The conclusion of our Curacao Trip

As I prepared this post, I got distracted by all of our Curacao pictures all over again.  We had such a wonderful time, and got to truly experience the island.  I’m sharing one last set of pictures to give a few more of the highlights of our trip.  We stayed in two locations on the island.  The first half of the week, we stayed at the Santa Barbara Beach and Golf Resort.  It was tucked away on one side of the island, and was a very serene setting.

The beach

Curacao - Santa Barbara Resort Beach

The pool

Curacao - Santa Barbara Resort Pool

The main part of the hotel and restaurants

Curacao - Santa Barbara Resort - Hotel and Dining Area

And, the landscape around the resort.

Curacao - Santa Barbara Resort - Property

For the second half of our trip, we moved to the other side of the island, at Marazul Dive Resort in Westpunt.  We chose to stay in a vacation rental by owner, and had a great experience.  We had never done that before, but we are so glad we did because it was great.  The pictures of the place we stayed were exactly how they were listed on the rental website.  The owners provided us with helpful information in advance of our stay, and the property managers welcomed us after our arrival.

We had a beautiful view from our balcony.

Curacao - Marazul Dive Resort - View

Here are some views of the nature of Curacao:

Curacao - Yellow and black bird on deck

Curacao - Iguana close-up

Curacao - Flamingos in water

Curacao - Cactus

Curacao - Pink-Red Flowers

Curacao - Iguana in leaves on rock

Curacao - Tropical Bird

Curacao - Purple Flowers

Overall, it was a wonderful vacation.  Curacao is a beautiful place.  We enjoyed our whole trip.  You can find more of Curacao here and here, in case you missed the other highlights.

Where is your favorite vacation spot?

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The Sea Views in Curacao

Curacao 2 - Playa Knip panoramic

The beauty of Curacao was definitely not only in the buildings and décor.  The water was just as beautiful.  The picture above is from Playa Knip.  When we arrived at that beach one morning, no one else was there.  We were beginning to wonder if we should be there, but while we tried to decide we took advantage of the empty beach and snapped some beautiful pictures.  Soon enough people began to show up a the pretty beach.  We spent the day enjoying the sand, sun and water.  The snorkeling at this spot was pretty good too.

Curacao 2 - Snorkeling fish and coral

Curacao 2 - snorkeling - fish

Another morning, we set out for another beach, Playa Forti.  We were told it was a good spot to collect sea glass, so we wanted to get there early in the morning, because we thought the selection would get picked over.  Turns out, you could not walk on the beach without at least flip flops because it was just covered in coral and some sea glass.  We walked along and collected some to bring home, and took some pictures of the peaceful location.

Curacao 2 - Playa Forti

And, this was the view from the parking area above before walking down to Playa Forti.

Curacao 2 - View at Playa Forti

Since there wasn’t really anywhere to relax there, we had to find another beach for the day.  We headed to Santa Maria Beach.  It was a much larger beach than any of the others that we went to, but we found a little spot to hang out for the day off to the side of this dock.

Curacao 2 - Dock and water at Santa Maria Beach

Some of the other sea views we captured were taken while we were on a catamaran exploring around the island.

Curacao 2 - Homes along the water from catamaran

Curacao 2 - close up of homes and boats from water

And, we spent each chance we could exploring the water snorkeling.  We found some beautiful coral and fish.

Curacao 2 - Snorkeling Elk Horn Coral

Curacao 2 - Snorkeling Fish and Brain Coral

Curacao 2 - Snorkeling coral varieties

Curacao 2 - Snorkeling Trunk Fish

From above water, we found rocks that were very populated with beautiful snails.

Curacao 2 - Snails on Rocks

We tried to capture sunset pictures, but each chance we had it would disappear behind the clouds when it got closer to the water.

Curacao 2 - sun starting to set over the sea

The light at that time of day is always our favorite time to take pictures.  This was outside of our resort on the stairs built into the cliff leading into the water.

Curacao 2 - Leslie on stairs to water at Marazul Dive Resort

The flowers and palm trees around the resort were amazing.

Curacao 2 - Flowers and palm tree with water in background

Has anyone else traveled to Curacao?  Any other snorkelers?

The Beauty of Curacao

Curacao - Curacao sign in Willemstad

I’m finally getting time to look at all of the pictures we took in Curacao….all 485 of them!  We are very lucky to have the opportunity to spend a week on the beautiful island of Curacao.  There is so many beautiful sights to share, so I think I will divide it up into a few posts.  First, I’m sharing some of the colorful homes, beautiful architecture, and beach décor.

The town of Willemstad is filled with streets of colorful buildings.  Below is the center of Rif Ford, with a fountain in the center square and lots of shopping.

Curacao - Rif Fort in Willemstad fountain square

This was one of the hotels and casinos.  We didn’t go in, we just enjoyed the beauty from outside.

Curacao - Blue and White hotel

Bob really liked the color of this bank.

Curacao - Banco di Caribe - blue and white

We took many pictures of all the buildings in a row, but this one shows the variety of colors.  I asked Bob what color he would choose if this was the style of home we had, and his choice was salmon and yellow.  I would choose coral and yellow….so I think we are close enough to pick colors we would both like to live with for our home.  Of course, we’d have to be living somewhere where that is the style.  A coral house would stick out a bit too much in Lancaster!

Curacao - Colorful homes in Willemstad

As we walked the streets, it wasn’t just the buildings that were colorful.  We also found this beautiful alley.  It was 3-dimensional, which made it even more unique.

Curacao - 3-D Wall with sunflowers and butterflies

The churches and cemeteries were works of art too.

Curacao - Church and cemetery

I enjoyed the décor around the hotel too.  It was amazing to see a lot of the trends I see on a regular basis on other blogs, like the driftwood mirror.

Curacao - Driftwood mirror in hotel hall

The coral wall décor was hanging in the open stairwell.

Curacao - coral wall decor

The most eye-catching was the enormous coral chandelier hanging in the lounge.

Curacao - Coral Chandelier

I’ll share more of Curacao soon, with some of nature’s beauty in the beaches and wildlife.  What color house would you choose?  What do you think of the beach décor?

Vacation Memories

This weekend, the sun was finally out, but it just made me dream of even warmer weather.  So, to make me feel better, I turned my dreaming into a trip down memory lane with pictures of vacations from previous years.

The first time I was ever to another country was May 2006.  It was the first “big” vacation for Bob and I.  We stayed in Akumal, Mexico and it is a beautiful location.

Vacations - Akumal Mexico May 2006

We went a bit further south on that trip and visited Tulum. The view below is from the ruins.

Vacation - Tulum Mexico May 2006

In May 2007, we decided to go back to Mexico again.  Part of what we love about Akumal, is that it means “home of the turtle”, and it is.  Almost every time we hopped in the water to go snorkeling, we saw a turtle, sometimes a few turtles.  It was amazing.

Vacation - Turtle Akumal Mexico May 2007

We loved Tulum so much, we went back during our trip to find some other beaches that were new to us.

Vacation - Pink Boat Mexico May 2007

Vacation - Bob and Leslie Mexico May 2007

In 2008, we ventured even further south to Belize.  This was our honeymoon trip in April.   It took 3 planes to get us there, but it was well worth it.  Our first stop was Placencia.  We stayed in a little cottage right on the beach.

Vacation - Bob and Leslie Placencia Belize April 2008

Vacation - Placencia Belize Beach April 2008

After a few days in Placencia, we got on another plane and then a small boat took us to our next destination, South Water Caye.   Caye is an island in Belize, and South Water was our choice since it is right on the Barrier Reef.  We could walk from our cottage, onto the beach and get in water that was like swimming in an aquarium.

Vacation - Belize snorkeling fish

We also took a short boat excursion that had us snorkeling around the some of the most beautiful coral we have ever seen.

Vacation - Belize snorkeling elk horn coral

The island was very small, so we got to experience many beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

Vacation - Belize sunset April 2008

St. Kitts was our next adventure in February 2010.  On our first day there, we went to this point where you could see the Atlantic on one side and Caribbean on the other side.

Vacation - St Kitts Atlantic and Caribbean view bob and leslie Feb 2010

We got to go snorkeling yet again, and saw more colorful coral.  We also got to find conch during our snorkeling and the boat crew used it for our lunch.  One of the conch shells came home with us, since we knew it was empty, and it resides on the shelves in our basement as a great memory.

Vacation - St Kitts - coral

This was the beach right outside the hotel.  Bob set the camera on some rocks to take our self-portrait.

Vacation - St Kitts bob and leslie on beach

February 2011 found us in Grand Cayman.  The lighting before dinner was too perfect not to pose for a picture.

Vacation -Grand Cayman Bob and Leslie Feb 2011

The beaches in Grand Cayman were so beautiful.

Vacation - Grand Cayman - Leslie Beach

Bob did his research in advance and knew that Cemetery Beach was the place to go snorkeling.  The fish were so colorful, and they were not afraid of people.  They would swim right up to you.

Vacation - Grand Cayman - Snorkeling fish at cemetery beach

We also took a trip to Sting Ray City.  As scared as I thought I would be, it was so neat to be in the water with all the sting rays.

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Last year, we ventured to St. Maarten.  The snorkeling was not very good, so we just enjoyed the beaches and we can’t complain as long as the water is warm!!

Vacation - St Marteen - February 2012

One day was a bit cloudy with some rain off and on, so I was able to convince Bob to go to the Butterfly Farm.  So, instead of pictures of fish and coral, we have tons of pictures of butterflies from our St. Maarten trip.

Vacation - St Marteen - butterfly farm

This trip was also the first with our new camera, so Bob took lots of panoramic shots trying to capture it all.

Vacation - St Marteen panoramic

So, that’s a quick trip down our vacation memory lane.  It doesn’t seem to cure my dreams of warm weather….it really just makes me want it more.  Luckily, we have our next trip planned…we are headed to Curacao.  Has anyone been there?  If so, what should we put on our list to do?