My wife and I recently returned from a 12 day, 11 night stay in Aruba for our 10 year anniversary. We decided to splurge a bit since it’s such a special occasion and it was worth it.
The trip down was mostly uneventful. Only blip was that our first flight from Philadelphia to Charlotte had a maintenance issue right before we took off which required us to have to taxi back to the gate. We didn’t have to disembark but our flight did take off one and a half hours late, though only arrived in Charlotte an hour late. We had a four hour layover so it wasn’t that big of a deal for us, but I felt bad for those that ended up missing their connecting flight.
Landing in Aruba, I was faced with its incredibly hot temperatures. I was not expecting it to be as hot as it was for whatever reason. It also didn’t help we were by the airport and didn’t have the ocean breeze to help. We got the hotel and all checked in, but unfortunately I struggled a bit to get acclimated to the hotter temperatures. Going from weeks in the mid-50s to low-60s to all of a sudden being at 90+ degrees gave me a jolt and my body was straining to adapt. Basically sweat through the first shirt I put on and needed a lukewarm shower and a couple hours in AC to truly cool down.
First Full Day in Paradise
I spent the morning of my first full day hanging out by the pool trying to find as much shade as I could. The breeze made the temperature more tolerable, but I was still struggling to maintain a reasonable comfort level. The shade helped and was hoping my body will continue to get better with the heat. Part of me was perplexed because this is our third trip to Aruba and I don’t remember it ever being this bad for me. I ended up spending afternoon in the hotel bar reading and writing with a drink.
The loss of an afternoon by the pool on our first day was kind of a bummer, but either way, I’m still on vacation and can relax. So I ended up spending the afternoon relaxing inside in the AC with a few tasty drinks. Not a bad way to spend it.
We had an amazing dinner at the Hibachi restaurant. The chef even let me try tossing and cracking an egg in style. I almost succeeded, but unfortunately missed it slightly on the way down.
After dinner was just some more drinks and watching the beginning of game 2 of the NLCS.
Getting into a Routine
After the first full day in Aruba, we got ourselves into a routine. Wake up at 5:30am so we can claim an ideal spot by the pool under an umbrella for shade. Come back up to the room and douse ourselves in sunscreen so we don’t burn, then return to our spots and enjoy the peacefulness before the pool area gets crowded and the music starts. The mornings are so peaceful.
I don’t like having to get up at 5:30 in the morning just to reserve a pool chair, but it is SO peaceful then. The temperature is a little cooler and we can enjoy our books and the quiet. Until 8 or so, there's hardly anyone by the pool. I love it.
Outside of grabbing breakfast and lunch, we generally just hung out under the umbrellas until 2-3pm. I got better acclimated to the heat which made things better. At this point, I would have to re-apply sunscreen and it didn’t seem worth it; nor did I want to risk sunburn. We would venture up to the room, shower, and then come back downstairs to the lobby bar for a drink or two before dinner. We would read or write and take it easy.
We scheduled all our dinners for 6-6:30pm. They were all good. We loved the hibachi and the Asian restaurants the most. Hibachi is always a good show, and the menu for the Asian-themed restaurant was fantastic. After dinner we would venture back to the lobby bar and enjoy some live music and another drink or two.
The one exception to this was when we went to have dinner on the beach for our actual anniversary. The resort we were staying at offered a private dinner of the beach as a nice little add-on. We couldn’t resist since this trip is a celebration for our ten year anniversary. The dinner was romantic, and the food was amazing, though the main course was too much food. Felt a little overly stuffed afterwards. Still, would completely recommend it and would do it again.
Then bed, to do it all over again.
It might feel boring for a vacation, but it’s how Lauren and I vacation, and we both love it. I managed to read 9 books while in Aruba, and got the relaxation I’d been looking for.
- Coders by Clive Thompson
- On Writing by Stephen King
- Starter Villain by John Scalzi
- Your Eyes Belong to Us by Kashmir Hill
- Number Go Up by Zeke Faux
- Black River Orchard by Chuck Wendig
- Extremely Online by Taylor Lorenz
- Be Useful by Arnold Schwarzenegger
- Subprime Attention Crisis by Tim Hwang