A travel and lifestyle blog

Saturday, January 18, 2020

The Best of Aruba


  Other than being a nice, relaxing vacation spot, that’s all I really knew about Aruba. I never really thought too much about the destination since there were so many other places I wanted to visit first. Nevertheless, I became pretty excited when some good friends of ours decided to have their wedding there. 

      The flight time took just under 8 hours with one stop in Panama. We stayed at the Renaissance Aruba Resort and Casino, which is one of the best hotels in the area. The hotel has its own 40-acre private island called Flamingo Beach, which is filled with none other than flamingos, iguanas, beautiful beach areas and a restaurant bar. A boat service is provided that actually picks guests up at the hotel and takes them directly to the island, which is where our friends got married during sunset. We had the whole island to ourselves, which was pretty amazing. 

            We ended the night at a restaurant bar with some great live music and dancing just a couple of blocks from the hotel. This is also what I liked about the hotel because it is conveniently located in the downtown area where all of the food, shopping and nightlife are.

            If you like to golf, the Tierra del sol golf course is one of the nicest in Aruba with a beautiful lighthouse and spectacular views of the caribbean. 
            It was interesting to find out that Aruba has a large Dutch influence. The island is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which is why you’ll see quite a lot of beautiful Dutch architecture surrounding the city of Oranjestad. Dutch is actually one of the official languages spoken there along with Papiamento, which is an Afro-Portuguese Creole language spoken there since the 16th century.
Most Arubans actually speak four different languages including English and Spanish. 

            One of my favorite things we experienced as a group was the pirate ship, which I highly recommend. The ship came equipped with a bar, a rope swing jump, snorkeling and a beautiful sail along the beach to relax and sightsee. We also enjoyed riding the Great Mable along the Caribbean. 

            We spent a day at Moomba beach, which is another great layout spot. We enjoyed one of their local brewed beers called the Belashi Chill at a restaurant on the pier. For dinner, we ate at the Barefoot Restaurant, where you can dine right on the sandy beach. 

            I’ve been to a couple of destination weddings, which are always the most fun, but Aruba stood out to be one of the most fun experiences that we've ever had. Happy travels!     


Saturday, January 11, 2020

Salvation Mountain

  A little strange, but very beautiful in its own right, this masterpiece basically lies in in the middle of nowhere. They call it Salvation Mountain, a piece of folk art created by artist Leonard Knight. 

  The bright, colorful mountain contains bible versus and religious messages scattered throughout the sculpture in dedication to the artist’s love and devotion to God.

   If you are thinking of paying a visit, I wouldn’t recommend going just to see Salvation Mountain since there is not much else sightseeing around besides the Salton Sea. The area surrounding the mountain is actually pretty desolate.  To make it worth it, my friend and I made a weekend trip out of it since we were already headed in that direction for a lights festival. We stayed in Palm Springs, which is located about an hour and half away from the mountain. 

   The best time to come visit is early mornings or late October to avoid all the crowds and the scorching desert heat, especially if you are there to take photos. 

    The caretaker is also pretty strict, but if you mind the rules he’s nice. Make sure you follow the yellow painted path to help preserve the mountain, and don’t bring alcohol since it’s not allowed on the premises. 

   The sculpture was made out of adobe, straw, and thousands of gallons of donated lead-free paint.  There is also some car parts and tangled trees that twist inside the mountain. If you like cats, the area bunch that roam free around the area as well.

    The sculpture was made out of adobe, straw, and thousands of gallons of donated lead-free paint. There is also some car parts and tangled trees that twist inside the mountain. If you like cats, there are a bunch that roam free around the area as well. Thousands of visitors come here each year, pray and leave an item at the mountain as symbolism for giving themselves to god. To learn more, visit here  at the Salvation Mountain website. Happy traveling!!
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