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Photo Fridays: Aruba

November 26, 2010

Earlier this week at work, my team sat around the lunch table shooting the shit like we always do.  We always discuss random things and today someone mentioned how they’d love to visit Aruba… so naturally, I thought of posting something about Aruba since it’s one of my best vacation spots.

In 2000, hubs – my boyfriend at the time – were sort of freshly dating.  I say “freshly dating” because it was either just shy of one year or just over one year that we were dating and decided to go on vacation.  Now, I’ve always been weary of going on vacation with a boyfriend because in the past, those vacations didn’t end well (translation:  I dumped the guy); I think it was because spending a week with someone with no buffer and no where else to go truly showed me what our future would be like and  made me realize that they weren’t for me.   However, I really liked hubs and I was nervous that this supposedly dream vacation would end up in Dumpsville once again.  Thankfully, I was wrong and we had an awesome time.  Oh em gee, I was 23 and hubs was 27 when we went on this vacation (holy crap I feel old!).

We booked 2 weeks at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort which is located on Aruba’s beautiful Palm Beach, all inclusive.   The first week we spent doing what we did best:  lie around on the beach sipping cold beverages and sleeping/reading/whatever tickled our fancy.  The second week hubs had a ton of things planned which he pre-booked; one was a surprise romantic dinner on the beach (it was so beautiful and amazing) and another involved renting a car and driving around the island, visiting other beaches and other resorts.  Did you know that you can drive from one end of the island to the other in one hour?  The island is that small.  It’s also (or was) one of the safest islands to visit; every night we’d roam around outside of our resort and we often ventured into town/around the island by ourselves.

One of my most memorable excursions was going to the Natural Pool.  They call it Natural Pool because it’s a naturally formed pool:  jagged rocks protect a portion of the ocean from the rough waves and the result is this incredibly serene, calm, private naturally formed pool.  I swear, it’s a scene right out of the Blue Lagoon, I kid you not.  It took us three frigging hours to find it.  There were other people who attempted to find it on their own (the hotels have adventure packages that you pay for and a tour bus takes you there) so out of the 4 groups who attempted to find it, we were the only ones who did.  Gimme a w00t.  Here’s a summary of how we found Natural Pool:

  • We got lost and drove around for three hours (a given)
  • Directions we got from a local:  go up the hill, turn left at the cactus, pass the pink house, turn right where there’s a dirt road.  Let me qualify by saying that there are a million cacti lining the streets which are all dirt roads and every other house is pink.
  • Hubs parked the car in the middle of this deserted dune area and we attempted to hike it to Natural Pool.  Up some boulders because he was convinced that “Natural Pool was beyond those rocks”.  I was wearing flip flops, we had no idea where we were and it was 35 degrees outside.  With one water bottle between us.  A ranger saw us climbing the rocks, stopped us and after he told us we were crazy, showed us how to get there

Was it worth it?  TOTALLY.  It was the most beautiful place I had ever seen/been to:  you could snorkel and see amazing ocean fish; the water was so calm and the waves crashing against the rocks was just incredible.

What was one of your best vacation spots and why?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 27, 2010 4:08 pm

    J (my hubby) says that going on a trip with your boyfriend/girlfriend is a good “test” of whether you’ll make it or break it. Good thing we “passed” ours, because I couldn’t be with a guy who didn’t like to travel!

    Awesome story about the Natural Pool – I like the adventure of finding those kinds of spots on my own and going off the beaten path.

  2. November 28, 2010 8:18 am

    I completely agree! It’s so important to have the same travelling personality. It’s tough to travel with someone who can’t lie on a beach if that’s all you like doing or vice versa. Luckily for me and hubs, we’re both total beach bums 🙂

  3. November 28, 2010 8:53 pm

    I would love to go to Aruba one day…

    My best vacation spot is Punta Cana, DR. It’s were Mike and i got engaged and where we got married so it holds a special place in our heart. We use to go every year and then took three year hiatus. When we went back last Christmas, it was like going back home.

    I always heart Mexico too!

    • November 29, 2010 4:26 pm

      we went to Mexico but it’s not our cup of tea; we like roaming around the city on our own without the fear of getting mugged/shot/killed. Jamaica is dangerous but I have relatives there so they took us out everywhere around Mo Bay. Never been to DR but heard it’s really nice! If you can go to Aruba, go! they NEVER post the weather because it’s guaranteed good weather and it’s out of the hurricane belt! They opened up a ton of new resorts; one of them is the RIU palace which I heard is amazing.

  4. December 1, 2010 6:26 am

    Punta Cana, DR for Lessh’s wedding! It was my 1st all in-clusive and there was 50 of us. I can be social, relax, enjoy the sites and see 2 of my great friends tie the knot! 🙂

    I love Hawaii too! I’ll never forget snorkeling I’m Hanauma bay and the beautiful sunset in the north shore…

    • December 1, 2010 8:54 am

      Hawaii looks so beautiful! but the flight is sooo long so I probably will never go there 😦

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