This is long, hope that's ok! Arrived Friday 6/26 around 8:00pm staying at HI for 9 nights for our 30th anniversary. Took the bus to HI and it was fine gave us perspective on other resorts. Check in was good, had an ok room (standard hotel type with mini fridge) and had a partial ocean/beach view. The view was really great. DH is an excellent amateur photographer so we have TONS of photos. I’ll share a few. Saturday: we did housekeeping stuff, checked out the resort, got our rental car at National desk at the HI. Drove around to get our bearings and went to the grocery store for drinks and snacks. Also, took note of a couple of restaurant locations. Went to Salt & Pepper for diner, it was very good, DH had surf and turf and I had beer battered grouper. Then went to Soprano’s for drinks and entertainment, met some nice folks and had a great time. Sunday: hit the beach, DH met some nice folks waiting in line for the palpyas. Breakfast at Dushi Bagle, just next door, was good and inexpensive. Spent the day on the beach which was awesome! Beautiful weather, wonderful beach, fantastic turquoise water. Who could ask for more? Did a little sightseeing that evening at the California Lighthouse and it was VERY windy, I know it’s always windy. Had an early diner at Tony Roma’s which was pretty good and hit the casinos. Monday: Anniversary! Beach and again gorgeous! Went to Old Man and the Sea for our anniversary dinner and it was fantastic. Had a 6:15 reservation and the traffic was a little heavy through town, but we made it just on time. The scenery there was perfect, so romantic and the food was excellent. DH had the fresh catch which was red snapper and he had it grilled. I had tempura red snapper and shrimp in papya sauce. Both the meals were excellent, but DH’s snapper was the BEST! Had desert, DH had Kahlua pecan cheesecake and I had dark chocolate mousse. YUM! It was a perfect setting for our anniversary celebration. Tuesday: Of course the beach! Had lunch on Pelican Pier right off the beach outside our resort and DH had a hamburger and I had grilled chicken sandwich. It was a good lunch. That evening we took a sunset cruise through Pelican, it was a lot of fun, had fruity drinks and the crew was fun! Beautiful photos of the coast and had the end of the sunset was gorgeous. Went to Charlie’s Pizza for a quick bite after the cruise and then hit the casinos. Wednesday: Back to the beach, lovely day. Had lunch again at Pelican Pier this time grouper sandwiches, which were very tasty! Watched another beautiful sunset and had dinner at Moomba. Started at the bar where we had drinks and listened to a very good band. The wind surfers were having their dinner there as well. This was one of the best dinners of our trip. I had the grouper special with shrimp in a garlic sauce with steamed vegetables and rice and DH had the buffet with was Tai food. He enjoyed the variety on the buffet and my food was excellent. Thursday: Beach of course and walked down to Malmok beach to see the wind surfing championship. It was interesting and those guys/gals are so good. But, it’s not really a spectator sport…J Did some shopping and had an early diner at Hooters, DH was craving wings. Saw a movie at Hacienda Paseo Herencia Mall. Then hit the casinos. Friday: Sightseeing around the island today after breakfast at Dushi. Went over to Arikok National Park via Casibari rock formations and saw the sights. Did well until we got to the park and our rental overheated? It would not stay running, would run for a few feet then die. The wonderful park rangers took us in and let us call National (actually they called for us). National brought us another car from the airport location because it was closer. It took about 1 ½ hours, but the rangers were great and gave my DH a tour of all the snakes and creepy crawlies. I passed and read my book…lol After getting the new car we continued on to the park and got some great photos of Boca Prins and the coastline. We continued on to Baby Beach. It was just gorgeous scenery. After returning to hotel for showers, we went to Simply Fish for diner. On our walk down we remarked at how calm the winds were. Little did we know we were about to see a very uncommon site…rain! Just after we were served our dinners at around 8:15 pm the power went off down the strip of restaurants and hotels. A few minutes later the wind picked up and it started raining, accompanied by lightning and thunder. It rained very hard for a good hour. Everyone on the patio at Simply Fish ran into the restaurant and the covered portion of the patio; where we were seated; thank goodness or we would have had a soggy dinner. We finished dinner, paid with cash because no power for credit cards, and after waiting until nearly 10:00 pm, decided to brave it and work our way back to the HI. By that time the rain was a drizzle, but the puddle jumping back to HI was interesting. Some of the water we walked through was more than ankle deep. We arrived back at the HI to see there was no power there but the generators were keeping the emergency lights and elevators running. We got power back about 12:15 am. VERY interesting night in Aruba! Saturday: Started out at the beach, but by 10:30 it was cloudy and sprinkling rain again. We decided to do a little more shopping and get our packing done. We had dinner at Smokey Joe’s very near the HI. We didn’t want to get caught too far from the hotel in case of more rain. It cleared up some so we watched the fireworks on the ocean which was fun. Played in the casino again, didn’t have a very good gambling trip this time, win some lose some…J Sunday: Homeward bound. We took a last walk on the beach after breakfast at Amici which was a very good choice the food and service were excellent. Got ready for the bus pickup and headed for the airport. Not too many traveling on Sunday with Delta so we made it through all the security and customs in a little over an hour. Just as they were loading the luggage on the plane the rain started again and it was a downpour. We were delayed a few minutes taking off because there was too much water on the runway. Much to my dismay when we arrived back home my entire suitcase was soaked! The rest of our cases weren’t bad, but mine…yikes! That’s a first for us and will make me look into packing bags! All in all, our first trip to Aruba was fantastic and I thank this forum for helping us make our plans!