What a magnificent day!!!! I was so excited to visit Curacao again, the best part of the visit would be seeing my friends Aart van Essen and his wife Ellen Bethel who live in Curacao. Aart picked me up at the pier at 0730 after a visit with our friend Brad Elliott. Aart said it was my day, he planned on taking me around his island, his home for the last 23 years. We first went by his home where I got to see Ellen. We visited for a while, did some internet updates before heading out to explore the island. Our first destination was to see the oldest Kapok tree (over 800 years) on the island. It was just amazing! The roots came up as high as my height…. It was doubly interesting because it was a first time visit for Aart as well…. Ellen had seen it sometime in the past. Next we headed out to Shete Boka National Park in the West Point area with fabulous scenery…. We continued the day stopping at so many scenic spots… beaches, wild life sightings (iguanas, flamingos, Sea Eagles) and a fabulous lunch at The Pier, a favorite stop for Aart, Ellen and their friends. We finished up our touring by visiting some mutual friends, Willo & Jacqueline Perlot…. It was a wonderful visit, I sampled some of Willo’s food he was grilling and got to meet many other wonderful friends of theirs. It was then time to go back to their home where they changed clothes for a visit to the Koningsdam. I took them all over the ship, giving them an overview on why I love it here. They also had an opportunity to see some other friends on the ship, Thom & Tina, Jan & Dick and, of course, Brad & Gloria. It was a nice way to wrap up a beautiful day! It was such an interesting day for me. Despite having visited Curacao many times, I was afforded the opportunity to see a side of Curacao and it’s culture that I haven’t seen before. Fabulous day!!!! Part 1 of 3….