Lizards, goats, and Keshi Yena… oh my!

Today began with a “free” breakfast.  When you are vacation owners, you get invited to owner updates.  The meal is usually good, but the sales pitch can sometimes be annoying.  Rudy was our guy on this vacation.  He was great. 

We enjoyed our breakfast.  However, as par for the course on this trip, it had its glitches.  We were standing in line when some toast popped up.  Jim thought the guy in the uniform standing near the toaster was putting the bread in for anyone to take.  He took.  A few moments later another guest came up looking for his toast.  Oops.  Then we were trying to get the salt and pepper grinders to work.  Jim didn’t read that you were supposed to take the top off.  When we realized how to work it, he popped the top off the salt… popped it so far, it rolled across the floor.  Oops again!  Anyway, the rest of the meal went well.  We are also now the owners of a few more vacation points.

After our breakfast, that turned into lunch, we decided to scrap our idea of going to the beach to snorkel.  We thought we should give our skin a rest.  Instead, we went to the Arikok National Park.  We were able to see lots of the natural wonder that intrigued us on our previous visit.  Most importantly, Jim got to see the goats he’d been wanting to see since we got here.  

After our adventure in the park, we went through the town of San Nicolas to find Charlie’s, which is a local restaurant, and somewhat of a historic landmark.  It was a very popular place for the people working in the oil refinery to hang out.  Unfortunately, the oil refinery has long since closed.  Charlies, however, lives on.  We finally found it after much searching (the maps included in the tourist booklets are not very accurate), but since it was Sunday, it was closed.  We will have to find it again later in the week.

Instead we ended up eating at The Queen’s Restaurant.  It was recommended by the dive master at the dive shop when I asked him where I could find authentic Aruban food.  It didn’t disappoint.  I saw Keshi Yena on the menu and knew that’s what I would order.  The owner, Carl, also suggested an appetizer – fried Polenta with Gouda.  I wasn’t sure Jim would like it, but we ordered it.  It was delicious!  I could have eaten plate after plate of it!  I loved the Keshi Yena (I’d been waiting to eat it again for 4 years!) and Jim loved his chicken.  He said it was the most moist chicken he’d ever eaten.  The sauce was great, too.  I’m telling you, this island has the BEST food!  It’s a good thing I don’t live here, or I’d need gastric bypass again!

After we got our meals, a local reporter came in.  She was working on a story on the restaurant.  We found out it has only been open since December.  She was doing a review.  She took our picture and said we’d be in the paper on Tuesday.  I guess maybe we are high rollers after all!  🙂

After our early dinner, we returned to the resort.  We spent some time by the pool, then decided to have dessert and go for a walk.  The Baskin-Robbins at the resort next door was closed, but we found ice cream at our own resort’s Cinnabon/Caravel Ice Cream Shop.  We went on a lovely promenade under the nearly-full moon and then spent the rest of the evening watching Click and The Holiday. 

We definitely like the idea of doing a house exchange like in The Holiday.  Maybe for our next vacation.


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