Many of you know that over this winter break from school, I traveled with my family to Aruba, a small island off the coast of Venezuela. I thought I’d write a brief report on my time there, and give some pointers for others who might head there at some point. Aruba is a nation part of the Dutch commonwealth, and thus the official language is Dutch, however most everyone speaks English (on top of Papimento and Spanish). The Aruban government has made it very enticing for Americans to travel there, everywhere I saw, the US dollar was accepted side-by-side with the Aruban Florens.
My trip was a bit on the short side (only five nights) so I mostly explored the area closest to our apartment at The Boardwalk, which is at the north-west end of the island. We booked our stay there, and as part of a package deal, windsurfing lessons and rental. The beach where the Vela windsurfing school was is just a short walk from the Boardwalk and along that beach are all sorts of other resorts and activities from sunset cruises to jet-ski rentals. Aruba is an excellent location for windsurfing due to its consistent winds of about 20 knots, year-round nice weather (mid 80s) and reefs extending out from the beach allow you to walk back if you’re a beginner. While most of my stay was dedicating to windsurfing, I did spend a half-day on a Landrover tour of the island, which brought us to a few areas off the beaten track which exhibit a far more rugged side of Aruba. The natural pool is very enjoyable, and the view is excellent. Additionally, the coral caves are a very different type of cave from the traditional, and are very neat to explore.
- The Iguana Cantina – This Mexican cantina was very tasty, so good in fact that we returned a second time. I had the red snapper, which was an entire snapper fried, providing an excellent presentation. Between 5-7PM is happy hour, which means 50% off margaritas, sangrias and beers.
- Gelato from Cafe Amici – There is a huge selection of flavors, and the gelato is very tasty, an excellent way to end the day.
- Vela Sports windsurfing – The lessons and equipment I got from them was very helpful, and I was able to progress from the beginner lesson my first day to water starts and harnesses at the end of my stay.
Recommended with Reservations:
- Moby Dick Seafood Restaurant – While the food here was very good, the service was terrible, and the portions left you looking for a second dinner, even though the prices were high.
- ABC Island Tours – While the tour was a lot of fun, and I got to see parts of the island that were not very accessible, the tour did not go to all of the advertised locations, leaving much to be desired. I suggest verifying with the tour company prior to booking the stops.
I hope this provides some helpful information for those looking for an escape from the cold. If you have any further questions feel free to comment and I’ll do my best to reply.
Peace and chow,
P.S. An obligatory photo of my windsurfing:
Yesterday I went to the ACM programming contest, where our team placed 3rd. However, prior to the contest, subs from Subway were provided. Being absolutly starving, I figured I should eat one regardless of what fun ingredients it had. It turned out to be chock full of mayo and salami and I’m sure white flour. After eating, I immediatly could feel my body going into shock, what is this stuff!?! I felt pretty lethargic and sick after eating it, so I’m going to avoid getting in situations like that again (keeping some snacks in my car).
Peace and chow,
In 3 hours it will have been 4 weeks since the end of my fast, and 5 weeks since I’ve eaten meat, dairy, eggs, refined sugar or enriched flour. Overall I’ve really enjoyed it, so much so that I’ve going to keep with it ad nauseum adding only fish and eggs on rare occasions. Tonight Max and I are planning on doing something special to celebrate our 4 weeks, and I’m sure it’s going to entail the pint of rice ice cream sweetened with raw cane sugar that I picked up the other day.
Peace and chow,
It’s officially been three weeks as a natural vegan! After my leg healed (an unrelated incident) I’ve been feeling very full of energy and find it easy to rise in the morning, and wake up refreshed. Last night (around 9:00) I felt so full of energy I went for a run through the ROTC trails in the dark, then up all 3 flights of stairs to the roof of CAMP. As far as food goes, simple foods have been a real hit, something like whole wheat pasta and tofu-tomato sauce. I have also been enjoying Amy’s Texan veggie burgers for a quick meal. Quinoa salad and curried quinoa remain favorites.
My weight has seemed to stabilize, after the fast, I was around 133lbs, and as I began eating, it jumped to 142lbs. Now that my body has adjusted, I have been between 136-137lbs. While I feel great, and not weak in the least, all of my clothes are quite a bit too big, and I need to punch a new hole in my belt. I think I’ll be getting some new clothes in the near future that don’t hang off me like drapes.
Max and I had a talk last night about our plans for after the month. He said he’ll return to being a free-a-tarian, eating meat only if he doesn’t pay for it. I’ve been thinking, and the only things I miss are eggs and fish. I think I’ll eat those rarely, but stay away from meat, milk products, refined sugars, and enriched flours. If I start to feel slowed down, I’ll return to my pure vegan diet.
Peace and chow,
Well, it’s been about two weeks of eating as a vegan. I have stayed at a healthy weight, have been feeling pretty good asside from an alergic reaction to a medicine I was taking. I have been very good thus far, the only times I’ve bent the rules is to eat wheat flour (non-whole wheat) when it’s only a little bit. I enjoy the lightness of my meals and how I don’t feel bogged down after eating. However, being a college student, especially a lazy one is making cooking difficult and adventurous meals a rare occasion. I’ve been eating lots of quick meals, like quinoa salad and tomato avocado sandwiches. Max however has been very creative, making a vegan carrot cake (with raw sugar) and maple tofu icing and some delicious black bean burgers (picture, and another). I’ve also found that Amy’s food is both quick and fits in my diet, even though it is expensive, can be a great help when you want to eat on the go.
Peace and chow,