Aruba: Great Beaches, Amazing Food and How the Roundabouts Tried to Kill Me
You guys have no idea how badly I needed this vacation. Yea yea, I know, you guys think that I'm always on vacation, but I'm not. I'm seriously working...lol..Seriously!!! I have been exhausted lately. I dabbled a little bit into politics and helped out with a political campaign. We were all newbie's, so it took a little more extra work than any of us expected. I had no time for myself. I totally ended up neglecting my blog (you guys still love me right?), but I'm back **does the happy dance**
Right after the election, I made plans to go to Aruba. For those of you guys who have been following this blog, you guys know that I love to get to the airport minimum 3 hours before my flight. Sometimes I'm even at the airport before the ticket agents are there. You guys will never hear stories of me missing a flight. So like normal, I was at the airport 3 hours before my flight. Checked in, no problem, went through security, no problem. Grabbed some breakfast, no problem. So about an hour before we were due to board, I decided to walk to my gate and get comfortable. My gate was quite a distance away. It seems that there were a lot of people going to my gate, so while I was walking and updating my instagram, I just followed the crowd. Followed the crowd right out of the airport!!!! I followed the crowd down an escalator, and ended up at baggage claim, right at the exit of the airport. Clearly the crowd I was following just got off a flight and was trying to get their baggage, but since I was so busy on social media, I didn't even notice that I made a wrong turn!!! Sigh!!!!! There was no way to get back up to where I needed to be since the escalator only went down, not up. I even tried to ask security if he'd let me run up the down escalator. He straight up looked at me like I was nuts. So I had no choice but to go back through security again!!!!! And by this time, I already bought my coffee, and bought my expensive ass $4 airport bottle of water. As most of you know, liquids are not allowed through security at the airport. So I did what any self respecting person who knows the value of a dollar, and I chug a lugged the whole bottle of water in front of the security agent. I was not gonna waste that $4 bottle of water!!!! Judge me if you want!!!!
When I landed in Aruba, I was in heaven. The plane doors opened, and it was one of those airports that you had to walk outside to get into the airport. So as soon as the plane doors open, the Caribbean breeze just hits you. You just want to stand at the top of the plane stairs and inhale that amazing Caribbean scent.
For this trip, I decided to rent a car. What was I thinking? Why did I do this? My thought process was Aruba is a smaller island which you can drive through in a matter of hours. Since I don't necessarily always like to be around tourists, I'd prefer to have the ability to drive around at my own leisure. What I didn't anticipate is the roundabouts that almost took my life and the life of others! I have never driven through a roundabout. I don't know who has the right of way. I don't know if I was supposed to stop and signal. And the thing is, as soon as you drive out of the airport in Aruba there's a roundabout!! Did multiple cars start to honk at me? Absolutely! Did I miss my exit because I wasn't sure how to get off? Most certainly! Good Lord!!!!!
I also low key think that Google maps works with the gas companies. My google map sent me driving all over the island which caused me to have to buy more gas. I really think I'm on to a conspiracy here. Firstly, in Aruba, a lot of streets do not have streets signs. So when you think you are on one road, you're not. One time the GPS told me to turn right onto route 3, then turn left onto route 3...what?????!!!!! Aren't I already on route 3???? Man, some days I was driving through people's backyards!!! lololol Thank God Aruba is a safe island, and I never felt unsafe. I might as well had knocked on some doors and asked for a plate of food since I was already driving through their backyard!
This trip to Aruba mainly had 3 elements. Beach, food and sleep. If you asked anymore of me, it would be too much. So day 1, I headed off the beaten path to Baby Beach. Every day of the week I was actually at a different beach...because I'm show off like that! Each one was more beautiful than the next. I don't believe there are any private beaches in Aruba (don't quote me on that one!), so anywhere you go, you'll find locals. But who cares, they were there enjoying the beach with their families as well. This wasn't the typical Caribbean island that vendors were trying to sell you souvenirs or offer massages. It was quiet. No one approached me at all. To be honest, I'm not even sure what the locals look like in Aruba. Aruba is both a Dutch and a Spanish Island. There was also a decent sized black community as well. So if anyone asks me to describe a typical Aruban, I have no idea!
When I say clear blue water; I mean Aruba has some of the prettiest beaches that I've seen. Since I'm scared of anything touching my foot in the ocean, I could definitely appreciate the clear blue water. I went to one beach, which the locals told me was great for snorkeling. Although I wasn't snorkeling, I still wanted to check it out. I headed to Boca Catalina. It was so cute. Most of the people there were snorkeling. I even saw a few tiny fish swimming around me while I was in the water. I was having a great time until I heard this little girl who was snorkeling say to her father "Daddy daddy the octopus is still there!" WHAAAATTTTT? Octopus! Listen, I just took my time and came out of the people dem water like a G! Ain't nobody have time to be swimming with octopus! Not me...no sah!
I think the food in Aruba deserves its own blog post. Just a side note here. Did you guys know that there is a Hennessy gelato? Henny!!!!! You know I had to try it. You won't get tipsy off of it (I tried) but it definitely tasted like Henny.
I am slowly but surely getting over my fear of Air Bnb's. I'm still a resort girl, but the odd time, when I don't necessarily want to be around tourists, Air Bnb's are cool. I checked out 3 different accommodations on my trip to Aruba (We've already made it clear that I'm extra!) They were about a 10 minute drive from the strip with all the beachfront hotels. And they were perfect. The neighbourhood was quiet which was perfect for my sleeping agenda, and it was a quick drive anywhere. The only downside is you really need a car to stay there. Aruba does have a public transit system, but it kinda works better when you are staying on the hotel strip. If you don't want to drive, stick to the beachfront properties.
Look out for my next blog post when I divulge places that you must visit while in Aruba including;
Flamingo and Iguana Beach
Eating Dutch Pancakes
And how I had dinner in bed!!!
Things You Should Know
-Aruba is extremely windy. Do not pack a lot of short skirts or short summer dresses. You will end up flashing many unsuspecting people. I am speaking from experience! Trust me! When I was at Eagle Beach, I was physically assaulted by the sand because of the wind. It's serious.
-Aruba has its own currency called the florin. However most restaurant menus are quoted in U.S. dollars. So for my Canadian readers, it can get expensive. One day for lunch I was on the go, so I stopped at Wendy's and ordered a combo. That combo might cost $10/$11 in Canada, but ended up costing $15 U.S. there. And then by the time you convert that into Canadian, you're looking at $20!
-I don't know how to explain Aruba's heat. But it's hot! Aruba isn't a tropical island. It's actually like a desert with cactus trees since it rarely rains there. But the sun is exceptionally hot. They actually have a lot of shops that sell aloe, and aloe treatments to help people cope with the sun. You must wear a hat. I warned you!
-I tried Aruba's KFC. Meh. It was definitely no Jamaican or Trinidadian KFC! Fight me if you want to, but I stand by my words!