Monday, November 19, 2007

El Honeymoon-o

When we were planning our honeymoon, I requested 1 thing: a beach to relax on - preferably with water that wasn't gross like Galveston, but that was negotiable. And that's how we ended up in Curacao. Curacao is near Aruba, just off the coast of Venezuala (South America)'s far.

You've never heard of the island, and probably didn't know it was an island, but you have probably heard of the liquor Blue Curacao. As we found out relatively early on, Blue Curacao is just a color...the liquor comes in all colors of the rainbow, and it all tastes the same. Apparently the blue one just marketed better in America. We never drank it.

We decided to rent a car for the week, just to make our lives more enjoyable. I requested a Jeep or a convertible - I wanted to feel the breeze blowing through my hair (we used to have a jeep and now I am going through withdrawls). Well, Tommy looked at Hertz, Budget, Avis, etc...none of them had Jeeps or convertibles. After a long search, he finally found Michel's Car Rental (we still debate as to whether it was Michael or Michelle, but whatever) - Michel's Car Rental has Jeeps! WHOA! And by Jeep, they mean Suzuki Jimny. And by Suzuki Jimny, they mean they haven't replaced any of the parts on the car since 1992 because Suzuki stopped making the car (for good reason) and they can't.

Well, upon walking up to our car, a lovely little red number, the lady tells us that a lot of the parts are messed up because they stopped making the car...yes, we can tell. The inside is rusted, the outside is rusted...there isn't AC, radio or even a clock. We take the tour of the car, so she can mark any damages. This took a long time. There aren't windows the back of the car - only the roof, and the roof on the front doesn't actually clasp shut (this is okay for us since we plan on keeping it down...unless it rains...which it did and we had to hold the roof shut while driving). The driver side window doesn't roll up all the way, but at least it rolls up. The passenger side window didn't have a crank on it. The crank lives in the glovebox. If you want to roll down the window, you have to take the crank out of the glovebox, snap it on, roll down the window, take off the crank and put it back. I had to do this regularly because there was also no handle to open the door from the inside of the car. I had to unroll the window (remove crank from glovebox and install), then reach my arm out the window to let myself out. The steering wheel rattled when going over about 30 miles an hour and I pretty much feared for my life the whole time. Surprisingly, the car survived the trip. I included before and after pictures for your viewing pleasure.
After picking up our rental car, we attempted to drive to the hotel. The island is small and there are really only 2 main roads, but since none of the roads (main ones or otherwise) are named and therefore are unnamed on the map, it was difficult. All we had was a schematic to get us from the airport to the hotel. Eventually we found our way.

The hotel was really nice - open air lobby and fabulous fountain. Our hotel room was fantastic - we had two balconies, one of which was about 10 feet from the water. This is our view...I'm not zoomed in, that's just how close we were.
View from our hotel room.
The view was amazing. The water was gorgeous and so clear. We spent our first day relaxing at the hotel - the beach was fabulous and pretty empty. We drank champagne on the beach and just was magical. We woke up to the sound of waves crashing on the was so relaxing. We took our photocopied version of the paper out on our balcony and watched the people do water aerobics. These people LOVE their water aerobics. There was generally at least 2 water aerobics classes happening in our area at any given time. Each group probably had 10 people in it - which means 10 people splashing around with their noodles and counting (in spanish...wierd). Hysterical.

All the beers in Curacao are served in less than 12 oz servings. The "local" beers, Polar (from Venezuela) and Amstel Bright (from the Amsterdam) are served in 8 oz bottles, and are about $4. We went to the grocery store to stock up there, on hopes of saving money, but that didn't do us much good. Tommy bought 24-8oz beers, 3 liters of coke, a box of Ritz crackers (our vacation breakfast of choice), and a bag of was $40. Ouch.

We spent day 2 hanging around the hotel as well - the beach was fun and the snorkeling was pretty good. That night we went to dinner at a place on the bay. Tommy had the snapper. The whole snapper.



The next day we ventured into town to play/shop/eat. The town is really cool - not a lot of shopping, but we were able to find the best tourist junk store EVER. In this one store I got a deck of pirate playing cards, a stuffed lizard, a clock made of sand, a Christmas ornament (two bears dressed in wedding attire), a recorder and a scary little figurine. And my shopping is complete. They tried to sell us a coat hanger in the shape of a penis, but I regretfully declined. They claim they sold quite a few of them when the gay cruise ship came through. Then we sat at this bar and played cards.

Oh, and here is a picture of the town...

This bridge scared the ever living crap out of me. At a soaring 185 feet above sea level, the Queen Juliana Bridge is one of the highest bridges in the world. It connects Punda and Otrobanda (the two towns on either side of the bay). I would have preferred to drive around instead of over, but I lost that battle.

On the third day, we got on a chartered boat with about 15 other people and sailed to the unihabited island of Klein Curacao. It really is uninhabited. It is about 2 sq miles big and there are no houses on it. I got sea sick on the way there and was not a happy camper. They served us breakfast and then lunch and we got all the drinks we could fit in our hands...which was many. We snorkelled - the water was absolutely amazing - and saw octopuses and seat turtles. So cool. The best part was where we were at the edge of the semi-deep part and the REALLY deep part. Swimming over that edge was scary but so cool. On the island was a lighthouse and a shipwreck - we wandered the island and played on the beach for most of the day. It was fabulous.

The view from our towels.

Tommy's friend Mr. Crab.

Gosh, we're cute.

The shipwreck and Cap'n Tommy. Very unsafe and I made him get down.
The next day we spent visiting all the different beaches around the island and snorkelling. The weather was gorgeous and we saw all sorts of animals - eels, octopuses, huge schools of fish, seat turtles - AMAZING. Here are just a few pictures from our favorites.

On our last night, we went to Mambo Beach, which is apparently where everyone on the island goes. They have a fishmarket at the restaurant, and Tommy and I had our pick of the fishes. We had tuna, mahi mahi, shrimp, and lobster...very tasty. And of course, it came with fries.

The sunset on our last night was beautiful...

And then we came back to reality. It's tragic really. But at least I am tragic with a fabulous tan!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When do you not have a fab tan? Looks really beautiful, wish I was on vacation! Just 4 more days and I'll be off for a month. Gotta get through finals (I am really Natalie, and I'm really in school). I love your rental "jeep." What a crack up. I bet you loved rolling up and down those windows.