Photos

Vacations in Aruba

Growing up I went to Aruba every May and eventually it switched to every summer. I used to consider it my second home. Back then Aruba wasn’t well known and tourists didn’t flock to it in droves. It wasn’t unusual to run into celebrities who would travel there to escape the crowds. I have met more basketball teams than I can count. I’ve also met several actors and comedians. I met Sinbad in the pool.

My family and I used to stay at the Playa Linda. Our room had one bedroom, a living room with a pull out couch (where I slept), a living room, full bathroom, dining table, and full kitchen. There were two pools. One for kids and one for adults. Nothing special. A staircase led down to the beach with huts. The lobby had a small game room, a small store for essentials, a bathing suit shop, a tourist shop, and a restaurant. Back then there was nothing really around. There was a 2×1 Dunkin Donuts across the street, which made us very happy. On the beach there was a large hut that would have free coffee and cookies at 2pm everyday. The cookies were plain tea biscuits, but I used to love them. There was also a bar by the pool. The place eventually started to feel run down so we moved down to the Hyatt.

The Hyatt is where I have most of my memories. We used to stay on the top floor of the hotel (9th floor). We knew all the staff and they all knew us. They watched me grow up. The top floor has a desk for the concierge, a room with a computer (later addition) library and TV, there’s several areas to set up food and drinks, and another room with seating. We used to eat breakfast here everyday. Cookies would be put out in the middle of the day and I always looked forward to them. At night appetizers and dessert would be put out. Some nights we would make dinner out of the appetizers. Taco night used to be one of our favorite nights. I used to run down the hall in my pj’s at all hours of the day and night for food. I couldn’t imagine doing that now. The hotel had a casino in the lobby. My last year in Aruba I was 18 so I could gamble. I had fun playing the slots and black jack. There were several small shops in the lobby including a TCBY, which I went to every night. There’s also a salon and gym off of the lobby. There’s two restaurants on the lower level. Ruinas del Mar was the fancy one. We used to go there for brunch and for one fancy meal every trip. We used to order grilled salmon for dinner. The other restaurant, the Palms, is more low key. We would order lunch from them. I would either get a grilled cheese w/fries or a tuna pita w/ chips. There’s a bar and a smoothie station on the lower level as well. There are two giant pools with another bar off of the lower pool. There’s also a hot tub and a water slide. I spent many hours on that slide. I’ve won several competitions on that slide. Some for speed and some for tricks. I could do flips and turns on the slide. Beyond the pools there’s the beach. Every afternoon there would be Bingo. We never missed Bingo. The prizes included free drinks (alcohol and smoothies), money, free equipment rentals, etc.

A typical day for us would go like this:

1) Dad woke up to run and play tennis. He would save our pool chairs
2) Breakfast
3) Gym
4) Change for the pool
5) Pool
6) Cookies
7) Lunch
8) Bingo
9) Pool or walk to the other hotels
10) Change/shower
11) Appetizers
12) Finish changing
13) Dinner out of the hotel
14) Dessert in the hotel
15) TCBY and hang out in the lobby, casino, or walk the beach

My mom and I aren’t pool, beach, or sun people. So we often walk to the other hotels just for something to do. We would just walk or shop. We spent a lot of time in the Holiday Inn and Allegro/Occidental, since they were the closest hotels. The furthest we would would be to the Wyndham to the left or the Marriott to the right.

Once a trip my mom and I would take the bus into town and spend the day in Oranjestad. We would spend the day shopping for items to bring home to friends and coworkers.

After I turned 18 we stopped going. I wanted to see the world and going to Aruba every year prevented that. Now everyone has caught onto Aruba. The place has changed in the last 8 years. I probably wouldn’t recognize it anymore. I hear there are so many new hotels, restaurants, and shops.

I’ll do individual posts for some of my favorite places in Aruba.

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Hotel Map Back in the Day

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Updated Hotel Map

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When I was 18 this was the Hotel Map

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Sinbad and I back in the day

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At the mini golf place in Aruba

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Hyatt Lower Pool-Jump Time!

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Playing bingo and being silly

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Some hotel in Aruba

18! I can gamble. Hyatt’s Casino. I won $20.50 that night.

Hyatt Beach

Hyatt Pool Area

Ocean View from Hyatt Room

Ocean View from Hyatt Room

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Waiting outside Ruinas del Mar

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Beverly! She worked at Palms

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Palms Restaurant

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Did I mention I absolutely hate suntan lotion?

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Aruba from our balcony

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Coloring in my room

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She was the house keeper. I loved her.

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Hanging in our spot

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On the 9th floor with Angie

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Bingo Time!

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Hanging out with the amazing women that worked on the 9th floor

Aruba 1990

9th Floor

One of many iguanas on the island

Joking around on the lower level of the pool

Marriott

Hanging with an iguana

Waterslide time!

Aruba from our balcony

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Categories: Aruba, Caribbean, Family Vacation, Photos, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Brooklyn Museum

The Brooklyn Museum has something called Target First Saturdays. At night you can visit the museum for free and the special exhibits for a small fee. They also have music and other performances. I have been wanting to go to the Brooklyn Museum for the longest time because they have a great Egyptian section. It’s considered one of the best in the world. Additionally, John Paul Gaultier has a temporary exhibit there that I wanted to see. The exhibit is usually $15, but was only $10 because of Target First Saturday. We waited online for well over a hour, but it was worth it in the end. The mannequins for the exhibit were images of real models so they blinked, talked, sang, etc. Creepy and cool at the same time. My pictures are below:

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Scavenger Hunt at the MET

I hosted a scavenger hunt at the MET this past Friday. The MET is probably my favorite museum in the world. I have spent countless hours there and though I think I have seen it all I always stumble upon something new. After years of searching I finally found Michelangelo’s the Young Archer. They always change its location. I just randomly stumbled upon it. I have never been around Christmas so that was cool. I also had a n Egyptology lecture in the G level which was nice. I did two of the new exhibits one consisted of beautiful jewelry (no pics allowed) and the other one was on Hinduism and allowed me to enter the Jain Meeting Hall (one of my favorites). Some pictures from Friday are below:

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Categories: History, NYC, Photos, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Witty Souvenirs Replace Wonders of the World

Witty Souvenirs Replace Wonders of the World

To view the original article click here

All rights belong to Flickr, Yahoo, and Michael Hughes

When most people travel, they typically come home with countless photos: selfies, playful poses with friends, iconic landmarks, etc. But when photographer Michael Hughes is abroad, he goes about it a little differently. Breaking away from a picture perfect postcard, Michael inserts cheap local souvenirs in his shots; resulting in memorable, hilarious photos.

“My images are fun because I really like to play with them,” Michael says in the accompanying video. “I like to play with the way people look at my images, and I’m always up for a joke!”

The idea came to Michael back in 1999 while on a trip to the Rhine in Germany. It was a late November day, and he was standing on a famous cliff overlooking the river.

“I remembered that I had a postcard for my daughter in my pocket,” Michael recalls. “When I pulled it out, I noticed that I was standing exactly where the photographer had been when he was taking the picture for the postcard. So I started playing with it and I managed to fit it exactly into the scene. When I got back to my computer and looked at my pictures, I could see there was something really good going on.”

alkmaar nl london sept 2008

A few weeks later, Michael went to New York City and decided to take a ferry around Manhattan. On his way to the pier, he bought postcards of the New York skyline to mimic his photo from Germany. In his mind, Michael was already brainstorming a “picture within a picture” photo series. Minutes later on the ferry, however, his idea evolved into something unexpected.

“When I boarded the ferry, I bought a cup of coffee,” Michael explains. “We went past the Statue of Liberty, and I suddenly realized the coffee cup had a picture of the Statue of Liberty on it. So I threw out the contents of the cup, held it up and it fit right in front of the statue. It was perfect! And it was at that point I realized I didn’t have to use postcards, but it could be any kind of souvenir… and that was the start of it!”

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Michael created a set of rules for his new souvenir series. First, he wasn’t allowed to take anything (a prop, an object, etc.) to his destinations. Second, Michael had to buy a souvenir on the spot.

“The rules worked well because it put me in a bit of a tricky situation,” Michael says. “You might turn up somewhere and there might not be a good souvenir, so you have to be creative. I like a bit of risk. I also like involving people into the photos as well. People who are standing around adds to the fun.”

new york 2008 Souvenirs series

One of his favorites photos was taken at the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy.

“My wife came over and showed me this multi-colored lollipop that she’d found,” Michael explains. “My daughter was also there, so I set it up that she was supposed to lick the lollipop. I really love it because it’s a nice family moment. The lollipop fits perfectly, and there’s a lovely violet sky.”

Michael admits the crazier the souvenir, the better the photo. Throughout the years, he has come across several strange objects: an Elvis bobblehead in Graceland, a Don Quixote figurine in Spain and a mini croissant magnet in Paris.

One of his favorites was a transparent plexiglass Jesus the Redeemer he bought in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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“It was the funniest thing in that you could put batteries in it, and it would light up in all sorts of colors,” Michael says. “When I went to see the Jesus the Redeemer, I was standing in front of it and looking at it from a bit away. When I held up my souvenir, it looked like some tourists in the background were actually looking up at my souvenir instead of the real thing! It was very cool.”

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Michael’s received a lot of positive feedback and encouragement since posting his photos on Flickr. What he likes about his series is that it plays into people’s perception about travel.

“What I like is giving people a question. I think it’s fun to make people think about the world we live in and get them excited to see it. But more importantly, it’s great to have a joke with them at the same time.”

Visit Michael’s photostream to see more of his photography.

Categories: Mish Mash, Photos, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pictures from my Train Ride from Vancouver to Seattle

Here are my pictures from my Amtrak trip from Vancouver to Seattle. It was beautiful to look at the water, sand, and clouds while the sun was setting.

 

Categories: Canada, Family Vacation, Photos, Seattle, Travel, USA, Vancouver | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pictures from my Amtrak Window

A bunch of photos from my Amtrak trip. They are all from Connecticut. 20130425-214746.jpg

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Categories: Photos, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Boston Memories

I took a day off of blog posting yesterday in honor of the victims of the Boston Marathon Explosions. It was my version of a moment of silence for them. My heart and prayers go out to the victims, families of the victims, and everyone who witnessed the horrific events first hand. As a girl I watched from my classroom window (located across the street from the World Trade Center) the atrocities of 9/11. I know what it is like to wish you could take the images and sounds out of your memory. I know what it is like to run for your life. I know what it is like to wish that you were safe at home watching on TV instead of being in the middle of it. So I know how you feel. The pain, sadness, and the memories start to fade and blur over time. Though each horrific event or anniversary will temporarily bring them back.

I’m headed to Boston next week. This is a trip I have had planned for months and am not going to change it. I’ve been to Boston several times before and thought I was use this post to show off my favorite Boston memories. I will post pictures from my times in Boston with my college friends and with my family. I will go back to writing about Philly tomorrow.

Did I mention it was St. Patrick’s Day weekend?

This was right after a guy came up to us and said “beam me up Scotty!”

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

No idea why Star Wars people were at the parade

At the parade

After freezing our butts off for hours this Borders was our savior

Paul Revere’s Pew

At Harvard

Loved Make Way for Ducklings when I was little

Where everybody knows your name…

Always have to find the Masonic Lodge

Yummy! From Flour Bakery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Boston, Family Vacation, Photos, Travel, Trip with a Tour Group, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Postcards from Dallas

Categories: Dallas, Dallas, History, Photos, Postcards, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Travel Makes You Richer

Categories: Mish Mash, Photos, Travel | Tags: | Leave a comment

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