Saturday, March 31, 2012

One Happy Island

We needed a break (more on why later)..and my faithful traveling companion, Susan, needed one too.  That usually means a vacation!  So we packed up, scheduled the petsitter and headed off to One Happy Island!
Aruba is a very small island but the people are extremely nice.  We stayed at a nice resort. This was our view from the room (once we arrived...we did get delayed 24 hours in Newark..not fun)
And the resort had a private island that you traveled too by boat
I call this trip the 'vacation of feeding random animals'.  At the island's 'adult only' beach, we were surrounded by a variety of animals.
 But they were quite tame and loved french fries!
 We all got in on the feeding action
 But Jason was the flamingo master by far.
He even had some weird language with them..
 The flamingo didn't bite him..he was just trying to tell Jason to feed him more!  They were pretty cute and honked at you a lot.  I enjoyed running around photographing them!
They spent a lot of time in the ocean.
But the resort provided a fresh water pond and fed them their 'real' diet in a nice little shady area.  This is where they were joined by the other wild creatures.
 yeah...wild iguanas EVERYWHERE!  I found one sunning himself under a hammock.
 I'll admit I got a little too close and irritated him a bit..He stamped his feet at me and snorted.  Then  he ambled away.  This photo was just neat b/c you can see the sand particles as he slowly walks away from the crazy lady with the camera.
 The wildlife weren't all fun and games.  Your drinks were fair game.  I had a hermit crab (hundreds wild), a flamingo beak and this little guy in my fruity beverage throughout the trip.
In the above 'wide' photos you can see a rock line to separate the private island from the ocean.  We read that as 'separating us from the fishes!'.   So donned our snorkel gear and fins and hopped right on over those rocks.  We found some neat snorkeling there.  The coral was mostly dead but the fish were plentiful and varied.  My underwater camera died in this process so I dont' have a lot of photos.
A night we enjoyed gambling and good food.
 We did one excursion while we were there and I highly recommend it! We did an off road jeep tour of the island.  Jason actually got to drive one of the jeeps..we really had a blast. The terrain of Aruba is so different from other islands we have visited..very desert like.
 This is Jason driving (I am proud of a few of the following photos..I did a lot of editing to remove people, cars, etc..I am just learning how to do that)
 Our first stop was the natural bridge. 
 Then some more off roading.
 We stopped at a Donkey sanctuary.  Donkeys are apparently wild on the island but a nuisance to farmers, so this group is a non-profit who cares for them.  Of course, we donated and thanked them for their hard work.  There were a lot of asses.
 i had a great time feeding them
The last stop was a Natural pool, this was the hardest off road part and was pretty fun!  Then we had to walk down a bunch of steps to get the pool.  The gathering of rocks at the bottom is the natural pool
 The water was great and there were a few fish. But the most fun was climbing on the rocks and jumping in.  The view from the top with Jason jumping in
 And the view from below with me taking the plunge.
 The island was fun to explore on your own, the food was great and it was just a nice island
 My favorite toe photo. ;-)
 Before we left, we found out Jason's mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 endometrial cancer.  Just sucks all around.  so when we returned, Jason packed everything up and moved to Charlotte for a bit to be help his Dad and cook for his mom while she is going through chemo.  So after a relaxing week..I am not a single mom to everyone..but that is OK.  We are holding down the fort while he takes care of his mom.  Back to I look forward to Grapehounds, a week in St. John USVI and Beach Bound Hounds.  ;-)


Mad Red Hare said...

Oh to be by the beach! So sorry about your mother-in-laws cancer. It does suck. I am looking forward to my mini vacation in 2 weeks.

gyeong said...

Looked like a relaxing vacation. Hopefully we'll be able to join you on St. John. Be thinking of Jason and his family. Been there, and it's not fun.

Angela said...

Sorry to hear about Jason's mom. Glad you guys got to vacation though and I love the photos of the coversations between Jason and the flamingos!

houndstooth said...

I remember reading about Jason's mom on Facebook. I am very sorry to hear about her cancer! Out thoughts go out to your whole family right now.

Your trip looks so relaxing and beautiful! What a fun trip!

Hiking Hounds said...

What a great trip! Looks like you had a lot of fun.