April 8th, 2018, passport in hand-I got to pack up my bags and travel to Aruba! My first time traveling outside the states, I was so excited!
I was excited for many reasons, but one was to come back home with tons of pictures and awesome memories to add in my blog for anybody wanting to travel there in the near or far future! So here I am, back in Pittsburgh, PA blogging about my dream filled vacation!
When we first arrived we checked in at the Holiday Inn Resort& Casino. As soon as you walk into the open lobby you see EVERYTHING! Beach, Coconut Palm Trees, the cool beach sand, workers promoting all activities, and vacationers enjoying the beautiful sunshine! It was as if you wanted to drop all of your belongings and just run straight for the ocean! But with reality, we had to check in, drop our bags off in the room, take off comfy plane attire and change into vacay mode! (INSERT PRAISING HANDS EMOJI!)
SUNCARE FOR ARUBA:
The first day was simple, we checked out our hotel, and then went straight to the beach. Now, back in 2009 when I vacationed in Hawaii I got terrible sun poisoning, also known as polymorphic light eruption. Anybody else get this? ITS QUITE ANNOYING. Well, guess who got it again in Aruba? I did 😦 So I had to lather myself with a lot of sunblock. I highly recommend ALOE GATOR Suncare. I’m part Filipina, so typically I use the lowest SPF but this week I used 30-50 SPF. Along with neutrgena Beach Defense water + sun protection at 30 SPF. (I guess 30 is still pretty low but I wanted some sort of tan to come home to!) These were both great in protecting sunburns on top of the PLE.
Anyways back to the fun part, Monday we headed to the breakfast buffet. The four of us decided we did not want to eat there again, so for the rest of the week we tried our best to eat off the resort (especially since we did not do all inclusive we wanted to venture out and thought that would have been better, and it was!)
PLACES WE ATE AND LOVED!
Dianas Pancake Place
Carlitos Sport Beach Bar– Off Eagle Beach
Eduardos Beach Shack — TO DIE FOR !! (once again insert praising hands emoji)
Flying Fishbone – We saved this night for last, it was absolutely breathtaking. We enjoyed our meal at a table that was sitting …in the ocean…. at sunset. What gets better than that?!
If you’re looking for a super mellow quiet wine and dine night, we did eat at the Divi Resort, I would probably give the food a 7/8 but it was very romantic and beautiful.
So more about….
Diana’s Pancake Place– Once you walk in and get seated- your server comes by and describes the menu to you. The menu is on the wall and has a list of savory pancakes and a list of fruit pancakes. I got the Hawaiian Pancake which is Pineapple, Ham, and Cheese. My friend got a fruit pancake that had powdered sugar over top. It was amazing, I can taste it now ! This is a must to try if you’re vacationing in Aruba.
Zeerovers was interesting, it was a little confusing at first because there wasn’t any menus and just a long line. So we stood in line and when you get up to the front the workers tell you what they offer and how you can order. When we went- they had shrimp, red snapper or tuna. After you choose your fish you can add a side. I love onions! I know I’m weird, I get that all of the time. But I did order their pickled onions! So I got Shrimp and onions. Meanwhile my boyfriend got Red Snapper, Cornbread and Plantains. The cornbread was not very exciting so I do not recommend ordering that but the Plantains were so good and so was the Red Snapper! They also skin and descale the fish in this small area but it is near some tables where people can watch, I personally thought it was interesting until I started thinking about the fish, felt bad and sat back down, LOL. Others were super engaged with it and taking videos but whatever floats your boat!
Flying Fishbone was a night for the books! You should get there around 5:30-5:45PM if you want to get a table in the water and in time for sunset. We tried making reservations online but nothing was available, however I think it could have been a glitch, we winged it and when we asked for a table in the water, they sat us right away. The service was great, I think they purposely take a little longer with serving right away so that you can enjoy your toes in the sand and just soak in all the relaxing/charming feels of the beachy experience. I ordered the Surf n Turf. It was absolutely tasteful. I was craving lobster all week, so I’m glad everything was on point!
Eduardos Beach Shack was very refreshing. It was all organic, and helped with boosting your energy because the sun knocks it out of you. Also, I became very sick Wednesday of dehydration, so I went to Eduardos the next day to get a shot of ginger and a Mermaid Bowl. The Mermaid Bowl consisted of Blue Pineapple, Pitaya, Coconut shavings, raisins, blueberries, strawberries, seeds and mango.
Okay, enough about food! Here are some of our adventures we took while in Aruba.
Tuesday we rented a full days worth of fun in an UTV to travel around the entire island. We started out at Diana’s Pancakes Place, and headed to Hooiberg Mountain- where we walked 600 steps up to the highest peak of the island! It was exhausting but definitely worth it. Plus I needed a little work out on this trip! You walk up these cement steps; that by the way every 100-150 steps is sprayed on the step to know how many you have walked so far, pretty cool. But once you get up there, you see it all. The island is 19 miles long and 4.5 miles wide, it isn’t very large which is why hiking up this mountain was so cool because you literally see everything. Also, passing lizards along the way is pretty awesome.
Photo above not mine! Google image.
Just wanted to show the mountain from far.
Hooiberg was amazing but then it was time for a little rough riding! We drove to Arikok Park to check out the beautiful coastline, and natural pool. It was a lot of fun driving though all the rocks and dirt along the way. But the rough coastline was my favorite part!
I apologize for the sound, I probably could have added music or something butttt…. I didn’t soooo LOL, enjoy the sounds of the true breeze we had that day.
We did go to the natural pool, it was super choppy that day so I didn’t get into it, just kind of climbed around some of the rocks, watched some fish and crabs swimming/crawling around. I don’t know how some of these models/public figures get their brave asses in those pictures but good for ya’llllll. I guess I’m just not that risky … yet. Haha.
Wednesday we did a champagne and snorkeling boat ride !!!! I have to say it might have been my favorite day (although that was the day I should have drank way more water) I still had a blast!!! I still can feel the fish swimming around my legs, we were able to swim with the fish and feed them.
We went down to a shipwreck, “Sunken M.S. Antilla” That was wrecked in 1940.
Also, on the boat we got served breakfast, lunch, and drinks all day long! We jammed out to music, and watched other people in the ocean doing other activities and other boats doing some crazy tricks. It was definitely one heck of a trip to remember!!
The best part was just getting away for a little with awesome people! Enjoying each others time, enjoying the beautiful weather and relaxing is just what we needed! Especially since we’re on the East Coast and this winter knew how to get under our skins. It was a great vacation and Aruba is a place I hope to visit again soon!
Thanks for reading !