During the first week of February, while most of the United States was covered with snow and weathering 30-degree temps and below, I blew this pop stand and headed to Aruba, where the temperature is 85 degrees everyday. Don’t believe me?

*side note* When the airplane approached the island, the pilot notified the cabin of the temperature in Aruba at about noon, of 82 degrees. The weary and bone-chilled passengers (some still wearing leather jackets and wool coats from the Philadelphia departure) applauded!

There are a bunch of islands near the equator that you could visit to escape the crappy winter we’ve been having, sure. But Aruba is by far my favorite. This blog provides proof that Aruba is awesome.

Staying at the Renaissance Aruba is awesome because it’s in the center of “downtown” and you can walk everywhere and don’t really need a car during your entire stay, unless you want one. The island of Aruba is only 20 miles long and 6 miles wide.

The Renaissance Aruba is for adults only, and has a casino, theater, Starbucks and mall inside.

More importantly, it has a moat. Inside the hotel. And a boat comes to scoop you up and take you to a private beach.

In case you don’t feel like going to the private beach that day, the Renaissance has a pool that overlooks the Caribbean Sea and the cruise ships that come to port.

While you’re in Aruba, you feel like you’re truly in a foreign place, even though most people you run into speak English. But they also speak Dutch, Aruba’s official language, Spanish, Portuguese and Papamiento, a mix of Spanish and Dutch. The street signs are in Dutch and even menu items.

This is a sign in Dutch, yes, but it brings me to another point. Like you will see things in Aruba that you might not see (at least not every day) in America. Like a bludgeoned snake placed on a sign warning you that you are entering a military shooting range. You might think this is gross but I think it’s awesome.

Aruba reduces it’s carbon footprint!

Aruba parties at the beach!

Aruba has a Ruth’s Chris!

You can drive anywhere in Aruba and decide you want to go to the beach, pull over wherever you are, and go to the beach. 20 yards away.

You don’t have to be a good photographer to take nice pictures in Aruba.

Aruba has an awesome climate, there’s no humidity. There’s sun and sand, palm trees, water and cacti. Barely any flies. Pretty birds. The streets are clean.

They serve shark bites. Shark nuggets. Whatever you want to call them. They are yummy! But not with tartar sauce like other fish, better with honey mustard, like chicken.

The Renaissance Aruba was so nice that people randomly stopped by to shoot videos right inside the lobby (was this a commercial? I have no idea.)

Iguana Joe’s has yummy curry chicken, with raisins and carrots and plantains.

The Renaissance had yummy tapas in a box, mmmm.

And great dessert! Chocolate ice cream, chocolate mousse, chocolate cake AND fruit!

They had the Friday’s Brownie Obsession! (although, regrettably, it didn’t taste the same as it does in America. But they had it!)

More chocolate cake and chocolate ice cream!

And you can eat dinner and watch the sunset at a different restaurant every night of the week if you want. Or just on the beach.

Need more reasons why Aruba is awesome? Coming right up!