After a long day of traveling, we finally arrived in Curacao around 3:30pm. Although Curacao is the largest of the three ABC islands, it is still a very small island—which we quickly realized when our plane was landing! There was only one runway, and the area for customs is equivalent to the size of our hotel room. The upside was that we made it through customs and baggage claim fairly quickly.
Once we had all eight of our bags (and laptops and purses), we picked up the car that I had reserved online. It was difficult to make a decision when choosing a car because a small compact car is much smaller than those in the United States. I opted for an SUV-like vehicle, which seemed to be the perfect size for us.
I had printed out directions from the airport to our resort, but we were quite nervous about finding our way. Most of the large hotels and resorts are located in Willemstad, the capital of Curacao, but the resort where we are staying is located on the Southern tip of the island—about 45 minutes away from the airport. A long drive combined with exhaustion, traffic, construction, and crazy drivers makes a rather interesting ride!
Since my mom is the only one who can legally rent a car, she was responsible for getting us to our destination. She is not an aggressive driver by any means, but I would lean over and honk the horn any time too many people cut in front of us. Drivers on the island don’t drive extremely fast and are actually pretty courteous, but the lack of stoplights and signs made the ride a bit nerve-wracking. Surprisingly, we didn’t get lost!
When we entered the Santa Barbara Plantation, a golf and marina resort community in Curacao, we were greeted by a picturesque scene. The sun was slowly setting, and the water was truly glistening—you definitely don’t see this kind of natural beauty in Maryland!
As soon as we arrived to the Hyatt Regency, we were offered welcome drinks (which we gladly accepted!).
We checked in, then Mem, an extremely gracious bellman, arranged to have our rental car parked while he gave us a tour of the resort and our accommodations. Our room opens up to an outdoor patio that overlooks the water—I’ll definitely be spending time out there blogging!
We settled in and rested for a bit, but our stomachs eventually started growling. As if on cue, room service appeared at our door and delivered my mom a large slice of strawberry torte cake in honor of her birthday. Her birthday isn’t until Saturday, but Gerald, the sales director whom I made arrangements with, was kind enough to send her the treat. We put the cake in the fridge and saved it for after dinner.
We walked to the Great Room to order dinner from the sushi bar after changing clothes and freshening up.
To start, we ordered the shrimp tempura with asparagus. The black tiger shrimp was cooked to perfection and was paired with an amazing homemade sweet orange chili sauce.
Natalie and my mom split a Curacao sushi roll—mahi-mahi, cream cheese, and honey sauce—while I went with a classic California roll to avoid any potential allergic reactions.
Everything was delicious! Afterward, we walked around the resort a bit more before heading back to our room for the night.
Now it’s time to get some sleep!