Written by Mia:
We stayed in Bonaire as long as possible and then were excited to see Mormor and Grandpa who flew from California to visit us in Curaçao. As we were entering Spanish Waters where all the visiting boats are anchored we caught a glimpse of the gorgeous resort of Santa Barbara that we would come to know and love over the next eight days. It was bathed in golden light and beckoned us, but first we had a day of logistics with Customs and Immigration in Willemstad. They were friendly in both offices and we really enjoyed the town, too. We rushed back to move Itchy Foot to a boasting place on the hotel dock. The beach right on the other side of dock is gorgeous and were enjoying a swim in the perfect water before long. Then we waited and waited and waited because we were excited and time passed slowly…. they came with a beautiful Police escort, Teo was well impressed.
We had a lovely time together, doing a little exploring and enjoying the luxury that comes with a resort hotel. Mostly it was wonderful just spending time together. On our first morning they came aboard to check out Itchy Foot who got a seal of approval. We took Itchy Foot out for a sail to Klein Curaçao which is gorgeous day trip destination with Bonaire colored water and snorkeling and an abandoned lighthouse.
And another bit of luxury… we had a rental car so zipping into town was quick and easy. What a charming town, and you can have it almost to yourself when the cruise ships aren’t visiting! On our first visit we found a great place for lunch called Boheme, with friendly staff and tasty goodies we stayed quite a nice long time. Later, we visited the fruit market, which is picturesque and full of excellent produce mostly from Venezuela. We also browsed in the shops and admired the architecture. On our second visit we went to the museum which boasted some cool kitchen gadgets from the last century as well as a carillon that looks like a piano but plays bells on the outside of the building. We stayed until it got dark and enjoyed the lights of the Queen Emma floating bridge and also went out to a delicious, upscale dinner at Gouverneur with their green egg specials. The food was amazing as was the courtyard was charming so we sat and enjoyed a good chat for quite a long while.
On our big day out, we took a long drive. We crossed the big suspension bridge to the sound of Teo’s delight and drove north. We drove around the island and soaked in the feel of the island. We went for a welcomed swim in the crystal clear water at Kanepa beach. Next we drove to Westpunt and watched the turtles at the fisherman’s bay. I can’t believe I forgot the snorkeling gear! We explored the island and loved all the color in the neighborhoods and they took their manchineel trees a step further up there and painted them into giant octopus warning signs.
At the resort we loved the pool and the beach, even having a picnic lunch there one afternoon under the trees at a picnic table. The balcony as perfect for a couple low key dinners. And Teo moved in and soaked up the endless water for showers followed by wrapping up in a robe in the air con and extra cuddles that come with visits from grandparents. Grandpa was tempted by the course and played a great game of golf one afternoon. He is probably happy to answer questions about it if you ask 😉 All in all everyone was happy and it felt like vacation for the Itchy foo crew.
Itchy Foot herself was also spoiled by my parents, she stayed in a fancy marina and got some TLC. We took advantage of the fresh water hookup to wash lines and clean upholstery since the weather was warm and dry. And since we were away exploring, we redid caulking around the sinks that were not being used and on the deck that was not getting walked on. It felt great to check some boat jobs off the list.
The hardest part of our chosen life is being so far from family, made worse by the difficulty of just hopping on a flight to go and see them. So for us, this week with those we love has been Christmas and birthdays rolled into one. We are very grateful they made the effort and were so generous for coming to visit. Hopefully we’ll see them again in New Zealand or Fiji!