Monday, August 18, 2014

Aruba is for lovers and also mothers!

I've heard the expression Aruba is for Lovers, but since I went on this vacation with my mom, and not my Dushi, (Dushi means sweetheart in Papiamento, Aruba's  native language) I created my own tagline "Aruba is for Mothers"..  



Can you believe when I first got invited I said no?  In the words of Homer Simpson... 




I promise I had a really good excuse for saying no, but due to the power of my facebook friends, I got many virtual flicks on the forehead and even more swift kicks in the ass.  You see, not even a month before I had some work done on my ticker and was recouping, but I guess if I was going to sit home and relax, why not relax on a beautiful Caribbean island? So I quickly changed my mind (women can do that as much as they want), pulled up my big girl pants, and put the plans in motion. 

Now keep in mind, this was a very last minute mother-daughter trip so I asked both my mom and my daughter to see if who was available to go with me.  With that said, my daughter couldn't go and at this point she would like me to share with you this PSA.  "Make sure your passports are current".  My daughter wanted to go, but she didn't renew her passport and I had to leave her behind

Once again.....



Fast Forward Two Days

Our chariot awaits... My mom had the local airport service pick us up at 4:30 am.  Not a bad start to the morning.


My mom all ready for take off! 

After a smooth flight, we landed in Aruba, found our ride to the Aruba Marriott and Stellaris Casino resort, and exhaled any last bit of stress we might have had carried with us from Boston.  




KNOCK - KNOCK - KNOCK

Here we are, room number 771, our home for a few days.







                                                                                                                          What a nice surprise!  Our lovely hostesses left us wine, fruit, and a cupcake. My type of meal!  




Since we were up very early for our flight, I was already looking forward to climbing between these crisp white sheets.  


The double sinks and large counter area was just perfect for two women.  We each had plenty of counter space for our makeup and jewelry bags. The closet right outside of the bathroom was a large walk-in with plenty of hangers too!




Our private balcony had the most amazing view!  There will be more photos to follow, but this is the sneak peek!  


Call me crazy, it's okay, others do :-), but I was up wide awake at 4 am the next morning and ready to start my day.  I decided to sit out on the balcony to breath in some ocean air and I was greeted by this beautiful moon!  I also got to enjoy the view of the moonlit resort while all was quiet to listen to the waves of the ocean and soft wind in the palm trees.  





Not that I was rushing the arrival of the sunshine, but who couldn't look forward to breakfast on the balcony with a view like this?  



Spoiled much?  I think not.  



With breakfast behind us, we all walked down the beach to Red Sail Sports for a catamaran cruise and some cocktails.



Whoa, I'm not sure which is whiter, the boat, my suit, or my skin.  Bring on some of that Aruba sun!





Here's our captain taking us out to the perfect snorkeling spots.  The crew was fun and friendly helping those who wanted to snorkel or those who wanted to use the slide on the back of the boat. Sliding into the ocean was a first for me on this trip, as was paddle boarding off the beach of the resort. 




After we got back to the resort and a little rest, we got ready for a night out and dinner at Pincho's.  Since it was built atop of an old pier, Pincho's is a chic bar and grill that extends right over the ocean.  When there are cocktails and conversation involved, this is when I wouldn't mind if someone tells me to "take a long walk off of a short pier" :-). 

I got to meet with the owner and loved hearing her charming story of how she used to visit the pier, with her family, and kept dreaming of creating a unique dining experience on top of the pier.  With some hard work and twists of fate, she follow your dreams and her dream became a reality.  Here you can sit on a swing built for two, sit at the bar, or dine at tables while watching the sun set. 




My unobstructed sunset view


If you haven't been able to tell, we enjoyed dining out a lot and the next morning was no different.  After being picked up at the resort, we were brought to Linda's Dutch Pancakes and Pizzas.  They served the largest pancakes I have ever seen!  







After breakfast and satisfied appetites, we all headed outside to begin our jeep excursion and adventure.  


First stop was the Aruba Aloe Factory .  Here we got a tour of the plant (no pun intended) where their aloe products are produced, their museum, and then shopped in the boutique. 



From tropical paradise to rugged terrain we traveled to the Arikok National park where cactus plants, wild goats and donkeys are abundant.


First stop the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary.






Next stop, the Quadirkiri, Fontein and Huliba caves.



Okay, let me just add here that some of the bats WERE NOT sleeping. With that said, they kept their distance while we walked in the dim light of the caves (as far as we could tell...  Boo!)  They really were a treat to watch.




Oh boy, more food!  The theme of Big Mama's Grill, which was Bedrock and the Flintstones, blew me away and let me tell you why.  During our excursion, I made the comment "This area looks like where the Flintstones would live. I almost fell over when I saw the Flintstone type car outside of the restaurants and the outfits the servers were wearing.  I guess great minds think alike.  Or as I said earlier.... crazy :-).


Next stop... back to the resort for some relaxing, primping and and some quiet time before dinner. 

Speaking of relaxing, did I mention there are TWO pools at the resort?  Yup one for anyone and one for adults only.  

I took the following photos early in the morning before most guests were awake, but they were never over crowded. 

The main pool has a swim up bar and serves light foods.




The H2O Adult Exclusive Pool also has cabanas to enjoy




Not my normal activity, but I found the time to take a selfie to show off my tan "cough cough" sunburn lines.  At 49, I never thought I would be using the word Selfie, but gotta keep up with the youngins and their lingo! 


Tear & Heavy Sigh, our last night on the island.
Dinner at Simply Fish, which is located on the grounds of the Aruba Marriott & Stellaris Resort.  Dining is outside on the beach where we once again watched an amazing sunset.  


Warning! This is a shoes optional beach and restaurant.  You might see.... NAKED feet


Bring on the dinner, cocktails, and wine!





We dined and laughed until the stars came out. I will keep the jokes we told to myself... for now.



Wait!  I can't go to bed yet!  I need to end my night by winning some big bucks in the casino!  


Cha Ching!  Jealous?

And what does any normal woman do when she wins .04 cents at the casino?  She goes window shopping at all of the fabulous stores in the resort of course!  




Now where is my Dushi when I need him!  I want to make a million dollar statement!


At least these mannequins are as white as I was when I arrived. They need a tan too!



For those looking to experience a bit more exclusivity the resort offers membership to the Tradewinds Club, which is an exclusive and intimate hotel within the hotel. 







Thanks for joining me on my trip to Aruba!