We had each set our alarms for 3am. At 4am I woke with a start. I told Mandy we had to get up immediately. Our bus was to leave in a half hour, and was about a ten minute drive from our house. We scrambled through final preparations while we tried to understand how we got into this situation and how we should get back on schedule. Once our brains reached about half-power, we reasoned the best plan was to skip the bus and drive straight to the airport. It would be more expensive, but we didn't want to to forfeit the whole trip.
We hit the road and worked on some coffee. Eventually, we were fully-functional. Traffic was light, though somewhat heavier than expected. We passed our missed bus on our way. We parked and caught a bus to our terminal. The security line stretched most of the way around the lobby, across the front of the building in the way of the ticket counters. Yikes! We joined the end of the line and waited patiently. Fortunately, the line moved rather quickly, and we got through security with no issues. We left shoes on this time. We made our long way to our gate which was at one extreme of the terminal. Mandy was curious where all the people were that we'd be sharing our flight with. Good question! We double-checked the screen which showed us we were at the wrong gate. The correct one was at the opposite extreme of the terminal. We hustled, and we made it.
The rest of the journey was fairly uneventful. We boarded the plane for our direct flight to Aruba, and we sat patiently for four and a half hours until we landed. We got out of the airport and immediately found our ride waiting for us. Kelly was appointed by our host, Rik, in his absence, to pick us up and bring us to our temporary new home in Oranjestad. Kelly was super informative and very friendly. She showed us all the things we might need or want to do during our stay.
We dropped our bags and decompressed for a few minutes. Then, we set out towards Santos cafe. We met some people along the way who opted to join us for coffees. Once there, we ordered a round of iced coffees that were all delicious, and much needed to boost our energy levels.
After we were recharged a bit, we made our way to the beach. Along our way, we stopped at a bar. At the bar, we met several more people. After a round of drinks, we made it out onto the white sandy shore, and finally into the warm turquoise water. It was fantastic! We allowed ourselves to relax completely and drift with the motion of the tide.
When we were good and ready, we got out of the water. We showered and changed and made our way to Gaucho's steakhouse for dinner. Apparently there is a law in Aruba that taxis can't have more than 5 patrons riding with them at a time. But our driver was gracious enough to allow us all to go with him. We arrived at the restaurant and were promptly seated. I got a surf and turf with fried plantains, sautéed broccoli and rice. Mandy got petit tenderloin steak with sautéed broccoli, French fries, and onions. We both got sangrias. Everything was delicious. We had so much that there was no room for dessert for us, but James and Braden found room and continued to eat as the dining room was serenaded by a man with an acoustic guitar playing some classics. After dinner, we decided it would be a good idea to walk back rather than take a cab. It saved us a few bucks and helped to digest the massive amount of delicious food we’d all just consumed.
Along the way, we heard what sounded like a huge marching band practicing. We could tell they were nearby, but we couldn’t see them. The echoes of their drumming followed us all the way to the hotel, where we picked up some of our belongings before heading to our AirBnB just down the road. The band were still banging their drums, and the sounds increased as we got closer to home. As we approached our street, we saw the band in a vacant parking lot. There were fewer than ten members, which surprised us, just because it sounded like so much noise. They were pretty good, though, and we enjoyed the music as we walked. It seemed like they were packing up, which was perfect, because we were exhausted from a long day of travel, and we were hoping they wouldn’t keep us awake. When we got to our spot, we crashed very shortly after setting our alarm clock for 7:30am.
"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."
- Bilbo Baggins
We're just an adventure-loving couple with a puppy looking to share our stories with the world.