I was itching to go somewhere in the summer of 2010, and after much deliberation and research, i returned to an idea that i just couldn't shake. each time i'd looked on the "deals" page at cheap caribbean's web site (www.cheapcaribbean.com), i saw a fare to the newly opened hyatt regency curacao golf resort, spa and marina. it was going to be cheaper to go to curacao for six days than to ocean city, and since i don't play golf and i've never had a manicure or a pedicure, a golf resort and spa in the caribbean seemed like the perfect place for mom and me to serve as lab rats for the tourism and hospitality industry.
curacao is the "c" in the chain known as the Abc islands (aruba, bonaire and curacao). Its capital city, willemstad, is a registered unesco world heritage site boasting beautiful european architecture and vibrant colors. the queen emma bridge - a hinged pontoon bridge - swings open to welcome ships entering the harbor or departing to the sea, and the only traffic it accepts is pedestrians walking from one side of willemstad (punda, or point) to otrabanda, the other side. in addition to enjoying the land based attractions on the largest of the abc islands , mom and i also planned to scuba dive in curacao's tropical waters.
after landing at the airport in curacao, we were transported by van to the hyatt, a 40 minute ride to the lone resort on the eastern tip of the island. the long and winding road that led to the entrance of the resort property - and away from almost everything civilized - caused me to wonder if we were being taken hostage. i wondered how long it would take for stockholm syndrome to set in if i were not able to leave this property. we were greeted at the enormous, open hotel lobby by exceptionally friendly staff offering blue welcome drinks, and promptly escorted to our room. the place was magnificent.
The hyatt regency curacao golf resort, spa and marina provided several restaurants and every amenity one could want. including isolation. since mom and i had come to curacao to explore - not to spend every waking moment beside the pool or in the spa or on the links - we ended up hiring drivers for a day to give us a tour of the island. we took a taxi into town to eat, SHOP, and wander through the streets, the forts, and the floating market so we could see, learn and experience what this beautiful island is all about.
we spent two days scuba diving with instructors from ocean encounters - a shore dive one day and a boat dive the second - and although i'd never considered curacao a world - class diving destination, it was here that i decided scuba diving certification was worth pursuing. i'd found an activity that mom and i could share for as long as each of us is able and willing. in the waters of spanish bay, we saw plenty of small fish and coral. the colors underneath the water were every bit as exceptional as those above, and in the water i experienced a freedom i will never know on land.
although mom and i had been diving at different places in the past, our trip to curacao cemented our desire to become more knowledgeable and more independent, capable, and safer divers. curacao is a charming island, and in spite of the mishaps and shortcomings we experienced at the hyatt, we returned home with humorous stories and fond, everlasting memories. is that not the point?
With my best dive buddy in Curacao, 2010.