Jim and I landed safely in Aruba, unpacked our suitcases and got ready to go for a swim. After the two flights we had to take to get there, I was anxious to get in the water to de-stress!
(One travel tip I have learned is: pack your swimsuit and flip flops in your carry-on luggage. This way, if your checked bag is lost, or if your room at the hotel isn’t ready, you can still go to the beach or pool.)
The one commitment we had was a company awards dinner that we had to attend. I guess blending a little business with pleasure was OK, considering the company was picking up the tab for the entire trip! So after swimming in the infinity pool and getting used to the time change a bit (an hour ahead of us here in CST), we went to the awards dinner and then, for the rest of the time in Aruba, were on our own.
I had mentioned that the Renaissance Hotel was separated: one part of the hotel was a high-rise for adults only, and the other part (across the street) was a family resort and timeshares. A golf cart would run you to the either side, but the coolest thing was that the property included a private island some 20 minutes from the hotel. To access the private island, you had to wait for a speedboat at the pier, give the captain your room key (which he swiped into a fare box and returned), and then he’d zip you over to the private island. This island was also split up into the Iguana side (families) and the Flamingo side (adults). This island was some of the most beautiful beaches we’ve seen; from the deep blue of the Caribbean Sea to the white sand on the beach. Here are some pictures. (Warning: no makeup, no photoshop, sea salt wind in the hair. Going Native….)
Here we are on the speedboat. You can see the wake churning up behind us and in the further distance, the greenery of the private island.
I sat in a beach lounger directly under this palm tree. As you can tell from the photo, Aruba is a very breezy island and we were surprised that, at night, when the sun went down, the temperature didn’t cool off very much. Temps were in the mid to upper 80’s with a nice breeze the entire time.
Aruba doesn’t have any mosquitoes – Jim said the wind blew them away from the island – (except for this very lush, green, nature trail and they advise not to take it if you aren’t wearing mosquito repellent). We didn’t take the nature trail because I didn’t have repellent and didn’t want to get bitten up. I mention this because of the Zika virus. If you are planning a destination wedding/honeymoon, Aruba is a great place to go, and not have to worry about Zika.
(Me, on the private island, under said palm tree)
(an iguana, hiding under my beach chair)
On the private island, they feed the Iguanas around noon every day. All the iguanas come running toward the little bridge that separates the two halves of the island to get a lunchtime meal of lettuce. This guy ate his lunch and ran under my chair. There is a pellet machine that dispenses shrimp tablets for the Flamingoes. These birds approach you and eat the pellets right from your hand. I tried to get a good shot of this, but they were surrounded by people, so I couldn’t really get a decent shot.
We had a great day on the island and got in a lot of sun and swimming. We decided to go for an excursion off-roading the next day….so please stay tuned for Part 3.
Thanks! Your friend,