Almost all of the 15 members of my cast have birthdays that fall during our contract period. We decided to celebrate half birthdays for the few others, so that everyone gets a day of celebration. In Aruba, we recognized two half birthdays by going on an excursion to De Palm Island.
De Palm Island is a small island with water sports and beaches. They have an all-inclusive price that includes transportations, activities, food, and drinks. We were picked up at the pier by a tour bus, driven to a ferry, and dropped off on the little island for a few hours of fun. I found a lounge chair in the shade, dropped off my bag and towel, and went straight to get in line for a banana boat ride. I ended up sitting in the middle of the banana, and managed to stay on the whole ride! Three of my friends were thrown into the water at one point, so we had to loop back and pick them up. The ride didn’t last as long as I hoped, but was really fun. I was screaming/laughing the entire time.
I got back in line with a different group of friends, but bailed quickly because we were getting hungry! We stopped at the buffet instead of the grill, thinking it would be more exciting than the burgers and hot dogs offered at the other restaurant. I ate some surprisingly good barbecue chicken, steamed vegetables, and pasta in tomato sauce. Fresh melon and brownie bites were available for dessert. Best of all, we were able to look out on the crystal blue water and enjoy the sea breeze from our table.
After recharging with some food, I went for a few turns on the water slides. There were 4 or 5 slides that got increasingly more intense. I went straight to the top one! It was fun, but quick. The stairs leading up to the slides waterfalls, water buckets, bridges, and sprinklers, so just getting to the slide was an experience in itself.
My final activity on the island was the zip line. I got to the line at the right time, when the wait was half as long as it had been earlier! I chatted with a friend while waiting, and we were harnessed and sent up together. Taking off from the platform was a bit scary, but the ride down was fun. I had an awesome view of the ocean and of the rest of Aruba across the water. It was the perfect way to end the outing!
I finished off my port time with a few quick errands. My fellow wardrobe supervisor and I found a supermarket at which to buy laundry detergent for cast costumes, and then I stopped at Starbucks for some wifi. After a “play day”, it was nice to take a minute to make sure all my ducks were in a row! I hope my birthday festivities are half as fun as this celebration!