Tag Archives: honeymoon

2013 in Review

31 Dec

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


Our Honeymoon to South Africa and Mauritius

2 Dec


I created a video of our honeymoon to give you an idea of what can be done in two weeks in South Africa and Mauritius.   Soon I will be posting our itinerary and more detailed information about each of the locations.  Stay tuned to CourtneyMara.com!

Aruba Review by Yelena

4 Feb

Looking back to four years ago, I don’t quite remember how my husband Cale and I ended up choosing Aruba as our honeymoon destination.  However, Aruba turned out to be the perfect place!

We went at the end of July, and stayed at the Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive on Eagle Beach in Oranjestad.  There is a sister resort next door called the Divi Aruba. You can use bars and restaurants at both facilities, however a bonus of the Tamarijn is that each room is a view of the ocean.  The food and drinks at our hotel were fabulous, no complaints!  Some culinary highlights were the Caribbean café over at the Divi, and a restaurant at our resort where we could cook our own food over a table flame.  Another unique thing our resort offered was a full day’s rental of snorkel gear and bicycles.  I highly recommend this hotel.  We can’t wait to go back!

Here are some DOs and DON’Ts of travelling Aruba:

There is no need to rent a car –DO take public transportation!  We spent the week taking public transportation all around the island (which is only 21 miles long x 6 miles wide). The bus stops at all the beaches along the coast and the transfer station is downtown.  The bus fare equaled about $1 US.  DON’T take a bicycle outside of your resort. We attempted to bike outside of our hotel, and the city has very little sidewalks and no bike lanes.

DO take advantage of snorkel gear (either from your hotel or from a surf shop), and hop on a bus to take it to any of Aruba’s beaches. We spent an entire day at Arashi beach by the infamous lighthouse.  We also considered making a stop at the world-renowned Malmok Beach, just a few miles away, but ended up taking a long nap in the shade. On the other side of the island is Baby Beach known for its shallow water and colorful array of fish.

DON’T venture too far away from the coast into the desert. It begins to feel considerably more humid the further you get away from the water. We tried to go for a walk toward the lighthouse and ventured back toward the beach pretty quickly.

DO explore downtown. The buildings are unique and look very Dutch with bright colors and fancy roofs. There are many shops and street vendors all in one area. DON’T try to haggle in Aruba. Unlike many islands in the Caribbean, haggling is seen as an insult. DO grab an adult beverage at Senor Frog’s or Iguana Joe’s.

DO visit the Renaissance Aruba hotel downtown and/or consider staying there.  It’s in a beautiful location, with great dining options, an infinity pool, and its own private beach full of playful iguanas. We had lunch at Aquarius once day at this hotel and the salad bar was phenomenal.

Above all, remember to relax and enjoy the natural beauty Aruba has to offer!