Discovered and claimed for Spain in 1499, Aruba was acquired by the Dutch in 1636. The island's economy has been dominated by three main industries. A 19th century gold rush was followed by prosperity brought on by the opening in 1924 of an oil refinery. The last decades of the 20th century saw a boom in the tourism industry. Aruba seceded from the Netherlands Antilles in 1986 and became a separate, autonomous member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Movement toward full independence was halted at Aruba's request in 1990.

Papiamento (a Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch-English dialect) 66.3%, Spanish 12.6%, English (widely spoken) 7.7%, Dutch (official) 5.8%, other 2.2%, unspecified or unknown 5.3% (2000 census)

Roman Catholic 80.8%, Protestant 7.8% (Evangelist 4.1%, Methodist 1.2%, other Protestant 2.5%), Jehovah's Witnesses 1.5%, Jewish 0.2%, other 5.1%, none or unspecified 4.6%

107,635 (July 2012 est.)
(Number of automobiles: 65,000)

Country comparison to the world: 190

Note: estimate based on a revision of the base population, fertility, and mortality numbers, as well as a revision of 1985-99 migration estimates from outmigration to immigration, which is assumed to continue into the future; the new results are consistent with the 2000 census

on the airplane to ... Aruba

Back to Chicago ... due to navigation system failure

Boarding again to depart for Aruba.
2 hours later, landed in Orlando, Florida due to radar failure (what the heck!)

Get new boarding pass for tomorrow's flight to ... somewhere!
In the mean time, stay at Renaissance Hotel for a night.

Orlando airport

United Airline or United "Complain"

mệt thiệt ta!

check in hotel

Nathan takes order for dinner.

9+8+3=0 (số bù trất, hèn chi đi hoài không tới)
United Airline "sucks"

Next day, we board again. And finally, landed in Aruba ... yeeeee-haaaah!

Aruba airport

On the bus to Riu Palace Hotel & Resort

Check in

view from Riu Palace, room 833

Red windmill (moulin rouge)

Our first lunch in Aruba