Welcome to the fourth installment of The Smooth Traveler. If you read the first three editions, (Sorrento, Rome, and Egypt), you have probably realized that I am, well, not so smooth. I am a little clumsy, a little goofy, and a bit of a goober! In fact, I am pretty sure that when I take a vacation, my brain takes a little vacay as well!
So please enjoy a laugh at my expense with The Smooth Traveler, Aruba…
About nine years ago, we took a Southern Caribbean cruise that stopped in Aruba. We were pretty excited to hit up the A of the ABC islands, and we decided we should start off the day with some beach time followed by a bit of exploring on the island.
Being that we were not sure of our full day’s agenda, I was having trouble deciding if I should wear a swimsuit and bring along a change of clothes or vice versa. I ultimately determined that I could go half and half. I can’t remember the logic (or lack thereof) completely–something to do with comfortable walking, maybe–but I suppose I thought that bathing suit bottoms would be fine all day, but I could put the top on once we hit the beach.
As soon as the ship docked, we eagerly disembarked and made for the public bus stop. I remember waiting forever on the bus, as it seems they will not depart without a warm body for each seat, but rather than get too annoyed, we just chalked it up to being part of the experience. Once the bus was filled, off we went to Palm Beach.
When we arrived at the beach, we paid for chairs and a palapa, then got settled in for a lovely swim in the warm Caribbean waters. Here is where we got set up–doesn’t leave much to be desired, does it?
So this was it, we were all situated with our shaded loungers, and ready to dive in that aqua blue water. So happy was I to be already wearing my suit, I cast off my shirt and shorts and headed out. But wait, something wasn’t right. I paused and reflected: did we have our towels? Did we secure our valuables? Had we lathered up with SPF? Yes, yes, and yes. Then I had a flashback to the room when I was getting ready–something about my suit.GAH! I am wearing my bra, not my swim top! I rushed to the cover of my husband who was laughing a bit too hard to give offer sanctuary. I then wrapped up with a towel until I could devise a plan for a modest switch.
But please let me assure you that all ended well. I managed to properly suit up for the beach and, once my mortification eased into mild embarrassment, I was able to go enjoy a dip in the perfect Caribbean Sea. I should also take this moment to let you know that at no point was I actually even uncovered, as my skivvies are probably more modest than most swimwear these days (thank goodness!). And finally, it should be said that our traveling friends were rewarded with terrific fodder that would provide many chuckles at my expense for years to come.
After our beach time, we slowly meandered toward the bus stop. It was quite the nice stroll, as we were escorted by butterflies (most likely escapees from the nearby butterfly farm). We also came across this rather bright green lizard.
Before heading back to the ship, we also stopped for a late lunch at a small restaurant where we discovered the joy of a grilled cheese sandwich with gouda, ham, and pineapples. I dare say it is the best grilled cheese I have ever had the privilege of sinking my teeth into.
And, well, that is about it for this story. As we are preparing to visit Aruba again, nearly 10 years later, I can assure you that this time I will surely remember my suit! 😉
The Smile Tag