So about a week and a half after I purchased my flight to Trinidad, The Flight Deal posted a deal to Aruba!! Well, I’ll be damned. Really, American Airlines?? The deal could not have come at a better time ::rolls eyes:: Now, a lot of flights listed on the flight deal’s website have certain stipulations that must be followed in order to take advantage of the low rate. This deal required you to leave on a Tuesday or Thursday. Hmmm…the flight I booked to Trinidad was scheduled to return on a Monday. I could definitely pull this one off…come back Monday evening and fly out the next morning. I called my homegirl, and we secured our spots on American Airlines flight 1028. We almost missed our flight, but we made it!!
Because we would spend a few days in Trinidad before heading to Aruba, we thought it best to go the more economical route. We reserved an apartment on Airbnb that was near the beach and about a 10-minute walk to the bus stop. We caught the bus downtown each day and took advantage of the Renaissance Hotel’s happy hour. You would have never known we weren’t guests! Lol. For staying guests, Renaissance offers a free boat ride to its private island that was laced with Flamingos!!! For guests such as myself, the cost was $100. Unfortunately, I did not take advantage of this opportunity, although seeing the flamingos was at the top of my list. My friend and I had already made reservations for a submarine ride the previous day.
Let’s rewind to that day. Now, I had already discovered that I suffered from mild claustrophobia when riding the underwater scooters in Curacao. I don’t know what made me think this would be any different. As we were being seated on the submarine, our position in line guaranteed us a seat smack dab in the center. We were packed like sardines, sitting shoulder -to-shoulder. I began to panic. Nope, can’t do it. If something happened, I would be unable to escape. I squeezed past all the participants and made my way to the exit. One of the crew members caught wind of what was going on and pleaded with me to stay over the intercom…in front of everyone. I stayed and prayed as we descended to a depth of 135 ft!! I don’t recall how long we were down there but it seemed like forever!! Once it was over, I was glad to be back above water!! It wasn’t until after we emerged that I was able to appreciate the marine life spotted on this short voyage.
Over the next few days, my friend and I continued to explore the island . We caught a taxi to the northernmost point to view the California Lighthouse. According to a placard near the lighthouse, it got its name from a vessel that wrecked near the coast. Unfortunately, when we arrived, the lighthouse was under construction. I’m sure the taxi driver, an Aruban native, was aware of this when we told her we wanted to go there ::rolls eyes::. However, I recently saw a pic of the lighthouse and the renovations are now complete for those of you interested in viewing it. While exploring, we also noticed blue horses scattered throughout Oranjestad. If you’re wondering why, these horses are symbolic of the horse trade, which was a major contribution to the vitality of the island. I almost forgot! If you happen to be in Oranjestad on a Tuesday, stop by Fort Zoutman for the Bon Bini Festival aka Welcome Party. The festival celebrates Aruba’s history and culture. You may even be able to catch a glimpse of the live band playing outside. If I’m remembering correctly, the entrance fee into the museum is $5.
As expected, I had my fair share of seafood. One restaurant that stood out in particular was Salt ‘n Pepper. What’s so unique about this restaurant is that it collects salt and pepper shakers!! Unique shakers from all over the world decorate the walls. If you give them a unique set, you will receive a free food item in return. If you plan to visit Aruba, don’t forget your shakers!! Have any of you visited Aruba? What activities would you recommend?