Vacation In Aruba

Playa Linda, Aruba

I recently returned from a much-needed vacation in Aruba with Jeff and my family. We stayed at Playa Linda, one of the high rises right on Palm Beach.

Jeff and I shared a room with my little brother, and my parents and sisters shared another room. Each room was a studio with a double bed, a pullout sofa with a partition for privacy, a small table in the corner for eating at, and a balcony. The rooms were clean and just the right size for us. There was even enough space for all of us to pile into my parents' room at lunchtime to make sandwiches or heat up leftovers from the previous night's dinner.

We didn't have much planned for the week besides a lot of beach time, so each morning, my mom (and sometimes my sisters) would get up at 6 a.m. (or sometimes earlier) and head down to the beach to reserve us a chickie. Chickies are the little huts on the beach, and they are highly sought after. Some people who come year after year even claim a particular chickie as their own -- even though whoever gets there first each morning can take whichever chickie they want.

Chickie at Playa Linda, Aruba

Once you have your chickie reserved, you have to wait around until about 7 a.m. for someone to bring around chairs and chaise longues. Luckily, my mom didn't mind rising early to do this. Jeff and I would roll out of bed between 8:30 and 9:30 every morning, throw our suits on, and find the chickie.

We'd all spend each day swimming, playing cards (or Scrabble in the case of my mom and sister), reading, tanning, walking along the beach... and of course eating, but I'll get to that in more detail in some upcoming posts. (This time we found much better food than on our last visit.) There were also tons of little shops to wander in and out of, along the beach and across the street.

One day we piled in the car and headed up the road so those who wanted to snorkel could.

And any daredevils could jump off the rocks into the clear waters below as well.

On another day, Jeff and my sister wanted to go tubing, and I went along with them in the boat and took about a hundred pictures.

It looked like a blast, but I'm a bit too much of a wimp to actually go out on a tube. It's the falling off that I would not like!

Some people go out on snorkeling boats, ride jet skis, or go parasailing. There's a lot to do if you're looking for water sports and activities. Two years ago we climbed to the top of Mt. Hooiberg and looked out on Venezuela and drove out to some of the sights like the Natural Bridge and the Natural Pool.

This year I was happy just spending the day in the sun and knowing that I could relax and veg out. We didn't have plans or schedules, just a few dinner reservations here and there. It was definitely one of those vacations where I actually got to relax and came home feeling refreshed instead of tired.

What was your most recent vacation?