I am now officially obsessed with the Caribbean. Before my trip to Aruba, I had never actually seen white sand beaches or turquoise water. And once I realized how amazing it all is, I couldn't get enough. I felt like I was living in a postcard the whole time.
I wanted to hug the palm trees, but I was afraid a lizard would jump out and eat me.
My sister, Mom and I out on the town
Enjoying a delicious dinner at Madame Janette's (so good!)
So in order to squeeze a week's worth of travel tales in one neat little (ok not so little) post, I thought I'd highlight the important parts in a segment I'd like to call "Happy Learnings from One Happy Island":• Going on vacation with my Mom and sister means lots of sun time, lots of reading time and lots of relaxing time. Exactly what I needed.
• Snorkeling is fun. And sometimes dangerous, especially when you jump off the side of a sailboat into the middle of the ocean on a cloudy day, in a sea of very, very choppy water. When you're trying to stay afloat with 30 other snorkel-happy people, you might collide with someone. Head on. And end up with a cute little cut and egg-sized lump on your forehead. Thank goodness the crew onboard thought to douse my head in vodka to clean the cut. Vodka buuuurns. (And I walked around smelling like a dirty bar the rest of the day.)
• Playing the "guess what I am singing under the water" game never gets old...no matter how old you are.
• The sound of waves crashing on the beach is so much better than an iPod.
• If I ever get a pet iguana, I'm naming it Bob because iguanas love to bob their heads. There are oodles of head-bobbing iguanas all over Aruba and they love to lounge in the sun. Hence, the "lounge lizard" phrase.
• If a 73-year-old couple suggests a fun outing, they mean you'll end up at a "street festival" in the backyard of a cultural center watching little kids jazz dance and old people getting their kicks from an off-tune organ. And if you find yourself in such a place, it's not okay to burst out laughing (whoops), but it is okay to quickly sneak out the back.
• If you tend to talk wildly with your hands and feel the need to give a passionate speech about the Aruban economy in response to someone simply saying, "Aruba is beautiful", perhaps you shouldn't be a cab driver. It could result in very swervy driving, very wrong turns and very scared passengers.
• Thong swimsuits are never appropriate. Especially on men. (shudder)
• I adore Aruba Aribas. Almost as much as I adore Strawberry Daqoladas, a hybrid of a Strawberry Daquiri and a Piña Colada. Mmm so good.
• Happy hour is so much better when tropical drinks are involved.
• It is a little creepy to see a huge missing persons case centered in Aruba resurface all over headline news when you're actually in Aruba.
• The Aruban airport is like a funhouse. Only not a fun funhouse. And it's important to remain patient while you wait in line 2 hours to even get to the check-in counter. And then while you wait in line another 2 hours to go through Aruban customs, one security check point, another security check point, a huge room full of luggage to pick up your screened luggage, a trip through U.S. customs, and yet another room to drag your luggage to the plane. It just makes leaving vacation that much more difficult...
• Don't try to smuggle a parrot home in your suitcase. It might have the bird flu (and that's clearly the only reason why it's a bad idea). The Aruban airport feels the need to tell passengers that with brightly colored posters hanging on EVERY wall.
• It's possible to take 3 million pictures of sunsets and only about 5 of actual people. See below:
Amazing. If you haven't been to Aruba, you should definitely go. It's warm, sunny and picture perfect every single day. I can't wait to go back...