Wednesday, July 2, 2008


We just got back from the annual Shepherd family trip to Aruba, which was lovely. I spent the great bulk of the time doing absolutely nothing on the beach, except eating too much Gouda cheese, drinking rum-based cocktails, making friends with iguanas and stray cats, and reading an unusual number of disappointing beach reads. A quick note on Girl with a Pearl Earring: Hordes of people really took to this book, and that concerns me, as it's one of the most joyless things I've ever read in my life this side of George Steinbeck. Seriously, I had a better time reading about college kids getting eaten alive by plants in The Ruins. If there's something I'm missing, please feel free to let me know.

Those who have kept up with the blog these past seven years are familiar with the general content of the semi-annual Aruba entry, so I'll spare both of you. Notable exceptions include partaking of my first Cuban cigar -- or more accurately, my first ever cigar. Not as bad as I thought it might be, but I can't say I've cultivated a taste for them as yet. Maybe I'm missing something again. Suggestions are welcome. It does make for some good pictures, though.

But the best thing by far was witnessing a sea turtle hatching on the beach. I've been coming to Aruba for 12 years now, and every year there are nests barricaded off on the beach, waiting to hatch, but I've never actually seen one until this year. They generally hatch at sunset, and the little guys crawl out of the sand like a baby turtle volcano, and head to the ocean. The nest we saw yielded 73 of the little guys, and we got to help the proceedings by holding up a big blanket so they wouldn't see the lights from the hotels and head the wrong way. It was really cool, even if I was dressed in a strapless dress and heels for a (delayed) night on the town. We weren't allowed to take pictures (the flashbulbs confuse the turtles), but the next morning one little dude decided he wanted out, so we got a few pictures and video there. I'll post them soon.

In the meantime, because we weren't allowed to take pictures during the big hatching, I've rendered the event in Crayolas. It's almost like being there!

Post-turtle celebration: