Divi All inclusive – March 3rd-March 11th
Cliff Notes Overall great trip, Never flying coach and/or non-direct again, Bully is awesome, Days spent on the beach/pool, night at the casinos and bars, Grades: American Airlines-C-, Divi/Tam-B+, Madame J’s-B, Amazonia-A-, Weather-B.
(I know this is longer than it needs to be, but I needed something to do in class tonight …)
If I could only offer one piece of advice it would be this: DO NOT wait until 5pm on the night before you are leaving to start packing! You will forget about stuff and you will find yourself driving to the 24 Hour CVS 4 hours before yours flight is supposed to leave! Our flight was scheduled to leave Logan at 5:45am, sounded great when I booked it, but after barely an hour of sleep I was wishing I booked a mid-morning flight. After arriving at the Airport last year at 3:30am and having to wait for the check-in counter to open we decided to show up around 4am. This would have been a great idea had there not been a snowstorm the day before that shut down most of the previous day’s flights. Before going into the terminal we checked the weight of our bags so we were not “those people” who rebalance carry-on and checked-bags, throw stuff away, argue about paying extra fees, etc…. Anyway, my bag weighed in at 47.2 while Em’s was 49.6. It was then I made the decision nobody is getting souvenirs this year. We walked in the door and I wanted to faint. The line at the AA counter was looong. After waiting in line forever we checked in, breezed through security and made it to the gate about 20 minutes before boarding.
The flight to Miami was completely full but uneventful. We had about an hour before our next flight. There was no plane change so we have enough time to grab some food, run to the bathroom and change clothing. Flight from Miami to Aruba was also full and uneventful. Arrived in Aruba and breezed through customs. After waiting about 20 minutes for our luggage we were officially on vacation … until Aruba customs stopped us. Everyone ahead of us was walking through but maybe we fit some weird profile. When we walked but the officer stepped in front of us. After looking at us for an awkward 20 seconds he finally asked If we were traveling together, how long we were staying, and where we are staying. After 20 more awkward seconds he told us to have a nice vacation. Once through the doors Aruba’s best taxi driver greeted us. Bully had us grab our little Switzerland welcome bags and we were off. He ended up having another couple request a pick-up for the same trip, which was perfectly ok. He told us we would pay a reduced rate but I was having one of it. He got the full fare and a tip because he is Bully and you can’t find a nicer guy.
We arrived at the Divi around 3ish and were able to get right into our room. We ended up getting the exact same room as last year room we requested so hotel picks p a few bonus points there. Em unpacked while I went to the CoCo Grill. Had a Balashi because it is Aruba, another because I was thirsty, and a 3rd for the road incase I got lost walking back to the Veranda Building. Relaxed on the balcony. Hung out at the beach/pool/bar for a few hours. Grabbed some dinner at the buffet and headed back to the room. Our 1 hour power napped turned into 3. And my quick shower before going out turned into me locking the door and going to sleep for the night earlier than my grandparents go to bed.
The next day would be the standard of which we measured the rest of our days on the island. We did a lot of nothing. Beach, pool, bar, beach, food, pool … you get the idea. However, one interesting thing happened while on the beach. We were approached by, and I quote, “Vader, like Darth Vader, if you guys want party or have fun activities I am the man to see.” Before leaving we really wanted to do a Jeep tour. After talking to Vader for a while he said he would show us around the island for $75. We would just have to rent our own jeep and we will follow-him around the whole coastline of the island, while making “stops at the attractions and drinking beers and smoking herb”. We thought the tour was a good idea (but we were not a fan of the drinking and driving and weed smoking). We told him we would thank about it and promised we would stop by his hut between the Divi and Tam. After thinking for things about 3 seconds I made the decision that I did not want to risk swimming with the sharks on the “other side” of the island. Maybe he was nice but I have seen too many movies where random people end up being tortured and killed in similar situations. Our 2 friends arrived later that afternoon and the rest of the night is somewhat blurry. I know we went to the Pizza Bar at the Tam where we drank Balashi’s, ate food, did shots, ate food, and had maybe 1 too many “Rudi Specials”. We rode the carts to the Alhambra, donated some money and went back to the room for the night.
We slept in a little bit the next morning but still made it down to breakfast in time. Again the day was spent just relaxing. Not very eventful. Before we got ot the island we ended up buy walkie-talkies at target. It was a 3-pake of Motorola’s for about $55. While they were not perfect there worked as good as we needed them too. We used them between the Divi, Mam and Divi Links. Overall it is a lot cheaper (and make you feel cool) than paying the texting/cell/local call charges, especially when we will get use out of them at home too. The night was again spent donating money to the Alhambra casino but at least I felt I got my moneys worth this go-around.
Friday was the worst weather day on the island. We woke up to rain. It seemed to rain for about 10 minutes every hour for most of the day. We staying on the beach as long as we could but the lack of sun, random showers and flooding beach chased us away for most of the day. In the afternoon we went to visit our friends at the Tam and hung out under the hut there. At some point, probably after a few too many Killer-Kool Aids we thought it would be fun to go into the oceans and battle the waves. Well the waves won. The waves were huge and throwing us around like rag dolls. Em lost a headband, an earring and almost her bathing suit top. I lost my breath, pride and almost my life. I crawled back up the beach and after regaining my energy went back to the room to relax, nap and get ready for dinner. The 4 of us had 5:30 reservations at Madame Jannette’s and overall it was pretty good. The service was quick, meal was good but it seemed like we were being rushed out of there during dessert. (A lot of the uncovered seating was closed off because of the on again and off again rain so maybe they were backed up with reservations). Went back to the hotels, did some late night swimming, eating, drinking, gambling (winning believe it or not) and more adult-beveraging.
I guess I’ll take a little break since we are almost about halfway through the trip. (and my class is about to end – hahaha.) I’ll type up and post the rest by next week as long as nobody begs me to stop because I am boring them.
Preview: More friends and family arrive, golfing, Iguana accident, Amazonia, High-rise area, Divi Property Bar Crawl, engagement right shopping and departure.