Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas 2018

I want to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas!!!!! 

Hugs and love to you all that take time to read my blog and care about my life!!

Please know that I love and cherish each one of you and appreciate all you put into your blog to share yourself and your life with me! 

The happiness is doubled and the sadness is halved once it is shared!

Here is my official family card this year!


The back...
Hugs to you all! 

Merry Christmas!!



Friday, December 21, 2018

Day 7 -Friday - Beach Hopping Snorkling Tour

 Well guys… It's hard to believe that I reached day seven already! It's been an amazing trip it's just so hard to believe it's time to head home tomorrow.   Today I had my very last excursion for this trip to Aruba.

 A bus picked me up at my hotel at 9 AM… The tour was with EL Tours and it's called the Beach Hopper. We hop to two different beaches and snorkel while we're there. The snorkeling equipment and water to drink is included… as well as the transportation in an open air bus.


Here is the outside of the bus that picked me up… Pretty crazy!


Here's a shot of the inside of the bus… I was the last pick up so there was only about 16 of us on the tour.    


Here's my little selfie from the bus…    

The first stop was Mangel Halto beach... this is the little mangrove that we used to get in and out of the water.


And here is a view of the entry/exit from the water...


This is the picture I took while I was floating out there… This first stop had quite a few fish but you had to go pretty far out and it wasn't that clear. I do have a video from the second stop that was a lot clearer so I'm going to post that video later in this post.


 We stayed at the first beach for about an hour… After that we hopped on the bus to head to the second beach.  During the drive, we spotted these wild donkeys on the side of the road. Our tour guide Uri had brought a loaf of bread to feed the fish.  He hopped off the bus and fed some to the donkeys so we could see them up close.  


This would be my donkey selfie…


Where else would you see this site? This is my tour guide Yuri with a wild donkey. You gotta love Uri's Santa hat in the middle of the desert!    

The next stop after the donkey visit was Baby Beach. This is a very well-known beach for snorkeling and just chilling. Here's a picture across the beach…


And here is the video if you want to snorkel along!

We actually spent two full hours snorkeling around Baby  Beach. It was a pretty amazing trip. My tour guide took me along the reefs as well… We started at one end and just floated  there while the current pulled us all the way down to where the other snorkelers were....


 On the way home he stopped here at the Lourdes Grotto.  It is a unique Roman Catholic shrine built into the rocks!  It is decorated for Christmas as well!




Little closer view...

I got dropped off at my hotel and then got showered and dressed and walked over to the Renaissance Marketplace to get dinner. I had to get this picture for you… This is how the ice skate in Aruba! It is a plexiglass skating rink.

I tried a new restaurant Cuba's Cooking tonight. It was perfect. I asked my waiter what he recommended and he suggested the pork steak. It was absolutely delicious. I was seated outside on the patio right in front of the Cuban band… It was a great dinner! 


 

Here is the live performer… He was fantastic!

On my walk back to the hotel I decided I had to stop and get a picture of this iconic sign! I actually got a picture of this last time I was here as I was driving past it. Much easier to take the photo when you're walking! LOL!
This is the view down to the boat launch from my balcony… If I was more athletic I could probably dive off my balcony and hit the water… LOL!

I am quite sure that this post has horrible formatting! In fact; I am quite sure this has been the case all week! Thank you all for bearing with me. It is so hard to do these blog post from my iPad. If anyone has any app that makes it easier please let me know. I've paid for two different apps and neither one of them makes posting from my iPad any easier!  There are so many glitches and it's just so hard to get the formatting in there. 

So,  again… thanks to my readers that have kept reading and have been  bearing with me through this week of horrible formatting and spelling and no links… I could go on and on!

I  promise to fix them all when I am home! 

Until then… I hope you all have had an amazing week and I cannot wait to catch up with everyone! Have a great weekend guys! 

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Day 6 - Thursday - Private Beach Cabana Day

 Thursday was an amazing day here in Aruba! 

 I spent the day in a private cabana at the beach! That means I had my own space… At least most of the time… To enjoy my private time!   

I was in the cabana closest to the beach… if you are planning to get one of the cabanas I would definitely recommend not getting the first one.  The only problem with this cabana is that there is a constant flow of people trying to get into the cabana area. So the waiters are constantly playing security and kicking people out.  There is a  chain across the entryway with a sign that says that you have to rent a cabana in order to enter and that it's a private area but nobody seems to care about that. If you're in the cabanas further down the walkway, you don't have to deal with any of that.

Okay...I promise you the pictures are not going to do this justice but I'm going to give it a shot!

So when I arrived at my cabana the entryway had my name stamped on it! How cool is that!

Here is my cabana!!


And these cabanas normally come with a cooler full of water and champagne. Because I don't drink, they hooked me up with a whole bunch of extra water. They actually gave me 4 regular Voss waters and 4 sparkling Voss waters!  I was set for the day!    

Here is a view of the little cargo net you can lay in in the front. It's surrounded by padding… It wasn't the most comfortable thing but it was super cool looking!

And here's a view from the water backwards into the cabana…  

Another view into the cabana… There was a full-size couch and then a nice big chair as well.

I got two lounge chairs…  

And this is the view out from the inside of the cabana…


 They also hooked me up with this adorable little drink. It's normally a kids drink and it has no alcohol in it but it was perfect! It's like a strawberry smoothie with color jimmy's. And it floats in the little flamingo! If you come here you have to get one of these! I found out later in the day they also have green dragons for the boys! LOL  

Around 11 o'clock they brought me my fruit tray… I actually got chocolate covered strawberries!

And then around 5 PM I ordered my dinner… I didn't have lunch because I brought cheese and crackers with me to the cabana. I ate those for lunch so I guess this was actually my dinner. I ordered the grouper sandwich and it was phenomenal!  

I also ordered nachos… I don't really recommend these… It's kind of like tortillas out of the bag and the guacamole wasn't so great either. But the salsa was homemade and it was delicious! Could've skipped them all together though.

They also brought me ice cream at 3 PM. The girl I met on the beach yesterday, Sabrina, stopped by to say hi for a while. She ended up being there when ice cream was delivered so that worked out well! Another beautiful view from the patio!  

At the end of the day; the cabanas have  the perfect view of the sun set. It was really beautiful and so chilled to watch it set from the patio.

And I was heading to the boat to go back to mainland from the private island when I noticed this guy chilling in a tree. This is what they do after all day of swimming and scooping up fish… They just fly into these trees in sit. It's kind of amazing that the three holds  them up.  

 If you are spending any time at the Renaissance Aruba; I highly recommend getting a cabana. Again, try not to get the first cabana.

Hopefully by the time other people come here they'll do something about security. There's just a lot of people that keep trying to get in and when you have all your stuff in the cabana  you don't want to have to keep an eye on your things. That's the point of having the cabana… Everything should be safe in there and you don't have to worry about your belongings. 

So my only complaint about the whole day is better security keeping people out of the cabana area… Other than that go for it! It is so  worth the money! I have to do a shout out here to Gregory Tromp… He was my waiter for the day and he was so wonderful! If you can get Gregory… Get Gregory! 

I hope everyone else had an amazing day and is getting closer and closer to being ready for Christmas! Last excursion is tomorrow… So tomorrow will be more snorkeling at local beaches.

Thanks for following and thanks for reading! I hope you all have a great evening… Hugs!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Day 5 - Wednesday - Beach Day All Day

Hi guys… Happy Wednesday! I hope you guys are having an amazing week!

I'm trying really hard to keep up with everybody's blogs while I am away… The problem I'm having is it's really windy here in Aruba and I'm afraid to get sand in my iPad. So I will really catch up tomorrow when I'm in my private hut and out of the wind.  But more on that exciting details tomorrow.

 Today was very simply a beach day. All day beach day! I went and had breakfast here in the hotel in the morning and was on the boat to head to the private island by 8 AM.  I found the perfect spot… Not my hammock spot because there was a family there already so I found a new great spot.

Here is the view today...pretty spectacular right?

As I was laying there in my spot… I checked the video at home and here are my babies from last night! Look how sweet they're all for keeping my bed warm. Definitely am excited to see them after Christmas! 

 I have to share with you this lovely view. As I was laying there another young woman came up to me and asked me if I was alone. She didn't want to take a chair if it belong to my spouse. She ended up sitting with me and we chatted… She's also travels for work and was traveling alone this trip. It was nice to meet someone  and make small chat. Her name was Sabrina.  As we were talking we noticed this gentleman coming out of the water. This is a little enclosed cove and this man had full snorkel gear including the orange vest, mask and weights and a mankini on.   It was a banana hammock in the front and strings for the back… Epic!   It was like overly dressed on the top and under dressed on the bottom! Ha ha!  



You may or may not want to zoom in on the picture! LOL!

 The side I was laying on is the side that the flamingos do not hang out on. Once you're here for one day you realize that if you want quiet and serenity you should be as far from the flamingos as possible. People just follow them around and feed them all day to get pics and videos. About twice today they probably needed a break and they came walking over to our side of the island. Here's what happened when they started coming  over in front of us…  

It was pretty cool when they just stopped in front of myself and my new friend, Sabrina!  They just started dancing and singing-or that's what I am telling myself.

HERE is the first video...

and HERE is the second...

soooo cool, right?!?!

This adorable little guy kept running past us all day too. I think tomorrow I'm going to take him some food. What do these little guys eat?

Another little selfie with a flamingo… He was literally hiding behind our chairs. I guess if you don't come to them they come to you… Ha!

And chatting with my new friend I learned about another part of the island. There's a part where they hold weddings which is way on the other side at the end of a far far walk away. They also keep baby flamingos there that they are starting to acclimate to the public. These little guys are so cute and they're white. They use them for the weddings that are held there. UPDATE: We got wrong info...they are not babies - they just get a diet free of whatever makes them pink and they use these guys for weddings.  Here's a little picture of them... 

And this beach area is blocked off from everything else also… This is where they hold the weddings. It is absolutely beautiful and there's a pathway that's lit with lights… It would probably look phenomenal at night!

And this little guy went swimming passed me… He was in a really shallow part look how cool he is!

A little clearer photo maybe? He such a cool little guy… Does anyone know what kind of fish this is?

So like I said most of today was spent in the water and not the beach. I just tanned and floated all day. Tomorrow I'll be spending the day in the pagoda… I cannot wait to show you around! 

Have a great night y'all… I can't wait to read all your blogs! Hard to believe with this weather that I man that we are five days away from Christmas! 

Hugs and blessings to you all!!! 

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Day4 - Tuesday - Half Day Jeep Tour and groceries

 Happy Tuesday everyone! I truly hope you guys are having an amazing week getting ready for Christmas no matter where you are! I am seriously enjoying this week in Aruba… The weather is phenomenal and the people are even better! 

 Today's tour was by El Tours and it is called the Half-day Jeep Safari Tour. We were picked up at the hotel at about 8:15 AM and then taken to our jeeps.

This is a picture of the jeep that we were given. Since I am only one person and these are four person jeeps, I was paired up with a wonderful couple from Toronto. They made it so much fun to be on the tour and we all just kept switching drivers.



This is our first stop on the tour. It is called the California lighthouse. It was erected because the ship California crashed off the shore of the island.

This is a view from the lighthouse to the water…

This is a little gecko that was chilling in the parking lot…

And this is the second stop on the tour. It was just a random beach that the tour guide called Alien Beach-LOL! The beach has no name but people come and build little towers and make wishes on them.

The water in the surf is absolutely beautiful!

I love this little inlet of water…

Here is me with my tower that I built. I can't tell you what I wished for but I have no doubt it will come true now!

And this is just a view of how many little towers are built there…

Next stop on the tour is the chapel.

And there is a little peace labyrinth outside of the chapel.

I was really excited to try the peace labyrinth but there was not a lot of peace there today… LOL! The family had a little girl there and she was just screaming and yelling and running in circles  the whole time.

This little plaque tells you all about the chapel.

The next stop was the Baby Natural Bridge. It is a smaller natural Bridge because the large natural bridge broke during a hurricane here on the island. These two were of the wonderful couple from Toronto that were in my jeep with me. Such a great couple and so very nice!
Beautiful beach!
I could look at those waves all day!

And here is the natural Bridge… This is looking at it from underneath.

And a little zoomed in version… It was really need to stand under it.

And the tour guide got my picture on top of it!

This is the view from the top of the bridge… Beautiful coastline! People don't swim or surf here due to the rocks. Further down the beach is where they surf and kite sail.

Next to the last stop was the Bushiribana Goldmill Ruins... 

 When they found gold on the island of Aruba, they built this area to smash the rock and extract the gold. The tour guy said they only use the building for about 10 years and this is what is left of it. Sadly, I found no gold.

This is a view from one of the windows up top…

And this is the view out one of the windows up top…

It's amazing how they build these huge structures using these giant rocks back in the days when they had no hydraulics or equipment. Crazy to think how they got these huge boulders so high in the air!

Another view from the top…


 And our last and final stop on the tour was the Ayo rock formation .  This is the largest rock formation on the island.

Look at this cute little cactus growing all by itself… It was like 6 inches tall.

Back when the first island inhabitants lived around and used these rock formations… This big rock is where the medicine man lived. He could be found under this rock helping people with his medicinal cures.

They have actually locked it to preserve all of the drawings on the wall.

I did not take this picture for the sign… Can you see the cat? I couldn't at first but I got a picture in the direction that the tour guide was pointing. Then I found the cat!

And here's another photo of that same stray cat… Can you see him in this one?

And this cactus is my hero. You have to give this thing credit look where it's growing from! Wow talk about a will to live!

I love this tree and my tour guide Randall is right there in the blue shirt too! He was phenomenal and an amazing tour guide! Really really funny too! Only one rule on this tour… Don't fall!

This is the view from the bottom looking to the top of the formation…

Hey look another cat! Look at what a cute cat this one is… black, white and brown! I think maybe I'm missing my cats…there is no mouse problem here in Aruba. The cats catch all the mice but now the locals are worried that the cats are going to eat all the lizards.

A little selfie from the top of the rock stairs…

Of you looking up from the bottom…

And this is the view looking down from the top…

Another view from the top to the bottom… The tour was phenomenal and I had such a great day with the couple that I got to spend time with!

 After the tour was over I went back to my hotel and showered. I was so muddy and dusty! Afterword; I went and grabbed my car and drove down to the grocery store. I have been craving chocolate or a sweet treat for my room at night so I went and bought a few supplies at the grocery store. 

I stopped on my way back to the hotel to pick up dinner at Red Fish. I loved this restaurant last year and could not wait to eat there again!  I got fresh, grilled mahi-mahi and they always give you rice, coleslaw and fried plantains! Yum! 

 Well, that's it for day four! After I ate my dinner in my room; I headed down to the casino. I put my $20 in and tonight is the first night that I lost. Bummer! So now here I am back in my room! It is about 8:30 pm as I'm laying here in my hotel room writing this post. 

Nighty night to you all! I wish you all  happiness and blessings!!!

Hugs!!!

Happy 11th Birthday

Happy Thursday!!! Today is the official birthday of my adorable twin niece and nephew!!! Ryan and Alyssa!! Such cuties! How is it even pos...