Sunday, July 31, 2011

geek girl | july 31 2011

Did I ever happen to mention that Darren left for Kenya on the same day that the last Harry Potter movie came out? I mean, seriously, who does that?!!!

Now that he's back and we've been to see it (yesterday, to be exact), I have two thoughts on the subject. First, the book was so much better. Second, I'm so done with theaters. During the very quiet, very somber opening sequence, someone behind me proceeded to crinkle a plastic wrapper for five minutes straight- I was so ready to go knock the offending moviegoer out! The previous movie we watched at the theater- Transformers 3- ended with me picking my purse up from the floor in front of my chair and finding that someone behind me had spilled their soda all over the floor. My purse was soaked!! Luckily my iPad (which I carry in it) was unharmed.

I think that only a fourth Transformers movie staring both Joe Flanigan and David Tennant could even make me think about going to the theater again at this point. That, or the next Bond movie...

Okay, enough grumbling about movie theaters...I've got some cool Harry Potter related geekiness to share with you today, along with other assorted bits of nerdism!

From the top left:
  • Firefly and My Little Pony? Yes, please!!
  • Apparently Harry Potter makes people hungry, because almost all of the related items I have to share today are edible! These gorgeous Harry Potter cupcakes are first on that list.
  • How about a little more Firefly? James Hance shares a great Muppets/Firefly mashup. I think that Jayne/Fozzie is my favorite (did you spot the "Vera" rubber chicken?)!
  • These Geek ABCs are soooo...well, so true!!
  • Whoever thought of these Golden Snitch cake pops is a genius!
  • Cupcakes Take the Cake shares another set of Harry Potter cupcakes, this time featuring a red glittered lightning bolt.
  • This Sorting Hat cupcake makes me think of my Dad's impersonation of "Gryffindor!!" He's quite good at it. :)
  • Oh Hello Friend's blog has a cool Harry Potter related animated gif image. Unfortunately gifs don't collage, but you can click through to see it for yourself.
  • Toast to the final movie in the series with a glass of Butterbeer, courtesy of Birthday Girl. The little brooms are a darling touch. :)

And, this video is completely unrelated to Harry Potter (except for the fact that it's also British), but I'm so excited for the second half of Doctor Who's sixth series to get started that I just had to share the new trailer!

Until next time, geek out, peeps!

the hitchhiker's guide to aruba | february 6

I've only got one day of Aruba photos left to post, and really it's just a half day since we flew back in the afternoon. I'm almost as sad to get to the end of these photos as I was to leave the island!

We checked out of our hotel first thing in the morning so we would be free to wander around for a while without having to worry about getting back in time to check out later and still make it to the airport.

I took a few shots around the outside of the place.



And a few parting photos from inside the room, too, like this one of our tiny kitchen.


And the bathroom. I've read other people's blogs, and I know I'm not the only one who takes photos of bathrooms on trips!



We really didn't spend a whole lot of time here since we were out exploring every day, so I'd never been to the front patio before taking these photos- I'd only walked past it to get to the rooms at the back!




We decided to spend our last few hours in Aruba doing the things we'd come to love there, and the first item on the agenda was heading back to the shallows at Arashi since we'd fallen in love with it on day 1.

On the way I just had to get a photo of this snack stand- we'd passed by it so many times during the week!


On this trip to the shallows we found so many cool critters- box crabs, stone crabs, a mantis shrimp, a polychaete, a sea cucumber (yes, seriously, I finally saw one!), and the one that made Darren really happy was a banded moray eel. We'd spotted one on the first day, and he was really, really hoping to see another before we left.


We also played with a conch and tried to get him to come out of his shell by holding him upside down as we'd been shown in Nassau last December.


It didn't cooperate. Apparently this guy missed that day in conch school.





The next stop on the list was, of course, my favorite little pool near Arashi.



Seriously? I think I could just pitch a tent on the dunes and stay here for the whole trip next time.



Oh, yeah, I ended up with some seriously wet shorts on the way to the airport. Luckily they dried out before we got there (one of the benefits of the desert climate).








We also squeezed in one more round of playing tidepools.




And then ended up having lunch right back where we'd started on the first day- Subway. :)


And soon after that we found ourselves back at the airport and waiting to go home, with me drowning my sorrows over leaving in a frozen strawberry smoothie and munching on a Ritter Sport bar from the vending machine.

This has been our most talked about, and dare I say our favorite vacation ever. We are seriously plotting ways to go back again, and soon!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

the hitchhiker's guide to aruba | february 5

We started off our last full day in Aruba by...drum roll please...sleeping in! Seriously after the previous day's adventures (did you see everything we did?!?!!?), we were soooo tired, plus it rained that morning, making staying in bed for a couple of extra hours seem even more inviting.

Around mid-morning we went snorkeling again at Baby Beach. I had a minor freak out moment when I started to write this post and couldn't find any snorkeling photos from that excursion, but then I went back through our files and realized that while we did take the waterproof camera along, we only shot video with it.

Crisis averted. Because, for me, losing photos is definitely a crisis!

Anyway, back to the photos that we did take...

On the way back to the hotel from the beach I asked Darren to stop the car so I could take a photo of some random bougainvillaea growing over some random person's gate (just because  I thought it was pretty).


Back at the room we showered and rested, and also found that we'd narrowly missed a disaster the day before. See that thorn? Darren's Teva picked it up sometime when we were out hiking around looking for the natural bridge the previous morning. We're lucky that his foot didn't pick it up instead!


Since Aruba suffers from an (previously mentioned, on several occasions) acute lack of road signs, we ended up navigating by landmarks a lot. This Hunny Punny store became the one that let us know we were near our hotel, and it's also the same shopping center that we stopped in for ice cream at Baskin Robbins.


Just don't ask me how one of the light fixtures got broken while we were there...


We decided to spend our last evening on the island in what had become one of our favorite spots- the rugged seaside and cliffs away from the groomed areas of Arashi beach.





I was pleased to find another ghost crab willing to be a photography subject!





That's Darren walking on the "road" back to our car, which is just a tiny, tiny dot in the distance.


We headed back to the shallows at Arashi to watch the sunset...


...and of course to also disturb the local wildlife again. We found plenty of stone crabs to play with this time around!





I went back and forth from shooting the sunset to shooting Darren and whatever critters we happened to find.


And sometimes an interesting algae made the mix, too.





February 5, 2011





...gone. And those last two photos? They were taken a whole 8 second apart.



Darren got this great shot of cactus silhouetted by the last of the twilight...a perfect photo for our last night in this awesome place.