We arrived on the island about 4pm. Got off the plane and picked up our two suitcases and hubby’s long tube packed with two fishing rods to find the top of the tube had been broken, not a good sign, TSA had opened it, broke the fishing rods and put a note in there saying they had inspected it. Off to find someone to talk to, finally getting nowhere with anyone at United we find out we have to talk to TSA back in NH when we get home. Off to find our rental car contact from Tropic Car Rental who is patiently waiting for us even though it’s been an hour past when we were supposed to meet him. He takes us to our car and we are off.
Getting out of the airport and to the hotel was a bit of trip to say the least; street signs are non-existent in Aruba. Luckily I had the map suggested by ArubaKid which at least told me the direction I needed to go! We found the Boardwalk hotel completely by accident. Pulled in and there was a note waiting for us on the office door (they are closed on Sunday) directing us to our Casita. The key was right where they said it would be and a bonus there was a cute little kitty waiting to greet us as well. She as well as another little friend lives outside the hotel and they were visitors of our patio all week which helped me miss my two kitties at home a little less. Our room had a full kitchen, living room, king sized bed, very large bathroom and a private patio with hammock and bbq. It was very quiet and we were right next to the pool. It was perfect for us. Across the street from the Marriott and the new Ritz Carlton but just far enough from the noise, exactly how I like it. The owners, Stephanie and Kimberly (sisters) were the sweetest girls and couldn’t have been more helpful! Gave us great info when we needed directions and also serve rum punch and snacks every Friday at 5 near the pool.
After getting to the hotel we called Aruba Cell and Trees came and dropped off our cell phone. So easy! We now had a phone with 90 minutes to call home with for the week for $50.
We then ran out to the convenience store to get some cream for coffee for the morning and beer for hubby. He was shocked at how small the bottles were! We eventually shopped at Lings for the week as well and found some bigger bottles but what is the deal with 8oz beers and nothing on draft?
Monday we went on a Kini Kini ATV tour around the Island with Pancho. I cannot say enough about this tour. We saw so much of the island and had a great time doing it. Pancho was a great tour guide, very informative, friendly, courteous, and always making sure we were safe. He took us to the Alto Visto Chapel, a water tower, the Baby Natural Bridge, the Natural Pool, Ayo rock formations, Bushiribana Ruins as well as several other places. It was a fantastic day. I highly recommend it!
Tuesday we went deep sea fishing on the Melina. A bit of a disappointment as we didn’t catch any fish and I did not do my homework with this one, as this was a trolling only trip, we wanted to do bottom fishing. We never even touched a fishing rod. One of the reasons I rented a place with a kitchen and a grill was because we were hoping to catch fish and cook it ourselves. So while the crew was very good and while I know its called fishing not catching for a reason this was not the best part of the trip. Next time we need to do better research before booking the first boat or the best price. We did get to meet a nice couple out of it!
We took a ride to Baby beach, I fell asleep in the car on the way there I was so tired! It was pretty but I thought it was rougher in the water than at the beach near the high rise. Hubby tried some fishing off the rocks, no luck.
Wednesday we booked a last minute trip to Curacao. I have always wanted to swim with dolphins it’s a top of the bucket list thing for me. Hubby told me on Monday to go ahead and get it done so off we went. It’s an 18 minute flight from Aruba. We got dropped off downtown for a few hours had breakfast, walked around and enjoyed the sites. The buildings are very pretty, so colorful. Then we were picked up and driven to the Dolphin Academy. This was probably the best thing I have ever done. There is a half hour dolphin show and then you are brought out to swim with your dolphins. There were 7 of us with 3 dolphins for ½ an hour. You get lots of one on one time, they send the dolphin over to you again and again. It was so much fun! They also have a small aquarium you can walk around and see sea turtles, sharks, fish, rays, sea lions, and I even had my picture taken holding a flamingo. Granted it’s not the best photo of me since it was after swimming! It was a fantastic day and we were back to our hotel in Aruba by about 9pm that night very tired!
Thursday we went horseback riding with El Paseo Ranch. Emilio came and picked us up at the hotel at 9am and brought us to the ranch where Franco introduced us to our horses, Tasmania for me and Champagne for my hubby. We went with some newlyweds from Toronto and it was great to just have the 5 of us including the guide. I can’t say enough about this ranch and Franco. You can tell he loves the animals. Dingo, the ranch dog came on the ride with us and it was a long ride, and she goes every time so she must love it! We went out towards the lighthouse and got to see where Oprah has a home. Franco even let us gallop in the sand! We had one rider in our group who was very nervous and the horses were gentle and easy to manage. Next time I want to do the sunrise ride for sure. When we got back to the ranch they watered down the horses right away and they don’t go out again that day, I was happy to hear that!
We went to Arashi beach with a snorkel and mask and the fishing rod again. I tried snorkeling for my first time and am glad I did because we were supposed to go out on the Jolly Pirate the next day. I didn’t like breathing through my mouth or having the mask on my face at all. We decided to cancel the Jolly Pirate trip. Hubby did all the snorkeling he wanted right there at the beach and I just pretended I didn’t know what was in the water with me, I liked it better that way! What I don’t know can’t hurt me!
He fished with the snorkel and mask on it was a sight, no luck again.
Friday we went shopping downtown bought a few souvenirs to take home and went to the Seaport Casino to play the penny slots. I ended up winning $150, not too bad, time to walk away a winner and go to lunch. Which we did!
Saturday we decided to spend our last day at Arashi beach. We took a ride up to the lighthouse first and took some photos then found a nice secluded spot where it was like we had our own private beach. It was a little rocky but it was great for hubby to fish and snorkel. Not so great for me because as soon as I put my sparkly toes in the water something grabbed it, freaked me out and I was done with that! I spent the rest of my time collecting shells!
I have to say most nights I was in bed before 10pm and hubby went fishing. I was so exhausted from the days that I couldn’t keep my eyes open to do much more than make it through dinner.
I had a great time, as did hubby, we can’t wait to go back.