The flight down from Toronto was uneventful - Air Canada had it's typical service (ugh)... like they're doing us a favour. I don't know what it is with our national airline: great equipment, not so great service. I flew to Copenhagen a few weeks ago on a new Dreamliner and same deal: flight attendants were barely pleasant... like they'd rather be anywhere else. Anyway...
Customs was a train wreck. We had to enter the airport off the tarmac via the shuttle bus. People were lined up all the way up and down the escalators and customs guards were controlling the flow through the desks - we've never experienced this in Aruba... it was always smooth sailing. BUT - we did get to go through the "Happy Flow" line: there isn't a customs agent... you just walk up, stand on the position/feet indicators, put your passport in as directed, they take your picture and off you go. The baggage claim was insane - bags everywhere, wrong carousels, and a United Nations of confusion. So it took us waaaaaay longer than normal to get out to Hertz and on the road. I'd been up since 3 am so I had an extra helping of Red Lobster crabbiness going on by this point.
But then you hit that sunshine and leave it all behind.
We arrived at our new house - we'd closed in June and practically ran over each other trying to get to the front door. In all seriousness, this was a pretty big dream-come-true for us so it was pretty emotional putting that key in for the first time. Perfect.
But no rest for the wicked and I was off to Lings like a madman - stupidly forgetting that we'd flown in on a Saturday (we usually fly in on Sundays) and that Lings is open well past 4:00 pm. now. Came back with the staples and we started the massive unpacking (we flew business class so had the maximum we could bring) and a game of "What Does This Light Switch Do?" Good times. Yikes... forgot ice and the refrigerator had been unplugged by the previous owner. Back out to SuperFood.
Took a break to hit "Ventanas Del Mar" (more about that in Culinary) - the funny thing was that I kept thinking, "We should just order Domino's and stay in." Ugh. Never doubt your instincts.
Early to bed after a long day.
On Sunday, a mad dash to Price Smart to pick up some essentials (house stuff and the ubiquitous Patron). CROWDED!! Just like Costco on the weekends: families of eight being led around by mothers who have looks on their faces like, "Wow... my life was supposed to be exciting... I could've been an Air Canada flight attendant!" LOL Navigated the harrowing aisles and got the h-eee-double-hockey-sticks out of there. Back to the Manse for a visit from Miss Margarita and, finally, a dip in the pool. Ah, perfect. Joined by our new neighbour who called our margarita, "The best one in Aruba!" On a related note, the next morning, bleary-eyed, she called them, "The most hateful margaritas in Aruba!" LOL Smooth!
Dinner at "Sweet Peppers" (Culinary) and another early night. It's still like moving so you're wiped out at the end of the day!
Monday brought us back to Price Smart ("Oh yeah... we forgot about that!") and a completely different experience: there was tumbleweed blowing through the aisle. Nice. Hit some other regular spots: Kooyman and Lings, Unicon, Crown (the hunt for a toaster oven is ON) and then headed back to the casa for some well-deserved pool time. Dinner at "Taste of Belgium" and another early night in.
How exciting to not just be in Aruba but to be in your own home! What could be better.
The arrival sounded pretty dreadful. Selfishly I'm hoping things are back to normal when we arrive for Thanksgiving week.
Thanks, Peg... we've been down ten times now and this was the first time we'd experienced that big a back up at customs. And it all moved pretty quickly. I'd brace yourself for US Thanksgiving though. Hopefully you won't land with ten other jets!