Aruba was amazing! To be honest, it took me a couple days to get used to a few things, like the weird bus system... they pretty much don't run on a timely schedule what-so-ever.
(note: this was a joke... I wasn't really that upset!)
The bus stops and I actually became pretty good friends by the time our trip had come to and end.
I enjoyed every minute of it though and it was such a neat island to explore.
The pictures are in no order, but I will post a caption with each when needed! :) Enjoy a bit of the beautiful island with us!
There are cactus plants everywhere! Our resort was on a breathtakingly beautiful beach, yet you walked out onto the grassy areas right off the beach and there were cactus and aloe plants growing!
Every morning we sat in this little area for our delicious breakfast.
Every single morning, Gouda cheese was part of my meal.
Gouda, fruit and french toast!
Our lunches were served right to our little hut on the beach!
Can a lunch get any more amazing?!
We took a land-rover tour of the island to go to the areas that we weren't able to get to on our own by car (though Mono says next time we go - if there is a next time - he wants to rent his own little jeep and go it ourselves... ummm, I don't think so! I need a trained islander to drive me around. The roads we took, well they weren't really even roads most of the time, were insane. INSANE!
This was one of our stops... the Natural Pool. It is found on the northern side of the island where the water is quite a bit too rough and deep to swim in. We had to go down these rocks to get there... yes, and then climb all the way back up them to return to the top!
It was beautiful and I had so much fun! You swim in this little "natural pool" with the fish and the huge waves crashing on the large rocks around you! So neat!
I love these piled rocks! 7 - one wish per rock.
These cactus fences amazed me. All you have to do is chop off a top part of a living cactus and stick it in the ground. No big digging or anything. Pretty cool! Oh, and that tree, a divi divi tree, look at it; growing in the parking lot! I loved those trees. They are all over the island.
This was another stop on our tour... an old gold mine that was made to look like a castle or fort by the Indians years and years ago.
Another stop, which was just beautiful. I truly could have spent days there, just taking it all in. The scenery, the crashing waves... everything.
Oh my goodness... The Donkey Sanctuary.
At first when I heard we were going there, I thought, "come on, really?"
I live in Alabama. We have donkeys all around us.
But once I got there, I remembered those little friends of mine and how much I love them.
This little guy smiles on command. No lie.
This is at the natural pool again...
The Natural Bridge area of the island.
The big one collapsed a few years back, but this small one was still standing. I hope it lasts for many years to come because it is so beautiful.
The waves on this part of the island are just amazing. I had seen a picture of them when I was looking at Aruba tour books and websites and I was hoping some how I could see this place, but didn't know where the pictures were from, so I was so excited when we arrived and I saw that we were in that spot that I dreamed of going to!
I was wishing I had an amazing camera lens for this spot. Even though I didn't, I tried to make the best of it and took only about 1,000 pictures at this one spot. Not too many. ;)
Mono had to stand by the DANGER sign... Good way to make a new wife nervous. ;)
The piled rocks again. :)
On one of our last evenings there, we had a delicious dinner on the beach outside our room.
I am sure I will never have another dinner like it!
Now some sunset shots:
I wish I was better at knowing the settings for my camera so they would have come out better. Oh well. You'll get the point and we'll remember it in our memories!
Our resort at night:
And some during the day:
The pool area:
Our sailing trip...
I'm going to be honest here... I enjoy being out on the water, but I have been known to get a little sea-sick. Nothing serious, just a little woozy. I am okay on a fast boat, but sailing, I wasn't sure. I've gone back and forth with getting sea-sick. Turns out I did fine and was loving the boat.
We took the catamaran out to go snorkeling... yeah, I wasn't loving that idea. I had no idea where they were taking us and I didn't like that idea. I was fretting about the thought of not seeing land. Thank God we could still see land when they dropped the anchor. And we could see the bottom of the ocean floor... the clear water and sand. "Yes, I can happily jump in this water," I thought to myself. But then came stop number two... Deep, dark, open waters, over a shipwreck.
I was freaking out inside.
Really freaking out.
Scared out of my mind freaking out.
On the first stop I had fins and they just did not work for me. They weren't fitting me right and I was struggling more than enjoying the swim. So I knew in the second stop I'd try a life-vest instead of the fins. The water in the second stop was quite choppy. I told the guy I didn't want fins and he was surprised that I'd want to go out there without fins... everyone else had them on.
So there I was, standing on the edge, looking at everyone else out in the water, getting all the courage I could to just make the plunge and jump in those scary unknown waters.
I did it.
I think I screamed under water pretty loud though.
That's good though... scared any potential sharks away. ;)
Then when I got out there the life vest was causing me to struggle more than I thought it would so I deflated it and man, that made all the difference in the world.
The best part though... getting back on the boat, of course being number one. But when I got up there, the guy saw "the girl with no fins" and saw that I also had deflated my vest.
He looked at me kinda surprised and said, "You're a good swimmer?" And I said, "Yeah?" And he was like, "Impressive, going out there like that." - without any help!
haha- Maybe there aren't many good female swimmers out there in Aruba?
But here I am, happy to be back on the catamaran, sailing.
Last day and stormy weather:
I fell in love with our polka dot curtains in our room. I want some in my house. Maybe in my "nest," which is one of our guest rooms.
Our room (bottom left) and some pretty coconuts right outside our door!
Mono's friend, the dancing cactus:
We rented a car and drove around, visiting the California Light House, the Alta Vista Chapel and some other spots on the island.
Going into town, Oranjestad, and Mono's mini photo shoot with his new hat!
Our cute car and it's "one happy island" license plate:
Our hats :)
My handsome driver:
Going to the Chapel:
For Brian :)
For Sasha :)
They played a movie on the beach right outside our room on our last night. It couldn't have been a more perfect ending!
Hugo, our tour guide on the land-rover tour:
My 7 rocks piled up.
Dinner at Papillon:
Yes, and MORE cactus.
And just a few more pictures from another stop on our land-rover tour:
Well, I think that's it... and it was plenty long. I hope you all enjoy Aruba, and if you are looking for an island getaway, I highly recommend it! :)