Just a few impression on the first three weeks of this run...
There is space on the beaches and tables to be had at most restaurants. Some places are very busy, others seem to be slow.
FIRST TIMES: Cafe Rembrandt, just for drinks. Nice place, live music which Mrs. 44 likes.
Le Petit Cafe for stone cooked chow. Good meal with good friends; prices reasonable for the quality. Service could improve a little.
Wine tasting at the Aruba Racquet Club. Nice venue, good wine, lots of laughs with pals.
Marriot Breakfast Buffet on Sunday was also good and at $22 more reasonable though less well stocked than Hyatt.
Had a meal at the Flying Fishbone with new friends. Very, very good meal. I've heard otherwise about this place, but my meal, and that of Mrs. 44, was really top notch. Service was good, but struggled with English and had no Spanish. I have no Dutch skills so some things got boggled up a little; my hearing is really deteriorating and that might have been another part of the problem but Mrs. 44 was also working hard. Did not detract from the dining experience. Yes, tables are a little close, especially compared to Old Man and The Sea. Again, the food and the company were outstanding so I did not notice.
San Nicolaas is as quiet as a ghost town. Depresses me a little but my liver is thankful; Jack Daniels' stock dropped on news I've been going home early. Bright spot is always Charlie's Bar which has been very busy. Food, booze, and liveliness there is always a blast.
Bulletin Board parties have been pleasant with many people in attendance and universally jolly times had by all.
Plenty of cruise ship traffic. When 4 ships are in town, it makes D-day look like a minor excursion. Traffic remains nightmare.
Driving is still a contact sport. To my Aruban friends: SLOW DOWN, STOP PASSING ON THE SOLID LINE, STOP RIDING YOUR MOTORCYCLE ON THE LINE, and RELAX, you're already in Aruba unlike so many other less fortunate souls. Don't put it into a pole or the side of truck, or GOD FORBID A HEAD-ON like a bunch of knuckleheads recently (4 dead), for no reason at all. Yeah, whatever...
Weather has been balmy with slightly less wind. Several days too wonderful to describe.
Lots of Rum Shops got new signs courtesy of Heineken. I miss the old signs, some of which were hand-painted with brushes or rollers and were bust-out funny, like the "BABY STORE" rum shop in Piedra Plat. I couldn't make that up in a hundred years.
Very little work accomplished on the shack, but plenty of pages written, which is what I do, so as long as the roof is not leaking and the toilet working, this situation will remain constant.
Common denominator for all of the above: FRIENDS. The equation: FRIENDS + ISLAND = JOY. Sometimes you don't even need the island but it does increase the other side of the equation exponentially. Try it; it doesn't hurt; it costs a few bucks; but the Brinks truck doesn't follow the hearse. Really, I checked.
I will continue to put photos, videos, and other material on my blog.
I love the whole island, so it's hard to choose, but if I have to then I would say baby beach & the natural bridge area
"Weather has been balmy with slightly less wind. Several days too wonderful to describe"...44...It's cold and snowing here in NY. Your descriptive words have me longing to switch places with you in a NY minute!!! Can't wait for our 15th trip to our home away from home in June