YOU GUYS. I have a tan. A small one, at least. But a tan, nonetheless. A few weeks back I vacationed to Aruba for the first time and I'm gonna tell you all about it in a couple of blog posts. I'm gonna break this down into two posts (the island and what we did in this blog and what we ate in another coming soon). I just need to say how much fun Aruba was and how easy of a travel it was from Boston. The flight was just under 5 hours, I flew JetBlue because y'all know its my favorite. We did so much during our time on One Happy Island, which is literally the perfect description for it. I'm just gonna jump right into it.
Day One was exhausting. My flight took off at 7AM which meant getting to the airport at 5, waking up at 4, trying to fall asleep relatively early but completely failing and getting no sleep. The immediate step I took off the plane in Oranjestad hit me like a wall of heat and humidity. I always love that feeling when you step off the plane and enter vacation mode and are able to feel the difference between where you were and where you are.
PASSPORT TO PARIS STARRING MARY-KATE AND ASHLEY OLSEN. LOL JK.
I spent the first day at the hotel, waiting for other members from the trip to arrive and relaxing by the pool. We stayed at the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino. The hotel was gorgeous, right on the beach, had two pools with swim-up bars (I love a good swim-up bar), a full fitness center and so many other amenities that I took full advantage of. The resort had such a central location, too, everything was within walking distance that we could have wanted to do in terms of beach activities, the boat ride, paddle boarding etc.
VIEWS. FROM. MY. ROOM. Like, are you kidding? How can you beat this?
Sitting by the "adult" pool and feeling v boujie. The two pools were separated by a two minute walk and the adult pool was a lot more relaxing, drink-friendly etc.
Strawberry daiquiri's were my go-to by the pool. They also had a happy hour offer for two-for-one drinks throughout the day which was the best kind of dangerous I could ask for. How could you not be in heaven, surrounded by palm trees with the sun beaming down on you and a delicious drink in hand. We were off to sunset cocktails and then headed to dinner which I'll discuss more in detail on my food blog coming soon.
Our second day was super adventurous. We were paddleboarding and kayaking in the morning. I had never paddleboarded before and was extremely nervous that I was going to fall on my face for two hours and not have fun but it was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. Aruba, while super sunny, is also extremely windy. When we were up on the boards we were essentially acting as sails on a sailboat and being blown all over the place. With a group of 8 or 9 of us all in a saturated area we were bound to crash into one another several times and fall on our faces. When the wind wasn't as crazy, it was much easier to steer the board and to coast along and bathe in the sun.
Post paddleboarding photo opportunity. While this was a vacation for me it felt good to do something physical and slightly combat the mass amount of weight I'd gain from drinking so many daiquiris and eating SO much food. We paddleboarded at Vela Beach with Vela Aruba.
The colorful and relaxing hut area that we hung out and were instructed in before and after paddleboarding. I thought this was quintessential island life and was so happy just looking at this landscape in our "backyard". We then spent the afternoon doing a group cooking class, and relaxing more by the pool (with a few drinks).
Day Three was by far our most adventurous day. This day was my favorite and we got to see the island in such an exciting and cool way. We started the day foraging local herbs and spices with a tour guide named Frank Kelly of Taki Tour. The landscape was gorgeous and he was so funny - he talked a lot about the history of the island and it was really cool to gain insight from a local about tourists, the local food, and just hearing his life stories was really fun.
Big Little Lies vibes.
Felt like Dora The Explorer here. Fun fact, you can shop the look I was wearing here on my LikeToKnow.it HERE. After this, we headed back to the hotel to change for our UTV tour of the island with De Palm Tours. This was my absolute favorite activity of the entire trip. We spent three hours or so touring the island, learning so much about the history of Aruba, adventuring through neighborhoods, ruins of forts, beautiful beaches, churches and more (all while speeding through the terrain and holding on for dear life).
The whole day we were playing Bodak Yellow and pretending we were Cardi B in the music video. How could we not?!
CHARLIE'S ANGELS VIBES. This was my squad for the trip in Aruba. Go follow them! On the left is my girl Jackie of NoLeftovers. On the right is my man Joseph of The Consulting Life. We had a blast together - it always amazes me when social media can bring people together like it did with us, we met on this press trip and instantly clicked. Great to have partners in crime throughout the world.
Our last full day and night on the island was pretty much spent being boujie AF. We went snorkeling and diving on a catamaran with Pelican Adventures. We had the best time dancing, listening to our tour guides and swimming with the fish (all while enjoying some awesome cocktails). I felt like the Kardashians in an episode on one of their family vacations - it was a great way to end the trip with a bang.
Overall, the trip to Aruba was a 10. I haven't even told you guys about the CRAZY DELICIOUS FOOD and it was one of the best parts of this entire vacation. Make sure you guys stay tuned to my blog - I'll be uploading all the restaurants we went to along with some delicious shots of our best eats throughout the trip. Discovering Aruba this way was BEAUTIFUL and I highly suggest you guys write Aruba down on your travel bucket list. It is certainly going to be on mine to revisit in the near future.
Make sure you guys reach out with any questions about any of the activities or places we went to on my trip to Aruba and as always thank you for reading!!! Do you guys like the way this travel diary was set up? Let me know - I'm hoping to set up some more awesome travel plans for the rest of the year and early next year, too! Let me know if you have any suggestions of must-see places!
*A HUGE thank you to the Aruba Tourism Authority for sponsoring this post. As always - the opinions of this blog are my own and I will never work with brands that I do not truly believe in and support.*