We are leaving Aruba after spending most of December here in paradise and are flying home to San Diego.

San Diego is wonderful, too, but Aruba is one-of-a-kind.  The pace, the vibe, the energy.

Aruba beach and dock

The views.

Aruba ocean and horizon

Some of my favorite “pretty beach” and “pretty pictures posts” from this trip include:

Twas the Day After Christmas

Christmas and Santa Cheer

Counting My Blessings

Just Beautiful

Couldn’t Believe My Eyes

Pool, Beach, Happy

Great Aruba Friday

Tropical Breeze

Running By

 This trip to Aruba has been my favorite one to date since we’ve been coming here with Skylar.

Skylar on beach chair

She’s loved the family time and the beach time.  And she loves her new braids.

Skylar getting braids in her hair

All she’s wanted to do since she got them is flip her head around and swing those braids.

The undivided attention of her parents 24/7 has been such a gift for her and a gift for all of us to be able to spend this much quality, focused family time together.

And not choke each other to death after all that family togetherness time is as beautiful as this turquoise water.

Aruba beach and ocean

The time here has helped me recharge my batteries, re-center, re-focus, regroup, and get ready to go into 2012 with a fresh and clean mental slate.

I pondered life from my chaise when I snapped this picture on Christmas Day.

Aruba beach and dock

People ask me, well don’t you miss a white Christmas or putting up a Christmas tree?  Umm, no, not exactly.

I’d rather look at boats on the water than pine needles all over the carpet.  And snow, never.  There’s a reason I don’t live in Minnesota and instead live in San Diego and travel to Aruba.

Aruba sea with ships

Views like this with white sandy beaches trump white Christmases for me.

Aruba beach with greenery in distance

So do palm trees and straw huts.

Palm trees and sky

Skylar swiped my sunglasses and Scott’s sunglasses whenever possible and we spent most of the trip squinting.

It’s important to keep the sun out of your eyes when you’re hard at work.

Skylar sitting on beach

Much of my work was of the indoor variety anyway.

No sunglasses required for White Chocolate Peanut Butter Puppy Chow and White Chocolate Peanut, Pretzel, & Chocolate Chip Fudge making endeavors.

And when I’m outside, I’ll squint any day so she doesn’t have to.  What’s another few crow’s feet.

Skylar with sunglasses

See you from San Diego.

Lucky for us, I have a few No Bake Cookie Butter Spread Ginger Molasses Cookies in our carry-on.

Cookie Butter Spread Ginger Molasses Cookies

I know these will get swiped faster than sunglasses the minute the family knows what’s in my snack stash.

Did you travel anywhere over the holidays?

Do you have any trips planned or places you’d like to visit?

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