Yesterday afternoon we cooled off in the backyard pool, enjoying the breeze and relaxing before dinner. Riley was scooping leaves that had fallen into the water when he said “Oh my gosh, there’s a scorpion in there!” Knowing him as I do, I thought he was just teasing hoping to get a reaction like me screaming and jumping out of the pool since Matt and Chandler and I were in the water within a couple of feet of where he was holding the skimmer net. Chandler saw it first and when he lifted the net I saw it too, a small (thankfully dead) scorpion about 2″ long with his tail curled just as you would expect. Too bad I didn’t have a camera handy before Riley tossed it into the brush. I hope there aren’t more hanging out in the yard. This place really is amazingly similar to the Arizona desert in both good and not so good ways.
When we came home from sailing, one of the resident iguanas (we’ve counted seven living in the tree outside the front door) was standing on the porch at the front door. Riley had been itching to catch one all week and finally had his chance. The iguana didn’t move as he stepped up on the porch as if patiently waiting for Riley to open the door. Riley bent down and tugged on the iguana’s long tail. He reacted by trying to run away but his claws just slipped on the tiles as Riley held on to his tail. He reached forward and grabbed the iguana near the back of his head and held it up like a trophy. Matt and Chandler just rolled their eyes while I snapped a few shots with my camera (the one I can’t upload of course). When Riley tried to put him back on the ground in front of the tree, the iguana grabbed hold of his watch and wouldn’t let go. It was a pretty funny sight. I wondered for a moment how well this would end, but his claw finally freed from the watch band and Riley let him go with a thud. He scampered away, probably plotting his revenge.
- Instead of grass, most houses have gravel yards.
- Iguana scat looks surprisingly like dog poo.
- Most houses also have fences to keep the wild native donkeys from eating the plants and trees.
- Nearly every house in this neighborhood has one or more large dogs to eat iguanas who ignore the donkey fence.
Chandler, who is more like his Dad than I’m sure he wants to believe, decided to bring water from the Caribbean Sea home to Taylor (his girlfriend). The night before our sailing trip he purchased a 3.2 oz bottle of Listerine from the grocery store to fill with sea water so as to comply with TSA regulations on liquids in his carry-on bag. He poured the Listerine out, rinsed the bottle and carried the empty bottle with him on the sailboat. In a particularly beautiful spot in the bay, he pulled out the empty bottle and reached over the side of the boat to fill it as we were moving right along with sails full of wind. Matt and I watched from the front deck. Matt said, “Chandler’s going to drop that bottle” and just as if saying it aloud had caused it to happen, the bottle slipped out of his hand and into the sea. Chandler, who fortunately didn’t hear what Matt had said, was disappointed to have his big plan fall apart. Wim took pity on him and retrieved an empty water bottle to replace the lost bottle. Wim told a story about a previous passenger who had asked him to sail over to the light blue water in the bay so she could fill up a glass with light blue water to take home. He just laughed and said “Sure”. I hope he didn’t think Chandler believed the same…
Vacationing in the Netherlands Antilles has not been difficult at all given the fact that everyone speaks English in addition to their native language. Americans it seems are the only ones who don’t bother learning another language. The currency is the US dollar and most signs and menus are in English as well as Dutch. Language is certainly no barrier at Washington Slagbaai National Park. I’m sure anyone can understand the meaning of these signs posted outside the restrooms: