Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Aruba Vacation - Day 3

Day 3 in Aruba brought us to a wonderful spot known as Baby Beach. Baby Beach is a shallow lagoon on the southeast end of the island. The gentle waves are great for children and the water is shallow enough for most adults to stand in even far from shore.

These first two pictures really show how calm the waters are and how far out you can walk.

The water level is generally about waist high in the lagoon, but deepens significantly towards the inlet to the ocean. The inlet is teeming with marine life and is a good place for snorkeling. If you don't have your own snorkeling gear, you can rent some from the snack shack on the beach.

I borrowed an underwater housing for my small digital point-and-shoot camera from my fiancee's cousin and was able to take some pictures of the fish I came across in the inlet. A nearby snorkeler had a small bag of bread so the fish really swarmed around us.

I took this picture just before we left the beach to go back to the resort. This is a good example of what the landscape looks like near Baby Beach.

Later in the evening, we had dinner at Papiamento, a terrific restaurant which specializes in Caribbean seafood dishes. There is seating inside the manor house and outside by the pool. Some of the steak, lamb, lobster, shrimp and fish dishes are served on a super-heated stone for guests to finish cooking at the table. Personally, I would stay away from the "on the stone" dishes unless you enjoy that sort of participation. I had the grouper covered with shrimp and scallops. It was delicious.

Besides the excellent food, the best quality of Papiamento is their outstanding service. The staff made sure we were well taken care of, but in an unobtrusive way. Our water glasses never ran empty and we never waited too long between courses. I was a bit clumsy that night and dropped my fork off the table two times. Before I had a chance to pick up the fork, a waiter was there to pick it up and offer me a new one.

Everyone in my party thoroughly enjoyed their meals. I highly recommend Papiamento.

This picture of the front of the restaurant gives little indication of the wonderful dining experience to be had inside. I enjoyed my meal so much, I forgot to take pictures inside!

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