My daughter made nests for breakfast for some of us. The rest had cereal & bagels. We dressed in swimsuits under clothes & socks & sneakers and packed a change of clothes, waters & some gear & headed out at 10. We started the day driving up to the California Lighthouse. I was shocked at the new street going around the Ritz Carlton. I know things had to change to accommodate parking/entrance, etc. but I don't handle change very well We stopped for pictures and coconut waters & coconut smoothies. Delicious! When we were done, the coconut man cut the coconut out of the shell & put it into a baggie for us to take - how cool! We hung out with him & his parrot for quite a while. What a sweet bird, only 9 mos old.
Then we made our way to Alto Vista Chapel - my mom had never been before so she enjoyed it, then Philip's Animal Garden. What an awesome place! So many animals there! Of course the baby pigs & baby monkey & baby deer were our favorite. Loved feeding the goats & the deer. They were so sweet. Well, one goat had a bit of an attitude and was knocking other goats out of the way so we didn't feed him. lol The parents wouldn't let us feed the baby deer. It was annoying, but sweet to see them protecting the little one. The birds were beautiful and some danced for us J The flamingos seems sad, one had a cone around it’s neck L I highly recommend supporting this wonderful place. We will be back in the future!
Next we were off to the Bushiribana Ruins/Natural (fallen) Bridge. The ruins were fun, but scary for me. The boys are bigger now and want to wander & hike a little more than I’m comfy with. Thankfully Brianna & Marco stayed with them. This is the first time my hubby actually got out of the car to look around with us. He’s finally getting use to the Aruba heat! Lol The Natural Bridge area was kinda sad. The structure has sunk so much and the area is just covered in garbage. It was already almost 2pm and the kids were asking for a snack at the truck parked by the ruins. I told them to wait till we get over by the bridge so we could stop in the little bar/restaurant/shop there. Well, how sad to see the For Sale sign on the building and the souvenir shop closed! The bathrooms are in need of some major work, but at least there was one stall in working order in the ladies room. I guess there is not much traffic out that way anymore and not enough business to keep them going. We bought all the food they had (3 hot dogs and 5 ham & cheese pateschi) Everyone got balashi, balashi chills, Powerade & Iced teas. Then went out exploring the coral, and the dried salt on top of the rocks and all the beauty of the waves crashing and thoroughly enjoyed the mist coming up.
Next stop Baby Beach! Very impressed with all the changes there. The parking area is so much nicer, the road leading in was nicer, all the signage about rip tide & current were great to see. We were so excited to strip our outer layer of clothes and get into the beautiful clear calm water! Surprise, there was no calm water. The wind was crazy making some waves and the current actually scared me a little bit. Going out to the wall was easy, coming back was not so easy. I was more paranoid about the kids then relaxed in snorkel mode. The BF (Marco) is not a very strong swimmer and this was his first time snorkeling. He loved it, I just wish it were the typical Baby Beach we are used to for his first experience.
Big Mama’s is completely under construction so we wound up changing into dry clothes in the parking lot. We brought our big beach towels and made our own little dressing rooms out of them & the car doors!
Finally on our way to our last stop – The West Deck. What a wonderful place! The view/atmosphere was amazing! The staff was so sweet! The food was out of this world! I tried more fish there than ever in my entire life. Had to get the Balashi battered Grouper fingers of course. They were really quite good. The sauce they came with was excellent. We had mahi mahi, Lobster roll, Aruban potato salad, house salad, beach salad with amazing fresh berries, a few Black Angus burgers, the bread basket, Funchi – everything was great! (I’ve lost internet connection because my first week is up so I’m writing this in Word – when I get access again I will post in Culinary with pictures) One word of caution – the sidewalk is way too high. Enter their parking lot very carefully as we bottomed out both entering & leaving.
We returned to La Cabana bellies full and happily exhausted! Lounged for a little while, Brianna Marco & I went down to Glitz for a quick deposit and came back upstairs very ready for bed!
We absolutely love West Deck! The menu has such a good variety of appetizers that you can sit, relax and graze. No rush here. The staff is super friendly! I got some great photos of the Pelicans napping on the boats. It's a definite for our November trip.
Wonderful report! In my mind, I went with you to all the places!
As you, I don't change well. The area where now the Ritz is was always one of my favorite areas to go. I know the street leading to California Lighthouse as well, it was always on my "must go" list. Same with the Natural Bridge, always one of my favorite places. Sad, that there is so much garbage now. It's still a fascinating place to be. And sad, that the little store is now closed. I always went into that store, took even a bunch of pictures as I loved the decoration and the unique tile work on the walls.
Loved your story about Phillip's Animal Garden. I have never been there but would definitely go when I have a chance.
And WOW! You went to Baby Beach as well! That was a long day! LOL Loved reading about your experience there.
Thanks for taking the time to keep us in the loop!