Published on March 3rd, 2011 | by Charu Suri6
My First Day in Aruba: Renaissance Island, Jet Lag & a Blossom of a Sunset
My Aruba series continues, and I jumped the gun a little when I posted pictures of flamingos on Renaissance Island. Of course, those gorgeous birds, with their photogenic S-shaped necks deserve the spotlight in and of themselves, but first let's start at the very beginning, shall we?
As you probably know, this was my third trip to Aruba. My husband Matt and I felt that we had been visiting the island forever, so we actually thought it was our FOURTH trip, but we calculated and found out that we had only been there two other times. I'm guessing that when you replay so many of the cherished memories in your mind, over and over again, time freezes. You feel as though you're a native, and you've been coming to that destination forever.
Well, the evening before our flight (which departed at 6:30am from JFK), I didn't sleep. I was catching up on all sorts of deliverables for the following day, and I figured I would simply sleep on the 4.5 hour plane journey to Aruba.
As soon as we landed, I could almost taste the salt in the air. The Aruba airport is shoebox small but so charming, and everyone seems to be smiling. I've always noticed that about the Caribbean. It doesn't matter if the locals make five cents a day or five hundred dollars a day…they always have a smile on their faces.
So, we typically never splurge on taxis if we can help it, but our luggage felt as though it was packed with heavy, Medieval-style stones, so we went straight to our hotel, the Renaissance Aruba. There we found our delicious room with a view:
I particularly loved the view that day: after having come from a bitterly cold, almost Ice Hotel worthy climate, it was refreshing to see a cruise ship the size of Texas outside the window.Hunger pangs, however, needed to be satisfied, and we saw a tapas place outside our hotel room in Oranjestad, and had delicious pizza and Spanish wine for lunch. We cannot fail to mention the Aruba Spicy Olive Oil that made its way to our table (I had never before equated Aruba with "spicy" oil, so this was a neat surprise for me:
After lunch, we went to the pier and took the boat to Renaissance Island, because we were so badly in need of a BEACH:
We waved goodbye to our lovely hotel:
Until it became a speck in the distance:
At Renaissance Island, I finally felt free and alive. My face broke into a smile. During the winter in New York, it was extraordinarily hard for me to be happy, even though I had invested in a new Land's End down jacket and endless cashmere sweaters. I felt extremely unnatural to consistently be layered in sweater after sweater.
Matthew was finally in his own personal heaven as well:
We took in the blissful hammocks, the seagulls dotting the horizon, the liberating colors of the Caribbean, and the Kokomo-style beaches. Every time I see the beach I think of the Beach Boys…
Finally, we ended the day by taking in a brilliant sunset that was tinged with gold, yellow and grays:
Our first day in Aruba and we finally felt alive, with sand in between our toes, bathing in bath water and appreciating the graceful sway of coconut trees. We were home.