Travel ABCs

Bon Bini, Bon Bini fellow global citizens and friends! Our 2016 Global Expedition continues. Today we’re going to discuss the ABCs of travel…. by reviewing the ABC Dutch islands in the Caribbean, which are comprised of- Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. I spent time in two of the three islands in February and had a spectacular time.

My first stop was to Aruba, where I experienced everything from deluxe spa services, to fine dining. I also intermingled with other guests from across the globe and lounged by the sea. I danced my way through the butterfly farm, which helps protect the vast number of species they have housed, and said a prayer atop the hill at the oldest church, Alto Vista Chapel, on the island. I was also blown away by the splendor of the natural bridge remnants and the pristine white beaches. I slept peacefully in plush amenities at Divi Golf & Beach Resort and Divi Phoenix each night, and relished in a variety of gourmet dishes each day at Windows and pureocean between outdoor activities. From the management down, staff and service was superb and amenities were plentiful! In Aruba, you can relax on the gorgeous white sand beaches, explore the magnificence of the marine life within the depths of the sea, dine on tantalizing cuisine from fresh seafood to gourmet pasta dishes, and make new friends along the way. It was one unforgettable time on the beautiful island of Aruba!

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Natural Bridge Remnants- Aruba

My next stop was to Bonaire, by way of Curacao. My flight from Aruba was routed through the fantastic final leg of the trio of islands (Curacao,) which we’ll address after Bonaire. When I think of Bonaire I automatically think of tranquility. Everything about this land speaks peace and incomparable beauty. It’s like a hidden diamond in the rough, peaking out from beneath a cover. It’s a conservation haven and brilliant underwater idyll. It’s so remarkably wonderful and calming, but has the option for big adventure- like diving throughout the island or windsurfing over at Jibe City! One of the primary reasons tourists visit Bonaire is for the diving! The clear sea waters provide direct access to the colorful sea life, which are synonymous to a box of crayons, making for a photographer’s dream. After long, full days, I rested peacefully, seaside each night at Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino, and chomped down at Chibi Chibi and pureocean. The entire staff, including the resort manager, was just wonderful. Get your underwater and above sea cameras ready for one unforgettable time. Bonaire undoubtedly leaves a lasting impression on everyone.

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Jibe City- Bonaire

The last and final leg of the trio is Curacao. I first visited this island some years back and was completely smitten with its offerings. I enjoyed everything from the acclaimed, Queen Emma swinging bridge, to the chilling exhibits found at the Kura Hulunda museum, which takes you on a journey back in time, to the Dutch slave trade. I was captivated by the range of activities available to guests of the island. I was so visually excited by all the colors of the buildings to the lovely flamingos at the aquarium, which can be found on all three islands. Their rich color is reminiscent of that which typically only meets you in your dreams. While there, I stayed at the fantastic Hilton hotel and filled my belly with all sort of delectables at Aqua Restaurant and at Captain Bligh’s bar each day. The entire staff was great and I was super excited to earn all those international Hilton points. Can’t wait to go back to Curacao!

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Queen Emma Bridge- Curacao

Now that you’ve learned your ABC’s won’t you sing along with me….”The Dutch Caribbean is ahhhh-mazing.” Make plans to spend your next holiday at one or all three of these magnificent islands- for one enormous adventure packed time! Until next time, safe and happy travels to you!

 

The Beach Life…

Located on the west coast of Florida lies a sand bucket full of fun.

Ever wonder what it would be like to live in a “beach town?” If so, a visit to Clearwater Beach, Florida would provide a welcome glimpse into life as Oceanside Floridians know it. This location epitomizes the ultimate beach town experience to the fullest. The convivial locality is filled with a plethora of activities to choose from. Head over to Pier 60, where you’ll uncover a picturesque scene with powdery white sand, and “clear” ocean water for miles without end. Partake in any number of recreational water sports – like sailing, jet skiing, banana boating, or para-sailing. At the tip of the pier, you will also find a fisherman’s paradise. The fee is $1 to enter the gate, and you can spend the day or evening fishing. Many flock here to connect with other anglers, and look forward to catching their evening meal. It’s also not uncommon to rub elbows with visitors from across the seas. I’ve personally met travelers from both Europe and Asia

At 6pm daily, January through December, artisans, painters and craftsman of all kinds flood the boardwalk with stations to sell their unique designs and creations. You can snag some pretty cool finds, and make some rather interesting acquaintances in the process. Pier 60-beach days are the best. There is also the Sugar Sand Festival held each April (where sand sculptors compete,) the Pirate Ship Adventure, “free” Jolley Trolley island tour, and Clearwater Aquarium-where “Winter” the fin-less dolphin of Dolphin Tale, the movie lives. Adults can also enjoy spa services, boat charters, day fishing trips, romantic oceanside dinners, area shopping and dinner cruises too.

*One of the most popular area restaurants is Frenchy’s- best local grouper in the community- moderately priced and guaranteed a jovial time; 5 locations in the area. I personally frequent this establishment, and rave over the blackened grouper sandwich to everyone!

If your family is looking for a Floridian beach holiday, consider a visit to the west side of the sunshine state!

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Clearwater Beach, Florida- Pier 60