Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Adventures in Aruba!

Editor's note: I started this blog in September. I forgot about it. Thanks to those who asked for pictures, helping me to remember!

After the most wonderful wedding we could have imagined, our halcyonic honeymoon began on Sunday, September 4, 2011. Our adventure began as we embarked on a flight from San Francisco to Atlanta. After a little bit of layover in Atlanta (long enough to clean my hat and take a nap!), we were on a flight from Atlanta to Aruba. Just us and a plane full of honeymooners! We could hardly believe that we got to spend our first days as a married couple on this happy and beautiful island.

We arrived in Aruba, hopped on the bus and headed out to the resort. We stayed at the wonderful Divi All-Inclusive resort. The views were amazing! Our room even had a super awesome beachside view (after you took a few steps onto the lanai. Once we got our stuff settled, we immediately headed to the beach to put our toes in the sand and explore the beautiful shoreline.

Thanks to several Honeyfund donations, we were able to explore the island by ATV. We strapped on our helmets and took off for a four-wheeled adventure of a lifetime. Our trip began at the ATV depot, where we were issued our stay-safe helmets and directions on how to ride the ATVs. (Note: we were not allowed to turn our ATV on or off. The tour guide insisted he be the only one to hotwire it.) After cruising around the island for a good while, we made our first stop at the Ayo Rock Formations in Casibari. Reportedly you could see 40% of the island from the top of the rocks! We put the ATV to the test, as we climbed up and over Aruba's most rugged terrain to the windward coast of the island toward the Natural Pool. The pool or "conchi" is called "Cura di Tortuga" and is only accessible by four-wheel drive vehicles or by foot. It took a little bit of rock climbing, but we were determined to take a dip in the Natural Pool. We even got to see a few of the pool's permanent residents including some crabs and some fish! Our last stop on the tour was to see the Natural Bridges. What was once one of the world's largest natural bridges collapsed after high surf from a hurricane. We did see the smaller bridge, fondly known as "Son-of-a-Bridge." We had a fabulous time exploring the island on the ATV tour. And one thing I learned, don't put your helmet on backwards or the tour guide will make fun of you!

Complete with 'Just Married' flip-flops, we took a moonlit stroll down the beach to the neighboring resort for dinner. We had a lovely grill-it-yourself meal with a couple from Scotland. Who knew the topic of education would start such a wonderful and entertaining conversation?

Our next Honeyfund adventure was aboard a sailboat for a fabulous Sunset Sail. We sailed aboard the Palm Pleasure, a luxurious catamaran.We were able to enjoy the cruise, and being together, as we watched the sun set over the horizon. The views were absolutely breathtaking!

Wanting to get up close to some of Aruba's wildlife, we booked another Honeyfund Adventure aboard The Atlantis Submarine. Our expedition included diving to depths of up to 130 feet into the ocean on an actual submarine!

Our final Honeyfund Adventure was a full day snorkeling adventure! The four hour excursion included some of the island's best snorkeling sites. We were able to snorkel at Catalina Bay, Arashi Reef and the famous World War II wreck, the Antilla.Snorkeling was an awesome experience. We both absolutely loved being in the water, so close to the fishes. We were able to get some awesome underwater camera shots thanks to receiving a waterproof camera as a wedding gift. Did we mention that we saw fishes?

We concluded our adventure in Aruba with a romantic sunset dinner on the beach. We looked out on a fabulous view while eating a delectable dinner. We also got a visit from a free-loading furry friend. Life doesn't get much better than this! We could not have asked for a better conclusion to our vacation.

Aruba was an island paradise, and our honeymoon was the vacation of a lifetime...
...until our next great adventure.

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