The Smooth Traveler: Aruba

Welcome to the fourth installment of The Smooth Traveler.  If you read the first three editions, (SorrentoRome, 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.

ruba 1
coming into port–I love the variegation of blues in the water

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.

aruba 3
Public busing in Aruba is not too shabby

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?

Version 2
paradise 🙂

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.

aruba 7
Aruban Whiptail (at least I think so…)

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.

aruba lunch.jpg
Cocoplum Restaurant: home of the best grilled cheese sandwich (ever in the whole wide world)

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!  😉

Next Up:

The Smile Tag



44 thoughts on “The Smooth Traveler: Aruba

    1. Haha, thanks Jen. My blunders keep me entertained, I figured I should share the laughs. 😛 Definitely a beautiful place–we are renting a jeep and seeing the full island next time, and I can hardly wait.

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    1. You know what makes it funnier? We learned shortly after, during a stroll, that tops were optional at the beach. Plenty of girls forgot their bikini tops as well as their bras that day. I had a good laugh about my semi-prudish hysterics after that 😛 And you are so kind–I always thought we look a bit like siblings. Uh oh! (and the lizard was a kindly little gent who just wanted to say hello from a distance, thank goodness)

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      1. Now that is a scene I can well imagine 😀 😀 I think after a while couple start looking like each other and start behaving like each other too! (We are yet to reach the look like each other stage). I mean it is amazing how Adi and I think the same way now though I am yet to convert him to my notion of book shopping and savouring tea with cakes Slowly inside a cafe. As for the last bit, I would have probably shrieked and scared off that kindly gent till he would look at me and wonder, ‘What the hell is that woman on?’ And possibly look at Adi saying, ‘Is that what you live with every day?’

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      2. haha, he did have a bit of a judgmental look in his lizardy little eye. I remember my grandparents sitting at the table eating chocolate chips cookies and cheese slices together. If they were able to reach that level of shared interests, you will surely have Adi savoring the tea with cakes (and maybe some cheese slices?? 😛 ).

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      3. Oh no Kristyn, I am worried about the maniacal glint he gets with cheese after Amsterdam. I promise you, I had a tough time not letting him overdo it with buying tons of cheese wheels to haul back home. Whoever thought I would have to restrain Adi from buying things and not the other way around. I like that visual you create of the grandparents. Darned cute.

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      4. Oh man, I would have a hard time not buying extra pieces of luggage to haul home Dutch cheese. Truth be told, there may be some gouda smuggling when I am next in Aruba. 🙂 And yeah, seriously sweet to see two people who have grown old together and have adopted the same quirks. So funny that the two of them sitting at a card table in their small kitchen with their cookies and cheese is how I always picture them now…

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      5. Aw 🙂 It is seriously sweet as you put it. It is my favourite part of growing older. Aruba has fantastic gouda? Then you should absolutely go for the haul. We just about finished our gouda loot a couple of months ago and Adi was seriously thinking of ordering a wheel even though we are moving at the end of this month. I hate wasting food, let alone cheese, so I had to put in a fair bit of work weaning him off the idea.

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      6. I am guessing the gouda is good–I remember laughing at cruise passengers bringing big cheese wheels back on board with them in both Aruba and Curacao. And now… I may be laughing at myself bringing a big wheel of cheese when we go to Aruba and Curacao. I will just need to take measurements of the stateroom beforehand so my cheese does not overtake our living space. 😛 Yeah, half a month is not very long to devour an entire wheel of cheese–probably best left as a housewarming gift. Are you moving nearby or to a different area??

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      7. I am visualising you trying to edge the captain out of his fantastic chambers to give the cheese a good room before it actually reaches home. Everything for cheese. Gosh it does make a good picture. A cruise ahead of you?! Why how exciting! When do you set out? My move is to New York 🙂 I just spoke to the borough council here and the man was funny. “You are abandoning this borough to go to NY! And you want sympathy, eh?” When I got the parking waiver info that I wanted, he said, “Just get me a big donut.” But I wish I did not have to leave Northampton!

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      8. New York? Wonderful 😊 You will surely miss Northampton and jaunts into the beautiful English countryside…. but New York is amazing. I have only been twice, but it left me starry-eyed both times. We leave for our cruise at the end of June, heading to Puerto Rico and off from there. I am just itching to get on with it! If you will be in NY when we fly home, I could air drop a Gouda wheel care package as we fly over. 😉

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      9. Ahahaha (I have got to stop doing this), I was imagining that and doubling over. I think we shall withstand a shower of Gouda wheel kinda care package. Adi will possibly be waiting out on the roads waiting to catch it. I am a little excited but my heart is a fair bit woeful at the thought of leaving this beautiful country behind. Aruba and Curacao, watch out for The Kristyn *drumroll

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      10. There are so many great visuals to this escapade. I have already imagined the cheese and myself taking a glass of wine on the captain’s personal balcony. 😛 Now Adi on the streets having taped off a large X for aiming/landing purposes, then waiving his arms wildly as he awaits the drop. Where are you in this, shaking your head from the porch or helping with the catch? Or have I convinced you at this point to storm the islands with us? Will you have family still in Northampton? Always a good excuse to go back and visit…

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      11. I have family in London, Kristyn. But I get annoyed too often with them to consider visiting them. In this case, love flowers from a good distance. These visuals are necessary on a Saturday of dancing around the room to my favourite songs. I shall be waving out to you from the porch, slavering away like a greedy dog and wagging my tail. In that order. I would love to storm those islands with you but alas the trammels of searching for a new home and setting it up awaits. I shall take a raincheck on that wonderful thought xx

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      12. There are definitely some who are easier to love from afar. So sad you will not be navigating the seas and eating gouda while lazing about in the sea (hmm, odd combo, but I am sticking with it) with us. But I think setting up home is such a fun adventure. There is so much possibility when starting a house from scratch. Plus you will need to be preparing a little monkey nook, which takes great thought and decorating skill… 😉

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      13. Again great possibilities lie ahead – sea and cheese and a whole lot of wine to complete the sigh-y picture. I shall sigh from NY or NJ and wait for the cheese loot. I am quite excited about setting up a new place, yes. We have a host of wall art and knick knacks to play around in the new place. Oh yeah, I got itchy hands.

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      14. Ah the trifecta: cheese, wine, and the sea. It is the life. 🙂 I am excited for you as you prepare for this next great adventure in New York/Jersey. When will you be sure of the location? Regardless of where, I’m sure it will be perfect once you turn it into home.

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    1. Ahh thanks. I changed themes a bit ago, wanting something that did not show the entirety of every single post on the home page. I had such a hard time choosing, but this one has grown on me, and keeps me accountable to find decent feature pictures. 🙂

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      1. For me, what I have finally done away with is overly worked on photos. They annoy me now. I used such terrible effects! I hit myself mentally for all the good photos I have ruined and then also deleted the originals alongside.

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      2. That is hard not to do. I find myself tinkering with saturation and contrast and then later realizing that it was fine in the original–like, did I really need to make the Caribbean ocean any more blue when it is already the perfect shade? sigh…


  1. I’ve never been to Aruba but I need to make some future plans. It’s right in my backyard and absolutely stunning. And the lesson I got from this post: Check if its a nude beach first, then decide whether or not to panic. 🙂

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  2. Aruba is the best place to visit and you can explore many things there and summer is the peak time to visit and this season you can get the hotels at the affordable prices and in this time you can visit this place and explore many new things easily and weather is also the perfect at this time.

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  3. If you are travelling to a place like aruba than keep some safe precautions book the hotel before travelling and at the time of booking just check the reviews of the hotel and don’t make the decissions in a hurry and always take the guidance from the travel agents they are the best medium to travel the unknown place .


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