18 November 2009

One happy island.

We've made it home from our Aruban vacation, in one piece but slightly worse for wear. Brad arrived home minus one wedding ring (darn you, ocean stealer!), and while my sunburn has finally gone from stop sign red to a nice bronze, I'm crazy itchy and peeling and covered in sand flea bites (we won't talk about where, either [that's the last time I lay in the surf!]). That being said, it was beyond lovely to get away -- to the beach, no less -- and fun times were definitely in abundance.

What did we think of Aruba? Well, for one, it's hot. Like hot hot hot. Hot in a way I've never really quite experienced. It was at least 90 all day, and I've definitely never felt sun like that (we were only 20 miles from Venezuela! You can practically touch the sun from down there) -- you either had to be in the water (also the warmest, calmest ocean I've ever been in) or in the shade. When you head outside, your glasses (and camera lens!) immediately fog up from the humidity. At night, the temperature dips... to about 80. No cardigan necessary! (Although that is a hard habit to break and I brought one along most nights anyway.) If I weren't such a wuss, it'd of been perfect for nightswimming. Beautiful beautiful beautiful. The landscape is crazy, too. While we spent most of our time on Palm Beach, where the strip of resorts is, we did spend two days exploring the rest of the island where we discovered the strangeness that is Aruba. To your left, ocean. To your right, desert. Cacti, red rock, caves, lizards galore. We couldn't get over it.

We also couldn't quite get over our inability to break away from tourist Aruba and experience the real Aruba. Is there a real Aruba? I'm sure there is, but we couldn't find it. As far as I'm concerned, Aruba is 100% for the tourists (why on earth else would local musicians ever play "Kokomo" twice in a row???). While you can get away from the main resort area, you cannot get away totally from the everything-for-something mentality. Aruba is not cheap. You are conscious of your tourist status the entire time. Which is fine; but after years of trying to not be a cheesy tourist, Brad and I had somewhat of a hard time reconciling with some of it. But that doesn't take away from the island's beauty. It really is beautiful and has a little bit of something for everyone. And we had fun, of course. How couldn't we, when we were there to celebrate the wedding of one of Brad's oldest friends?

Congrats to the amazing couple!

A few of my other favorite vacation things:

Spending time with friends with don't always see that often.

$5 rafts. Best, and only, deal in five days of vacation.

Lizards everywhere. Big, little, green, blue... Out in the wild, you can hear the constant shuffle of hundreds of them running around.

The Rock Wish Garden. Miles and miles of little rock piles. Amazing.

Random crap on the beach. I get such a kick out of weird structures on abandoned beaches. We also saw a giant structure made from garbage that had washed ashore. I would love to know the stories behind these things.

Rolling with our homies.

Snorkeling at Baby Beach. Swarms of purple fish and blue fish and stripped fish and weird eely fish and my new favorite:

The cow fish!!!! Sooooo cute.

And, of course, exploring with my favorite travel partner ever...

My Bradford and I always find the cool stuff. Can't wait to see where the next adventure takes us.


Lady Lisa said...

I'm so happy you two lovely kids were able to get away and have such a great time. Aruba looks prettier than I had imagined; I love the lizards!

Brad said...

Everybody loves the "lizards"