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Thread: Back to Aruba July 2012

  1. #1
    Senior Member jpsphr's Avatar
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    Back to Aruba July 2012

    Day .5

    It seems inappropriate to give a whole day one to a travel day, so it only rates a half. Got to the airport in Rochester NY at 6:30 for a 7:30 flight. There are some advantages to living in a smaller city. We had great travel on Airtran with a stop in Atlanta and only a half hour delay. The chatty pilot pointed out every island between Florida and Aruba. (There are a LOT of them!) As promised, Hector had out car ready at Payless / Optima and we were off to the Ocean Club. We got there at about 4:45.

    (Side note: Airtran handed out slips of paper with instructions to arrive at the airport FOUR HOURS prior to departure to insure sufficient time to pass customs!)

    It was great to be greeted with "Welcome Home" from one of our favorite staff members here. Unpacked and at dinner at Simply fish by 6:45. There's something about eating with your toes in the sand and watching the sun set over the water. The food was very good as usual and getting in island mode helps you swallow the expense and crazy upcharge for a bottle of wine. (Do you think Marriott knows that?) We capped the night off with two-for-one mojitos at the Stellaris, listening to a great Salsa DJ and watching two crazy kids from Pittsburgh (in their 80's) on the dance floor.

    Day 1.5

    It rained! Hard rain woke me up at 5. After trying to resist, I got up and went to the gym. Large puddles were everywhere. A surprising number of my fellow travelers were burning off the calories we would no doubt later replace, times two.

    Speaking of which, my wife and were then off to Linda's Pizza and Pancakes where we shared an Apple and Raisin and a Gouda and Bacon. they say you should not shop for groceries on an empty stomach, so duly fortified we set out for Ling and Son's for provisions. That accomplished, finally off to the beach.

    The afternoon was spent under a palapa or in the water, interrupted only by a Nathan's Hot Dog with 'kraut, lovingly prepared and two-for-one margaritas. the hot dog stand was a nice addition to the beach. It rained hard for 15 minutes or so, which was enough to clear the beach of all but die-hard loafers like us.

    Dinner was an adventure. I am ashamed to admit that after all the driving over the years, I somehow passed by Mirpas. In order to uphold the male stereotype I wouldn't stop for directions and said, "The H--- with it, we'll just go to Amadeus." We did, and it was, of course, closed. I give my DW credit. She only said "I told you so" 3 or 4 times. Finally, we arrived at White Modern, which was on our list to try anyway and next door to the OC in the Mall.

    We'll do a restaurant review later, but I want to mention that thankfully it turned out to be a wonderful "miss." The food was great, the presentation some of the prettiest we've ever experienced and the service could not have been friendlier or better. DW asked to see the chef to compliment him.

    Today (2.5) we're off to Boca Catalina for snorkeling and hopefully Scott's Brats for lunch. Take care, all.

  2. #2
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    Mirpas is almost directly across from the EXIT driveway of Seaport Marketplace (diagonally across from the movie theater)

    keep those reports comin!!
    thx

  3. #3
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Enjoy! We will look forward to hearing about the rest of your trip.

  4. #4
    Senior Member jpsphr's Avatar
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    Andrea,
    Now you tell me!

    thanks for the tip. I'll still make a big show out of asking the concierge for directions, just to show that I can change!

    Take care,
    John

  5. #5
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    ask and i will tell............(maybe)
    Quote Originally Posted by jpsphr View Post
    Andrea,
    Now you tell me!

    thanks for the tip. I'll still make a big show out of asking the concierge for directions, just to show that I can change!

    Take care,
    John

  6. #6
    Senior Member jpsphr's Avatar
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    Day 2.5

    We started by having a healthy breakfast in the room - yogurt and fruit. Guilt has followed us to the Caribbean. Then, off to Boca Catalina for snorkeling. The water was pretty clear, though a little more seaweed than last year. Nonetheless, the fish were plentiful and easy to view. Saw some new varieties and a huge starfish. We also discovered that the gentlemen who rent beach lounges at Arashi do so at Catalina as well. We didn't stay long enough today to bother, but probably will tomorrow.

    After a great snorkel, we walked the beach to Scott's Brats, appropriately hungry. it was nice to put faces to names, as we met Scott and Leslie and had a hearty and inexpensive lunch. A beer and a sausage for $8 on the beach is a bargain. While there, we had an unexpected pleasure, as we sat next to San Nic (Dan) and his significant other. It happens that they were at the bar at White last night while we enjoyed dinner there. Aruba is a small island, to be sure.

    Back at the Marriott for an afternoon of pool sitting, followed by dinner in - appetizers courtesy of DW, dinner courtesy of me. Off now for the mango sherbet at Stellaris and perhaps losing some money at the roulette wheel. All in all a lovely day.

  7. #7
    Senior Member jpsphr's Avatar
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    Day 3.5

    We got to Catalina by 10 or so today. Rented a couple of beach chairs from the gentlemen we met yesterday. That is a job I aspire to - sitting under a palapa all day and renting out chairs for $5. Everybody is a winner in that transaction.

    The water was cloudy today, with a lot of seaweed swirling about. The fish were plentiful, as usual and I saw a beautiful brown and white eel slithering in and out of the coral. The snorkel boats were also plentiful - at least two more than yesterday.

    After indulging in another Nathan's hotdog (they are just too good) my DW enjoyed a massage at the Mandara Spa at the Ocean Club. She was in a very good mood for the remainder of the day. Me, just a relaxing time under a palapa on the beach.

    For dinner, we tried Barefoot for the first time. It was so easy to find, I didn't even have to ask Andrea for directions. The setting was very nice. We got there a bit early so that we could enjoy a cocktail at the bar. We met Jose, a very nice young man from Peru, who tends bar there. He makes a mean Aruba Aribe.

    We chose to sit under the palapa instead of on the beach. The place filled up by about 7. I had a Grouper, Mahi and Snapper dinner. It was wonderful. My wife had Grouper Romano and didn't care for the tomato sauce on it. Service was excellent. The waitress was very attentive and friendly. She honestly felt badly about my wife's lack of enthusiasm for her meal. We will absolutely return, but my wife will opt for a different meal.

    Back at the ranch, we topped off the evening with the customary mango sorbet at the Stellaris. I know, it's a wild and crazy life, but someone has to lead it. As today is the fourth of July, we waited outside for the fireworks that were supposed to be at the Hyatt, but we were either too far away to see or they didn't go off. Back home, we can see them from 3 different towns from our front yard.

    See you all tomorrow.

  8. #8
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    it is a wild and crazy life indeed.
    glad that you 2 are staying out of trouble.........
    if you had asked me about the directions to barefoot, i would have said
    go to the rotary on the way to the airport and look for that "chintzy" Barefoot sign.
    why do they not put up a sign that reflects how nice they are?
    i think it may be a temporary sign??

  9. #9
    Senior Member jpsphr's Avatar
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    Andrea,
    You are so right. The sign is not reflective of the care and obvious pride they take in managing the restaurant. The staff is superbly trained, friendly and responsive. Maybe if they charged a little more, they could afford a better sign JUST KIDDING!

    Forgot to mention yesterday - another talented lounge singer / guitar player was at the Stellaris last night. Not the gentleman with long black hair that we've seen on other occasions, but this guy played a mean guitar and also had a great voice.

    Today we will spend on timeshare shopping, since this year's deal at the OC requires us to attend another sales pitch. We want to explore Eagle Beach lodgings. Palm Beach is terrific, but it's all we've stayed at and at our advanced ages it's getting just a touch loud. So, we'll post later about the ones we visit on Eagle Beach. Tonight perhaps the Alhambra to watch the little white ball bounce around the wheel.

  10. #10
    Senior Member cindyo's Avatar
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    Loving your reports.....thanks for keeping us in tune with Aruba!

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