When my grandmother had young children at home, and an often-absent husband, she started suffering from a number of physical ailments. She went to one medical doctor, who took tests and found nothing. She went to another doctor, who also found nothing. The third doctor found nothing wrong with my grandmother, either. She was hurting, frustrated, and overwhelmed. That doctor sat her down, with my grandfather. “There is nothing wrong with you, Maureen. You need to go to Hawaii.” Surprised, but willing to take a chance on this doctor’s diagnosis and recommendation, she and my grandfather flew to Hawaii, without the children, and never suffered the same ailments again.

One difficult evening, I called my grandmother for advice and she shared her experience with me.  I spoke with Bryant, once my own young children were in bed for the evening.  Shortly after, and without fair warning to anyone, Bry and I flew to Aruba for an unplanned, yet overdue retreat.

MONDAY – Napping on a white sand beach.
Aruba1

TUESDAY – Spelunking, snorkeling, and off-roading through the Arikok National Park.
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WEDNESDAY – Back to the beach.

THURSDAY – Parasailing in the AM and horseback riding in the PM.
Aruba Horses
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FRIDAY – Two scuba dives, 20 feet and 40 feet.

Oh, Aruba, you are beautiful. Just as serene as any poster makes you out to be, and highly populated by senior citizens (there’s nothing like the company of retirees to make you feel good in a swimming suit).

Bry and I returned home from Aruba with strengthened spirits, a few (too few) fun pictures, and, of course, shirts featuring paranas.  Our children have ever since been obsessed with these flesh-eating fish. And while at the Central Park Zoo one weekend, we got to see paranas! E and J were ecstatic, but L was a little disappointed: “Why aren’t they eating anyone?”