When you live in New York City, you happen to be blessed with direct flights to pretty much anywhere.  Growing up in St. Louis, I remember connecting multiple times to get to our destinations.  Since living in NYC, I have been to several of the Caribbean Islands, but this was our first time to Aruba.

Many of our friends had visited the island before and spoke about all the activities and the nightlife and many had compared Aruba to Hawaii.  They said there was an easiness of walking out the front door of your hotel and being a part of the town and the people.  

With many things in motion with all the kids at different camps this summer, we decided to go in early July with our little one.  I thought summertime would leave the Island empty; boy was I wrong.  It was packed and full of life.

We arrived Mid-day and got to our hotel, The Hyatt Aruba, just in time to take in an afternoon swim in the ocean.  When you walk from the front hotel lobby down towards the beach, you discover that the property has the most amazing tropical birds and fish and even swans placed along the paths, you almost feel like you are in a tropical jungle.  

The ocean and beach were buzzing with so many people, boats, and floats and huts with people everywhere loving the white sandy beaches.  The water was crystal blue and we plopped ourselves down till the sunset. Later that evening we dined at the hotel and went to sleep early dreaming of the next gorgeous day.

We were up and out early the second day and we took in the pools and waterslides.  The water was so warm, that our daughter who was a timid swimmer became an actual swimmer on this day.  She learned to jump in the water for the first time and made friends with so many little girls at the pool that we then became friends with other families.  Late afternoon we explored the boardwalk along the beach, which was filled with people and amazing food shacks.

This is what makes Aruba different than any other island we have ever been to.  You can walk right out of your resort, turn right or left and be around the most amazing restaurants and food shacks you have ever seen.  Most island resorts have security and guards and a gate when you pull in.  You are locked into your resort unless you book a taxi ride somewhere.  We were so surprised and pleased that you could go for long walks along the beach and boardwalk and also around the town so easily.

We discovered a gem called Edwardo’s Beach Shack that had every Acai Bowl you could ever imagine.  They had every type of smoothie to fresh juices and fruit soft serve.  This Edwardo’s had a line of people everyday and became a staple of ours.  Another unbelievable discovery was dinner at Madame Jannette.  We didn’t realize that there isn’t an actual Madame Janette.  Madame Janette is a spicy pepper grown in Aruba.  I did however leave the restaurant with their famous almond crusted grouper that I will attempt to make one day and share the recipe.

The other magic of the Hyatt Aruba is that it is perfectly located on  Palms Beach.  You have the most unbelievable views from your room, and you will never be bored with 4 indoor/outdoor restaurants, 5 bars, including swim-up and beach bars, a gym and tennis courts, plus a casino and a spa.  We thought about all the water sports but we were quite contempt just building sand castles with our little one and being lazy on the complimentary rafts for all the guests.

As the song says “Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take you to….” Back to Aruba I would say.  Aruba Baby!