Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Beach Boys were right!

Aruba is amazing! Kev and I were blessed with the opportunity to go see another beautiful country! For those of you that don't know, Aruba is an island off the coast of Venezuela (about 11 miles or so from it). It is only 19 miles long and about 6 miles wide. The weather (when we were there) was from 82-89 but only changes about 5 degrees all year long. It is the perfect dry heat with a perfect cool ocean breeze. We were able to get two weeks off of work and with Kev being in between school semesters, there was no better time than the present! We were there for 10 days, so beware, it's a long post...mainly so I can remember stuff when I start scrapbooking about it. So we flew out Wednesday, Dec. 29th early morning. We flew from SLC to Chicago to Miami and than to Aruba. We got there Wednesday night, so our festivities began Thursday, Dec. 30th...which was our 4th anniversary!! It was a PERFECT way to celebrate! Thursday, we rented our jeep and went to the North part of the Island called Noord. We found a place called Coconut Inn and went to Palm Beach which is near the High Rise hotels. We stopped by some shops at the Palm Beach plaza! Kev got some sandles and I got a swimsuit then we headed to Palm beach.
Driving along in our jeep. It was so much fun to put the top down!

That night, we went out for our anniversary to "Gilligan's" It was right on the beach.
Friday, Dec. 31st, we relaxed some more. Hung out at the beach and went to the Hyatt pools. That night we went to Tomatoe Charlie's and they had the absolute best pizza ever. Kev puts it in the top 3. It was seriously amazing. That night was obviously New Years Eve and it was the craziest thing we have ever witnessed! I'm not lying either. I have to show people the video so people believe what I am talking about. Unfortunately, for some reason, I can't upload it (I think it might be too long) at this time, just take my word for it!! Fireworks are legal in Aruba, so EVERYONE had their own. It started on the 30th...but New Years, about 2 hours before was ridiculous and 2 hours after. Let alone right at midnight! Anyway...perfect way to start out the new year! The first couple days were obviously spent just relaxing and enjoying the island. Charlie's was so amazing that we did the same thing...the next night, Saturday, Jan. 1st! haha! We had the same waitress and everything. All was the same, except we ordered the Large pizza instead! :)
We left the "Coconut Inn" for the South part of the island. Before we did that though, we traveled North to the furthest tip where the California lighthouse is. The water was beautiful!

We've never seen the end of an island before. It was a U-shape of water. (does that make sense?) It was really cool.
Kev at the lighthouse. We loved having a rental made even driving a blast! I loved being able to go to the whole island. It was quite the adventure!
Sunday, Jan. 2nd, we had reservations at our place in Savaneta (the South part where more locals are). We actually got it from Hostelworld, so we didn't know what to expect, but we were really excited to find out. And this is what we got........PURE HEAVEN. I am taking this picture from our bed. Kev's on our balcony. They were little beach shacks. The double doors opened up and we could wheel the bed out to the balcony if we wanted.
Part of the inside of our bedroom.
When we got there, the group was going to B55..a local restaurant and asked if we would like to come with them. Of course, we loved to!
Edward...quite the character as you can tell by his outfit. haha...we absolutely love this man!! When Kev went outside to put the top on of the jeep, Edward asked me to dance. He has his speedo on underneath that! ha! There were about 15 people that we met, all from different parts of the world. We had so much fun with them and continue to talk! Can't wait to meet up with them someday again!
Our first sunset in Savaneta. This was from our dock.
Monday, we drove around, just exploring the different beaches and such. The cool part about this island is that it is considered a "desert island' because in the past hundreds of years, it only rained about 14 inches a year. Well, this year, they had multiple times that it would rain 16 inches a week. It had showers the whole time we were there. So that's why they have all these sweet cacti everywhere! It sure makes the island unique!
We pulled over to baby beach...
Then we rode to Arikok National Park. It was right on the beach. There were random goats everywhere. I absolutely loved the baby ones and wanted to take one!!
The first cave we went to was Quadirikiri Cave.

This is from inside the cave, looking out to the ocean...
Then the Fontein Cave...those are drawings from hundreds and thousands of years ago.

Then we drove towards the beaches inside the weren't able to swim because it was really dangerous, but they sure were beautiful!

This was a crazy cave that opened to the other side...

We loved coming home every night. It was so much fun even to just be at the dock, watching the sunset, and hanging out with the others. This was taking a picture from the dock. Our room was the top one on the right where Kev is. There was a room below us, and a room to the left and then the bottom left is the full kitchen that anyone could use. There were two other places there also.
Here's the pic from our balcony.
The sunsets were seriously amazing!

Some of the gang, just hanging out and talking Monday night...
Monday night we went to Aruba's capital, Oranjestad and got something to eat and just walked around. Aruba has Aloe Vera everywhere...Kev got a little too much sun Tuesday, so we rubbed this on him. He smelt horrible, but it was still nice to have it near by! :)
From our balcony...I seriously still have dreams about this..

Wednesday, Jan. 5th, we went scuba diving! We got certified in Cancun last year and had to go while we were in Aruba!! We were excited because we were doing off shore dives. We went with Jads dive and had so much fun. It was me, Kev and Rudolph from Bolivia that was our instructor. Our first dive was at Rocky Beach and we went 77 feet deep! It was AWESOME!! We saw some beautiful fish and eels and some crazy coral.
Then we dove at baby beach (behind us.) A lot of people come here to go snorkleing, so it was awesome to be able to go scuba diving here. We again saw some sweet fish and even saw a sea turtle!! Even though he wasn't right next to him, we still saw him! :) Wednesday night, we went to Charlie's with the gang..which is a bar and grill in San Nicolas. We had some awesome sirloin from Brasil there!!
That night we had "Dancing Under the Stars" on the dock. It was the whole group and it was so much fun. Some people had left earlier in the week, but we were happy that at least some of us got to enjoy it!! We danced the night away for about 4 hours! So much fun!!
Since we had to drop off the car Wednesday night, Kev and I decided that we would just hang out at our place for our last day. We laid out, swam, read, etc. It was such a relaxing last day...we saw some sweet crabs too! :) Unfortunately, Kev got a little too much sun, so we just relaxed and got some Subway (yes..we bought American food in Aruba!) that night. Here is Julie, Peter and Jack. Julie and Peter are from London and moved to Aruba (without ever visiting the island) 6 years ago. 4 years ago, they built the shacks. We were so grateful for them and hopefully we'll go back and visit them again!! We had such an amazing time and absolutely love Aruba!! We left Friday morning, Jan. 7th (thanks Amadeo for taking us to the airport!!) and got back to freezing cold Utah Friday evening. It was so much different than what we had just been in, but it was still beautiful in its on kind of way! :) I still dream about Aruba and hope that one day we can go back!


Josh and Kaleena said...

Looks like tons of fun! Happy Anniversary! (Can you believe it... 4 years? Crazy!)

Tyson and Dani Todd said...

How fun!! Aruba is BEAUTIFUL!!!!

Jennifer said...

Love it! What an amazing vacation!

April and Wes said...

Happy 4th anniversary, looks like a blast!!!!!!!

Sundbergs said...

Looks amazing. Glad you guys loved it

Sharene said...

Wow that sounds incredible! I'm so jealous!

Kade and Kaylee said...

ok I'm seriously so Jealous of you!! ARUBA?? Looks amazing! We have been talking about where to go this year to celebrate Kade's upcoming graduation, and Aruba has been on the list. After seeing all your pictures I definitely want to go there!! (P.S. yeah my friend Megan is already married too :)

billnterryperry said...

Aruba! What fun for you guys....always an adventure. Love your profile pic!

Jessica said...

you guys are such good travelers...finding the time to do it and just doing have totally motivated me to do more of that this year, even if it's just around the guys are totally living it up and will NEVER regret that...if you ever see any great deals you should let me know, josh and i need take advantage and be more adventerous! I'm glad you post about this stuff, looks like it was AMAZING!