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If you've been following the blog you should know that a small group of us met up in Aruba for an end of summer meet up and my first official getaway for #OChristineRetreats! Here is a fun recap of our four-day adventure together in Aruba Noord:
Day 0: Pre-event brunch
Knowing that many of the trip guests wouldn't know each other, I facilitated a small meet up in Harlem, NY. We ate a delicious Italian brunch spot and then visited the Studio Museum of Harlem (free entry on Sundays, sponsored by Target) where we explored local artist exhibits and even joined a postcard-making workshop (also free!).
Our guests came from Westchester, Queens, Harlem, and outside of Philadelphia. Due to distance, not everyone could come, but this meet up definitely helped everyone get acquainted nicely.
We also took this time to discuss flight arrival times and assign airport buddies to save on taxi fare. The timing worked out perfectly.
Day 1: Arriving at our Palm Beach house rental
The house rented for our end of summer retreat was gorgeous. Located within a safe, gated community and just a 15 minute walk to Aruba Noord's famous Palm Beach, the five-bedroom house could comfortably fit 10 people (two per room) with individual air conditioning controls, a large kitchen and dining room, outdoor pool, and a grocery store right around the corner.
We spent our first evening taking a dip in the ocean at sunset and then heading over to a hotel (as hangry as ever) for a quick bite. We ended up closing out the restaurant, as we were all chatting up a storm, and eventually all walked home together.
Note: my getaways are the O. Christine experience. It is a way for you to travel the way I normally travel so you will find yourself walking A LOT. That said, no pressure if you feel like taking a taxi - see you at the house!
Day 2: Morning / Afternoon Snorkeling Cruise
The next day was the start of our adventurous schedule. We headed on a Mi Dushi snorkeling cruise to explore Aruba's underwater life, enjoy an open bar, eat typical Aruban food, and dance to fun music.
The cruise made three stops, one including a shipwreck, and lasted from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. The bar was truly open bar (no watered down drinks) and the tasty (and well proportioned) food included rice, grilled fish with a creole sauce, BBQ chicken, and salad.
Before the end of the cruise we jumped off the boat on the rope swing. It was kind of scary to do at first but I finally got there!
After the cruise dropped us off (right on Palm Beach) we were all exhausted. The schedule included a nice nap / chill time and Alex used this time to buy groceries for the house. We all split the groceries and for the long weekend, it costed us just $30 per person.
That night the male guests grilled some chicken and fish on our rental's outdoor grill, some women made salads, others napped, and the rest blessed snapchat with awesome lip syncing videos. You just had to be there ;-).
Day 3: A Safari Adventure
On the third day most of the group signed up for a wild safari adventure with ABC tours. The duration of the afternoon tour was 4.5 hours so we all slept in. Around noon I led an afternoon yoga strengthening session in the shade for anyone who was interested.
The yoga session was essential and those who took it had an easier time on the bumpy land tour. (At least, that's my opinion on it!)
The tour we took was called the Natural Pool tour and provided the opportunity to experience a small natural pool cliff jump, a famous natural pool (with option to jump), and (if there is time and good weather) a super high 30 foot cliff jump. There was also a tour of the first church, peak point, and gold mill ruins.
Again, the day was long and draining. I learned that I can never do a four-day trip again. Minimum five days. A couple of people went out that night, and the rest of us made drinks, swam in the pool, and had a pretty epic Taboo competition.
Day 4: Brunch and Goodbye!
On the last day of our trip we woke early, packed our luggages, got permission from the rental owner to leave our bags, and headed out to the beach area one last time for brunch. Alex and I stayed for a few more days, but the guests were tasting their last bit of Aruban flavor.
Check out this video of our Aruba adventure!
How much did this Aruba vacation cost?
Including four star quality lodging, food, taxis, and tours, the total cost of this 4D/3N Aruba adventure was around $550 per person (not including flights) - which is an awesome deal!
Want to travel with me next time?
We had an amazing time and I learned more about the type of meet ups I want to continue having with future guests. Here are perks you get when you travel with me:
Flexible Travel Itinerary: adventure or chill, it's your choice!
Access to Yoga: partake in a judgement-free level 1 yoga class with a certified instructor
Travel Discussion Session: get your travel questions answered
Empowerment Session: discuss entrepreneurship, fears, and goals