We spent our last week before re-entry to normal life in a beautiful half-way house. Aruba, a little island colonized by the Dutch just off the coast of Venezuela, may be close geographically to South America, but it’s distinctly North American in feel. Luxury shopping, big resort hotels, tons of rotund, sunburned Americans on holiday. Aruba is a great place for a sun ‘n fun vacation, but if you’re looking for interesting culture or the thrill of rough travel, buy a ticket to someplace else.
We don’t want to complain, though, because Aruba has gorgeous beaches with some of the most beautiful water we’ve seen anywhere on Earth. Our resort beach had friendly flamingos on patrol. And for our last dinner of the trip, we caught the bus down the island for some fresh seafood and local beer at a little waterside shack.
Zeerover’s isn’t exactly a secret — it was packed when we went — but with good reason. Here’s the set up: you walk up to the window, order shrimp and fish by weight, the lady scoops out your fresh caught order from the cooler, they throw it straight into the fryer as you grab a picnic bench, and your seafood comes out in a big greasy basket. Shrimp, fish, plantains, local Balashi beer, and sunset views by the water. It was a quiet, bittersweet meal because we knew we would be back in the U.S. within 24 hours, trying to cobble life back together. But it’s hard to be sad at a seafood shack in Aruba after you’ve traveled for 13 months. We felt sad, grateful, but also ready. It was time to go home.