Aruba’s Flamingo Beach + Renaissance Island

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OUTFIT DETAILS:

Swimsuit: Target | Maxi Dress: Tiare Hawaii | Hat: Brixton | Sandals: Tory Burch | Necklace: H&M | Bag: Clare V | Sunglasses: Quay


Hil, dolls! Jeremy and I recently returned from a whopping 11-night southern Caribbean cruise aboard the Norwegian Epic. We booked the trip pretty spontaneously, within a few weeks of departure, so we didn’t have a chance to plan much of anything at the ten ports we were visiting. All I knew was (thanks to Instagram) I HAD to visit Aruba’s famous Flamingo Beach. I mean, c’mon, the closest I’d ever been to a flamingo was at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom.

I took to the internet to figure out how to get to this beautiful place and came across a ton of contradicting info. So today, I thought I would share everything you need to know about Flamingo Beach in one concise place to make it easy for you to make this dream a reality.

HOW TO GET TO FLAMINGO BEACH

First things first, it’s important to know that Flamingo Beach is part of Renaissance Island that is privately owned by the hotel, Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino. The easiest way to the island is to stay at the hotel. Access to the island is included in the price of your stay and its operating hours are from 7am-6pm. But if you are visiting Aruba via cruise ship, that obviously isn’t an option. Luckily, Renaissance Aruba provides a limited number of day passes to non guests.

HERE IS THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE TO PURCHASE DAY PASSES

Every day at 7am local time, Renaissance Aruba will make their website available to purchase day passes FOR THE NEXT DAY. Each pass will cost you $125. If you show up to the hotel the day of looking to purchase a pass, you’ll likely be out of luck. The amount of day passes is based upon hotel occupancy, so you need to make sure you’re on the website right when the next day’s passes go live. The upside of limiting capacity, though, is that it provides you with plenty of privacy, not to mention time with the flamingos.

Renaissance Resort & Casino is a quick 5-10 minute walk from the port. Head right towards the Renaissance Mall (you’ll see luxury stores like Louis Vuitton), swing a left into the resort and the ferry will pick you up inside the hotel right in front of Starbucks.

The ride to Renaissance Island takes about 10 minutes and there are multiple ferries that go to and from the island about every 15 minutes. These ferries are prompt, so you won’t have to worry about making it back to the ship on time.

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN YOUR DAY PASS

Of course island access and your ferry rides are included in the price of admission, but you get a free meal and drink with your day pass. There is one restaurant on the island and OMG the food is delicious! We were so pleasantly surprised. Your comped meal can be anything on the menu – I went with the shrimp tacos.

Keep in mind that your comped drink MUST come with your meal. Let me suggest ordering “The Angry Bird”. It’s actually a kid’s cocktail that comes in an inflatable flamingo with SPRINKLES, but you can add any liquor of your choice. ADORABLE!

There is also a hut located right by where the ferry arrives where you can rent snorkel gear, floats, stand-up paddle boards, and more FOR FREE. There is great snorkeling throughout the mangroves.

TIPS FOR VISITING FLAMINGO BEACH:

  • Make sure to get to Flamingo Beach as soon as it opens. The island doesn’t get that crowded, but there will be enough people swarming the flamingos as the day goes on that your best shot for a photo is early in the day.
  • Renaissance Island is open to all ages, but Flamingo Beach is specifically ADULTS ONLY. There is another beach on the island where kids can play.
  • Take the steps down into the mangroves and relax on the hammocks. Waiters will wade into the water to serve you, plus the water is crystal clear and there’s great fish peeping.
  • There is a flamingo food dispenser (which requires a quarter) that is located on the bridge that leads out to Flamingo Beach. Don’t leave your flamingo food unattended because there are a TON of other birds that will grab it!
  • Watch out for the iguanas. THEY ARE HUGE and seem to emerge later in the day. I heard people screaming left and right when they snuck up on sunbathers.

MY REVIEW OF FLAMINGO BEACH… IS IT WORTH IT?

YES YES YES. It is worth every penny of $125 to visit Flamingo Beach on Renaissance Island. Jeremy and I had an amazing time at every port on our cruise, but our time on Aruba can’t be topped. When we get the opportunity to travel again, Aruba is at the top of our list. From the flamingos, to the food, to the adults-only beach, and more… Flamingo Beach should top your travel bucket list!

My Favorite True Crime Podcasts: Part 2

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Hello, fellow true crime lovers! Welp… true crime podcast lovers, that is 😉 I am back with yet another podcast round-up. I have had this particular post sitting as a draft for months and I’ve continued to add new favorites, but it is easily long enough now y’all! If you’ve been reading here a while, you’ll know that I am an avid podcast fan and listen so often that this particular round-up isn’t my first rodeo. Be sure to start with THIS LIST and then head back over here for the rest! Now… in no particular order, these are my most binge-worthy crime podcasts.

CRIME JUNKIE: Narrated by one of the Central Indiana Crime Stoppers board of directors, Ashley Flowers knows her stuff! This weekly podcast has a similar layout to my personal favorite, Sword & Scale. Every episode covers a murder or disappearance that Ashley and her co-host/producer Brit are riveted by. The dialogue between the two reminds me how my friends and I chat about various high-profile crimes. But instead of sharing the most gory, gruesome details, I’d say that Crime Junkie is the PG-13 version to the rated R Sword & Scale. When I chat with really anyone about their fav. true crime podcasts, this is always what they say is their favorite.

RADIO RENTAL: This unique podcast has quickly become my most-anticipated weekly listen. First and foremost, its hosted by Dwight from The Office. He plays the spooky character of Terry Carnation, a video store clerk who keys up people’s real-life horror stories. The stories shared are anything from brushes with famous serial killers to ghosts to near death experiences. IT. IS. FASCINATING!

GENERATION WHY: Honestly, GenWhy could be best wrapped up as Crime Junkie but with dudes. Another weekly podcast that covers a new crime each episode, I consider this the B squad to Crime Junkie A squad. But, the hosts’ voices are so soothing that it’s the perfect bedtime story to listen to… if you don’t mind falling asleep to murder mysteries.

CULPABLE: Thanks to Kelsie of Sassy Southern Blonde, I was so sucked into Culpable. This is an investigative podcast by the same folks who brought you Up & Vanished. According to the Culpable Podcast website, “On February 26, 2014, Christian Andreacchio was found dead in the upstairs bathroom of his apartment from a single gunshot wound to the head. After a mere 45-minute investigation, local police ruled his death a suicide, despite substantial evidence that points to Christian’s death not only being a homicide, but premeditated murder.” Host Dennis Cooper heads to Mississippi to talk to the family, Christian’s closest friends, and everyone associated with the potential murder, but things just don’t line up. What did the police miss and why? And will the real killer be brought to justice?

BEAR BROOKE: In 1985, a hunter discovered a 55-gallon barrel in Bear Brook State Park in New Hampshire. He horrifically discovered that inside were the remains of an adult female and a young girl. For years, the bodies went unidentified. Then in 2000, another barrel was discovered and in it, two more young female bodies. This investigative podcast reopens this decades-long grisly cold case and helps hunt down a serial killer.

BLOOD TIES: Another completely unique podcast, Blood Ties is an audio drama in which actors from Frozen, Community, and more voice this six-part scripted series. This thriller follows Eleanor Richland, daughter of a world-renowned cardiologist. When his plane crashes in the Caribbean killing both of Eleanor’s parents, she finds out dark family secrets she might not be able to keep to herself. There is one episode left and I’m on the edge of my seat!

22 HOURS: AN AMERICAN NIGHTMARE: This podcast was suggested to me by my best friend who lives around the corner from where this crime took place. In 2015, a man was driving through an upscale D.C. neighborhood when he noticed a home on fire. The terror that first responders found inside the home would come to be known infamously as the D.C. mansion murders.

MY FAVORITE MURDER: I can’t believe it took me SO long to get into this podcast. It’s easily one of the most popular of the genre – not to mention that my app constantly suggests it – but honestly something about a true crime comedy podcast just didn’t initially appeal to me. But I have to say, Karen and Georgia really grew on me. Every Thursday, these two comedians get together and chat about true crime, current events, and everything in between. The first half of the hour-long show is laugh-out-loud hilarious chatter between the two women. Then each take turns sharing a murder, sprinkling in comedy throughout the gruesome details. A bonus to this show is that once a week, MFM releases a mini episode in which Karen and Georgia read listener-submitted hometown murders!

Let me know in the comments if I left any of your favorite true crime podcasts off the list! I am always looking for a new one to binge.

Best of Cyber Monday Sales 2019

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Happy Cyber Monday, loves! I’ll cut right to the chase… some stores have maintained their Black Friday discount but others have made the sales EVEN BETTER! I rounded up all the stores I commonly shop at, plus what Cyber Monday sale they’re offering + the promo code. If there isn’t a promo code listed, then it’s applied automatically at checkout. Happy shopping!

CYBER MONDAY SALE ROUNDUP:

ABERCROMBIE: 40% off SITEWIDE

AMERICAN EAGLE: 50% off sweaters

ASOS: 30% off SITEWIDE with code BIG30

EXPRESS: 50% off SITEWIDE

FOREVER 21: 40% off SITEWIDE with code BLKFRIYAY

GAP: 50% off SITEWIDE + an additional 10% off

H&M: 30% off SITEWIDE + free shipping

J.CREW: 50% off SITEWIDE with code MONDAY

J.CREW FACTORY: 60% off SITEWIDE (no code needed)

LOFT: 50% off SITEWIDE with code CYBER

OLD NAVY: 50% off SITEWIDE

TARGET: 30% off women’s clothing + shoes PLUS BOGO 50% off jewelry

TORY BURCH: 30% off $250+ with code THANKS

WALMART: Fashion up to 60% off