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Thread: Dora the explorer

  1. #1
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    Dora the explorer

    Well I think I have sufficiently recovered enough from my trip home to do a little trip blog. Just let me preface by saying, Love Aruba, Love the people, Love the island, and Love the airline I usually use to get to all of that…that being said this trip was one for the record books. I know many people have stories this time as I, and I have to figure about 1200 plus fellow travelers were all trying to vacate the island at the same time thanks to the hurricane. There are many stories...this is mine.


    It started out great, as usual, wonderful flight in; pool, beach, sand and surf all in the same place I left it last year. Great! Tried several new places to eat, by far the most memorable meal “experience” came from the wonderful guys at Carte Blanche. In fact I hate to give them such a rave review because it means I will have to make my reservations that much earlier next year, but these guys are amazing! and I have to share the experience. They have become our new tradition and new favourite. DH couldn’t stop raving about the place and I am so glad I was able to impress him with my restaurant pick. I thought the food would be scary for me as I am a little bit of a picky eater, but everything was delicious. They are very entertaining and it’s like having dinner at a good friends house, if those friends happened to be a master chef and a master sommelier (a very hard to find friend-combo J). DH took pictures of every course so he could recount the entire meal to his friends. Thanks to the great people on this board who initially recommended them. This forum is the best!

    We got to see another turtles nest hatching! Second time in my life and still as awesome as the first time. Luckily my daughter was with us this time and she too got to see this miraculous event. We got some really cool pictures that I will post later. Also did a stint at the Renaissance hotel and got to swim with some flamingos, really cool birds and very friendly.

    We also managed to catch a free concert over at the Crystal Casino mall with a group called Mystical Connection. Although I had never heard of them before, I left the island a big fan. My daughter who had seen a singer called Marisela in Aruba a few years ago was real disappointed that Garufa’s was closed and there was no chance of catching Marisela this time until we saw these guys play. She was more than happy with the new favourite.

    Well that was the highlights from the good, now for the not so good. While on the island we experienced more natural occurrences in one trip than I think I have experienced in all of my trips there combined. There was a lighting strike one morning that knocked out the power to half of the low-rise area for several hours. Then there was the earthquake that hit on Saturday in town that shook our hotel and of course many did not escape the monumental delays and flight cancellations that were caused by Hurricane Irene. Our flight, which was supposed to leave on August 27th, was rescheduled for September 9th. We were “stranded” on the most beautiful island in the world. Sounds amazing except when you think about planning for a 9 day trip and having it extend to a 3 week trip without a refreshing of funds, or clothes…My daughter was going to miss her first week of the semester, our bosses would have been livid, our bills would all be late and our house which is on the east coast could essentially be floating away while we sat helpless in Aruba. What a ride!
    We wound up getting a flight to Curacao (Insel airlines my new hero!!!) the Monday after the hurricane (after much web surfing I might add, I will never scold my daughter for bringing her laptop on vacation again ) and staying in Curacao literally overnight. Then from Curacao we went to North Carolina, again overnight. Luckily I have relatives there that were really happy to see us so we at least didn’t have to sleep in an airport. Then from North Carolina to New York…our trip home consisted of Monday Aruba, Tuesday Curacao, Wednesday North Carolina and Thursday New York! I know pilots that don’t have that flight schedule. . Once we got home even the mess we came back to find because of the hurricane paled in comparison, we were just happy our journey was over.
    I still love my Aruba and will be back again and again. The understanding and compassionate help of all of the businesses we encountered during this little Dora the Explorer adventure made me love this place even more. Fast phones, The Renaissance hotel, Ace car rental all made us feel at home while we tried to get to our home and they all went out of their way to accommodate us the best they could even though none of this was their fault or responsibility.
    Aruba is not just a place on a map, it’s not just a destination, it’s a feeling you carry with you always, and it’s the people who are always happy to see you. I will always believe it’s home.

  2. #2
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    great report, thanks for sharing.

    your adventure due to Irene ..........wow.
    i know exactly how you feel and getting home was very ingenious on your end!
    way to go.
    "dora the explorer"........great name.
    now, do you get to submit all of those receipts to the travel insurance co?
    and....did your airline make all of the arrangements for you and incur the costs?

  3. #3
    Senior Member cindyo's Avatar
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    Outstanding, super report.
    We are Renn fans so its always fun to read good reports about them.
    Yes, you musta felt like Dora

  4. #4
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    Thanks for this great report!!!!
    Pat

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea J. View Post
    great report, thanks for sharing.

    your adventure due to Irene ..........wow.
    i know exactly how you feel and getting home was very ingenious on your end!
    way to go.
    "dora the explorer"........great name.
    now, do you get to submit all of those receipts to the travel insurance co?
    and....did your airline make all of the arrangements for you and incur the costs?
    well that is my weekend plan. Sitting in front of a computer, with large cups of coffee and a phone to try to recoup some of our costs. Jetblue (I can say the name now that they came through) at least refunded our return flight with absolutely no hassle at all, so that was good. I bought insurance on my daughters ticket since she had school issues and we didn't know if she was going or not until the last minute, so I might be able to recoup some of the hotel cost as a travel delay but we shall see. we shall see...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cindyo View Post
    Outstanding, super report.
    We are Renn fans so its always fun to read good reports about them.
    Yes, you musta felt like Dora

    thanks cindyo, we loved the rennaissance hotel, and the private island is just the most relaxing place. During the "explorer adventure" we wound up staying for the one night in Curacao at the Rennaissance hotel there. It was really nice even at night. They have an infinity pool and a real oceanfront beach that is on the second floor of the hotel. It's the most bizarre thing and we promised that we would go back next year in the daylight to see how they worked that out.

  7. #7
    Senior Member cindyo's Avatar
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    Thanks for letting me know about the Renn in Curcao, we might just do that this trip as a little excursion off the island.

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