S: Palm Beach, Aruba - May 2012
BC: DEPARTED | Aruba | 14 MAY 2012
FC: Palm Beach, Aruba May 2012 | Bon bini
1: Aruba | Aruba | ARRIVED 10 MAY 2012 | is a 25.5 mile-long island of the Lesser Antilles in the southern Caribbean Sea, located 16.8 miles north of the coast of Venezuela. | The photograph on the cover was taken by Bill and edited by Lindsay.
2: Part 30th birthday getaway for Lindsay and part relaxation for both of us, Aruba was the perfect vacation destination. The island had everything you would want on a beach trip - excursions, umbrella-topped drinks, white sand, clear-blue water, good food and perfect weather (minus one rainy morning). It was "one happy island."
5: OCCIDENTAL GRAND RESORT is where we stayed. There were no shortages of food or drink as it was an all-inclusive resort. It is amazing how quickly you can lose your sense of time at a place like this. The only way we could tell time was by the movement of the sun and the growl in our stomachs. With six restaurants and five bars to choose from, a variety of water sports, a free-form pool, nearby shopping, an on-site casino and nightly entertainment, we had limitless options to fill both days and evenings. Although we did take advantage of some amenities, lying on the beach without a care in the world was our choice activity. OK, that and sitting at the pool bar. | A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent upon arriving. Lao Tzu
8: THE ROYAL CLUB SUITE is an exclusive section of the resort that gave us a very personalized stay, starting with a private check-in (complete with glasses of wine); it was a great way to kick off our trip. Bill gets the credit for upgrading us to the Royal Club. Bravo! Melvin, our waiter, and Hazel, our concierge, took very good care of us. Melvin introduced us to the Strawberry - "The BEST on the island!" [drink pictured above]
11: THE RESTAURANTS were delicious and we ate well on this trip. Each restaurant had a different theme, but our favorite was L'Olio, serving Italian cuisine (who would have thought?). In addition, we had our own private restaurant available to us throughout the day in the Royal Club Suite. It was like having a personal chef! | The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. St. Augustine
12: THE ATV TOUR took us to places on the island not accessible by foot. We saw the Natural Pool, Natural Bridge, Our Lady of Alto Vista and an old Gold Mine. The stacked rocks [above left] are created by people in hopes that a wish comes true.
14: THE NATURAL POOL | is on a deserted stretch of coastline, a unique formation of volcanic stone circles creates a hidden, tranquil pool also known as "Conchi" or "Cura di Tortuga." The location of the Pool is surrounded by some of Aruba's most rugged terrain and is inaccessible by car, so we needed to get there on our ATV. The waters of the Pool were too choppy to swim the day we visited.
16: The Natural Bridge | collapsed on | 2 SEP 2005
17: OUR LADY OF ALTO VISTA is a chapel built in 1952 on the site of the original, and first, Catholic church built in Aruba in 1750 by a Spanish missionary, Domingo Antonio Silvestre. The bright yellow chapel is reached by a winding road lined with white crosses marking the stations of the cross. It is a special place for peace and contemplation, surrounded by the Aruban countryside.
18: THE GOLD MINE LOCATION is the remains of a gold smelter that was built of natural stone in 1825 and functioned for most of the 19th century. It is said that the smelter, in its ninety years of operation, produced around three million pounds of gold. There is no more gold to be found - we asked. | Bushiribana | RUINS
20: with so much relaxing to do and so little time. During frequent breaks from lying around in the sun, we: swam in the pool, did water aerobics (Bill's favorite!), swam in the ocean (which had absolutely no waves), drank rainbows blessed by bartender Luis and Aruba's beer - Balashi, fed wild iguanas, lost money in the casino, took walks on the beach and did our fair share of people watching... ...and of course, Bill enjoyed a Cuban cigar... in a robe... overlooking the picturesque landscape. | TIME WELL SPENT
22: PALM BEACH has a surreal scenery. Pictured here was our view from the room's balcony. The boats shown in the picture, in addition to many others (including a pirate ship), were anchored just off the shoreline. We got a nice close-up view of all the boats as we dodged them while ocean kayaking.
24: Farewell Aruba... until next time...