In the morning, we did some errands while the guests walked over to the Ritz and down the beach to the Riu for some day cocktail-ing.
Lunch by the pool and then some float time.
Academy Awards Day! Exciting, even though we haven't seen any of the movies, because of all the "diversity" buzz... we made a plan for pizza, wine and maximum television viewing...
We hit Urataka Centre Best Pizza for dinner and picked up the signature Hamburger Pizza and a custom pie for our guests... plus twenty-five wings to ensure we were completely stuffed. It's a bit of a schlep from our place (about twenty-five minutes each way).
While I enjoy the pizza, I'm not really a fan of the wings because they're too dry. I obviously need to introduce brining to the island!
After the take-out feast, we all settled in and started the show. A valiant attempt made by all but, alas, it was lights out by 11:30 p.m. We forgot about the timezone difference and, at the last minute, realized the show doesn't start until 9:30 p.m. AST. One and a half hours of red carpet stupidity is enough to make you want to self-lobotomize.
True to form, I bailed at Best Visual Effects. From what I'm reading, I didn't miss much as Chris Rock's monologue seems to have been the highlight of the show.
The Academy obviously needs to make this a luncheon affair so I can see the whole thing. Chop! Chop!
Of note: the Oscars seem even more inane (if that's possible) when you're watching them in Aruba where "formal" entails a clean t-shirt. We all commented that we don't miss the weight of business-wear much less hoisting on a tuxedo in the heat. How the stars do it is beyond me.
One other thing: as we were driving down to UC Pizza (Santa Cruz), we saw the backyard airplane in the distance. Our neighbour said it's being turned into a restaurant...?!? Mmmm. Airline food. Wait. What?!? That sounds like a recipe for mediocrity. Maybe they'll brine wings...?
I really do think the Urataka Center has the best pizza on the island. IMO burgers are in the running as well. If you want the best wings you have to head over to the Local Store.
A whirlwind (by Aruba standards) as the friends were filling their last day on the island before flying home.
We decided to hit Bugaloe for lunch as 1) we'd never been there and 2) the friends wanted one final jaunt to the beach. I'm not usually a fan of beach restaurants - a lot of them tend to be stunningly bad and charge a fortune for the "privilege" of dining on the water but Bugaloe was surprising good. I had Cesar Salad with grilled grouper, the friends had grilled chicken sandwiches and The Spouse had a cheeseburger... and everything goes better with a Balashi:
We had to head back to The Manse as we were meeting our contractor about some work we're having done. So we ushered the friends out to the pool while we met with him and then made a big batch of going-away margaritas and pina coladas (can't we all just get along?!?) and had Happy Pool Time. It was a little overcast yesterday afternoon but just kind of hazy... still lots of sun.
The friends wanted to make us dinner but we strong-armed them into hitting Casibari Cafe instead... and they're glad we did. A beautiful night and great meal - it's not fancy by any stretch of the imagination but the food is exceptionally good (the ribs, in particular) and it has a great, casual vibe. Lots of Dutch locals hanging out, as well. The Spouse and I had the ribs while the friends opted for chicken and a mixed grill platter...
Back home and a nightcap before turning in.
The friends claim it was the perfect, relaxing vacation.