Aruba Memories in the Dead of Winter

With the temperature in Southern Ontario pushing 10-15 degrees below zero in the early part of February with snow piling up and more in the forecast, the Tansley Trippers are thinking back fondly to the October trip they took to Aruba.

Some of the Tansley Trippers in the waters of Aruba.

Team members, Joanna Gurd, Brendan Wickham and Tanya Corkum from The Village of Tansley Woods once again accompanied residents of varying abilities on this, the third overseas adventure for the global travellers. Taunton Mills general manager Noella Black, with her background in nursing, was a welcome addition to the group of 27, as were a couple of family members who joined their grandfather.  

Edna Peaker was part of the first group to travel to Greece in 2015 and the group that travelled to Curacao in the Southern Caribbean Sea the following year. She couldn’t resist the allure of Aruba, and with winter hitting in full force she shares a few of her memories with The Village Voice.

“Our room was right on the beach, and right outside our door was a little patio with table and chairs with a roof over it,” Edna recalls. “And then there was white sand, and then a boardwalk, and more white sand with a table, a palm tree and the ocean.”

“It was just gorgeous.”

Where Curacao was quite busy, Edna says, Aruba was a perfect place to relax. After tiring herself in the waves of the Sea, she’d rest and relax under the shade of the palms with a Pina Colada in hand. “I didn’t venture too far,” Edna jokes. “I quite liked it right where I was.”

Edna’s gratitude for the team members who made the trip possible shines through as she talks. Some residents had mobility challenges and one resident needed full support with personal care; every one of the team members was happy to offer whatever help was needed.

“They’re just so wonderful and so patient,” Edna says. “If you have to be anywhere, this is the place.”

Marketing coordinator Tanya Corkum was proud to be of service in Curacao and in Aruba, while also enjoying the island paradise with the residents. It is a lot of work, Tanya admits, “but you bond with the seniors on such a different level.”

“It’s so amazing to see that not matter what, they can still enjoy everything. Everybody went to the pool and we were singing along and joking . . . we were having dinners together and you learn so much about their lives.”

“You really become friends.”

Those friendships are really at the core of the Tansley Trippers success, and one of the main reasons everyone looks back on each trip with fondness.

Of course, the memory of warm sandy beaches this time of year helps.