Thursday, January 29, 2015

Aruba 2015

My blogging trends these days continue to follow along the lines of "better late than never."  But, it IS better late than never right?!   It all started last winter when Nate and I ran into my parents at Bentley's in East Longmeadow. Totally unplanned.  But, one of our best ideas was formed! We began talking about buying vacation homes and doing Christmas in Aruba this year! So, needless to say, 2015 started off with a family trip to Aruba and it may have been one of the best weeks ever!  (Still working on the vacation home thing)! 
Of course we came home and got the flu about 24 hours later, which in turn made Aruba feel like a distant memory, while taking care of two sick whining toddlers, for a week, while being sick, but we got through it! ;)

So, by family trip, it was the four of us, my parents and two brothers.  We stayed at the Occidental, an all inclusive because quite honestly, I wanted something easy, didn't want to have to do anything really except walk to the pool, then walk to the beach, then maybe back to the pool (maybe the pool bar, beach bar, pool bar - maybe ;) ), and I certainly had no desire to travel through the airport with car seats.  Car seats were not coming on this trip after our crazy journey with two toddlers, two car seats and lots of luggage to Florida in May!  I break a sweat just thinking about it!  But, no car seats needed at an all inclusive - so the decision was made!

Anyways - perfect weather with the perfect people.  We had extra sets of hands to help with the kids, but I swear they are better behaved on vacation than at home.  It's amazing. Best travelers ever.  They love their sleepovers together and exploring new things.  So fun!

A few highlights:

My parents watched the kids while Nate, my brothers and I went tubing - but this was no normal tubing.  It was more of a "pay $80 to see what a near death experience off the coast of Aruba is like." Seriously - 4 adults, on one tube, side by side, not strapped in, just holding handles.  The driver hit every single possibly wave, ocean ripple, you name it - he hit it (then would look at us and laugh)! This went on for 20 minutes before he then tried to bring us out in the ocean, far far away from the shore.  I partially freaked out, so instead, he brought all the way, past the docking pier (safety), to the other end of the island, torturing us for another 15 or so minutes (felt like 15 hours)!  The things coming out of our grown adults mouths were actually quite hysterical. Why we didn't have someone video it from the boat I have no idea.  Next time (if there is a next time) I will have to plan that.  It may have been one of the scariest experiences of my life - but I made it back to shore, alive, to my kids. I couldn't move for about 24 hours because of muscle soreness - but since I was alive, I looked at it as a good upper body workout.

Catamaran boat ride with two snorkeling stops, open bar, music, snacks, and a super fun driver named Yohan.  We almost did another boat ride the next day because it was the best.  I would do this weekly if I could.  Good for the soul. 

We did pool days, beach days, shows, nap time, relaxed, had amazing dinners, great company, lots and lots of pina coladas and all the other deliciousness that you are supposed to consume on vacation.  (The kids had more pina coladas than I have had in my whole life actually).  We let them eat whatever they wanted the whole time and they loved that!   We had a "it's their vacation too" attitude and I loved letting them live large. :)  Took us some serious reprogramming when we returned home - add that to the fun of the flu!

The last day right before leaving, Jaxon and Anya were asked if they wanted to be part of the on site iguana feeding. They got to feed the iguanas lettuce right out of their hands.  Needless to say, they loved it! 

So...that is a brief summary to document our trip!  Here are some pictures in case you didn't believe how fun it was! :)

We're here!

And thirsty!

We had lots of beach time!

Snorkle time!

Jax on stage time!

Girl time!

Mom and her boys time :)

Sushi time!

Dive time!

Near death experience time!


Iguana time!

Nap time!

Pina colada time!

And another...
And another...
And of course spouse time!

Amazing place!

With my most precious people! <3
Bring me back!!
~Erin Leigh