Say it ain't so, two months later and I finally am posting about my trip. No excuses y'all, but I promise to keep this blog filled with all the information you will ever need to know about Aruba (well rather about my experience at least).
When I try to create videos, I truly don’t have anything in mind other than trying my best to capture clear, creative and stabilize shots (as much as I possibly can, gear permitted). If you read my Twitter, you will know thy most of our gear had many difficulties rendering us to use our iPhones and GoPro for majority of our trip. I mean, my GoPro is utterly fantastic which I do not mind in the slightest, my goal was to capture some drone footage of the beach/resort while capturing some cinematic shots with a professional camera. In life you gotta go with the flow and learn to let go (still a work in progress) but that is what we did!
With no particular shots or storyboarding in mind (which I am insanely jealous of those who do, like my blog friend @fringeandfair who does this for her stuff - her organization is what I aspire to eventually do/be). I began to film what has now become a beautiful memory/cinematic shots and landscape snippets mixed in with funny in-the-moment clips. All and all, it came together to create my video down below. I am constantly trying to revamp my editing, transitions and making things as fun as possible. This is one of my favourite hobbies and I continue to grow with you all by my side. Thank you for watching and for all of you who sent me so much love with each and every story I posted - they mean the world to me especially when asked about my ensembles!
Now below I will also go into some information about my stay. If you are interested in staying in Aruba I have also made this post a review of 5 things you should do when you come to this beautiful island. 2 of the activities I did not do myself but have had friends who have done them / wish I had the opportunity to...I’ll explain more on why I didn’t below! Although I didn’t do it myself, from reviews of friends I feel compelled to share them with you all and perhaps one day I WILL eventually do these excursions. Let’s begin!
I 10/10 recommend this venture if you are ever in Aruba. On your resort, you can always book up excursions at the front desk, but Caleb likes to finagle with those individuals on the beach who bargain pricing down if you book more excursions. Caleb and I were able to book parasailing for $60.00 US each. It can be more or less depending who you talk to on the beach so walk along and try and find your best option. You will just need to bring your camera/phone and GoPro for this one. I took the GoPro up top with us, strapped it to my hand and up up and away we went. Most likely, you will have another couple who will be in the boat with you, also parasailing either before or after you. In that case, you can (kindly) ask if they can film your experience on your caerma/phone to get your take off and landing. OR you can also ask the people navigating the boat if you can bring someone along to film. You have the option of going up together with your friend or loved one or going by yourselves. Caleb and I wanted to mark this occasion together! It is a memory I will never forget. While up in the air, you will feel some rocky motions with the wind which is normal. Make sure to truly look around, while we were up there we saw so many big, beautiful sea turtles down below. Just magical!
2. Playground on the Water
Although this trip we DID NOT get to do this as we wanted to use this vacation as an opportunity to just relax, I still am including this in the blog as it is something we talked about doing. For about 20.00 US each, you can climb, slide and swing into the middle of the ocean. It was straight across from our resort making it a fun watch from away. Just means we would have to do it next time. My friend Kayla had gone and she thoroughly enjoyed it. For me, I try to review everything I have first experienced. but I trust my friends and their opinions, thus I want to give you all the information I can when you travel to Aruba and things I eventually want to go back and do (because of these rave reviews). Don't let my lack of executing activities because I wanted to relax hold you back from all the information you deceiver to have when you travel to Aruba. **Currently finding the name of this park as it seems to be a hidden gem!
Although it did not meet my expectations entirely, seeing various parts of the coral reef was a fun experience. The weather was not the best the day we visited the shipwreck, but an experience nonetheless. There are two options of the Jolly Pirates Cruise, one with a lunch and one without. There are a few extra hours added to the lunch and of course dollars as well. We had heard around from other travellers NOT to do the lunch as you spend a lot of time eating when you are already paying for meals during your all inclusive stay (which makes a lot of sense). For $45.00 US we had 3 hours at 2 different locations. We saw the shipwreck, which if the waters are rough it is VERY hard to see. To be honest when they told us to jump in and let us know that there is 60 feet of water below us, I was eager to get back in the boat. I didn't last in the water quite long at all. I jumped, swam, and got back in the boat. It was hard to swim through and Caleb kept constantly looking over his shoulder telling me to get a life jacket. At one point he asked if I would go back in the boat because he couldn't capture footage of the shipwreck (for the blog per my request) without worrying how I was doing (I was fine). Caleb is a worrier, but I love the man so much, so I went back on the boat. A little relieved as the rocky waters made it impossible to see past your arm's length. Anxiety soon to follow. I couldn't see Caleb in front of me, how about a SHARK UNDERNEATH ME...AHHH back in the boat I went. Later on we went to a the actual snorkel site where you see some beautiful fishes and then were able to swing jump a few times off of the boat in the water which was a great send off to the evening. If you are a connoisseur for snorkelling, this wont be that - but rather something fun to try out with your partner. Caleb mentioned how his father is a fanatic for snorkelling and probably wouldn't have found this spot to fill that passion of his.
4. Resort Parties
I say this in every blog, but it is true. HAVE FUN AT YOUR RESORT. YOU ARE PAYING FOR THIS EXPERIENCE. If you stay at the Riu Antilles, you must enjoy at least one of their party nights. We thoroughly enjoyed the foam pool party. It was a place to have a night swim, listen to some music and play around as a couple within the pool. Even though there were many people around us, we had some intimate memories to share just him and I. I would recomend going to it, meeting new people and just making the most of your stay. Most resorts have amazing nights all planed out for you. 4:00pm BINGO became a daily ritual for my family and I, while 3:00pm was Caleb's Pool Volleyball time. Make sure to enjoy any activity that interests you!
5. Walk the Strip
One of the best parts of Aruba is how safe it is. They have the lowest crime rate and from walking the strip, I just felt it. Their slogan "one happy island" is correct. From the people, to the food, to the land you feel a wave of comfort daily. The walk between hotels is not far at all - with the heat it just feels a little tiring. They are pretty Canadianized (I say, being from Canada) but I just mean they are westernized thus having a multitude of off resort eating options that are familiar to home. One of the best Gelato places (Gelatissimo Bistro) on the island is just a short walk on the strip, the locals know it too and it is by a string of Italian restaurants. The home page of the hyperlink shows you a glimpse of where the gelato is surrounding Having just eaten a bunch of food before our walk, we were too full to try it - but if its worth talking about and spreading like wildfire news on the island, why not try it while you are there? Also, the I <3 Aruba sign is located on the strip which can be a fun, touristic photo opportunity.
BONUS Flamingo Island...
We were sad we were not able to go, as it is truly an all day affair with about a $100.00 entrance fee to get on the island. I read a review here and there is no way to book this specific excursion from your hotel unless you are staying at the Renaissance. This will be another option of ours down the road. Caleb and I have promised each other that the places we loved to visit we will go back again down the line when we are settled down...Jamaica is first on our list!
I have attached a link of other possible activities I hadn't done or even new was available, that way for all you adevtnurours out there, you have a complete guide when booking your trip. I always suggest reading reviews and watching Youtube videos to see what you will be getting yourself into. Or if you want it to be a surprise, take the plunge and decide for yourself!
Love you all and thank you for being so patient with this entry!
P.S. There were so many moments we weren't able to share, please enjoy our photo gallery below as a walk by memory lane!