May 13, 2014

We just returned from our first visit to Aruba and we are ready to go back already! The first week we stayed at the Marriott for a business reward trip and the second week was spent with our family in Debbie and Steve's wonderful home on the quiet part of the island. Their large home (3 bedrooms, 3 baths) is close enough to visit all the attractions and airport, but also away from the tourists and craziness of the high-rise and downtown areas. We went out for dinner every night and the seafood is amazing! Our favorites were Marina Pirata (very close to the house), Pinchos Bar & Grill, Flying Fishbone (wonderful atmosphere), and even had great fun and food at Iguana Joes! Everyday was an adventure! We are scuba divers - so we went on many dives and many snorkeling trips. There is great snorkeling and even a wreck directly in front of the house at the edge of the reef (Mangel Halto). It was so much fun to jump in our van and explore the different parts of the island each day. We really enjoyed the caves. The roads are not well marked, but after a few days of exploring, the island became pretty easy to navigate. One of our favorite excursions was a snorkel cruise (The Dolphin) located in front of the Hyatt. For $40/person we snorkeled at the Antilles Shipwreck and Boca Catalina reef. We saw an eel, octopus, starfish, and thousands of fish. They opened the bar early and served fruit and sandwiches. It was great fun with a slide off the back of the sailboat and a rope swing in front! We also all got free I Love Aruba T-Shirts! We found the locals on the island to be very polite, friendly, and welcoming! We absolutely loved the front porch of the house, and spent every morning and evening enjoying the views! Another bonus to visiting Aruba is that US Customs is located in Aruba. No long waits in Miami, Orlando, or Atlanta fighting the US Customs lines. Once you leave the island, your suitcases are sent directly to your home destination! All in all, this was our best family vacation yet! Thanks so much to Debbie and Steve for letting us enjoy your home in Paradise!