When we plotted our girls trip to Aruba, the only plan was to not have (m)any plans. I’m sure that would have been fine with Stephanie and Angie, but then Alex and I decided we simply couldn’t be on the island and not make an attempt at a Yoga Girl sighting! Plus, we’re both pretty active adventures and are always looking for a way to burn some calories while traveling. You know you would have done the same thing.
So the first full morning we had to sleep in all trip—when you dive, you’ve got early call times—we got up at 7 instead and left the Divi Aruba to make it up to Palm Beach by 8am. Alas, Rachel (aka Yoga Girl) wasn’t teaching that day but we did get to meet her husband Dennis and play around on the paddleboard with instructor Rose.
At $50 a head, the Island Yoga class was a bit steep, but you’re definitely paying for the name. Plus, I read a lengthy article about Yoga Girl, and despite her 1.6 million followers, she doesn’t do endorsements and prefers to make a living off of teaching, rather than promoting. Mad respect for anyone who could potentially land a $250,000 sponsorship with a bigwig like Nike and chooses not to—it makes me like her even more.
Island Yoga is the only licensed paddleboard yoga company on the island of Aruba, and while Rachel and Dennis may be the founders and have other instructors on the rosters, they also pop in and out to teach classes when they’re not on the road for a book tour or workshop.
After a brief intro on shore, we all got into the water and on our boards; at this point, we had just 40 minutes of time remaining for Rose to take us through a few flows. It went by so quickly, and I could have stood another half hour. We did so many sun salutations to start, I would have liked to have done a bit more advanced poses. But I also understand that when you’re catering to the lowest common denominator, many of whom have never been on a board before yet alone done yoga on one, that’s not always possible. Regardless, it was great to have a bit of quiet out on the sea while most of the island was still sleeping off their Saturday night hangovers.
Afterward, Alex and I took the opportunity to play around on the boards before the next class took them over. It’s funny, but the simplest poses like tree suddenly become so difficult when you throw in the added challenge of a board.
Yet, a headstand is easy. Go figure! Let’s be honest, though, a headstand is easy on land, but it’s just as easy on a board. If you can balance on solid ground, you can do it on an SUP, this I promise. This time, I tried my hand—literally—at a pincha (aka forearm stand). It’s a bit harder, but I think I could get it down with a couple additional attempts. Arm balances for life!
Not sure why all my GoPro images came out so grainy?! Grrrr, technology.
When we got back to the resort, we had lunch and spent some time poolside before decided our next plan of action. After all, though we wanted to sit back and relax, this resort is a sprawler and we wanted to experience every last part of it. Our plan of action was to spend all day on the beach, it turns out.
Initially, we intended to spend our last day doing water sports, but by the time we arrived at Divi’s water sports center the following morning, found we missed the only windsurfing class of the day and that the kayaks were all spoken for. There was also a climbing wall and plenty of fitness classes (like Zumba on the tennis court, funnnn), but none of them worked with our dinner schedule. (Guys, we had a lot to eat and not a whole lot of time in which to do it!)
Never mind, we were all content lounging for our final afternoon in the tropics. And that’s when we saw a booth on the Divi beach announcing rides on those big inflatable couches. Lightbulb.
Alex had been fixated on the idea of doing this since we arrived on the island. She’d done it in Greece before, and said it was a blast. The rest of us—a good six to eight years her senior, I might add—weren’t as sold on the idea, particularly Angie who injured herself ziplining in St. Kitts last year.
“Is it really bouncy? Like, super bouncy?” she timidly asked the guy selling rides.
“Like, 100 percent bouncy,” he nodded. Meep.
We did it anyway. At $25 a person, what did we have to lose? Other than the contents of our stomach.
For the next 20 minutes, we were whisked all along the beachfront area as our driver tried his best to throw us off the raft. It never happened, but man were we all sore the next day from clinging onto the handles for dear life.
The worst was when he decided to do donuts; I really thought Angie might murder him. I also wasn’t happy about this development as I’ve been known to
blow chunks get pretty motion sick in the past.
After enough screaming “YOU BETTER STOP THAT RIGHT NOW IF YOU WANT TO LIVE,” I think he finally got the hint that we weren’t merely squealing with delight (as we were indeed when he was towing us parallel to the beach instead of doing 360s).
Let’s just say when the guy said, “100 percent bouncy,” he wasn’t lying. 1000 percent might have been more accurate.
But we survived, and it wound up being one of the more memorable moments of our 10-day trip.
That afternoon, we had more beach time—you know me, I’ll soak up every last bit of Vitamin D you let me—and obviously we needed to get in one last photo shoot, because a) we’re bloggers and b) we all happened to be donning our Tieks.
Though let’s be honest, when are we not in photoshoot mode? Never. The answer is, never.
And then we did an outfit change in an effort to get ready to hit the town that night and took the party to the famed “I Love Aruba” sign.
Aruba is just brimming with excuses to stop, drop and photoshoot, let me tell you.
Our final night was supposed to be spent on the Kukoo Kunuku pub crawl party bus, but they never picked us up! We still have no idea what happened, but anytime we called the number, we got a recording since it was after hours. Oh well. This was actually fine with me, as we chilled at the resort and then went to bed at a decent hour (I wound up waking up to a 4am call from American Airlines that my flight was canceled so I’m glad I didn’t go out as the next 12 hours were insane, per the travel norm).
Aruba, you were an unexpected joy around every turn. I never though I’d become so enamored with such a developed island—usually, places like Bonaire or Anguilla or Dominica are much more my jam—but I can’t wait to explore more of you when the time comes.