just got back and i am already in withdrawals...lol
have alot to post so this is gonna be long and broken up in a few posts. i did post photos in the gallery. the trip was amazing....we had another wonderful time in aruba. as soon as we were circleing i felt i was "HOME".....
sat july 10th....we headed to newark airport the night before our flight. we had reservations at the marriot at the airport. we did the park and fly special at the airport. it was great...parked the car in their lot...checked in...went to room which was nice, got a great nights sleep and got up at 6 am for a 8:30 am flight. shuttle took us right over and we breezed thru the check in and security. i will forever do the park and fly....it only cost 200.00 and we saved time and money from parking. well worth it
sun july 18th...flight was great, we flew continental. got in on time and breezed thru the airport in aruba.....Bully was waiting with his wonderful smile! what a great way to start a trip! we introduced ourselves and he got our bags and off we went! told me he was getting cukiecutr's people after us! he wisked us right over to la cabana and got us all set! bully is everything everyone says he is....and then some! our room wasn't quite ready so they gave us a room we could get changed in...i had our swimsuits and lotion all ready so we changed and headed right to the pool. it was the final game of the world cup so it was crazy by the bar! we had a ball rooting for the "home" team! it was fun. we stayed until about 6...got our room key and headed to the room. the room was fantastic. it was a newly renovated room and had everything we needed and then some. i set up our kitchen stuff and unpacked everyone. we planned on going to hooters so we headed out. hooters was actually fun! we ate and drank....played pool with our son....son is 14 so he enjoyed the night. he even got a bit cocky with his dad playing pool! so he deciced to make a bet with his father....his father told him it wouldnt be a fair bet....son was insisting....then son told him...."ok, i"ll play against mom!" (meaning the little guy thought i would be easier) his father told him ok........son doesnt know his mom grew up in the backroom of a bar! lol poor kid....i wiped the floor with him.
mon. july 12th....i get up very early and it was great just sitting outside on the patio. as the sun came up i headed over to the beach. set up our palapa area and nestled in to read. thomas the palapa attendant came over as soon as he got there and asked if i needed anything else. he was a great attendant. family joined me eventually and we spent the day on the beach. it was great. dinner this night was at flying fishbone. we had a late reservation....did the sunset dinner last year at old man so we wanted to not rush off the beach this year. we were right down on the water and it was great. the later seating is much more quiet and intimate. we ordered a bottle of champagne, they had our favorite, not many places carry this bottle, and toasted our vacation. my husband ordered the lobster salad, i had the lobster bisque and son had fried calamari. they were all wonderful. we followed up with surf and turf, grouper with a caper cream sauce, and the duck with sesame noodles. son loved the duck and noodles! our dishes were wonderful also. my boys ordered the dark chocolate mousse and it was amazing! i had to fight to get any! the food and service was wonderful.
tues. july 13th....had to get up early....my hubby and son were going on the tomcat tour of baby beach and i was doing a horseback ride with el paseo ranch. they got picked up on time and off they went. they loved it. said it was worth it and loved the stop to snorkle at baby beach. said they felt very safe and the tour guide was great. lots of info and fun. i got picked up by my driver right on time. he is the owners father in law. it is a family run ranch. the ranch was clean and nice. last year i went with la ponderosa,which i loved, but i wanted to do a beach ride and this ranch is relatively new and not to many reviews. i figured as a horsewoman i would give it a try so i could tell you all what it was like. i booked the morning ride and snorkel tour. i thought about doing a private ride but decided to do a group tour instead. when i got there i was the only person! i was going on a private ride with the owner.....i know alot of places would not do a ride with only one person but they did. there was another ride that went out in a group that didn't do the snorkel stop. my horse was ready and i checked her out. she was in good weight and her feet were in good shape. the saddle and tack was in good shape and everything looked good. there was even a very confy cushion on the saddle. lol up i went....we rode and talked the whole way to the beach....he told me a ton of info on what it is like to keep horses on the island. i cant even imagine.....not being a beginner we did alot of galloping. they usually do not do that much but he said since i knew what i was doing......he gave me a great tour all the way to malmok. when we got there his father-in-law met us there with snorkel gear and drinks. horses had a shaded area to stand under and he showed me around the area. if you are doing this tour my suggestion is bathing suit bottom under your jeans....sports bra and under armor type tank over it. since we got there faster than usual....i had a ton of time to snorkel. it seemed like forever. i also had the whole area to myself. the sea life was amazing! i had never been to malmok and i was in heaven. i did not bring a towel so i made sure to get out and stay in the sun long enough for my suit bottom to dry. got my jeans back on and went over to where they were in the shade. we spoke for awhile and then a tourist came up...wanted to see the horses....my guide actually put the man up on the horse and took some pics of him. it made the man's day! huge smile! we had a few more waters and got back up on the horses. he took my camera and took some amazing shots of me. he then kept my camera and took pics the whole way back. we rode thru the water in the shallows by where they do the kite surfing. he showed me the site of the ritz....showed me where the skydivers come in and then we galloped off home. when we got back there were more waters and friendly talk. there was never a rush to get me home....all i can say is this was one of the best rides i have done. i can with all confidence recommend el paseo to ride with. i will definately use them again.
got back to la cabana just in time to set up at the pool and wait for hubby and son. it was bingo time so i figured what the heck. i got three boards and hubby and son got there just in time. i ended up winning the big one....70.00!
this night we had reservations at el gaucho. we left son in the room with mc donalds....he went to el gauch last year and really didnt like the chicken there....he doesnt eat steak. so we had dinner just the two of us. it was just as good as we remembered. i got the shrimp cocktail and hubby had the spicy calamari. it is stewed in a spicy sauce and was very tender. both were very good. hubby then had the gaucho steak....he has been dreaming of this dish with their chimmichurri suace for a year! it did NOT disapoint! it was great. i had a filet also...a smaller one. perfectly cooked and wonderful. i also got my fix of plantains.....i ordered so many of them the waiter asked if i was cuban!! lol
wed. july 14th....got up early and we decided to go to molmok. hubby and son had never been big on snorkeling....as soon as we got there, they changed their opinions! lol we had an amazing time. we dove from the rocks and snorkled all day! saw some amazing fishes and just didn't want to leave. when we were done we drove up to arashi....have decided we will go there next year...lol. went on to the light house area and then just cruised around out there for a bit. we drove home through the houses and different areas out there. it was fun.
this night we had reservations at yemanja. i believe son had the soup, and i got the grilled scallop salad. i have no idea what hubby got because as soon as my salad came....i went numb! this was one of the best salads i have ever eaten! scallops grilled to perfection, crisp baby greens, crispy pancetta....a citrus cream dressing.....OMG!! i am not even a huge salad person...this was nirvana! lol for dinner hubby and i both got the surf and turf skewers...grilled shrimp and filet. they were very good and good size portions also. it came with coconut rice and garlic mashed potatoes. service was good and food was wonderful. after dinner we went to the mall across from the renn by the marina. son and i walked around and hubby slipped into the casino. we had fun.
thurs. july 15th....we just lounged around the pool all day. we loved the pool at la cabana. later in the afternoon hubby and son went to play golf. while they were playing golf i went into town to do some shopping. i loved walking around all the little shops and am happy to say i wasnt bothered by anyone. i did pick out a few baubles....and told them i would be back with hubby. lol. i then went to the casino at the marina for a bit and made a deposit. i grabbed chinese food for son because hubby and i had reservations at madame janette's. picked them up and we went and got ready for dinner. i had heard so many great things about madame janette's i was afraid i had to high expectations. and if you didnt notice...food is a big part of my life...lol we got a bit lost getting there, which was fun in and of itself, and finally arrived. i have to say it was much bigger than i expected....when we walked out into the courtyard i was blown away. it is beautiful! our waiter was amazing and i was blown away by all the specials and menu. this was gonna be hard....i got the special appetizer called bang bang shrimp. it was simply one of the best dishes i have ever had! the flavors were so crisp and amazing....crispy fried shrimp(think tempura) tossed in a sweet/spicy sauce. at first the sauce was refreshingly sweet...then the heat slowly crept in. it was not hot, just pleasantly spicy! i forget what hubby ordered for an appetizer....i was too involved with my shrimp! lol for dinner i chose the rack of lamb....best choice i could have made. it was perfectly cleaned and cooked....i love lamb and i am an admitted lamb snob....this was better than i could have imagined! hubby ordered the surf and turf and it was equally good! service was spectacular and food amazing! for dessert i ordered the roasted pumpkin seed ice cream and chocolate souffle....this was one of the best desserts i have ever had....i am also a dessert snob....i owned my own bakery and made desserts for restauants for years! this will make me dream about chocolate for awhile!
while we were there i saw something black out of the corner of my eye run up a neighboring tree....it was a cat! the cat went up on the roof and just his tail hung over...hubby and i laughed watching the tail curl and uncurl to the music...it was funny! i also saw another diner meet chef chadd and ask him to marry her!! that was funny, but what was even funnier is that after chatting a bit another guest leaving see's her and comes over to hug her. SHE HAD ALSO PROPOSED TO HIM EARLIER IN THE DAY!! they all laughed and off she went....i wonder how many others she proposed to?? we thanked the waiter and the chef and drove home very happy!!
friday july 16th...this day started early...we had appointments at Larimar spa for massages. the spa is at the radisson, and it was beautiful. i had a 9 am, while i was there hubby took son shopping. then we switched for his appointment. i was very pleased with my massage.....it has been a loooong time since a massage has relaxed me enough to fall asleep....i fell asleep a few times! lol it was wonderful. hubby also enjoyed it. larimar was great!
after our massages we went shopping downtown. it was more crowded this time and good to see that many people. it was jewelry shopping day! lol i went to a few different stores and found a few different pieces....what i was looking for was a blue and white diamond bracelet. i shopped around but in the end we went back to our favorite jewelers....Touch of Gold. they are a small store on Havenstraat st. we have dealt with them for years in st maartin and also aruba. they have even made me pieces that we have ordered from home....sight unseen. we usually deal with vinny or sanjay....but all the sales people are great. like any other store you need to know what you want, what it is worth and be able to bargain. what i can say about them is the quality of their pieces is above most others. all their stones are quality....i have never had any issues with wanting to change out stones in their pieces like i have with other places. they are a joy to work with and i will always go there to them. we ended up getting a 4 carat blue and white diamond bracelet. i never expected to get THIS bracelet....i was looking at a three stone one....much less....but hubby wanted to spoil me this trip for all i do for our family. i love my hubby!!! i still have to do the appraisal....but i know we got a deal. thank you touch of gold and i will see you again......
after shopping we headed back to change for dinner...it was blossoms night! we loved blossoms last year and it did not dissapoint this year either. this is not an inexpensive chinese meal...but i think worth it! their shrimp tempura is always great! we had wonton soup also, then son got generals tso's chicken, hubby got a filet mignone dish and i ordered the peking duck! the duck was amazing....and perfectly cooked and cleaned.....people all around were staring at this dish...it was as beautiful as it was tasty! we ate till we could eat no-more! we just about rolled home after this meal! after dinner we went up to the new mall area to check it out! wow....last year it was a shell....now it is open! son is very excited about the bowling alley and laser tag place! he is already planning next years adventures there! i saw the new casa tua's.....holy carp it was beautiful!! the bar and lounge are is amazing. looked like a great time would be had there! we waddled back to the car and headed home tired and full.....
sat. july 17th....i got up early and went to the beach. set up a palapa and waited for the family.....they showed up around 10 am. we promised son he could jet ski this year. we also told him it had to be first thing in the morning before it got crazy...so off to the booth we went. we rented two jet ski's...me and son on one and hubby on the other. i told son i would stay on until i was comfortable with his ability and knowledge....then i would dump off and he would be on his own.( we live on a farm and the kid has been on a quad forever and also rides horses....he is very safetly conscious for a kid and really responsible) i think we were on for about 15 min before i let him go alone. he had a blast---even if he drove like a grandma!! i love my responsible kid! we spent the rest of the day on the beach playing baseball and football.
this night was gianni's.....we had a 9:30 reservation. when we got there it was a zoo...wall to wall people everywhere. i though...UH-OH. people were at the podium getting frustrated with the poor girl there. so while i waited my turn to speak to her i had a sinking feeling that it was gonna be a long night....got to the front....gave our name....she cheerily said,"hi mrs meyer's, we have been waiting for you, your table is ready!" i about fell over and about 6 people jumped up not too happy.....she politely said to them, after they complained they had been waiting.....this party had made a reservation. so....make your reservations people.....
dinner was great again....so was the service. we had the same waitress from last year and she was just as good! i had baby artichokes in garlic and olive oil....yum! son got the minestrone soup and ate every drop! hubby had the fried calamari....he also ate all of it! for dinner i got the lobster limone....whole fresh lobster...taken out of the shell, cut up a bit, put back in the shell with a lemon butter sauce! it was sweet and perfectly cooked...god i hate overcooked lobster! son had linguine with bolognaise sauce....he said it was great....hubby got shrimp over linguine with a pink seafood based sauce....god that looked wonderful!(i cannot eat pink sauces so i couldnt try it...not that he was gonna share!) for dessert i had the profiteroles....small cream puffs filled with ice cream then covered with chocolate sauce...simply heaven! hubby had the tiramisu....he liked it but said it wasnt mine. he however didnt leave any on the plate....it was a wonderful night and i love gianni's. next year we will try sol mar....hopefully they will be as good if not better!
after dinner my son wanted to go to the movies....so we took him to the theater and he saw grown ups....it was an 11:30 show. hubby and i were not sure we would be awake till the movie got out....lol we are old! lol we went across the street and made a deposit at excelsior casino. it was fun...even if i didnt win big! walked back....got son and went home to collapse.
sunday july 18th.....well this is our last day....our flight isnt until 5:15 so we decided to just relax. son came to me and told me he got a bit sunburned the day before. i said let me see, I'll put lotion on it. when he pulled his sleeve up, i about fell over! this child had major second degree burn in one area on his bicep about the size of a mans fist! huge blisters and purple area....how this kid wasnt screeming his head off was beyond me. i ran out to the road and plucked a few aloe stalks and came back and cleaned and dressed it. we didnt have gauze so i went down to the lobby store....the pharmacy lady was close so i went to guest services....they about fell over when they saw it also. my son is laughing the whole time because of the fuss. she found me gauze and i wrapped it up. we then relaxed around the pool and ate a lunch at island grill. had a few last minute drinks and it was time to get ready. they gave us a room to shower and change in and it was off to the lobby to meet bully. he was waiting for us with that smile! got us loaded up and off we went. on the way to the airport my son asked bully about baseball on the island....bully gave him all the info...the 14-16 yr olds just started a tournament last night that may lead them comming to bangor maine if they make it! they won the opening game....maybe we will see aruba in maine in a few months! he told son all about the ball fields and schools and answered all sons questions. before we knew it we were at the airport....bully told son next year he would take us on a baseball tour on the island and to bring his mit with him! son was very excited....going thru the airport looked like it was gonna be a breeze....as we were walking thru the ropes to get to check in a man asked if he could get by to get to his wife(she was the only one in front of us) we stepped aside and this man and about 10 more people in his party went by! i couldnt believe it, i get he needed to be with his wife but not all the other people....it was really uncool. after that we had to wait a bit in security, but nothing crazy....breezed thru customs....and got to our area. had a few drinks and i wandered into the new airport slot area. i actually had fun in there. played for about an hour on 5 bucks! son napped and hubby sat watching the news. plane ride home was uneventful....got in late and retrieved the car and home we came!
it was a wonderful trip and we are already planning the next one....oh yeah...hubby asked me if i would marry him again...this time on aruba! i think we are gonna do it on our twentieth...that is in a few years....that will also be sons graduation year....that is gonna be a wild trip!
thank you everyone here for the advice and recommendations....your advice and guidance is invaluable...i hope you know how much it is appreciated!
i posted the pics in my gallery.....the last pics are of sons burn...so if you do not want to see it dont go all the way down....after i got home i took him to the er and it was black by then...they did not believ us when i told them it was sunburn....they had bets going in the er that he and his friends must have done it with a magnifying glass.....i had a hard time convincing them it was from the sun...by the time we left i gave up trying....yeah...i was actually doing nuclear experiments at home and one went wrong...no, i got it, i shot him with a gamma ray gun! he is ok...it doesnt hurt to bad now because the nerve endings are fried....but he is good.
i didnt even post the really black ones.....i am just thankful he is taking it so well. it is just weird....he was so tan...didnt even burn at all...was really good with sunscreen everyday.....then all of a sudden that! if i wasnt with him i guess i would wonder too....but the kid wasnt even sitting still for a moment....thought maybe the glare off of something...but he was constant motion.
i have to just watch for infection now and keep the burn medicine on it. i am hoping it doesnt scar.....poor kid!