Do we have to go home?
I keep asking E if we can just ditch our real lives and be real life pirates of the Caribbean. I mean, hello, he did vow to support me in whatever I decide to do with my life, and being a pirate would be perfect, right? Right?? All you need is rum, a boat, and an uneffable attitude! Sounds like a great life!
Okay, okay. So maybe being a pirate wouldn’t be the best choice. My skin is probably too fair to be in the sun for the rest of my life, anyway, and I do have a tendency to get seasick. I’d have to make sure to pillage Dramamine from every port. So I suppose we’ll just enjoy the time we have left here, and I’ll take my uneffable attitude elsewhere.
This trip has been wonderful.
Yesterday we woke up slowly and hit the breakfast buffet. Another guest accidently spilled bacon on my plate, and she felt awful when she found out I’m a vegetarian. Not to worry, sweet lady, I’m not the type of veg to freak out about that sort of thing. It certainly didn’t ruin our breakfast- though I will say, I prefer hotels that offer free breakfast. Aside from the cost ($19 a person! Crazy! We didn’t even consume $19 worth of food each!) breakfast was great. They even handed out shots.
That’s how you know you’re on vacation.
After breakfast we took a drive up to the California Lighthouse where E completed a bucket list item when he drank coconut water out of a real coconut. It was an exciting moment for sure. They chop it up with a machete and hand it to you with a straw. $3 per coconut and a dream come true. 🙂
Next we took our rental Jeep off-roading. I freaking love off-roading and Aruba is a great place for it. Basically the entire northeast of the island is off-road territory, and you wind around mountains, cliffs, caves and boulders on one side while the rough surf splashes against the cliffs on the other. During this particular excursion we visited the Rock Wish Garden, which I have to tell you about.
You see, the Rock Wish Garden was created by tourists for tourists. Basically, it’s a stretch of shore that has an overwhelming number of rocks, carefully stacked on top of each other. The cool thing about the stacks is the intention behind them: while building the stacks, you’re meant to make wishes. This means that each stack of rocks has a different story and was formed with a different intention. You can’t help but feel the hope when you walk among them.
We continued along and stopped a few times to take walks, getting as close as we could to the edge before getting nervous and scurrying away. At one point, I climbed down the rocks in my sundress for a photo opportunity (which probably would have given my mother a heart attack, sorry Mom) but it all worked out fine and I got a great picture out of it!
We continued on our off-road journey down to the Alto Vista Church, which apparently is where the native Arubans first converted to Christianity. I lit a candle in memory of those who have passed on, and knelt down to pray for a safe trip. We also walked the Peace Labyrinth in silent contemplation, which was simply lovely.
After that we headed back to our hotel to head to Renaissance Island, which I have to be honest, was less than stellar.
Don’t get me wrong, the beach was beautiful. We lounged on beach chairs with REAL FLAMINGOES just walking around, hanging out with us, sipping piña coladas under a palm tree (another bucket list item complete!). The problem was when we went to close our tab.
I believe in full transparency, but let me start by saying this: one bad apple does not spoil the bunch. However, I need to share this bad customer service story. So, E went to close our tab and the trouble started. The bartender began listing off drinks, and listed one that we didn’t order. Uh-oh. She removed the drink and E decided to have another so we didn’t close the tab at this point. After the last piña colada, we went to close the tab again, and the bartender tried to tell us we stole another room key and were charging drinks to it.
You see, this didn’t happen. It couldn’t have happened. We went straight from our room to the water taxi, which requires a room key to get on, and then went straight to the bar where E handed her our black room key to open the tab. It was immediate; he didn’t have time to pick up another room key, even by mistake. Plus, the key she said he handed her was gray, not black. Both E and I are observant people- we would have noticed that.
I think what happened is she put down the room key and mixed them up. An innocent enough mistake- you can’t fault someone for that. But the way she handled it was just unacceptable. Not only did she accuse us of taking another room key on the other side of the island (which was, again, impossible. We didn’t even go to that side of the island) she spoke to us as if we were five years old and didn’t understand that if you have two apples and someone gives you two more, then you have four apples. It was ridiculous. “Sir, I’ll explain this to you one more time. You handed me this room key.” She just would not take responsibility for what was clearly her mistake, and she was incredibly condescending. Her coworker even seemed embarrassed. It drove me bonkers. I’m a pretty chill person and I’m not one to complain, like ever, but I was livid.
So we immediately went to the manager at the hotel, who contacted the manager of the island, who reached out to us in our room. I told her what had happened, and she wholeheartedly agreed that there was a serious flaw in the bartender’s logic and customer service skills. I wasn’t looking to cause trouble, but I also didn’t want a) for my husband to be treated like that, and b) for whoever had our room key now to start charging things to our room. But the hotel manager checked our charges, deactivated both our old room keys so no further charges could be made, and gave us new ones. The island manager removed our drinks from that afternoon for our inconvenience.
Again, one bad apple doesn’t ruin the bunch, and I would still totally recommend the Renaissance Aruba. Just maybe avoid the short bartender on Flamingo Beach.
Oh gosh this is a long post, isn’t it? If you’ve stuck this long, thank you!
We had dinner at L.G. Smith’s Chop House, which is a steak house. I had pasta which was good, and E loved his steak! For dessert, he had delicious warm apple pie, and I had not-so-good chocolate chip cookie creme brulee. Whatever, the sunset was gorgeous and I was with the most handsome man ever- the quality of dessert doesn’t even matter when you factor those in.
Today was super relaxing- we took some walks, did some shopping, and spent the entire afternoon by the pool before we watched the sun go down on a private bench by the ocean. Just perfection. Why can’t we live like this forever, again??
Bottles of sunscreen used so far: 1.5
Piña coladas consumed: who even knows?