By Ed Albanesi
Just got back from a wickedly wonderful week at our Aruban timeshare. Well, it really wasnâ€™t wicked, but as a writer, I have this thing for â€œalottaâ€ alliteration.
People ask me if I took my tennis racket or golf clubs. Notwithstanding the fact that my tennis racket is a T-2000 and my golf clubs have been out of their bag only once, I left them home anyway.
What I took with me were a couple of bathing suits and a couple of koozies. When people ask me what I do in Aruba my standard answer is, â€œas little as possible.â€ And no wise cracks about how this doesnâ€™t differ much from my usual routine.
My typical day in Aruba went like this: Arise at 5:30 a.m. and put on sneakers and shorts. Go down to the pool and reserve my favorite chickee (table with palm-thatched â€œumbrellaâ€).
At 6 a.m. I would take a two-mile round trip walk on a beach pathway while listening to a recorded book. When this was done I would drink the free coffee provided by the timeshare and read the Aruba Daily newspaper at my chickee.
Then it was back to the room to make some more coffee, take a shower and wake up my wife and daughter in the process.
Next it was back down to the pool and beach. My in-laws were up even earlier than I, saving their favorite chickee on the beach. I could write another whole column on the dynamics surrounding the claiming of chickees.
Pool aerobics began at 11 a.m., which I would sometimes watch from my lounge at poolside. Even if I wanted to participate Iâ€™m not sure I was old enough. After a few minutes of entertainment Iâ€™d head to the room for an early lunch, which usually consisted of a peanut butter sandwich or the leftovers from last nightâ€™s dinner.
A full tummy often makes me sleepy so on the days the guy with the jackhammer on the floor below us wasnâ€™t working, I would take a 60-minute power nap. Sometime between 1-2 p.m. I would meander back to the pool or beach. When the clock struck 4 p.m. I would return to the room, declare it â€œMiller Timeâ€ and fill my small canvas cooler with the â€œimportedâ€ Bud Lime beer for which I paid $50 a case. I then took up residence at my pool chickee.
A couple of hours later I would shower once again and put on a clean T-shirt and pair of shorts. My family and I would then meet the in-laws in the lobby to head off to dinner. We would return around 9 p.m. Some in our party might opt to go to the gelato stand or to a casino. I usually opted for bed where I dreamed about the next dayâ€™s activities.
On most days I had to find an hour or two during my busy schedule and help my daughter with her schoolwork. But I wasnâ€™t going to let Common Core ruin my vacation. Plus, any time spent with my daughter is a gift from heaven.
This was the 14th straight year our family has spent at least one week in Aruba. Like most beautiful places though, for me itâ€™s simply a nice place to visit.
Coming back to St. Augustine, our two barking and shedding dogs, limousine duties for my daughter, $15-18 cases of beer and a slew of â€œhoneydewsâ€ is the life I prefer. Judy Garland had it right.