Eric, Karen and Mia's Aruba Vacation
June 23 - July 1, 2012
This was Karen and my eight trip to Aruba... Mia's first trip which she was not in utero!
This was the longest we have gone without an Aruba trip in many years due to Mia's birth - and we were very excited because both grandma's and a cast of friends and former colleagues were going to be on the Island at the same time!
Woke up early - headed to EWR and parked at our usual spot EZ-Way parking (highly recommended). Got to check in and it was an absolute zoo. We got up to the United counter in just over an hour and had some check in problems with the baby. It seems like they didn't charge me the proper tax when I booked. After 30 minutes with the agent they let us head to the gate. Picked up some duty free and boarded the plane. There was about a 30 minute delay - no big deal! On the same place as us were our friend's Ken, Antoinette and Antoinette's daughter Marlena. They were staying at the Radisson.
Arrived in Aruba and spoke to Setar about getting my iPhone hooked up to the local cell network and did. Picked up a rental Yaris and car seat from Budget. Headed out to Gold Coast.
First thing I noticed was the progress on the Super Food and Ritz construction projects. Everything seems to be coming together nicely.
Arrived at our place in Gold Coast - unpacked quickly and left Karen and Mia and headed back to the airport to pick up Grandma's who were on the flight behind us.
Dinner that night was Pincho's and was great as usual. Marc Anthony was playing in the harbor that night for the Aruba Film Festival so traffic was a little heavy.
Called it a night - had a big shopping day coming up.
Woke up before dawn and took a ride up to the lighthouse solo for sunrise. After sunrise - headed to Dushi bagels to pick up breakfast for everyone. That place is way overpriced... $21 for a dozen bagels and cream cheese. Brought breakfast back to family and I took the mom's shopping. First to Ling and Son and then to Price Smart. Picked up enough groceries for the week.
Throughout the day I was receiving emails from my friend Vicki who was supposed to be boarding a plane in EWR with her family and meeting us. There was another chaotic day in EWR and they wound up missing their flight and pushed back to not arrive until 6/25 They were not happy campers.
After shopping - spent a relaxing day at the Gold Coast pool. Headed over to dinner at Palm Beach Plaza. We had planned on eating at Casa Tua Mediterranean which we were surprised to find out of business. We ate at the new Taste of Belgium in the mall - which was very good. I enjoyed the small Bistro at Paseo Harencia in past trips - this was even better & air conditioned!!!
Vicki emailed me - they had boarded their plane. I had water and beer I picked up for them and dropped it off at their time share at Playa Linda so they could have some when they arrived.
Spent the morning at the pool and then headed over to the Radisson to meet up with Ken and Antoinette for some beach time in the early afternoon.
My 7 month old daughter Mia got to take her first dip in the caribbean!
Vicki, Bill and their kids Justin and Kailyn arrived. My mom and Karens mom went to Bingo's for dinner without Mia, Karen and I. We went down to Playa Linda to meet up with our friends. We checked out the room and watched the sunset from the balcony. This was their first visit to their new time share at the Playa Linda.
Gorgeous sunset from room 522 at Playa Linda
We had a drink and then headed over to Smokey Joe's for dinner. Smokey Joe's was OK - nothing great. Met up with former colleague of mine and her family for a few on the "strip". Headed back to the Playa Linda lobby bar for a nite cap.
Picked up Vicki and Kailyn for a Ling and Son run. I picked up a few things I had forgotten on my first trip. I dropped them off and headed back to Gold Coast where I spent the day prepping for the big barbecue I was throwing that afternoon.
I put together pasta salad, bbq chicken, burgers, dogs, chili, etc. Our guests started arriving at 3:30pm We spent a little time in the condo and the rest of the afternoon out by the pool. We had a total of 15 people at our BBQ and had a great time, swimming, making drinks, eating and dancing. Our guests all had kids - so everyone left by 10pm
Boys in the pool
This was a pretty lazy day. Headed over to hang at the Playa Linda beach for a few hours. Security was nice and let me park in the Playa Linda lot - just next to the beach. Had some Dunkin Donut iced coffee.
Vicki and Karen and Mia
Took a dip and headed back to Gold Coast. Grandmas and us had Madame Janette's reservations for 7:30. It was the white asparagus festival and it was great. After dinner we took a walk over in the Palm Beach area and Mia got to walk the film festival red carpet!
Another day on the beach at Playa Linda. We brought some sandwiches from Gold Coast and at them upstairs in Vicki and Bill's room. We headed back to Gold Coast early - we were taking a Sunset Sail on one of the Red Sail catamarans.
Had a blast on the boat - even my mom who hates boats enjoyed the calm Aruba water.
Me and Grandmas
We were all tipsy from the boat ride... Grandma's took Mia home and the rest of us had tapas at Salt & Pepper.
Hung by the pool in the morning and then headed to Playa Linda for the afternoon. Eric, Bill and Justin and Kailyn went out on the WOW boats. It was so much fun. Then Eric and Justin and Kailyn took a walk over to the Hyatt to use the water slide for a bit.
Sneaking off to the Hyatt
We had dinner at Le Petit Cafe and then hit the Holiday Inn casino for a bit while Grandmas watched all the kids.
Another morning by the pool and then had to take my Mom to the airport to head home. We had lunch at Zee Rover's which was awesome! It is such a fun experience and would reccomend to anyone
Zee Rover fried foods
For dinner Karen's Mom and I and Mia tried out Barney's which was surpsingly good. I had the Schnitzel which was top notch. We met up with Vicki and Bill for a nice walk along the Palm Beach strip and did some shopping.
Got in a little final pool time up at Gold Coast. Packed up - headed to airport - said goodbye to Aruba and headed home! After 3 or 4 hours of delays at our connection in Charlotte we arrived home and started our countdown to New Year's trip!!!
We had a wonderful trip - that went way too fast as always! But everyone will always remember baby's first trip!!!