October 6, 2008
At the age of almost eight in the year of 2004 my family went to Aruba for a family reunion on my mom’s side. Knowing we were going to Aruba we went to Illinois for Christmas to visit most of my mom’s side of the family. We were so excited all we could talk about was the trip, the kids had no idea yet that we were renting a 14 room villa on the beach with it’s own big pool and a shed full of surf boards and a ton of other beach toys all of which were at full access to us.

We were focusing on or big piles of presents and which of them we wanted to bring with us on our trip. We decided that the most realistic thing to bring was our brand new mini remote controlled cars.

It was hot and sunny as soon as we stepped out of the airport. Our excitement overrode our fatigue from flying for so long, my twin cousins Rachel, Ashley and their little brother Logan standing next to my sister and I couldn’t even wait for my parents to get our rental car, the feeling of having to wait when it’s the last thing you want to do is the most miserable thing.
Finally we pulled into the driveway of our villa which none of the kids new we had even rented. I stepped out of the car and practically ran around in circles, I was so happy we had a house to ourselves, especially with it’s own pool! I hadn’t yet figured out that the house was also on the beach.
That night we went down to the beach and swam around in the ocean, using life vests we went far out (at least it seemed far out to me) and we found a big sand bar, the sand came so far up that the water there was only about a foot deep. We were out on the sand bar for only about five minutes when my dad spotted another sand bar near to this one, so we swam over. This one was a little less shallow but it was still only about two feet deep.
We swam back to shore and dried off, the maid in the house didn’t speak English very well but she could still understand somewhat of what we wanted her to cook for dinner, she served us at the bar inside the house where my dad made us all kids margaritas (7 Up, lemon juice, lime juice and a lot of sugar). The dinner was really fun and really yummy. After dinner we ate desert in a huge hammock out on the deck. It was starting to get dark so we went right to bed when we were finished with our ice cream.
We woke up the next morning and got ready to go on our tour of the island, which is only 24 miles in diameter; I’ve been looking forward to this jeep tour. On the tour we got to drive around to the whole island while stopping at some different places to look around for a little bit. We pulled over on the side of the road to an ostrich farm for one of our stops in the tour. I got out of the jeep wondering what we were going to do here, the leader of the tour brought us around a corner to an old looking barn where we met the owner of the farm. The owner brought us down a hill to a huge pen full of ostriches, they looked about 10 feet tall and huge. The Owner handed us each a small bag of which contained a little bit of food that we were allowed to feed to the ostriches. I was waiting in line to feed one of the babies when a huge ostrich came sprinting at me and my aunt Tristin, we ran out of the bird’s way but it kept chasing us, we were trying to make a bunch of sharp turns to buy us some extra time. The owner was going ballistic, he was chasing after the bird while we were running away from it. He eventually got a hold of it and my aunt and I were totally exhausted form the chase. At the time it was scary but after about five minutes we were all laughing and wondering what that bird was thinking. We got back form the tour and went swimming in the pool, and that must have been my un lucky day because I was swimming under water and I needed air, so I grabbed a hold of the edge of the pool and pulled myself up. As soon as I broke the surface I opened my eyes and the first thing I saw was a huge Iguana right in front of my face staring at me, I screamed the loudest scream of my life and flew backwards into the water.
My pool experiences in Aruba weren’t so great, towards the middle of the vacation my cousin Ashley was trying to teach herself to surf in the pool with one of the surf boards from the shed. She was getting pretty good at it when all of a sudden the surf board flew back from under her feet and hit me right in my tooth. I started crying like crazy, I was super mad that she would even try to teach herself to surf in the pool! I leaped out of the pool and sprinted to my parent’s room where I watched “Everyone Loves Raymond” for a couple hours until I started to feel a little better.
A couple days before we had to get on a plane and fly back to Oregon we went wave riding with life vests. Right before a wave came we would jump up and land on the wave. I got pretty good at it, until a huge wave came in and collapsed over me. I was pushed under water sideways and I got swimmers ear, when you get water stuck in you ear for a long period of time. I spent the majority of the rest of our vacation trying to get the water out of my ear, it was miserable and it hurt like heck. I wasn’t able to get rid of my swimmers ear before the plane ride home, so when we took off into the air the air pressure in the plane decreased and my ear hurt so badly that I was bawling the whole ride back. I guess you could say that our trip to Ariba wasn’t my luckiest vacation ever, but it sure was fun.

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