Monday - Awoke this morning at the normal time but since we had run out of breakfast foods we’d be going out to eat. We decided on heading over to Linda’s for some Dutch pancakes, not a bad fallback option.
When we arrived it wasn’t all that crowded and even though there was seating available outside we figured we’d be outside all day and opted for indoor seating. Truthfully neither of us were feeling all that hungry so we both ordered plain pancakes as some of the others can be overkill if you aren’t in the mood. I couldn’t get the wifi to work even though the password was posted for all customers to use.
Isn’t it funny how when internet connectivity is not an option you can get along just fine but not being able to connect when you should be able to can drive you crazy? I felt like that little kid on “A Christmas Story” starring at the Red Rider BB gun through the store window. It was maddening seeing others connect when I couldn’t. Luckily the food arrived and proved to be a wonderful distraction.
For not being hungry we sure did finish those Dutch pancakes fast. In no time we were headed over to Palm for our last day at the beach. Confession time. Linda’s wasn’t our first choice for breakfast, that was actually Scott’s Brats. At the last minute we decided to go to Linda’s so that we could eat two lunches at Scott’s, instead of a breakfast and only one lunch.
That last day at the beach is always bitter sweet. On one hand you dread having to leave your happy place but the upside is that knowing everything is ending seems to intensify my senses. On this day we would spend most of our time in the water reflecting on yet another great vacation to our favorite place on earth.
Since we were going to eat two lunches at Scott’s we arrived just as they were starting to serve lunch. She ordered an Italian beef and I got a sconey and a brat. We chatted a bit with Scott, Leslie and the young lady who works for them whose name escapes me. Leslie was happy that I left my Steelers hat at home today. We talked about football, baseball and about when you know its time to make a move to Aruba. Also heard the story about the origin of Scott’s and what it’s like owning a business there. Most of the time when we are there the place is too busy to get a really good conversation going so this was a welcome change.
Later in the day we would visit again for our final Scott’s of the year. This time we both got the italian beef. Once again we had the place nearly to ourselves and had yet another great conversation with Scott and Leslie. We said our goodbyes and promised to be back in about 6 months.
The rest of our day at Palm was pretty uneventful and mostly consisted of us staring off into the horizon and planning our next trip down. We spent the final two hours going over what we did this trip that we’d repeat and what we missed out on. As they say all good things must come to an end and once the beach started clearing out we knew it was time for this to come to end.
Normally on our last night we would go to Barney’s for our final meal but this time we decided to change things up a bit. We headed into Oranjestad to Iguana Joe’s for drinks and appetizers. It had been year’s since we were last at Iguana Joe’s and wanted to reminisce. The last time we were there it was the place to be but this time it was nearly empty. Maybe it’s just not as happening as it was in the past or maybe the emptiness had something to do with the docked cruise ship getting set to leave. In any case it was just us, maybe two other couples and our waitress Daisy.
We got one of those tables overlooking the street which is a great place to be to place bets on which of the straggling passengers would miss the ship. Of course you never find out if your bet was right but it still leads to interesting conversation making up outcomes for each of them. I ordered an Iguana Kiss and she got an Iguana Punch and they were both as delicious and potent as we remembered. To eat we ordered (great) Nachos of course, boneless buffalo wings and coconut shrimp. I’d recommend the first two but the coconut shrimp was a bit overcooked and it wasn’t the first time I remember that being the case.
We heard the final horn blow as the cruise ship pulled out of the dock which was also about the same time the sun was setting. For us this meant it was time to head back into the Palm Beach area. Up until now we had only window shopped making note of what it was that we would be purchasing. Now it was time to go down our list picking everything up. It was all pretty organized and we finished our last minute shopping excursion in no time. Most of what we bought were your normal run of the mill trinkets but the Mopa Mopa masks were unique and pretty cool and she picked up some Alex and Ani bracelets as well.
After we were done shopping we figured we would head over to Moomba for one final night. Being a Monday in the off season it was extra dead tonight. We didn’t stay long because despite starting the day at Linda’s, hitting Scott’s twice and then going to Iguana Joe’s we were both still hungry. You know how bears store up food for their winter hibernation I think we were subconsciously trying to store up enough Aruba food to tide us over until our next trip. Whatever the reason we knew this night and trip couldn’t end without us stopping at Casa Tua for a pie. So that is how our last night in Aruba ended, just the two of us, a couple of Balashis and a Casa Tua Pizza. It was simple yet perfect.
Its crazy how time flies, from the moment you pack that last bag in your car to head to the airport to the final gulp of your delicious and not available in the States Balashi you wait months and its finished in what seems like minutes. it was time to head back to the rental as our time in Aruba had come to an end.
One final morning and a short trip to drop off the car rental and we’ll be on our way back to BWI.
I've heard that some people bring Balashi home in their checked bags.
Sounds like your vacation was perfect. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks Pegmeister but it wasn't quite perfect... not long enough. I'd be too scared of breakage to bring Balashi back not to mention i kind of like that I can only have it in Aruba. I'm so jealous that you'll be there in just over 2 months.
Tuesday - The final goodbye. Our flight wasn’t scheduled to leave AUA until 2:45 so we had the luxury of waking up and getting ready at a leisurely pace. This was also aided by the fact that we had already packed everything up. I guess we are getting good at this because for the first time ever we weren’t rushing around at the last minute. All that needed done was us making sure the fridge was empty and the linens were gathered in a pile on the floor of the master bedroom.
Once again we overspent on groceries and ended up throwing some away but not nearly as much as the last trip. I guess we still need to work on that. Most of the waste was condiments and a box of those frozen loempias we like so much. The one thing from the fridge that didn’t get tossed out with the trash were the four bottles of Balashi Chill hiding in the back of the refrigerator. Being that it was about 9:30 am my first thought was to just leave them on the table for the caretaker to take home that is until I came to my senses. He gets to drink Balashi whenever he wants, us on the other hand…
So there we were at 9:30 in the morning drinking the last two Balashis either of us would be having for the next 6 months. Not my typical morning beverage but I will say that under the circumstances they were absolutely amazing. As we drank we sat there looking at some of the pictures I took with my DSLR recounting some of those moments.
After we had finished I took out the trash and we were all set to go. Since it was time to pack the car I put my camera away and as I reached into one of the pockets I felt something that shouldn’t have been there. When I pulled it out we both saw that it was the paper football from our last trip. This entire trip I always used as an excuse for losing the fact that we were playing with a misshapen football, it was folded in a weird way. Every time I lost I claimed the ball wasn’t regulation size. After examining the “official” one my suspicions were confirmed. The only problem is I was now the reigning champion. However standing there with the smoking gun in my hand immediately rendered my championship invalid. Where was commissioner Goodell to destroy the evidence when I needed him (NFL fans will understand that). I guess we will have to wait until the next trip to settle this.
So we packed up the jeep, said goodbye to the bird that lived in our driveway, locked up the house and headed over to Salt and Pepper for breakfast. I always say I want to go there for breakfast but this was the first time I actually made it happen. Boy do I wish I had made the trip over sooner. I may even like their breakfast better than Linda’s and that’s saying a lot. Its American style so its not quite an apple to apple comparison but it gets my vote.
I ordered french toast, bacon and home fries (love the home fries) and she ordered eggs, french toast and home fries. We both give them a very enthusiastic thumbs up not only for the food but also for the staff. Next trip we’ll be back both early and often.
After that there was nothing left to do but take our jeep (whose air conditioning quit on us again) back to Royal and head over to the airport. Didn’t like the experience turning the car into Royal but I mentioned that in an earlier post so I won’t rehash it. I’ll just say we are now open to renting from anyone.
Met some pretty cool people in the shuttle over to the airport. We’d see them over and over again as they were making their way back up to New York. Check in was actually super fast and easy. It was probably our smoothest check in to date.
When it was time to board, Southwest wasn’t nearly as organized in Aruba as it was on the way down. They called you in groups but those groups weren’t exactly in order which was annoying. We couldn’t get our exit row seats as people decided to save seats yet again, ended up being a good thing.
She sat on the aisle and I was in the middle. The entire time we were hoping no one would take the window but you know how people stop entering the plane and you think its done boarding and then a couple more people board? Yeah, that guy sat next to me.
Just after takeoff I happen to notice that the guy who sat next to me was wearing the same exact watch I was, he has great taste. I pointed this out to him and from that moment on we became plane buddies. He was an Aruban man flying to Orlando (where we had a connecting flight) for a graduation. We talked nonstop for the entire trip about nearly everything.
Being that most of us only know the picture perfect touristy side of Aruba it was an awesome experience being able to talk to someone from Aruba so candidly about the problems and issues Arubans deal with in their day to day lives. We exchanged information and plan on keeping in touch with each other, hopefully for a long time.
Once we landed in Orlando the phones came on, text messages came through and email was checked. Vacation was over and we were a mere 2 hours away from our real lives. This vacation was now in the books and planning could begin on the next.
Awesome report, thanks so much for sharing. I had the last three Balashis left in the fridge for breakfast our last day. I agree that I only want Balashi while I'm in Aruba. If it was available here in the States, it wouldn't have the same appeal.
Loved reading your reports, I have to agree with you on the balashi chills, I'd have them for breakfast too !! I'm leaving next week and my first stop will be at Scotts for breakfast and lunch hopefully on the same day unless the balashi chills get in he way ! Lol