Thursday, October 7, 2010

Aruba, Jamaica, ohh I wanna take ya - Aruba

I spent 12 hours in NYC...just enough time to go to a Guggenheim happy hour, make a 9pm run to the post office (Yes, the post office stays open until 10pm), and sleep a tad. I barely made it out of NYC before the crazy rain storm shut down the airports.

There are a few reasons I love flying Jetblue, but this experience might take the cake. We had just landed and were waiting to exit the plane when I heard the classic Beach Boys song "Aruba, Jamaica, ohh I wanna take ya". I started laughing and maybe just maybe started singing along. At first I thought it was just a passenger playing it on their iPod but no, Jetblue was playing it over the loud speaker. Who doesn't want to fly an airline that has a special playlist for their destinations? Thanks Jetblue for making my day!

Sara Collins (Lizzy) had arrived a day earlier so I met up with her at the hotel. We were staying at the Westin resort (courtesy of Lizzy's Starwood points). It was a great resort with amazing beach front property and a divine pool. It was a perfect place to spend four days lounging on the beach and soaking up some sun (with sunscreen of course). Jenn Wheeler met up with us a day later. The rain in NYC delayed her flight several hours so she when she arrived she was in desperate need of some major R&R. Nothing that Aruba couldn't fix!

For the next few days we slept in every morning, went to the gym, lounged on the beach or by the pool, and attempted to find yummy food to eat. The resort had a lot of fun activities to keep you busy. Everyday we were determined to play Bingo but somehow we always forgot about it until we heard a voice in the distance yelling "E6". At that point we had no energy to get up from our beach chairs. One day we happened to be swimming in the pool when they announced a watermelon eating contest. What, a watermelon eating contest? How could we not participate? The two Sara's stepped up to the challenge and put forth a mighty effort. Neither of us won but we definitely gave the winner a run for his money.

One day we rented a car and explored the island. We ran into a heavy rain storm as we started our journey to the California Lighthouse. Don't worry, we weren't going to let a storm get in our way of taking a picture. We got out of the car in the downpour and were soaking wet in a matter of seconds. It didn't matter because we got our picture and we were happy. After that we drove to a cute church in the middle of nowhere. It was fun driving through the tiny towns scattered around the island. We went off-roading in our compact Chevy to see the natural bridge (or what was left of it). Lizzy did an amazing job handling the rough terrain. After that we drove through the national park that makes up 25 percent of Aruba. It was gorgeous! Our last stop of the day was to eat dinner at B55, a restaurant the New York Times recommended. We all had the catch of the day - fresh grilled wahoo. The food was delicious but the bugs flying around us were annoying. Our view was interesting too. In one direction you looked at lush, green landscape and the other direction you were looking at a drive-in movie theater and an oil refinery in the distance. All in all we had a great day exploring Aruba.

Our last few hours in Aruba were rudely interrupted by heavy rain storms. There were even some rumors at the airport that there had been a tornado. Rain wasn't going to stop us from enjoying ourselves. Instead of laying out on the beach we had breakfast at our favorite restaurant, Salt & Pepper (another NY Times recommendation). We had a great time in Aruba but it sounded like we left at the right time. The forecast for the next week is rain, rain, rain!

PS - if you own a metal detector, you might want to vacation here. Each day we witnessed a different tourist, yes they were tourists and not hotel staff, scour the beach and even in the water to find hidden treasure. To each their own!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Beantown - Boston, MA

I flew up to Boston for a quick visit with Jaclyn, Cameron, and Oliver Jones. The weather wasn't amazing but we still had a great time hanging out at their apartment. Little Ollie was as adorable as ever and Jac and Cam were great hosts. One morning we took a drive out to Walden Pond. The water levels were so high that the main trails were flooded. So instead of going for a walk around the pond we just hung out at the main entrance and watched Ollie try to catch chipmunks. In the evenings we ate yummy food, talked about our world traveling dreams, and tried to think of future jobs for me. How am I going to return to reality? Well, it was a great couple of days. Thanks for letting me stop by and visit!

Sorry, my photos are on my laptop and I left it in NYC. I'll post some later.