Sunday, October 16, 2011


Our honeymoon in Aruba was amazing. I find myself wishing all the time that we could go back tomorrow. Raise your hand if you can tell me where Aruba is located? Sorry, that would be the geography teacher in me. I only ask this question because I had NO idea where Aruba was until I booked the trip. I knew it was in the Caribbean, but I did not know how close it was to South America. It is a very small island (17 miles long) right off the coast of Venezuela... yeah, IT WAS HOT. As soon as we got off the plane the heat hit us like a brick wall, within seconds Hunter made a very inappropriate comment about how his "somethings" were already sweating...

We stayed at the Marriott Resort in Palm Beach, it was so nice! One thing that was great about Aruba was that we didn't have to stay on the resort the whole week due to lack of safety. Aruba is very safe, we walked down the beach every night into "town." This is where we ate most of our dinners and did a little shopping with the local street vendors. The first night we ate at this awesome BBQ restaurant called Smokey Joe's. It was caribbean influenced BBQ... it was SO good. We got some sort of platter that had BBQ shrimp and chicken, pulled pork, ribs, some banging potatoes, and last but not least, fried plantains. It was my favorite thing to eat while we were in Aruba, and almost every restaurant had them.

On our walk into town on the first night. Notice the sun... that was the last time we saw it until the day we left. 

Beautiful sunset, one of the only ones we saw.

Second night, dinner and a show at the resort.
 The third day, Hunter got the Husband of the Year Award when he agreed to go on a 6 hour island tour with me :) We were both really glad we did it... even though we were probably the youngest people on the tour by 20 years. The bus driver was full of interesting facts, I will share some with you throughout the post. We went and saw California Lighthouse on the northern most tip of the island. FUN FACT: tourists are no longer allowed to go up to the top because about 10 years ago a tourist couple committed suicide by jumping off the top...
Awkwardly posing in front of California Lighthouse. 

 This picture (above) was taken from the bottom of the lighthouse, notice the overcast conditions? This was what it was like ALL week... when we go back home, the first comment we got was "Wow, we expected you two to come back really tan!" There was a lot of sun on the first day and I put on SPF 85... My worst fear was that I would get really bad sunburn on the first day and be miserable the rest of the week. Needless to say, I got no sun at all. But I digress. We also went to Alto Vista Chapel, it was the first church on the island.
 As you can see from the picture above, Aruba was very, very dry. The island itself is all volcanic rock, it has little to no water. All of the water on the island comes from the desalinization plant, the water out of the tap tastes like bottled water, yumm. When the Spanish first explored the area they chose not to colonize it because it is basically a desert island that gets little to no rain... So the Dutch colonized it instead. They eventually discovered some gold, and later they discovered granite. We saw some of the old mines and quarries, but neither were sustainable resources for industry. Currently, tourism is Aruba's main industry, they also have a brewery with their own local beer called Balashi, it was a really good pilsner. There is also an oil refinery that used to refine oil from Venezuela, but  the U.S./Venezuelan conflict caused Aruba to take sides. Venezuela gave Aruba an ultimatum, if Aruba was going to trade with the U.S. then Venezuela would not trade with Aruba. American tourism is too important to Aruba's economy, so the Valero refinery now just sits there. The embargo between Venezuela and Aruba has also caused the cost of most goods to drastically increase, everything was pretty expensive down there. I did not mean for this post to turn into a social studies lesson!
Our next stop was the Natural Bridge, it was a land bridge that collapsed in 2005. But we were able to see Baby Bridge!

Of course Hunter had to find something to eat. 

 At our next stop we got to go snorkeling at Baby Beach... Fun Fact: this is where the that American woman reportedly went missing a few months ago, her boyfriend is currently one of the only people sitting in the only prison on the island. Very little crime occurs in Aruba, the locals understand that tourists mean jobs, and tourists don't like crime. The only major crimes in Aruba in the last few years seem to be rich white guys going a little crazy on their vacations.
Baby Beach

One of our nightly walks

Hunter taught me how to play chess, I'm not very good at all. 
 It NEVER RAINS in Aruba, thats what we were told time and time again. It really never does, except on our honeymoon and on the day that we planned to get on a boat and go on a snorkeling trip!! FUN FACT: The average rainfall in Aruba is less than 20" year... It is due to the location of the island and the trade winds in the region.

 The Happy Hour Snorkeling trip was a lot of fun, the rain ended up holding off and the seas weren't too bad. We went snorkeling over a German ship that was sunk off the coast of Aruba during WWII. The German's were trying to occupy all of the Dutch colonies... again I turn this into a history lesson....

Iguana's were EVERYWHERE!
 On our last night in Aruba we had dinner reservations at a restaurant that served dinner out on the beach at sunset. We were both really excited until there was an island-wide power outage about 5 o'clock... right about the time we needed to take showers for dinner. Needless to say, I wish I looked a little bit more "put together" as my friend Jenn Love would say, but oh well! Luckily, the hotel where the restaurant was located had the largest generator on the island, so we were also the only people on the island that got to eat dinner out that night! It all worked out perfectly and was extremely romantic.
Last night in Aruba, dinner on the beach... it was the best. 

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