I could definitely classify myself as a beach bum. When on vacation (or even when visiting Plum Island’s beach at home) I can plop myself down on a beach chair or towel and be content for hours. This trip I packed along only a few beach essentials — two books, 30 SPF sunscreen, a hat, and a pool float for the lazy river!
I brought along Wild since I wanted to read the book before going to see the movie. I really loved Wild and ended up finishing the book while on the plane home, but I cannot imagine hiking the Pacific Crest Trail myself!
Papiamento is probably one of Aruba’s most famous restaurants. Not necessarily because of the food (although I did enjoy my meal!), but for the restaurant’s unique and beautiful grounds.
Most of the tables are situated around the pool in the center of the property. Other tables sit amongst the trees with twinkly lights hanging from all the palms. Inside of the 126-year old house you’ll find dinner tables surrounded by 1800’s antiques from Europe and personal mementos of the family, including copper pots, old photographs, and delicate floral tablecloths.
If you make reservations ahead of time, you can enjoy cocktails and appetizers in the restaurant’s wine cellar! Would be great for a hot summer day, as the cellar is kept pretty cool to protect the wine.
The sommelier gave us a quick tour of the cellar, letting us poke around their inventory and peek at all the bottles. We also made friends with the restaurant’s resident cat, Princess.
Like I mentioned yesterday, Aruba is very windy! It was quite a struggle to get a photo where my hair wasn’t whipping into my face, sticking my lip gloss, or just completely knotted up. In addition to my black Banana Republic dress, I packed this dress that I picked up a few years ago in Bermuda. Its got a gorgeous open back and really stands on its own without any accessories or statement jewelry — just a plain black pashmina in case it got chilly!
As I look out my window at all the mountains of snow, I can’t help but wish I was back in Aruba! Last week my parents and I flew down to Aruba’s Marriott Surf Club for a few days of sun and relaxation, spending many hours in the pool’s lazy river. We missed one of the huge storms, but were greeted with plenty of snow when we arrived home.
Necklace: Purchased in Costa Rica (similar) / Clutch: Purchased in Bahamas (similar)
I didn’t want to pack too much for this trip, so I went with two simple dresses and white jeans that could be mixed and matched with different jewelry and accessories. This black dress is a few years old from Banana Republic, but has been a staple for many summers and beach vacations.
On our first full day in Aruba we went to dinner at El Gaucho, an Argentine-style steak restaurant. We listened to tangos and boleros played by the restaurant’s guitar duo as we ate. As I perused my photos from this trip a common theme seemed to be wild hair — Aruba is notorious for being very windy!
Just after Christmas I became so obsessed with de-cluttering my life. I donated half my clothes to a nearby family who had suffered loss from a house fire, I tossed about 10 lbs worth of old magazines, and went through every beauty and heath item in my bathroom. I ended up tossing so many things that were old, unused or expired, and re-organzing all of the remaining items.
I was so pleased with how much progress I made that I decided to upgrade my travel toiletry cases. I chose a leather set from Cuyana to hold all my makeup and “dry” items and a One Truffle Clarity Clutch for my liquids. When I hit “purchase” I made a deal with myself that (with the exception of sunscreen) all of my travel items had to fit into these cases, or else it had to go.
Although I leave my Cuyana makeup bag on the counter for everyday use, I leave my One Truffle packed up so I can just toss it right into my suitcase when I travel. Lately I’ve been using Complex15 Face Cream (discontinued! so sad), Bioderma Crealine, and Caudalie Dry Oil for taking care of my skin on the go. I prefer Nuxe Dry Oil for everyday use, but sadly they don’t make a small travel sized bottle! My travel sized bottle of Bioderma was purchased Paris, and I fill it up from my larger bottle at home. I always have a body wash packed up (usually a sample from Birchbox!) and I keep refilling my sample size Beauty Protector spray from the larger bottle I own. I always purchase the smaller Jo Malone perfumes since they travel well too. Right now I am obsessed with Wood Sage & Sea Salt, although I also like Nutmeg & Ginger for this time of year.
A few other items that I have in my larger Cuyana case (not pictured) are:
It feels quite nice to have all of my travel items neatly stored and packed up. It makes it so much easier to find what I need when I am traveling, and when I get home I can quickly see what I need to refill. I tested out my new travel system while in Atlanta last week and I must say it really made a difference. I had just what I needed, and a stylish perk was that the cases also looked really nice sitting on the white marble sink at the hotel!