Sat 10/19...I tried this last year for the first time so instead of a post travel trip report I'm going to try to keep up with a boring daily report. We will be here for 16 days. A little about my gang, we are from the Hershey, PA area and this is our 6th straight year to Aruba I travel with my wife, her sister and husband. We are all in our mid 50's except my BIL who just turned 60 a couple weeks ago. We bought a 2 bdrm, 2 story penthouse unit at the Divi Phoenix during pre-constuction in 2008 and think we are at the best place on the island. We stay 2 weeks at the end of Oct every year and love this time of year because it is far less crowded and delays our hatred for the cold weather for a little while. We are here for 2 reasons, lay in the sun and eat(need to throw in some shopping too). We've done most of the island touring so its mostly beach time. I'm a couple of days behind but here goes. We took our flights from Harrisburg to Charlotte then to Aruba Sat afternoon. Both flights went real well getting here on time. Met up with Hans(Tropic Car)(the best!!!) and off we went to our customary first meal at Mulligans. DW had club sandwich, SIL had a nice salad, BIL had a chicken sandwich(you will see this alot), and me a brick oven pizza. They never disappoint and it's such a welcome home feeling when we look out over the golf course and feel the warm Aruba breezes. The weather is mostly sunny and hot. We got to the Phoenix and checked in quickly and down to the beach to greet old friends. They have such great people working here. Headed out to get our grocery shopping done. Went to the new Super Foods which is very nice but still went to Ling's to finish it off. I think we still like Ling's overall but will go to both. While down that way we ate at The Kitchen. We all had sandwiches or burgers which were all good. Nice little place. We were all tired from our long day of traveling but had to muster the strength to stay up late and watch my Red Sox take the series. In-laws not so interested as they are big time Yankee fans(not a good mix). Great season so far but a tough final series with the Cardinals.
Sun 10/20...I guess I was still pumped up from the game or just excited to get my vacation started but was up at 6:30. Wife and I took a long walk up the beach to check out the new Ritz. Quite impressive and big but hope it doesn't bring too much congestion to the area. Picked up a breakfast wrap from a little shop along the walkway back then to the beach to start working on the tan. A beautiful sunny day with a little more wind than usual for this time of year. Love the breeze though, what would we do without it. Just did some snacking for lunch while running back and forth checking out football scores. I have a long list of places we eat at every year and a list of new places we want to try this year. I SIL picked Aqua Grill and very happy she did. I am not a seafood eater but my wife and SIL love it. My BIL had a heart attack in January so as picky as he was eating all his life, he has now cut himself back to basically chicken and broccoli. He was probably the most fit 59 year old you would ever meet but had his attack while running sprints in his driveway. He is fully recovered but has taken his diet to extremes. I guess you just never know. Anyway, DW had deep fried scallops which were excellent tasting and not rubbery at all, SIL had Sea Bass which was great, BIL and I both had free range chicken. His was plain but I had the rosemary and garlic which was excellent! Started with a great Caesar salad and ended with a very good brownie and ice cream. Very nice, clean, well kept place. Walked around the area a little bit and back to the room. We were all tired from our first long day in the sun and I wanted to get a good nights sleep for my first trip to Linda's for my favorite dutch pancakes(crepe).
Mon 10/21...Woke up early again just counting down the minutes to get to Linda's for my first crepe of the year. I live for my banana, walnut, and whipped cream crepe. DW doesn't share the same enthusiasm as I do but still enjoys them. She just gets hers plain with strawberry jelly and my SIL gets walnuts, brie, and honey. Fantastic!!! BIL doesn't even go with us. Stays home and eats a dry bagel. Went to check out Nafanny Spa near the Alto Vista church. Girls want to get some massages and may have me talked into it, too. Place looked very nice and come very highly recommended on Trip Advisor. Spent another beautiful day at the beach with a 10 minute break to go to our owner's meeting. Snacked again for lunch since still full from breakfast. Took our time coming off the beach and just took it easy getting ready to go eat since it's not very crowded anywhere now. Decided to to back to JH Yees Asian Bistro again this year after trying it last year. DW got lettuce wraps as her meal, SIL got some sushi and beef lo mein, BIL got chicken and broccoli in a wok, and I got Mongolian beef. All 4 dishes were very good. Really enjoyed our meal and will go back again next year! Nice place! Walked around the mall a little bit, got some ice cream and came back to watch some football.
Last edited by explorer213; 10-22-2013 at 12:18 AM.
I haven't yawned yet, I thought this was supposed to be boring. How can anyone in their right mind write a report about their time on Aruba and consider it boring? JK . Thanks for the report so far and since you are doing it daily I have at least 12 more days of reports coming. I look forward to every word!
Tues 10/22... Don't know why I can't sleep in. Up at 6:30, tried to talk myself back to sleep but crawled out of bed at 7 ready to start another sunny(a few clouds), beautiful day in Aruba. I told my wife instead of sitting on the beach all day everyday like the last 5 years, I wanted to just get out and drive around once in a while. We have already seen pretty much all the island we wanted to see in past years but it's been a few years since. My DW, SIL, and I jumped in the car and headed south. I wanted to head to San Nicholas to see if there was anything big going on with Xander Bogaerts(Red Sox rookie) in his hometown. Drove by the baseball stadium, Charlies Bar, and the hookers but not a sign of Xander. Went down to Baby Beach passing many goats and donkeys eating along the roadside. Stopped at the Lourdes Grotto on the way back to say some prayers for family and friends. Decided to stop at Burgers & Burgers for some lunch. Love my burger with bacon, egg, and cheese on it, which I can't find too many places. We were oiled up and on the beach by 1:00 to soak up the sun. Left the beach at 5 and sat on our balcony to chat about the day and decide where to eat. It's so nice this time of year that you don't have to be concerned about reservations for most places. The only problem is trying to find new restaurants that have good reviews and menus for the 4 of us. I've stayed away from Gianni's because their reviews are all over the board but decided to give it a try to make our own opinion. The setting is very nice and we were seated right away and had the waiter there pretty quick. He was ok, but kind of had his attention scattered all around on various things like checking to see if he got an adequate tip from the people leaving. He took our order quickly but wasn't real friendly. The food came out real fast which led me to wonder how fresh it was. My wife got the Lobster ravioli which she said was very good. Should be for $39 and kinda small portion. BIL got regular ole spaghetti which was good. I had chicken parm with carbonara sauce. I can never turned down carbonara when I see it. This was just ok. I know it's typically a heavy sauce but this was really too thick. SIL got duck which was burned to a crisp. She took 2 bites and said she couldn't eat it because it was so dry. She told the waiter and he quickly agreed with her and took it away. It was that bad that it shouldn't have even made it to a table. She got her meal after we were done with ours and I must say it was delicious. Very moist and flavorful. Overall the dining experience wasn't bad but thought it was overpriced and could have been better. Kind of doubt we will go back anytime soon. Walked up to the Mall and did a little shopping and topped it off with some Haagen dazs ice cream. Sat down to type this up and look forward to getting my Linda's crepe in the morning. Good night!
I start each morning by logging on and reading the trip reports so please keep them coming!!! Oh and if you are looking for Italian food we were surprised at how good Sole Mare was and I would recommend it.
We tried Sole Mare 6 years ago and it was ok but I think I will put it back on my list to try it again. I hear too many good things about it to black ball it. Andrea, I remember seeing one of your posts about the chicken sate and soup. I will have to give it a try some night. I haven't seen one thing about Xander and very little Red Sox stuff around from the locals. Surprising