get home and hug my pets. Then it is a week to go before Christmas and all of that.


Did someone order a lobster?

Because I sure look like one. Back from the trip to Kleine Curacao and waiting for my hair to dry before I go out and find some dinner. I don’t have high expectations because since I don’t eat seafood, I am not really experiencing flavorful food in the local restaurants. This is partly why I am still making my own dinners on vacation, not that different from home ๐Ÿ˜‰

Kleine Curacao was great. We had rough seas this morning, going against the eastern current so there were alot of people “feeding the fish” as they call it when you throw up over the side. I didn’t get seasick and kind of enjoyed the wild water. When we arrived at the island, you had the choice to go to shore by zodiac or jump off the side. You can guess which one I did ๐Ÿ™‚ It was exhilarating and would have been the perfect opportunity for a tremendous cannonball – which I only realized after I jumped. Next time, cannonball!

The water here really is that blue, like a postcard. Unfortunately, with the rain and wind today, snorkeling wasn’t great. I know there must have been fish since I watched theย pair of pelicans make their dives but I didn’t see any. Instead, I gave in to swimming in the ocean and enjoying the feeling of tiny little person in the enormous world of Mother Nature. I picked up my lawn chair and parked it under the shade of the map and spent the day going back and forth between the chair and the ocean. Not a bad way to spend your day ๐Ÿ˜‰ Despite my best efforts and sunblock that left me with the color of a zombie, I got a pretty good burn. I’m more than resembling a lobster. Funny how all through the day I was monitoring it and thinking “wow, you are doing a really great job not getting burned”.

I’ve got plans to explore the island tomorrow and end the day at Porto Mari beach to watch the sunset. I figure I have a full tank of gas in the sporty little Kia Picanto and since the island is pretty small, I should at least make one trip around it! It reminds me of Iceland in that there is one major road that goes around the whole island, so no matter what, you can’t really get that lost. You can get sidetracked because as I look at the map (a big colorful paper one) I think of places that I would like to stop. I’ll let you know where I ended up.

Strangely enough, the boat ride over gave me alot of time to think. I needed to stay pretty deep in my thoughts because I am a contact barfer. If I see someone else throwing up, I get the urge as well. And I did not want to feed the fish. I was thinking about other vacations, other times and other people. I was a little verklemmt as they say on Saturday Night Live. Luckily, no one noticed it behind my sunglasses ๐Ÿ˜‰

During the shady moments, I finished my book and watched the hermit crabs and chameleons go about their business. It seems like a pretty carefree existence, being busy with getting food, basking in the sun and generally taking things one step at a time. I am so sure there is a lesson in there somewhere ๐Ÿ˜‰


All over the map

Yesterday, after spending the morning under a palapa with the local chameleons as my coworkers, I decided to explore and go towards the beach. When I first planned to take this trip, I thought I could completely disconnect and just have a week to myself. It turns out it is not that way right now because of all of the stuff going on at work, which only seems to keep escalating. Every time it looks like there is progress, there’s another weirdo situation that comes up. While I am generally good at managing things, these situations are completely beyond my control and yet I am somehow still expected to have predicted, understood and prepared a recovery plan for them. Hence having chameleons as coworkers instead of just spending the morning chilling out under the palapa hut.

In the afternoon, after the Netherlands had signed off for the day, I went over to Jan Thiel beach. I enjoyed a double espresso in the shade and thought about what I wanted to do with the afternoon. I wasn’t especially motivated to do alot but I needed to collect steps for my FitBit so off it was for a long walk down the beach and into the water. The water is about 80 degrees. I spent a good couple of hours there, hiding under various bits of shade where I could find it. Even on a partly cloudy day like yesterday, the sun is really intense and apparently I am also attracting alot of insect bites. On the way back, I stopped at one of the beach tents and had a very good Mojito. Far better than the ones they make in Amsterdam. I only had one though otherwise I would have probably stayed all night. The beaches have parties that literally go on to dawn here. Especially on the weekends.

I wasn’t really in the mood for that. One of the downsides of travelling alone is that if you actually want to talk to someone or share an experience you have to approach a stranger. I noticed yesterday that I didn’t see anyone else flying solo. Usually this doesn’t bother me. This trip it kind of does. Probably because everyone here seems to be in groups. I noticed it again today when I was exploring Willemstad. If you do see a onesie, it is a man of a certain age – definitely not my target demographic!

I left early this morning for Willemstad, figuring I would get a jump on the heat. Silly really because it is pretty much the same temperature all day long. I explored the floating market, which is where all the Venezuelan merchants tie up their boats and sell their produce. I got an avocado as big a cantaloupe. No lie. I think I could make guacamole for six with it. From there across the floating pontoon bridge to the other side, Otrabanda to explore the less white side of Willemstad. Here is also where the museum of slavery was. Which I went to.

It was a tough museum. Curacao was originally a way station where slaves were brought to be tamed before being brought over to South America or to the US. The Dutch and the Portugese were the biggest traffickers in these parts in the Triangle trade. They had so many artifacts and even a display of the slave deck that you could go into. It was chilling and horrifying. I used to think that the slave market in Natchez, Mississippi was the most chilling place I had ever been but today’s exhibit was even worse. The justifications that people use to qualify their actions, trying to make them logical, are not to be believed. I expect to carry the weight of those exhibits with me for a while.

I spent the rest of the time walking around and trying to think about other things. This is probably why I stopped on a terrace and had two glasses of wine while listening to a live band. I realized that I wasn’t going to get my sightseeing groove back and decided to return to my bungalow.

Tomorrow I am going over to Kleine Curacao with a boat for a day of snorkeling around an uninhabited island. I will be surrounding by people so I am sure by tomorrow afternoon, I will be okay again with travelling on my own ๐Ÿ˜‰ It is not smart to snorkel alone in the ocean which is another reason that it would be useful to travel with someone else next time.

On a lighter note today, I discovered that Curacao doesn’t have a female population with big feet. I thought I might be in luck and be able to find some shoes in size 43 but everywhere I looked, I got a very sympathetic “Sorry, madame, those are just too large”. I had fun looking at all the brightly colored clothes. It seems like there is no such thing as a fashion disaster here, all colors can be mixed with all kinds of styles. I did give in to the urge and spent $7 for a dress. I was tempted to go for this wildly lurid orange and green one – and I do mean tempted. Instead, I settled for a dusty blue that reminds me of the sky before it gets really dark. For $7, I imagine it is not going to last long enough to be handed down to my descendants but it’s fine for vacation. Covers the important parts and packs flat in your luggage.

The roosters at the farm across the way start announcing themselves to the world at around 430am. I hope they remember to do this tomorrow since I need to be at the dock by 630. Just in case, I will set my alarm. I think I managed not to get sunburned today, which was also a plus. Tomorrow, I expect that to be an uphill battle – despite my best intentions.

I am sorry that I couldn’t find my waterproof camera or my sarong before I left home. They are somewhere in a box due to the move and there was no finding them. I guess I will have to be content with keeping the pictures in my head. Which is a shame. I won’t be able to useย it for the dolphin snorkel on Tuesday but I could have used it tomorrow ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Oh, yes, I just booked myself in for Tuesday morning snorkeling with the dolphins. I probably won’t be returning here for a while so I am going to make the most of it in terms of experiences.

Hello from the tropics

This afternoon, yours truly landed at the Curacao airport. Nine and a half hours of flying from Amsterdam to land on a runway that runs right up next to the Atlantic Ocean.

Tonight, I am sitting on the porch of my little bungalow in 81 degree weather with a good breeze rustling through the palm trees next to me. I have to say, the warm weather does me good. It makes going to the airport this morning, freezing in my summer weight clothes well worth it ๐Ÿ™‚

I don’t have alot of plans for while I am here, other than to snorkel, snorkel and maybe snorkel some more. And if that gets too boring, I might try reading a book or two or just taking long naps in the shade. If I think back to where I was in terms of being able to enjoy vacations pre move to the Netherlands, I have come a long way! I actually landed here without even having the address of where I was staying. Which almost was a problem because the battery on my phone was nearly dead. The island is only 30 km so it is kind of hard to get in serious trouble.

It seems that I have a strong magnet for planes that have a starting destination of New Delhi and then go on to Amsterdam, where I get on and then on to their final destination. That was the case today and my regular SEA-AMS trip has the same starting point, New Delhi. I wonder if this means that at some point visiting New Delhi will be in my future? I guess it depends on when the email comes in from KLM with the most amazing deals of the month. That’s how I ended up here ๐Ÿ˜‰ Transportation related marketing emails seem to lure me in.

Landing in Curacao made me think of the times my Mom and I would land in Mexico, the outdoor airports. I am missing her alot this month and in part because we had that escape Christmas mindset by taking a trip to somewhere else in December. I think I might just end up snorkeling with the dolphins too. She and I did it with sea lions and it is one of my favorite memories of how unwilling to act her age she embodied.ย  We did alot of interesting travelling the last few years she was alive and I am so glad we did. We didn’t make it to the Galapagos but maybe I will next year.

My flight was really good. KLM makes flying fun. Or maybe I just let myself have fun. I got another of the KLM houses that you get when you travel with them. Unfortunately, they didn’t have number 85 which the one from Curacao. Maybe on the way home. I have a little collection of them now. There’s 100.

I am glad I am not staying at one of the enormous resorts. I think that would be really distracting. I would feel like I needed to do all of the activities and talk to people. I am staying in a little compound of 8 bungalows so there promises to be plenty of chill out time. There is a five hour time difference with Amsterdam so I am trying to stay awake until 11pm local time so tomorrow just begins properly. In this kind of weather, I think I could easily sit outside all night.

Judging from the photo I got earlier, the boys aren’t missing me too much since they were sitting right up next to the housesitter. They have a dog here, he looks like George but quite a bit taller and heavier. He’s a real sized dog ๐Ÿ˜‰ We already became friends so I don’t have to go through complete pet withdrawal!