Costa Linda, Renaissance Ocean Suites, any place where there is a beach and tiki hut I am good 8)
Trip 3 June 2013 Report
Had an awesome time on our third trip together, what else would you expect?
Day 1: woke up at 3 am with only 45 min. of sleep! We were a little excited . Had a 5:45 flight out to Miami so we got ready and left the house by 3:30. Got to the airport, checked our bags which were free! I don't know why American stopped charging for bags all of the sudden, but what a nice surprise. Stood in line for security and were on our merry way.
The flight was smooth both legs, no delays in Miami which is rare as we have experienced. Landed around 2:30 on our happy island and got our rental car from Avis. A little side story on the rental car - on our honeymoon we got a yellow Kia Picanto which is their smallest rental. Our license plate was 5...just 5! We were flagged down for a taxi ride the entire trip and it was too funny. Plus we were pretty certain that our little Kia was car 5 on the island, it had probably been repainted a dozen times and was going to break any moment! But it lasted and for $200 for a week it was worth it.
So back to us renting our car this time- what do we get again? A yellow Kia Picanto! License 96 this time but in worse shape. Again, you can't go wrong for $200 but it made us laugh at the Avis counter quite a bit.
We are pretty tired at this point but we refuse to sleep! We arrive to the Costa Linda to meet up with my in laws and sister in law. Everyone was happy to see us and we were happier to be there! Talked with the family a while then went out to eat at our favorite place: El Gaucho! I was going through withdrawals all year and finally get to eat at my beloved restaurant. The dinner was absolutely delicious as always, and my medium rare steak was perfect. M husbands was a little over cooked but not bad.
After dinner we visited the Westin for some Black Jack. Of course we didn't win but we played for a good 2 hours and left. Came back to the room and crashed. I felt good to sleep!
Day 2: Got up around 10 and visited with the family. Went down to get a tiki hut at the pool for the day and set our stuff down to hold it. Stayed and ate at the pool all day until 4, lovely way to start the vacation! The food at the pool bar is delicious may I add. They have done such a great job with that place. Eventually went back to the room and changed for dinner at Fishes and More, very good! I had the grouper with garlic sauce and veggies. And of course a Balashi went out gambling to the Westin again, didn't win but had fun
Day 3- Pool day again at the Costa Linda, where else would we go? Hubby and his sister got a massage and said they were amazing. While they got their massages my father in law took me to snorkel over by the light house where the catamarans stop. Got lots of underwater pictures of the fish! Excellent spot for snorkeling.
Came back to the hotel just in time for 2 for 1 drinks until 4! Yum! Ate lunch by the pool again and walked Eagle Beach. Eventually pulled ourselves away from paradise and went back to the room to get ready for dinner. We ate at the Italian restaurant at the corner next to the Soprano piano bar, though right now I can't remember what it's called. I got to try escargots for the first time, they were pretty rubbery but kind of good! Garlic butter makes everything delicious. I had mussels and pasta, it was pretty good. Hubby had fettuccini Alfredo and that tasted better than mine surprisingly. Went to the Riu for some gambling and won this night! Finally our luck has arrived. We still weren't up for the trip but getting there!
Day 4 - Family woke up early to catch their flight out that morning. This was Friday, so our timeshare at the Costa Linda was over. Time for ours to start! We moved our stuff over to the Renaissance that morning and couldn't check in until 2. Decided to hang around the pool until then, such a bad deal. After a few drinks our room was ready. Got all checked in, headed back downstairs and ate at Subway over in the Renaissance mall. Went back to the pool for some happy hour, hung out for a bit then left for some dinner down by the high rise square. Had Sbarros, my husbands choice of course. Cheap meal makes gambling a little more fun! Went back to the Riu for some fun and won more money! Came back to the room for a quiet night in.
Day 5 - woke up and had one agenda: the private island! Took the boat out early around 10 to get a great spot. Had buckets of Balashi beer brought to us all day, such a hard day. Had lunch at the restaurant over there and it was pretty good! Deli sandwiches with French fries and more Balashi. Rented some rafts to swim around and get some sun. Spent all day over there and came back around 5ish. Hung around the hotel all night and had some drinks at the bar, then headed back up for the night.
Day 6 - headed out to the private island again, met another couple on the boat and sat next to them all day just talking. They were on their honeymoon and were such a cute couple! They were a lot of fun, between the four of us we had about 6 buckets of Balashi and needless to say we were all having a great time! Then a group of people showed up with cameras on the beach we were sitting on, we were all very confused…Turns out they were doing a photo shoot with a few models! Of course my husband isn’t shy so he got a picture with the beautiful ladies, it was all quite funny. We convinced the honeymooners that El Gaucho could not be missed and they asked if we would all go together that night for dinner. Ok ok, twist my arm J So that night we met them in the lobby and took them over to El Gaucho in our yellow scooter. They LOVED it just as everyone does! It was just as delicious the second time around for us. After that we all decided to go back to the Westin for some gambling. We met Dorin Dickerson, an NFL player for the Buffalo Bills at our black jack table! He was very nice and was doing quite well. We sat with him for a good 2 hours before we decided to call it a night. It is always nice to meet people who are constantly in the spot light so humble. He will always be good in my book even if I am a Cowboys fan!
Day 7 – Ahoy maties! It was Jolly Pirate day! I had never done the Jolly Pirate booze cruise and snorkel expedition so I thought we could give it a try. Since my husband has been coming to Aruba since he was 10 years old he had already done this one a thousand times over, but he still came to keep me company. The first stop was at a ship wreck in the middle of the ocean and was SO neat! Lots of fish and really cool to see the ship. Second stop was the snorkel spot my Father in law already took me to so I stayed on the boat for that one. Meanwhile they were serving some yummy drinks, Pina Coladas and Pirate Poison! Lots of people had their fair share of alcohol and needless to say it was quite entertaining to watch. We did the rope swing, too! That was great. After all that fun we had we headed back to shore. We were starving at that point, so we decided to take a detour to Taco Bell! I definitely remember where that place is. Kind of off the beaten path, but still accessible by car. It was of course delicious. Headed back to the hotel for a little pool time, then went back up to the room for the night.
Day 8 – Last day in paradise, what a sad sad day! I was definitely depressed when I woke that morning, but still decided to make the best of the last day. The only possible decision for this one last hoorah was the private island of course! So that’s where we headed. We ran into our friends again and we all sat together. My husband mentioned that right outside the rock wall to the right on the adult beach there was a sunken barge not that deep! The couple and I decided to go check it out. What an AWESOME experience that was!!! The barge was so close to the rocks it was a shock when we were snorkeling along. It was probably the highlight of our trip. I would probably guess the water was 10 ft deep, maybe 15. Really shallow! So many fish and coral on this barge, plus no one was around so it was really secluded. The couple had an underwater camera and took tons of pictures, I wish that I had one at that point! I am so glad my husband knew about this spot and I will be visiting it every year now. To those of you who have an adventurous side and stay at the Renaissance, or get a pass for the day, I HIGHLY recommend going just past the rocks in the shallow area to the right for snorkeling. So after all our fun and a few more Balashi’s, we headed back to the hotel to pack. For dinner that night we decided on Driftwood, which I had always heard about from my in laws but never got to go because it was always closed. It was delicious! For an appetizer we had the calamari dipped in garlic butter in a bowl. Then for the entrée we both got the fish of the day, cooked Aruban style. YUM!
Day 9 – Early flight out to Miami, BOO! Left the hotel around 6 am and got to the airport soon after. There were no delays on the flight to Miami, but of course the flight from Miami to DFW was delayed. Something about equipment on the plane was missing? Not sure what all that was about. Anyway, we finally got on our way and landed only 10 minutes late in DFW. We stuck around the area for a while with the in laws to miss the rush hour which is horrendous near the airport. After that we were on our way back to good ole Waco. Home sweet home!
Thanks so much for sharing your report. We rented from Avis one year and had a black Kia Picante, license plate number 2. I joked the whole trip about driving the " Avis number 2 car" in my best Darrel Waltrip voice.