Divi links, pool, beach, lighthouse, Arikok National Park, etc.
7/23/16 - 8/6/16 Trip Report
It’s been a bit over a week since my hubby, my Mom, my daughter and I returned from our 2 weeks stay in Aruba. I had been leery about changing our weeks from end of March-Mid-April to July/August to accommodate my DD’s school schedule, however, upon arrival I realized there was nothing to fret over. Other than it being a few degrees warmer, and seeing a few quick showers here and there, skies were sunny or party sunny and the breeze was blowing. Have already booked for next year at the same time.
We arrived on Saturday, July 23rd a direct flight out of JFK. We left on time and arrived 40 minutes early only to find we had to sit on the tarmac for about 20 minutes waiting for a gate to open. No worries. Could have been worse. The immigration line was crazy long (did not know about pre-filling forms) but then a very nice security person moved everyone with children to the front of the line. Yay us! Got our rental car from Econo with no problems and headed to the Divi Golf and Beach. We own a 1-bedroom unit and a studio unit in a “Birdie” building. Since we changed weeks, they did not put us in our usual rooms (although I admit I should have contacted them prior to see if they were available). They put us in an “Eagle” unit instead of the equivalent type. The Eagle is only 2 floors instead of 3 (so less stairs to climb), was larger, had 2 balconies per room instead of 1 and had totally private rooftop jacuzzi’s instead of semi-private. Only negative was the view. Our owned units have ocean view and these had views of the pool, restaurant and parking area. The front desk gave me the e-mail address of someone to contact in the future to see in advance if our units are available.
Over the next 2 weeks we did a lot of relaxing and hanging with friends (our friends arrived the day after us for their 2-week stay along with their 2 sons). Their timeshare is at Divi Dutch village but since their rooms were being renovated, they put them in Divi Village right next to us. We went to the gym and/or did Zumba on the beach some mornings, did a lot of hanging at the pool and beach, played BINGO at the pool, drank adult beverages, visited the donkeys at their new sanctuary, visited the rescued animals at Philipps Animal Garden, ate awesome food (restaurant reviews will be posted separately under the Culinary section), walked around the hi-rises and malls, did a little gambling, did a little shopping, visited the rum shop a few times, did a little sightseeing (the California lighthouse has been restored), experienced a 7 hour island-wide blackout (4 hours in some areas) and basically just had an all-around amazing vacation with family and great friends.
This is the first time in a long while that I was truly sad to be leaving. On our second Thursday (2 days before we were set to depart) I actually broke down and started crying. Not sure if I was overly emotional because I didn’t want to face the reality of what was to come when I returned home (had some big projects waiting for me at work, time to restart diet and exercise regime, get ready for back to school, etc) or because I have really just come to think of Aruba as our second home and wasn’t ready to leave it so soon. It was probably a combination of both, but whatever the case, I know that I am blessed to be able to spend at least 2 weeks per year in the country that I call a second home and I am now content again knowing I have something to look forward to.