Our overall impression of Aruba was fantastic and we would recommend it in a heartbeat to anyone looking for a Caribbean getaway! The natives were very friendly and they were not at all pushy like we experienced in Mexico. Only one person approached us to visit their timeshare and they simply took no for an answer and moved on! The hotel and the food were nothing to remember, but when you got the awesome deal we did, you can't really complain! The room was clean, the showers were hot and the food was edible! We weren't there for that stuff anyway!
On our first afternoon in Aruba, we jumped into our swimsuits, strapped on our snorkel gear and walked into the the water for our first swim with the fish! The water was warm and there were lots of little fish right there! Because of the boat traffic close by, it wasn't the best place to snorkel but we made the best of it that day and several more!
On Monday we took a full day tour to De Palm Island, a private island that is set up for water adventure! We arrived to a decent buffet breakfast and then took a dive into the waters where we found a great reef and lots of bigger and prettier fish! I had a blast following a puffer fish around for what seemed like hours! It was so pretty! I wish I could have taken it home! They also had a water park equipped with slides and water spurting everywhere! It was fun to act like a kid! We also road a "banana" boat, which was a big tube pulled by a speed boat! You straddle it while kneeling and they cruise around trying hard to dump you off the side! I fell off twice! It was really fun, although hard on the knees! The kids played volleyball and I relaxed with fancy drinks from the bar! It was a really great day and we were thrilled the island wasn't very crowded.
On Tuesday we decided to take a ride into town and see what treasures we could find! We each came home with something we wanted that represented Aruba. I got a sweatshirt, which seemed very inappropriate since it was 90+ degrees and humid! And of course, we found a great little ornament to remember our trip! It was really the only day we ate out and the food was good.
On Wednesday we decided to take an afternoon jeep tour of the island. What we weren't informed was that we'd have to do the driving. Well, make that Dan, along with some of the other passengers. Since he has such great experience at it, it wasn't difficult, but I'm sure he would have rather let someone else do it for what we paid for the trip! It was my favorite adventure of the week because we got to see a lot of the island many people don't go to. It was a shame they hurried us through there though. The last reward of the trip was a dip in the pools where we got to snorkel around and Dan spotted an eel! They beat the vehicles to death as we 4-wheeled up some pretty tough terrain! Thankfully everyone made it out without too many bumps!
On our final day there we decided to snorkel off the beach to a shipwreck. There are a few different wrecks, but we opted for the one that was closest to shore. The wreck has been there for about 18 years and it was great to see all the schools of fish living around it! And some very cool starfish! The waters were choppy that day as a storm approached, so our fun ended sooner than we wanted. It was good we choose the closer in one though!
The rest of our time throughout the week was spent poolside or beach side - whatever floated our boat! We drank lots of fancy drinks and tried our hardest just to relax! The weather was very cooperative despite the unwelcome humidity!
When it was time to go home, we were relaxed and ready. Thankfully we still had 2 additional days at home before we had to go back to work! Was it the trip of a lifetime - no, however it was exactly what we wanted, expected and enjoyed at this point! There are plenty of more days to come when we can take the trip of a lifetime!! Like China in May??????