the fun photographer

Dani Leigh 

Dani leigh

the fun photographer



Welcome to your fun place on the interwebs; a place to waste time at work looking at your friend's pretty wedding and family pictures and getting to know the gal behind the lens. Go ahead and grab that second cup of coffee! You'll be here awhile!

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Aruba: One Happy Island

Jan 6, 2014

I know, you all are thinking, wait, didn’t she just get back from St Lucia? Yes. I did. But almost a year ago, I went to Aruba with Emily and I never blogged about it because I have been so busy editing everyone else’s photos that mine don’t get the time of day until winter! Honestly, I didn’t take that many photos that weren’t on my phone in St Lucia so there are no guarantees how those will turn out anyway – these were all on my Canon and way prettier.

I will be honest and say I don’t remember everything about Aruba since it isn’t so fresh in my mind anymore. I do remember that when we were at the airport in Baltimore everyone told us to be very careful when we told them where we were going. After going, I don’t really see how America (at least most east coasters) can think it is a terribly dangerous place and that there is such a stigma around it still. But I guess all anyone knows about it is that is where Natalie Holloway disappeared. I will say that everyone we met was beyond nice, so calm and chill because they live at the beach and likely went kite boarding that morning. We stayed at the one place that one can stay at that wasn’t in the touristy area of the island: in Savaneta at Club Arias. While it wasn’t a beach front or a hotel, it was really a nice place and it was nice to not be where all the tourists were and more where all the locals lived. Gabriel made us breakfast every morning and we sat out by the pool enjoying the warm air and the sunshine. I loved this vacation with Emily because it was so unlike the trip we had just taken together in October to Iceland where everything was so planned out and there was stuff to see. Here, there were no street signs, let alone a plan in the slightest so it was nice to find out that my vacation buddy can do both planned and unplanned trips. We also don’t really love the beach and are more pool people so that worked out perfectly.

I will get on to the photos but I did just want to mention a few things I didn’t know that I think would be good for anyone to know if you are traveling there.

1. It only takes about 45 minutes to get from one side of the island to the other.

2. There are no street signs. Be prepared to get lost, but don’t worry, it will be fun.

3. It is a Dutch island. Had no idea. Most people speak papiamento.

4. People will continuously talk about the windward side of the island. We thought it was all windy while we were there.

5. It is 15 miles north of Venezuela.

Last thing I will say is if you go there you must eat at the Flying Fish at sunset. Literally there are flying fish that jump out of the water when it gets dark. It is so cool. And if you have time, to the right of the Flying Fish (these places look like total crap from the road and then you go inside and it is gorgeous, just fyi) there is a fish food place that is great for lunch. They only have shrimp and whatever the caught that morning. You get to pick it out of a cooler and they fry it for you. So fun!!

Our itty bitty car.

Another natural bridge – the real one collapsed in 2005.

I feel like US license plates should be this happy.

Ha. These guys crack me up.

This was shocking that my germaphob friend here was getting ready to touch an animal.

That was our room all hidden away on the left.

I loved these little guys.

Emily finished her book that I told her was good…but didn’t tell her that the ending totally sucks and will leave you feeling like this:

Me with our breakfast man Gabriel and Emily eating the fruit from the tree outside our place that literally dries out your whole mouth in under a second. Gross.

The last night we drove up to the California lighthouse and watched the sunset on Eagle Beach.

Like I said earlier, it’s all windy.

comments +

  1. Becca

    January 6th, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Ugh SO JEALOUS! That beach looks like heaven. Another place to add to my bucket list!

  2. Emily

    January 6th, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Aruba!!!!! This will always be one of my most favorite vacations ever. You took way more photos than me. I wonder if I will ever blog mine. Also, your #4 thing made me laugh. So true!

  3. Jenn Cafferty-Davis

    January 6th, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Love the cat on the pool table!

  4. Kelly Ewell

    January 6th, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    What a gorgeous vibrant island!

  5. tPoz

    January 6th, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    I’m in need of some sunshine & warmth right about now!! SO – what was in the basket that Emily was about to eat? And what was the book? I probably don’t want to read it 😉

  6. ashley barnett

    January 6th, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    Aruba is one of my favorite places on earth! I hate how negative of a reputation it has! When we were there everyone was SO kind and accommodating… my biggest piece of advice to folks is if they aren’t renting a car, don’t be terrified of the “taxis” hahaha! 🙂

  7. Brea

    January 6th, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    You go to the coolest places, like all the time. I want your life.

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|  Photos by Dani Leigh photography