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Thread: Our Two Weeks In Aruba!

  1. #1
    Senior Member AndyM's Avatar
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    Our Two Weeks In Aruba!

    We just got back from two weeks at our timeshare at Paradise Beach Villas in Aruba. DW has been working through some medical difficulties so we weren't as active as usual.

    The flight down to Aruba was delayed by storms so we got off about 1½ hours late on the day of the AFC Championship game (Patriots/Broncos). The Jet Blue gate attendant boarded passengers wearing Patriot shirts first so my daughter, grandson (9 YO) and I boarded while DW and SIL waited. As I was proceeding to my seat I noticed a familiar face already seated. Xander Bogaerts was on our flight! DW was vey excited to see him as she boarded.

    The flight was uneventful and we picked up our car and made it to the TS. Weather for the entire two weeks was outstanding. The first week was quite windy but settled down to normal for the second week.

    During our stay, we ate at the following restaurants in no particular order:

    Chalet Suisse: It was mostly excellent again. Appetizers were lobster bisque and escargot. Entrees (for two couples) included the mixed grill, roast duck, shrimp scampi (this dish was a clunker. DW sent it back) and grouper. Desserts included peach melba and apple strudel.

    West Deck (1st visit): We took my daughter, SIL and grandson. Dinner was a combination of small plates/appetizers and regular meals. We had jerk wings, ceviche, shrimp a couple of different ways, a beach burger, a wrap, chicken skewers with peanut sauce. Desserts included two different cheesecakes, key lime pie and tres leches cake. Out of all that, the tres leches cake was disappointing.

    West Deck (2nd visit): We took a different daughter, SIL and grandson. Similar dishes. Both visits were enjoyed. We love the variety of tasty dishes and good service.

    Side note: During our first visit, our gregarious waiter, Francisco, asked if we liked baseball as Xander Bogaerts was at the restaurant! He suggested going to his table to greet him and take pictures. I demurred as I didn't want to intrude on his dinner. Francisco went to his table and asked for permission for us. Xander graciously agreed. Here's a photo of Bogaerts with DW and grandson.



    Terrazza Italiana (@PBV). We heard mixed reviews from several folks we talked to. We heard the food was good but service was painfully slow dragging dinners out to 3+hours. I was determined to try the place as I really wanted a great restaurant so close at hand. For our visit, service was fine. The meal progressed at a normal rate.

    DW and I shared a prosciutto and mozzarella appetizer. The prosciutto was riddled with thin little shards of plastic. The plastic wrapper on the prosciutto had made it through the meat slicer. Not appetizing. The plate was removed and replaced and we were not charged. Many apologies were offered.

    My dinner was spaghetti ala carbonara and it was not very good. It arrived at the table as a high mound of sticky, gummy pasta. This dish should be in a creamy sauce, not a dry gummy clump. I chose not to complain about the entrée. We ate and left. We'll probably give them another try next year. Depends on what we hear in the interim.

    Casa Tua at the high rises: DW and I had pizzas for a quick dinner one night. Service and the pizzas were both great as usual.

    Quinta del Carmen: Wow! They've expanded since were there last year. They expanded from 20 to 46 tables and can now seat about 170 people. The setting in the garden is about as good as an outdoor setting can be. Tables were nestled in amongst the trees with gauze canopies overhead. A very cozy and romantic setting.

    The service and food have not suffered. We shared a crispy shrimp with wasabi cream appetizer and we each had a different preparation of grouper. DW's was Caprese style while mine was with salmon and shrimp. Both were vey good and well presented. DW and I had cappuccinos and shared a chocolate mousse for dessert. I think this has become our new favorite place.

    The Islander Grill/Las Ramblas: This was a night we wanted a quick and simple dinner. We walked over to the Islander, ordered drinks and looked over the menu. Nothing on the limited menu appealed to us at all so we just finished our drinks and left.

    As Las Ramblas was right there next to the Islander Grill we decided to give it a try. We went in and were seated immediately. DW had one of the specials, beef skewers and pan fried shrimp. I had the 14-ounce ribeye. Both were very good. This was actually our first visit to Las Ramblas and I think it's worth a more complete visit next year.

    Meanwhile, both grandsons, both daughters and both sons-in-law along with DW and me, had great relaxing visits. Our 9 YO grandson was almost in tears when it was time to leave. DW came home feeling a lot better than she started out.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Our Two Weeks In Aruba!-img_0294.jpg  

  2. #2
    Senior Member purpleangel's Avatar
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    How cool to get a picture with Xander, especially after seeing him on the plane!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Aruba4ever's Avatar
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    Thanks for the report. Sounds like a nice trip. Great picture with Xander. Hope the wife continues to feel better.

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    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    Nice trip report and great restaurant reviews..... thanks for taking the time..... Hope DW is feeling better!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
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    So nice that Xander Bogarts was agreeable to photos. We love the West Deck. Nothing like grazing on small plates on a sunny afternoon. Thanks for sharing!

  6. #6
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    let me start by apologizing. i read the whole thing and all i saw was "xander and xander/photo"

    so i started again and what a nice report.
    were those that were not wearing NEPATS gear annoyed at their 2nd class JB treatment? hahaha

    glad to hear that your wife is feeling better....aruba does that. i am happy you folks got away from the New England chill.

    thanks for sharing your story.

    now i have to go back and stare at the xander photo again.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ArubaAce's Avatar
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    Great report. I hear la Terrazza has a happy hour during sunset but I haven't seen any reports about the happy hour. I think I will pass if the food is mediocre and slow service.

  8. #8
    Senior Member AndyM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArubaAce View Post
    Great report. I hear la Terrazza has a happy hour during sunset but I haven't seen any reports about the happy hour. I think I will pass if the food is mediocre and slow service.

    We were there for the sunset and there were just 2-3 people at the circular bar. For us the service wasn't slow at all. I'm hoping things will improve with time. It's a fairly new restaurant.

  9. #9
    Senior Member act1966's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyM View Post
    Quinta del Carmen: Wow! They've expanded since were there last year. They expanded from 20 to 46 tables and can now seat about 170 people. The setting in the garden is about as good as an outdoor setting can be. Tables were nestled in amongst the trees with gauze canopies overhead. A very cozy and romantic setting.
    Hi Andy: thanks for the great report... Can you expand on the Quinta seating situation? Did they more than double the seating in the courtyard? Wasn't it crowded?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Aruba4ever's Avatar
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    133% more seats certainly sounds like a huge addition. That said, I have never been there.

    Quote Originally Posted by act1966 View Post
    Hi Andy: thanks for the great report... Can you expand on the Quinta seating situation? Did they more than double the seating in the courtyard? Wasn't it crowded?

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