Hope you all had a great New Year! Pam and I are hoping that 2012 will be MUCH better than 2011. It would be hard to be worse of course! It was a challenging year, to say the least. Hopefully the health issues are behind us, and Pam can continue to recover from her many surgeries!
We decided to go to one of the local casinos for the New Year, and it was a crazy experience! Seemed half the island was there. They had party hats, and noise makers for everyone. They put out hundreds of glasses of free champagne for a midnight toast. They had free give aways all night, and at 1 am they had a mad-crazy balloon drop. Hundreds of balloons dropped from the ceiling, and inside of the balloons were 300 prizes! Just crazy stuff!
The fireworks were as advertised – just crazy and went on til the wee hours of the morning. I’ve included a short film here of one of the local homes that put on a display. If you look on YouTube you’ll see there are dozens of videos of Aruba’s fireworks… the Ling and Sons (a local grocery store) was particularly amazing.
We’ve seen some great stuff in the ocean the last few days… we saw a big bluespotted cornetfish, at least five feet long, who had absolutely no fear of us. Usually they are quite shy, moving off when we approach. But this guy, maybe because he was so big, just didn’t seem to care. I even dove down right into his face to snap a couple of pictures, and he stayed there, perfectly calm. They are a cool fish, and we’ve seen a few here, but this guy was the biggest, and the most fearless.
We’ve seen a number of octopus (octopi?) and one that was particularly large. We tried to get him to move, but again, no fear! I even touched him with my swimming fin, and he refused to move… he just moved his tentacle and eye-balled us!
We briefly (and I mean BRIEFLY) saw our first turtle – he was off in the distance, and when we swam toward him, he took off like a shot… really miss the turtles. Swimming with them is so cool and relaxing. Not sure why they are skittish and not hanging about…