One of the ways we save money when we travel is to book a private rental vs. a hotel. The rental properties are usually much cheaper than hotel stays and they are usually equipped with a full kitchen, which saves us even more money by not eating out every meal of the day. Rental properties are also great options for families in need of more than one bedroom. We have had great success renting properties from vrbo.com (Vacation Rentals By Owner) and we have saved a lot of money in the process. Our temporary home in Aruba was on the northwest coast of the island, right across the street from Boca Catalina. This small beach cove is said to be the best spot for snorkeling on the island. Additionally, this property was just a short 5 minute walk to my precious, Arashi Beach, mentioned in yesterday’s post. Aruba’s hotels are all crammed on one small strip of the island and we were able to avoid the crowds by renting a property that was located away from the high rises. This also meant there were fewer people I had to share Arashi Beach with!
View from our apartment
In addition to being right across the street from the best snorkeling spot on the island and near the best beach on the island, we were also in a great location to enjoy the beautiful Aruban sunsets.
In August, we took a family vacation to Aruba and it was paradise! Well…it was paradise for me. Rob, on the other hand, wasn’t Aruba’s biggest fan. He didn’t quite understand why I was so ready to put a Monopoly-money down payment on a vacation home there. I can understand his point of view though. The island terrain is not very appealing. Aruba is essentially a dessert, covered in cacti and dirt. But who cares? The weather is basically perfect there all year long and I would spend all my time on it’s pristine beaches with the clearest water I have ever seen!
You see, I have a very intense fear of sharks and I almost never go in the water. I have to be able to see my feet in any body of water or else there is no way I am stepping in. And even then, I am usually filled with anxiety. Constantly looking around, waiting to see that iconic dorsal fin appear, heading in my direction. Jumping out of my bathing suit every time a piece of seaweed brushes past my leg. Ridiculous, right? I know it’s ridiculous, but it’s probably not going to change. I have gone to so many beach locales, but I could never truly enjoy the ocean because I would be overcome by my fear and anxiety. Until Aruba!
We spent most of our beach time at Arashi Beach. The water was crystal clear and I could see everything around me in the water, in all directions. The ocean floor was soft white sand without a single piece of seaweed in site. It was glorious! I could actually play with Ella in the water without worrying what might be lurking nearby. I could actually lounge on a raft, enjoy a beer, and even close my eyes and still not feel an ounce of anxiety! Well, that is until the kids playing in the water start yelling SHARK, SHARK!!! I almost spill my beer as I heave myself off my raft to make my escape to shore, only to realize the kids are playing a game with one another. Seriously though….that shit should be illegal. You should not be allowed to yell shark in open waters! Doesn’t that fall into the yelling FIRE in a movie theater category? No? Well, it should.