“Teach our black kids that traveling the globe is an experience that will far surpass any material item they could purchase.”
On a recent couples/birthday getaway weekend, I was able to explore the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao. Some may be wondering exactly where Curacao is. It’s apart of the chain nicknamed the “ABC” islands; Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao. They are located about 40 miles north of Venezuela and the South American continent. Look at life, look at God; from the concrete jungle of New York City to the tourist attraction of the Queen Emma bridge in downtown Willemstad. This wasn’t my first time leaving the state or country, but an experience that is still worthy of writing about it like it was the first time. I appreciated this international experience, as the young kids say a baecation (a vacation taken with your bae, significant other, etc.).
The CURACAO Experience
As soon as we arrived I could feel the change in temperature, from the cold of New York City, to the warmth of the Caribbean. This fluent English speaking island of about 150,000 people featured a Wendy’s immediately outside of the airport terminal. We soon checked in to our resort and quickly discovered a few things, I would advise anyone visiting Curacao be mindful of. Our particular hotel did not supply wash clothes, that while they spoke English terms we used they didn’t, and outlet adaptors were necessary. Later that evening, we had the wonderful opportunity to dine at an island favorite, five star, beach front restaurant, BAOASE. This place was spectacular; BAOASE: B – after the first name of the owner, A – after the first name of the owner’s wife and ASE – meaning together. Courtney arranged a beautiful setup, a secluded cabana right on the beach, when we arrived their was a beautiful arrangement of flowers, with lit candles, and “HAPPY BIRTHDAY JARRELL LOVE COURTNEY” written in the sand. The food stood alone and spoke for itself, we tasted grilled half lobster in garlic butter, lionfish with ceviche, perfectly cooked tenderloin, and all topped off with a vanilla creme brûlée served in a coconut shell. The entire setup, gesture, and dinner was greatly appreciated.
Some other things I would advise visitors of the island other on are. There is a public transportation bus system, but there aren’t any posted signs of times for bus arrivals. Cabs are available, but come at a cost. Our short ride to and from the restaurant cost $50, that was after it was originally quoted at $60. We later decided renting a car was more cost effective, more on this later.
We spent the next day on an ATV tour, exploring various parts of the island. I would definitely recommend the ATV Buggy Tours, rated #1 by TripAdvisor. This was a great tour, we stopped at the highest point on the island, an aloe plantation, ostrich farm, what used to be an underwater cave, with butterfly bats and a beautiful view of the ocean. “The Cave of Doom” a cave from where you can dive into the sea and swim back to land through the cave, there was this great 2 or 3 mile stretch of off roading. I remember letting open the throttle and feeling the cool air fly pass my face. On the journey we made a stop at this little beach enclave, where the water was vibrant hues of blue and calm enough for a dip. Our last stop was to view a natural bridge right on the coast. This tour was one of the most exciting that I have ever taken. The rest of the day was spent, napping, enjoying each others’ time and eating sushi for dinner.
The next day honestly was one of the greatest relationship experiences ever. It was a display of growth, trust, and true companionship. As mentioned before we decided it would be better to rent a car to get around. KEEP IN MIND WE ARE IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY. Neither of us was using international data plans and the car did not come equipped with a GPS. This left us in the unique situation of having to take it old school, take our time, use common sense, trust each other and read a paper map. We set out and I will caption the experience with: “WE DID IT and NEVER EVEN GOT LOST ALONG THE WAY!” We drove out to see the flamingos in the wild, drove to downtown Willemstad, explored a really comprehensive slave museum, drove out to a local dinner spot, and a popular beach for music and drinks. We were only able to do all of this as a team. We had to rely on each other in order to make the day a success and a success it was. Additional Details: The slave museum was gripping, it was a true timeline of African history, from the early African civilizations to the Kingdoms to and thru slavery and the civil rights movement in the United States. Many may not know, but Curacao was a crucial focal point in the transatlantic slave trade. This museum featured written testimonies from former slaves to slave traders, there was also a mock hull of a slave ship. This truly brought into perspective the journey and HELL slaves faced during their kidnapping.
Overall this was a good trip, Courtney and I appreciated the fact that we were able to experience it together. I’ve discovered that single and group trips are amazing and fun experiences of their own. But nothing compares to a REALLY fun and love-filled couples vacation. I’m looking forward to the others that we will take together.
Come back soon to read more about our travel journeys! Road Trips are next!