ARUBA for the first time – but are we cheating on our true love?
Writing this at 6am on a plane headed south from Chicago. Hubby and I woke up at 2:30am to head out and do one of our favorite things, which is quality time on a beach, snorkeling, exploring and disconnecting. We have stayed on Puerto Rico, St Thomas and St John. All three islands have beauty, but we have progressively fell more in love with St. John on every visit. Read about one of our favorite adventures in prior posts St. John the three R’s
In October 2016 we traveled to St. John for our 3rd stay. We decided on the Westin – a departure from our usual quiet villa stay – but wanted to experience the hotel vs. a self catered villa stay. As we enjoyed the properties beauty, different kinds of villas and amenities and we pondered -Was it time to think about a long term commitment and coming back to our happy place year after year or even permanently? Knowing that buying our own home may not be an option at this point we decided to look at what other kinds of accommodations we could consider or invest in and decided to take in the timeshare presentation. We did not buy – but took them up on an offer via a pre-paid stay and come back in 2017 as we research and think about it a bit more. But in a minute the world can change……
We watched You Tube videos of the destruction, saw Facebook posts about the devastation and tried to do some small act that could help from our safe harbor near Chicago. Hurricane season 2017 is one that will never be forgotten on these islands. Islanders discovered that one hurricane beat down is bad, a second one is simply horrific. We have followed those stories of dread, devastation and destruction along with the resilience, recovery and love. Sharing from all parts of the world including celebrity’s and common people – All with one mission – Be Love.
We felt a bit guilty putting together a plan for a December trip this year. Our only solace came from posts by NewsofStJohn and the frequent sharing about recovery, hope and coming back. We are committed to heading back in 2018 or early 2019. We will bring more family and spend more than we have in the past. We may go twice once things are up and running.
This year we decided to head a little further south to Aruba, once upon a time this was an island I had at the top of my travel bucket list – The anticipation in discovering a new destination is building, but our thoughts do turn to our love for Puerto Rico and the USVI as they were truly the places that put this love of the Caribbean in our hearts.
Aruba for our first time. We have fun to chronicling our first visit to any destination as it is a way to share insights with other travelers, and have a written record of our meanderings. As we board the plane and get closer to Aruba, we are somewhat melancholy. Happy to be going away together, but missing the usual anticipation that goes with our giddy joy around visiting St. John.
In St. John we know the curves and switchbacks, the bumps and pot holes, the smell of the mangroves as you drive through Coral Bay. We remember the smiles from the staff at Skinny Legs and the laughter rolling out of the doors of bars in Cruz Bay. The furry donkeys, beautiful fish and coral, stingrays, turtles and perfect beaches. Trails through national parks walking us through time and history. The memories that used to fuel our excitement about seeing her – now bring worry and anticipation about how she may be recovering. But we are keeping watch – waiting for her and the sweet people there to feel ready to see us again. We are coming back, our trip to Aruba is a detour not a departure from our first true island love. Aruba has some very stiff competition to win our hearts.
Tags:#STJ #HurricaneIrma #HurricaneMaria #NewsofStJohn #ARUBA #StJohnUSVI