Another great trip to the island! I only got 2 weeks on the island this time due to a cruise coming up over New Years and I didn’t have enough vaca time to extend my Aruba vacation.
Every year we go down for Thanksgiving with my BF Pat’s family. This year we were with his parents, sister, brother and his husband. We gave our timeshare weeks at the Occidental to his brother for his honeymoon. We rented a 3 bedroom penthouse at the Oceania and I have to say that roof top terrace was to die for! I spent every night up there in the hot tub! It was real easy to get spoiled.. I have been home two days and I am missing that hot tub bad! Here's a pic of the roof top terrace with Pat in the tub.
Oceania once again did not disappoint. Pools were clean and we pretty much had them all to ourselves the whole time. We were in the new Boca Grande building so there was quite a bit of construction going on across they way as they finished up the other two buildings but we still enjoyed the pools immensely, little bit of noise here and there but no biggy.
Pat turned 50 this year on the island and we really wanted him to experience something on the island he had never done before. After visiting the island for the last 15 years we knew it wouldn’t be easy. I tried to set something up with Aruba Heli Tours but they never responded to any emails or inquiries.. such poor poor business practice. I decided if they couldn’t even read email or confirm a reservation I certainly didn’t want them flying me and my loved ones anywhere! Their loss! So we decided on Land sailing and what a great time it was! We were picked up in the morning and taken to the flats on the backside of the island just past the light house. We paid $60 p/person for 2.5 hours.
After much needed showers and relaxing for a bit we headed out to Blossoms at the Westin. Food was superb but WOW! they give you a lot to eat! HOLY COW! We thought we were all going to explode!
A couple nights later Pat and I had spent a lovely evening having dinner at our favorite place; Passions! Food and service as always was fantastic. Pat had the Aruban seafood soup and Seven seas dinner and I had the coconut shrimp. Very delish!
We also tried Linda’s Pancakes; Never been there and it was terrific! I was a little nervous about how a pancake would be with tomato and tuna, and I was pleasantly surprised by how yummy it was! Pat had the pizza and said it was just ok.. I had a bite and thought it was excellent. To each his own right?
We also went to Texas De Brazil. We have been there many times and although it is overpriced IMHO the food is amazing. This was also Pat’s sisters first time in Aruba and we really wanted here to experience it. Once again Texas did not disappoint! Every cut of meat melted in our mouths.
I also did my annual pilgrimage to Pega Pega Beach Bar at Manchebo for my Cheeseburger! And our annual trip to Smokey Joes for ribs! Delicious as always! We also tried out Iguana Cantina at the Herencia mall for the first time. Service was pretty slow and the food was good, not great.
We took Pat’s sister on tour with Aruba Off-Road Adventures. We rented Tom Cars and did the morning baby beach tour. The bus picked us up at Oceania and took us to the Ostrich farm we were given a short briefing and climbed into the Tom Cars. To rent a two person car with 2 adults it was $218. They take down your license number so make sure you take it if you decide to take this tour. These cars were so cool! Very sturdy little monster with big wheels and very safe 4 point harnesses. Had a blast and will definitely do it again!
The tour took us to the highest point on the island, Jamanota. The view was spectacular!
Then to Seroe Colorado Natural Bridge.
Then to Baby beach for a dip (very refreshing!) and on to Fontein Cave. Visiting Fontein cave was so sad. The destruction of the Indian drawings is awful. The guide showed us where vandals had deliberately scratched out the drawings. What a shame. There are still drawings further in that are intact but all of the drawings near the opening are destroyed. Here are some drawings that are still intact.
We also passed by the new wind farm. Our guide said that the farm will be supplying nearly 40% of electrical power to the island.
I only did one dive this year to the south coast. We went to the Jane C and then a drift dive along Sponge reef. The current on the day we went to Jane C was very strong! We were unable to circle the hull and could only go inside to get out of the current which was pulling out to sea. Bummer since the hull is covered in beautiful coral and marine growth. Not so much on the inside. The reef dive as always was gorgeous. We saw lots of beautiful fish and coral. Pat did multiple dives and said this year he saw more marine life at the Pedernalis than any other place. I was hoping to get in a night dive to the Pedernalis but just ran out of time.
For Thanksgiving we took advantage of the 29.99 all you can eat Buffet at Manchebo. We had a choice of sitting on the terrace where the buffet was set up or inside the Steak house. We sat inside in the AC so we could enjoy our meal and stay cool. and All I can say is WOW! The food, selection and service were all awesome. We were very pleased with our Thanksgiving dinner. I hope they continue this every year!
Flights were terrific as always on US Airways.. I used my miles and upgraded to first class on the way home and sat next to a veteran US Airways pilot that was just returning to work from his vacation home in Aruba. Must be nice!
Oh and i almost forgot.. I had purchased the Sony Reader PRS-505 and brought it with me to the island. The reader went with me every where in my beach bag and over the two weeks I didn't have to charge it once even after reading 6 books. I only charged it the last night there so I knew I would have enough power on the plane. So if anyone is wondering how well they fair in the heat and such, it did terrific and I am so glad I spent the money.. Plus it saved me in luggage weight!