Sunday - July 13 -- aka - Jeep Day... ; )
We received our Jeep Wrangler rental today. As a few of you mentioned, we went with Aruba Royal. I couldn't beat the price at $276 for a week on a 4x4 with free car seat, free cell phone with island usage, and free drop off and pick up. I think Dannyo is who I have to thank for that suggestion as I was originally going to get taxi to and from airport to get the rental. Anyways, we walked over this am for dunkin donuts -- oh BTW -- there are coupons online for timeshare owners for alot of places in walking distance to Renissance -- we used the buy 3 get 3 donuts free coupon today (I know its crazy -- but I am all about 'more for less' and kids wanted to have donuts anyways.)Anyhow -- after breakfast the Aruba Royal jeep guy was to meet us in lobby. (You will like this story tie in later .. please know we are a very politically correct family)...Wouldn't you know my husband had to offend a guy so early in the morning -- there was an ethinic guy with a 'turban?' on his head outside of the lobby doors cleaning out a wrangler and 'appeared' to have a blue shirt on as the Aruba Royal employee had mentioned -- my husband approached the gentleman cleaning out the jeep inquiring abot the rental and of course that was another tourist not an employee... ha -- We finally found the Aruba Royal guy and rented our jeep. Keep in mind -- we didn't pay for the 'larger' jeep that looks almost like a hummer -- we rented the smaller 2 door all open air jeep and it looked a bit small and rough (we are chevy suburban people and like large texas cars LOL) ... We immediately took off with the girls in hunt of the Butterfly Farm -- of course we got lost LOLOL and had no map and ended back at -- the Ocean Suites -- so after getting a map from the lobby we hit the road again. The island is soo small. We didn't realize it but we were already passed the Radisson so turned back toward the Westin to hit the butterfly farm.
The butterfly farm was great. The girls liked a little bridge they have in the back and got to watch some turtles. There was some sort of butterfly (name I don't recall) that takes 8 months to 'hatch' out of the silk and it is HUGE and after all that -- it lives 5-6 days. We were able to see it! It was new just this morning and was still in the little 'box' waiting for its wings to dry. I took a beautiful picture of it that I will post when I return home. Anyways, the butterflys were VERY active as you all suggested in the AM. I think we will be heading back as the tickets we purchased were for our entire stay in Aruba. That is great for us since the girls had such a good time. They also have very beautiful jewlery with glass butterflys. I will definatley be heading back for that!
Kong Hing Supermarket grocery shopping was next. We got lost again looking for ling and sons but it had moved and this was next closest one we could find. It was nice that it was air conditioned and a huge building. I have to tell you -- my 2 year old is potty training (I know -- we are crazy) and we now know every restroom in Aruba --- including the one at this market. We went 3 times there <sigh>. We purchased some excellent cheeses, sausages and wine. They even had Blood Sausage!!! I can't wait to cook it. This is something we puertoricans LOVE and I can not find back home in Texas. I was just elated and jumped up and down right there in the meat aisle - HA. After aisle by aisle and getting lots of goodies, we headed out with of course almost no room in the jeep for groceries.
We got back to Ocean Suites and unloaded and cooked lunch and had our own 'happy hour' ; ) . Then off to the pool downstairs. We stayed there well into the pool happy hour time. I really am thinking I might mention to the front desk that they need additional bar tenders. There was 1 lady 'Luz' attending everyone at the swimup bar and she was very overwhelmed. Other then that, we had a great time swimming around and playing in the little beach.
Senor Frogs! For dinner tonight was Senor frogs. On the way there and btw Ocean Suites and the Marina hotels we were approached by a guy asking for money for 'bread' <sigh> that is so uncomfortable. Rob/CindyO -- yes we know about the golf cart but actually enjoyed the walk -- just not that moment. When we got to Senor Frogs I was surprised there was almost noone in there -- 5-8 other tables occupied and it was 700pm. We all shared 3 large appetizers(the Mixed Appetizer plater was $34 and worth it since there was alot of different items on it) and Nacho Dessert and it was more then filling --- note that the prices are rather high but then again -- you are at senor frogs and should expect that. We had 3 margaritas, 3 appetizers and dessert and the bill was just under $100. That said -- we did have a BLAST. Since the place was so empty, the girls went up on the stage and danced to almost every song. Great pictures came from that! We were there 1.5 hours!! I thought for sure they would fall asleep on way home after dancing that much... but no ; ) ...
On route home, between the seaport casino and the ocean suites there is a small 'stage' in front of the dutch pancake place. There was a couple singing and playing guitars & flute. They were so wonderful. They sang Irish songs, Louisina Bayou songs, the titanic theme song and even Spanish songs by Julio Iglesias!!! Talk about variety!! The girls danced with dad and I was able to get excellent video. I realy recommend this for families (ignore all the couples HA) and get out there and dance with your kids! We had an amazing time. I can't believe it but after we got in -- the girls asked 'can we go to bed' -- WHAT!!! ok that has never happened... Way to go Aruba!
Think hubby almost done with bath time so its wine on the patio time ; ) ....
Tomorrows adventure is Jolly Pirates --- fingers crossed we don't fall off the boat ; ) ....
First, I should finish my story from yesterday (the tie in funny).. when we were at the pool my 2 1/2 year old saw the same gentleman in the turban that my husband had spoken to in the AM and she waked him down yelling --- HI ALADIN! MY PRINCE MOMMY LOOK ALADIN!!! Omg I thought I was going to die... on to today..
Woke up to the beautiful sunrise overlooking a bed of palm trees and in the distance - Renaissance Island. Amazing view. My husband my breakfast as the girls watched playhouse Disney (yes we had our fix of Handy Manny and Mickey Mouse clubhouse thank goodness - channel 22 at ocean suites).
We eagerly drove to the other side of island in less then 15 min and made it to Jolly Pirates by 9am. We took a bunch of pictures out in front of the Jolly Pirates both as it is a nice backdrop -- shade, 'monkey' looking totem pole thing, etc. Girls loved it. Then OF COURSE -- mom forgot to bring towels. In retrospect, we should have gone to the hotel next door to see if we could rent some -- but no -- $50 later for 2 pirate towels ... we were finally on our way to dock. There were 2 boats that transported passangers over to the Jolly Pirates ship. We took a spot in the very back which was perfect for us as it was shaded. We took many many pictures of the coastline while we sailed to the snorkel spots. The first spot was nice and all 4 of us jumped in... yes -- jumped in. The water was a bit cold for the 2 1/2 yr old but when we saw 'Dory' all was good. We swam another 30 min or so looking for Dory's sisters and brothers LOL while dad and the 5 year old actually snorkeled.
After the first spot, little bit was exhausted and passed asleep with some pineapple juice. This was so perfect. She slept on me in the back of the boat all the while dad and sis swam and then even while they snorkeled at the shipwreck site which is the 2nd stop. The water was very choppie here so after they took some pics with the water camera (DON'T FORGET THAT) they made it back on board. We sailed to the last stop Malock Beach (sp?) and again -- WOW. I can't believe how many fish there were. Of course, I was throwing cheezitz off the back of boat since the little one was STILL sleeping (and we don't wake sleeping 2 yr olds LOL). We took many many pics of the fish 'jumping' for cheezits - HA. Then lunch came. I was glad that they fed kids first as the 5 yr old was starving -- 12:45pm. We brought snacks which I highly recommend if you have little kids with you so that held her over. The lunch was great although the girls didn't touch the noodles and coleslaw (ok so they ate just the chicken nuggets, watermelon & bread). The last activity was the Rope Swing! That was the highlight of the trip for me as the 5 yr old actually did it. The crew had already put away the life vests -- but they had no problem me digging another one out for her to jump with -- just ask. Mom jumped first (yes little bit finally woke up and we used potty on the boat -- again I know every potty spot on island!) That was exhilerating. I have to admit I have no upper arm muscles so it was challenging holding on and I 'jumped' (more like fell) almost as soon as I took off. The 5 yr old LOVED this as did the hubby. He even did flips LOL@!!! great video footage! The crew was amazing... very helpful and eager to provide refills. FYI -- if you are a bloody mary person, BYOWS (bring your own worestershire sauce) other then that -- the girls loved the juices and overall had an amazing time. HIGHLY recommend this for families.
We returned to hotel and showered up and had a few snacks and some wind down time. Since we didn't want girls to fall asleep early, we went back out and did a little window browsing. My hubby is always looking for watches (I don't like wearing them at all and he has who knows how many -- go figure -- match made in heaven?). I tried on tennis bracelets . I must admit, the price for diamonds here in Aruba is much higher then that in St. Thomas. We have been to St. Thomas/St. John/BVI area alot and the prices on jewels -- you just can't beat so I was a bit disappointed in Aruba prices there.
Wouldn't you know, little bit and I were in a potty across from Little Switzerland --- and when we were leaving the clouds opened up and it started pouring.... not rain or drizzle --- downright pouring cats and dogs! Hubby and the 5yr old were across the way at LS and we took pics across the way at each other thru the rain -- they as fast as it came on -- it stopped. Very refreshing.
We started heading back to hotel and thought we would switch dinner up -- we had dessert first -- no objections from the kids. We had single cones from the Pico bello? not sure name of place --- but its right next to Don Carlos Italian rest. It was actually italian ice and the girls LOVED it! Who wouldn't right!! My hubby said -- you know little bit is going to make a mess (of course we had already bathed).... but we are on vacation. Of course we had ice cream everywhere and on walk back --- on the boardwalk--- she wanted to jump in to clean off... we had a lovely dinner back at hotel room after hosing down the 2 1/2 yr old.
We went down to take pictures of the most beautiful sunset we have ever seen. The sky went from light orange to purple. What a lovely backdrop to a wonderful day. <Sigh> I could definately live here!
Thank you all for all your feedback. This will be 'easy' to copy and paste into my scrapbook pages at home (as to why all the details).
We are looking forward to more adventures tomorrow!