Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My heart belongs to Aruba!

For all my Lulu fb friends my race recap is here

Its..... Travel Tuesday!

Confession: head hurts too much to blog
Here is Aruba Part 2 and my favourite photos
Part 1 is located here if you need to catch up
Forgive me, i'll be back tomorrow
There is a picture at the end of the blog that is a hint of the recipe coming up tomorrow!
Love ya xox

Day Four

- it's an early 6am start for us today we want to beat all the tourists to the natural pool, those damn tourists are so annoying eh? Oh wait, yup, that's right I'm a tourist too but I'm nowhere near as annoying as these tourists they... Snap their fingers at waiters, they live for bingo and ignore the beauty of Aruba surrounding them, they get totally plastered at the lobby bar and make a fools of themselves and last but not least they drive their rental jeep like an idiot and get a flat tire! More on this later!

- So we aim for the natural pool first and end up at the opposite end of the island, no biggie we can take the other entrance but for some reason the entrance is closed and only the exit is open, I get the smart idea to go in anyway and as we pass the signs stating no entrance, military firing range when red flags posted we realize those pretty flags are indicating our lives were in imminent danger but we keep going till we see the police truck barreling up a hill towards us so we race out of the park and race outside the "we can arrest you for being in here zone" and notice the nice policeman waving good morning to us and the sketchy blue truck behind it finally opening the park, guess 8am in island time means 9:34am!

- The incredibly nice park worker explains how to get around and we head for our first cave, i head in first (and we know I'm a totally chicken when I'm home alone in the dark but I will bravely venture into a dark bat filled cave first on holiday)

- I promptly have a bat swoop near me and have to stifle my scream as Dave would have run the other way and refused to come in, my big strong boyfriend that can take down a pro fighter in a cage can't handle our 2 winged friends of the dark!

- it's incredible once you are in, light filters in the ceiling crevices and it's beautiful, at the back of the cave is another entrance to a second one that requires a lot of groping in the dark and Clint and I are the only ones brave enough to handle and once we avoid a few bats we find a very cool devil buddha that I'm pretty sure is just a rock but we use our imaginations to scare Dave and Heather once we are out!

- Next stop is the more popular cave with the Indian drawings and the park worker is so excited about telling us the history I can't help but get caught up in how early settlers made drawings with plant extracts that we can see now 100's of years later, I'll admit I was looking for the Lululemon symbol though

- it's now finally time to tackle the natural pool and after consulting several tour guides the boys get to the top of a ridiculously steep hill made up of boulders and they pull over and have a "discussion" as to whether or not they feel comfortable driving the rental jeep down there, half an hour later and Heather and I are over listening to them gage that they were still only 50% comfortable, so they decide to make a decision (finally) after watching another tourist attempt it, the cocky German drove so fast we literally ate his dust so finally we head out driving slow enough I could walk faster but it's hot and it would totally wreck my hair!

- we get to a spot that would be ridiculous to continue in the jeep if we wanted to keep our teeth and we hike for 15 minutes and get to the lookout and realize no no there is still another 10 minute hike, but it's taken us like 3 hours to get here, we WILL see the natural pool up close

- after 2 hours of driving, making friends with bats, a ridiculous do we or don't we drive it debate that lasted 29 minutes too long, watching a looney european driver we FINALLY make it to the pool and guess what, you can't swim because the water is too rough it's okay we get some crazy wave photos and prep ourselves mentally for the drive back, we can do it!

- Best part of the drive back? Seeing crazy Germans abandoned jeep with a blown out tire, muahahahahaa, slow and steady does win the race

- we finally eat lunch around 4pm because we can't eat the non-free food off the resort, don't want to reduce the running tally of what our bills have added up to so far

- The rest of the night was made up of dinner, drinks, drinks, dessert and the token drunk old guy Day five - start hyperventilating when I realize we have only 3 full days left, where is the time going?

- Today is spent at the private island and with the exception of getting chased by a rattlesnake on a nature hike (just because Dave didn't hear the rattling I certainly did and we know there are bad snakes here because we saw a boa constrictor in the middle of the road from the safety of our jeep and let's be honest a jeep offers way more protection then my $3 flip-flops so I wasn't taking a chance and booted it out of the brush probably waking a lot of iguanas from their naps, I should probably mention here the snake we saw on the road was a little bit dead and therefore did not pose any risk to us but still it was alive and dangerous at one point!) not helping our snake fear is the fact that anaconda was on TBS when we were getting ready this morning!

- then the rest of the day not much happened other then nap, swim, drink chill beer, repeat! - Have I mentioned this is paradise? Walking on the private island and I feel like I'm at the resort from the movie Couples Retreat, you know the one? Beautiful huts over the water, Vince Vaughn giving his annoying rants every 5 minutes

- anyway this place reminds me of it and I really don't want to leave!

About our resort

- it's a high rise hotel in the best part of Aruba, in the middle of the lobby is a moat where a speed boat comes in and takes us to the private island so you don't miss having a beach right at the hotel
- the sister resort is a 5 minute walk from ours past the posh stores that are part of our hotel such as Chopard and Carolina Herrara, this resort has a beach and a lot of old guys in speedos! - the staff are super friendly as in they smile are polite, make cute jokes and occasionally apologize for the food wait...
- the food takes forever, each meal takes at least 2 hours, the food always arrives from some far off place where I imagine underground tunnels all over the resort that lead to a kitchen full of worker elves who take one too many smoke breaks
- the resort is made up mostly of older people so when we are spotted by other underageofseventy couples they flock to us and try to make conversations that dont include the words dentures, bingo and bunions
- we feel very safe at the resort, and honestly the only issue is if you aren't exact and specific when you order your food you will get something different, I've ordered cheesecake with a mango marmalade 3 times now and each time it's different, I betcha those damn worker elves in the kitchen have some!

- 2.5 days left so I better get back to nap, swim, drink chill beer, repeat :o)

Day six, seven and coming home (boo!)

- our last couple of days have been made up of private island, swim up bar, fancy dinner and as much and I know you all love the travel blog you really don't want to be bored with just how many citrus rum coolers I can drink in one sitting! (about 4 cause I know you really want to know) So the last travel blog will be made up of things you MUST do in Aruba (like seriously you have to or I'll track you down and shove photos in your face screaming look at what you could have done, didn't you want to meet a dead boa constrictor?) and Donna & Daves tips on traveling (warning I will probably mention lululemon at least twice here), are you excited? I certainly am and the old guy sitting beside me on the bench waiting for the boat who is trying to read what I'm typing is too!

Must do in Aruba

1. Visit the bat infested caves in the national park, not only are they beautiful but its seriously fun to play batman in an actual bat cave, no one had to know who plays Robin!

2. Take a jeep to the lighthouse, it's not a supercool lighthouse (doesn't have a crazy lightkeeper in it that likes to scare the locals or anything) but it does make a great photo op! Please don't ride your hot pink bike there though, someone *might* slash your tires

3. Go to all the beaches (this is daves input can you tell? Lol!) baby beach, and palm beach were two of our favs, but let's be honest, anywhere with a beach, blue water and no sharks in sight I'm a happy girl!

4. Eat the beef, another Dave suggestion, the food here is great and on BBQ night Dave will send me up twice for more beef kabobs because he is embarrassed at the sheer amount he has ordered himself, and let's me honest he should be a little bit embarrassed

5. Stay at the renaissance, you get a private island, I mean what else do you need to know? We racked up $3703 in charges in food between 4 of us in one week, we definitely got out moneys worth out of them (suckas!)

Donna & Daves (but let's be honest mostly Donnas) tips on traveling

1. Invest in an e-reader, I often spent a lot of precious luggage weight bringing several books with me on vacation, using an e-reader gives you more room for cute shoes! And what's more relaxing then sitting on the beach with a book and a drink eavesdropping on the people around you (errr I mean appreciating the lovely scenery)

2. Stick with a colour theme when you pack, browns or blacks with accent colors, makes mixing and matching a lot easier (ex: in Italy I just wore blacks, greys and purples) and bring comfy shoes, no matter how bad your cute strappy heels scream from the hall closet to be included

3. Don't have high expectations, sounds kind of sad I know but if you expect a trip to be omg-best-trip-ever it won't, it will disappoint you, so just hope for a good time, don't read a lot of reviews and you will be amazed and in love with your destination and you won't be worried about some review Bob from Ohio wrote about how the one concierge named Edna was rude! (have to be honest with a name like Edna though she does sound a bit uppity)

4. Invest in good traveling gear, this year Dave and I bought lululemon* backpacks and they are ridiculously durable have a million convenient pockets and are well built, I've gone through 3 roots bags and they all broke mid trip, also clothes that wick away sweat are well worth the money, a company that sells this is you guessed it lululemon*, at least 50% of my wardrobe is lulu when I travel and the quality is ridiculous, yes it's pricey but they have a "we made too much" section on their website with sales and I always check out the sales rack when I'm in store, I'd rather spend $50 on a t-shirt that will keep it's shape forever then 3 crappy ones that are garbage by the end of the trip (and pretty stinky too)

5. Be laid back, take the everything in stride, things that go wrong are always the best memories of a trip

6. Always take a minute each day to stop, take a deep breath and appreciate the moment (we did it this morning on the boardwalk walking back from breakfast, I'm sure that iguana didn't mean to startle us and ruin the moment)

7. Have fun!!! Vacations are always more fun to remember once you are home, and think... The world is a book and those who don't travel read only a page (gosh this sounds profound but I'm delerious from lack of sleep as the party bus pulling up under our balcony woke me up at 1am last night and I'm pretty irked that our plane is delayed an hour, but hey I have to be laid back, appreciate the moment and relax in my lululemon, at least that's what this travel blog tells me to do)

* I do not own shares in lululemon I am just slightly obsessed with their clothes (Dave insists I replace the word slightly with full on)

So I'm sitting in the airport enjoying the fact that it's gloomy in Aruba right now and already desperately missing my Tropicalada, flamingo friends (unless you get too close, those effers are loud and can run pretty damn fast!) and my only worry being which cute bikini should I wear today So long Aruba, it's been a blast, maybe I'll see you again for a wedding to piss other tourists off, lol! A girl can wish right? Xoxox

Ps: for the love of god can the plane just take off already, and what is an auxiliary unit and why don't we have it?...

Pps: if my iPhone is found at the bottom of the ocean, (due to lack of auxiliary unit or temper tantrum) please locate my luggage and donate my lululemon to fellow travelers who appreciate luon and wicking ability

Ppps: made it home I'm totally keep the lululemon!

Thanks for reading everyone xox

Here is the sneak peek!