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Thread: August 2016

  1. #1
    Senior Member sbatjc's Avatar
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    August 2016

    This is my way of locking myself into doing a daily (or every few days) trip report.

    My wife of 18 years and I leave Monday (August 1st) out of Baltimore for our 14th trip to Aruba! We are so excited! We will be staying 11 nights at the Divi Pheonix which is where we own. I am strong type A so I have my daily schedule set. We usually stick pretty close to it but try to be flexible. I heard a quote a long time ago that said "be rigid enough to know where you are going, but flexible enough to change course if needed" That's my life haha

    I will post each day my plan for the day and then what actually happens

    The uniqueness of my trip is my wife and I do take a few days down there to speak at some churches. I am a conference speaker and pastor and have spoken in some rather large venues in the states. Years ago we hit a trying season in our life and marriage and I thought we would never get back to Aruba. I thought that season was done. When God restored, and we were able to get back to Aruba I knew I wanted to give back. So we give a portion of our trip to speak, and do leadership training to help a few churches in Aruba. Through the years they have tried to give an honorarium to us but we just consider it a blessing to give a portion of our vacation to them and to God so graciously return it to the churches. My friend is an accountant and the other day asked me about our trip and I told him I would be speaking. He said "must be nice...get to go to Aruba to speak!" I told him, " imagine you paying your own way to go on vacation and doing accounting for free for a portion of it. I can make that happen down there if you want?" He got quiet. hahaha We do it to be a blessing not because I love to do my profession on vacation.

    So our trip will be made up of tons of Beach and amazing restaurants, with some speaking, dinner with friends and pastors. It changes yearly but this year its 80% vacation and 20% giving of our time.

    December we head back with our Daughter who has not been here since she was 10months old ! Thanks for reading and I promise my daily reports won't be crazy long like this one.

    - Steve
    Last edited by sbatjc; 07-28-2016 at 01:46 PM.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Jacki's Avatar
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    Can't wait to hear of your adventures and speaking engagements!
    Jacki ~ loving Aruba from NJ

  3. #3
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    That's all great reasons to go to Aruba..... and a wonderful selfless commitment on your part. Please do all of us a favor and do make all your trip reports 'crazy long'....!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Sue M.'s Avatar
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    What a wonderful gift to give back. You are special people. Enjoy your trip.

  5. #5
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    sounds like it will be wonderful.

    thanks for sharing...sharing here with us and sharing other things , good things with the fine people of aruba.

    safe and easy travels for you and your bride

    crazy long.....we love crazy long!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by sbatjc View Post
    This is my way of locking myself into doing a daily (or every few days) trip report.

    My wife of 18 years and I leave Monday (August 1st) out of Baltimore for our 14th trip to Aruba! We are so excited! We will be staying 11 nights at the Divi Pheonix which is where we own. I am strong type A so I have my daily schedule set. We usually stick pretty close to it but try to be flexible. I heard a quote a long time ago that said "be rigid enough to know where you are going, but flexible enough to change course if needed" That's my life haha

    I will post each day my plan for the day and then what actually happens

    The uniqueness of my trip is my wife and I do take a few days down there to speak at some churches. I am a conference speaker and pastor and have spoken in some rather large venues in the states. Years ago we hit a trying season in our life and marriage and I thought we would never get back to Aruba. I thought that season was done. When God restored, and we were able to get back to Aruba I knew I wanted to give back. So we give a portion of our trip to speak, and do leadership training to help a few churches in Aruba. Through the years they have tried to give an honorarium to us but we just consider it a blessing to give a portion of our vacation to them and to God so graciously return it to the churches. My friend is an accountant and the other day asked me about our trip and I told him I would be speaking. He said "must be nice...get to go to Aruba to speak!" I told him, " imagine you paying your own way to go on vacation and doing accounting for free for a portion of it. I can make that happen down there if you want?" He got quiet. hahaha We do it to be a blessing not because I love to do my profession on vacation.

    So our trip will be made up of tons of Beach and amazing restaurants, with some speaking, dinner with friends and pastors. It changes yearly but this year its 80% vacation and 20% giving of our time.

    December we head back with our Daughter who has not been here since she was 10months old ! Thanks for reading and I promise my daily reports won't be crazy long like this one.

    - Steve

  6. #6
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
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    Looking forward to your trip reports and would love to hear the details of your speaking engagements!

  7. #7
    Senior Member purpleangel's Avatar
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    Have an awesome trip, and I, too, look forward to your reports!

  8. #8
    Senior Member WaltVB's Avatar
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    Thanks for taking the time to include us! Have a great trip!

  9. #9
    Senior Member sbatjc's Avatar
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    A few firsts this trip....

    1) First time having to find someone to take care of our dog.
    My wife found a dog while she was out walking a few weeks ago. After searching and searching for the owners, posting online, putting our names on the shelter lists, we came to the conclusion that sadly someone dropped her off to get rid of her. She is now our dog and part of our family. But I wish this blessing had happened AFTER our trip Very expensive! But her face makes it less painful.

    2) First time flying out of Baltimore and flying direct.
    We have always flown out of Norfolk, Newport news or Richmond. With my parents taking care of our daughter while we are gone we travel to meet them 1/2 way and then drive back. This trip we decided to fly out of Baltimore and get a hotel the night before. It will be nice to get on the plane and get off in Aruba!

    3) First time trying out some different restaurants.
    Like most of us, we have our list of favorites and try to avoid too much change. But this year we are adding Yemanja, and Quinta Del Carmen. Both we have heard good things about so wanted to check them out. With Yemanja being in the downtown we try to support that area. Our first trip was to the Sonesta, then stayed at the renaissance for a few trips. Even though we eventually bought at the Pheonix the downtown always has a special place in our heart. It used to be the only Aruba we knew. We would eat down there at places like Don Carlos, Villa Germania, el gaucho, beach down there and shop down there. So we try to as much as possible add some downtown places in our plans.

    4) First time going in August
    We have jumped around some with our trips but have never been in August. Because we usually travel when school is in session, I am curious to know if there will be more kids on the island?

    5) First time bringing home Cuban cigars.
    My neighbor always asks me to bring him home cigars from wherever I travel. He has asked me to bring home Cubans in the past but I wouldn't... but he is happy to know that legally I can now

  10. #10
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    "our dog".......glad that you have a new family member
    enjoy your blessing. where will the pup go while you are in aruba?

    ya know, since maybe March or April when the cigar embargo was eliminated, it has gotten no mentions, or maybe just 1 mention.
    your neighbor is a lucky guy to have a friend like you.

    here is a cuban cigar article http://www.inc.com/will-yakowicz/cub...-industry.html

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