Feb 16, 2009


We came for a wedding, but we'll come back for the wind! Bella took another shot at flower girling (at our friends Mark and Arnagela's wedding), and for the honor, we traveled from Beijing, to Virginia, spent a night, and then flew another 5 hrs to the Dutch commonwealth off the coast of Venezuela. Partly because of the cost, and partly to avoid the mainstream, we passed on the giant resort complexes (Westin, Marriott, Radisson, Holiday Inn all have enormous installations there) and found a fantastic little beachhouse called the Beach House Aruba, up the coast at a place called Fishermen's Huts. Bella and I were there on our own for a few days before Mik arrived, and we spent it all on the beach, by the pool, cooking and eating in our own outdoor living room/kitchen, walking up and down the coast and marveling at all the lobster-red sunburned people, and windsurfing. For the latter, I got a recommendation from the Beach House people for a lovely babysitter who Bella immediately adored, and they would hang out and play on the beach while I was out on the water. So different from our Sri Lanka trip just a few weeks ago, but SO much fun as well!

We did move to the Westin for the wedding night, to make it easier to enjoy the festivities with Bella along, so we also got to do the giant-pool-towel-hut-room-service-playground-buffet-breakfast thing, and it was fine, but honestly, the experience was pretty much EXACTLY the same as when we've stayed at similar giant resorts in Puerto Rico and Miami. I''m not necessarily knocking it, but the phrase "vacation factory" comes to mind. The best things about Aruba are the people, the weather, and holy cow, the OFFSHORE WIND, all best enjoyed, IMHO, from the little places.