girl on beach

Aruba: Part I

One happy island. That is the famous sentiment used to capture the essence of Aruba. With its white sand beaches, cooling trade winds and warm, friendly people it's not hard to see why people return to Aruba year after year.

I was so looking forward to this girls trip with my mother. We had not gone on a trip together in years. As my best friend and most trusted confidant, I always have a great time with her. As the years go by, as we get older, and our lives get busier and busier I know its moments like these that create lasting memories. I love mother-daughter time!!

This year we switched our time-share from our usual spot at Atlantis, Bahamas to The Renaissance in Oranjestad, the capital of Aruba. Aruba, one of the Dutch Caribbean islands, is very small island - 32 kilometers long and 10 kilometers wide. One reason why Aruba is so well loved it because of the weather. Visitors can reliably expect warm, sunny weather as it hardly rains and lies outside of Hurricane Alley.

The constant trade winds also means that even as temperatures rise and the sun shines you never feel sweltering hot. This of course, is dangerous if you're like me and need to reapply sun screen every hour. Don't let the winds fool you!! Reapply that sunscreen!

I would have to say the highlight of staying at the Renaissance is their private island. Accessible by a boat that drivers right into the hotel lobby (so cool!) the island has a restaurant, spa, family beach and adults only beach. We always stayed at the adults beach because it is there that you will find a flock of stunning flamingos frolicking around that you can feed. They were so pretty and I was absolutely smitten with them.

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One night we decided we had to have dinner off the resort. While the food at our hotel was fantastic there are so many wonderful places to eat in Aruba. We decided to go to Barefoot Restaurant and it was amazing. True to its name, the restaurant is right on the beach, looking out onto the water, so diners kick off their sandals and relax during their meal. While enjoying some chilled white wine and grilled fish caught fresh that morning, we gazed at the most stunning sunset that turned the sky pink.

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I absolutely had to try the famous Dutch pancakes that the island is known for and luckily for us The Dutch Pancake house was right across the street from our hotel. My mother went savory with the classic dutch - ham, cheese, leeks & garnishing. I had to go sweet - caramelized walnuts, banana, honey & powdered sugar. Both heavenlyyyy :)

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