Divi links, pool, beach, lighthouse, Arikok National Park, etc.
Trip Report 3/28/15 - 4/12/15
We returned from our amazing 15 night stay in Aruba on Sunday evening. This would mark my 14th stay, DH's 13th stay, DMs (dear mother's)8th stay, and DD's 7th stay (not counting twice in utero)!!
I did my full restaurant reviews yesterday in the Culinary and Culture section!!
Saturday, March 28th, we departed JFK on JetBlue. Due to some weather, we had to fly over Puerto Rico instead of the Dominican Republic so it added an additional 15 minutes or so to our flight time. Landed in Aruba around 4:30pm. Luggage came out super quick, got rental car from Econo (for the second year in a row). Have not had any consistent service with rental cars over the past 12 years or so. It may have to do with the fact that we land late and all of their top vehicles have already been rented. Last year's Econo rental was pretty good so we tried them again. This year the car was nothing spectacular. Didn't come with a remote lock (had to lock with a key) and had a hard time getting out of first gear. Prior to that we had done Amigo (and before that Budget) for a few years but the quality of the cars we rented consistently declined and we had to bring them back to exchange a few times. Anyway, we didn't plan on doing any off-roading this trip so we kept the car for the entire trip. It was already getting late when we checked in so I ran to SuperFood right away even before unpacking. When we returned, hubby and DD rant to Pizza Bob's to pick up dinner and we ate quickly, unpacked and turned in for the night.
Sunday, March 29th, Beach day. Nothing like that first dip in the beautiful, warm, crystal clear Caribbean sea to get your day going!! DD is only 6 years old but she was jumping waves and diving head first into them. Unfortunately, she burnt that sensitive area around her eyes (same as last year which had left a permanent small broken capillary which will have to be removed with a laser when she gets a bit older). It doesn't matter how much lotion or what type I put on her, she is constantly rubbing her eyes after emerging from the water and it irritates her skin and rubs off the lotion. Fortunately, we found this amazing lotion in the Aruba aloe store which healed her up in 2 days!!! I then had to battle with her for the remainder of the 2 weeks to not go underwater so much or to wear goggles or sunglasses so she wouldn't burn again. I won that battle :-)
Monday, March 30th. Started at Phillips Animal Garden which is always a highlight. Stayed for a little over an hour. Baby goats were loose and following us around. They have more animals than last year. Such a great thing Philipp is doing. Grounds are beautiful and animals are so well taken care of. Stopped at The Kitchen for lunch and then headed back to the timeshare. Spent some time on the roof in the Jacuzzi since we were keeping DD out of the "underwater" for her eyes at this point. We went to Bavaria for dinner and then dropped DM and DD back at timeshare and hubby and I headed out to the Radisson casino. I don't like the vibe there since the casino mgmt. company changed a few years back. Big losses for both. Decided we didn't want to go home so we tried our luck at the Seaport casino instead. Big Win which then resulted in a BIG HANGOVER the next day. Ugh.
Tuesday, March 31st. Couch day. Ugh. Vodka is BAAADDDDD. Anyway, learned my lesson and never had more than 2-3 drinks for the rest of the trip. Hubby took DD to pool after the sun went down and then picked up takeout from Hung Paradise.
Wednesday, April 1st. Up early and headed to Lings to get a bag of carrots and apples for the Donkey Sanctuary. Still at the same location. They are hoping to move before the end of the year. Made a donation and got a "I'm a Friend of Donkeys" T-shirt. Bought a few items from gift shop and THEN....wait for it......I GOT BIT BY A DONKEY!!! I fed one with my palm up but my thumb must have been sticking out and a little bugger to the right must have thought my thumb was a carrot. Ouch!!! After that, I informed the lady working there (who was not Desiree) that I was Friend of all donkeys but the bugger that bit me!! After my donkey incident, we headed to Sidebar for lunch. After lunch we headed down to the pool for a few hours and then Mulligans for a light dinner.
Thursday, April 2nd. Had out Divi members meeting in the morning. Some major changes going on. Not going to go into too many details but not very happy with any of them :-( Headed to the beach in the afternoon to unwind. Date Night with DH that evening. Barefoot restaurant and back to Seaport casino. Small win.
Friday, April 3rd. Ate breakfast in and headed to the Butterfly Farm. Always interesting and makes for some great pictures. We then took a ride up to the Lighthouse for more pics. Headed back and walked through the Alhambra shops but many were closed as it was Good Friday. Driftwood for dinner.
Saturday, April 4th. Pool day. DD's eyes are doing great so back in the sun (with eye protection). Ate lunch at the pool bar and dinner at Chalet Suisse. After dinner headed up to Paseo de Herencio mall. There was a show going on. DD took a pony ride, train ride, carousel and went on a trampoline. Good times.
Sunday, April 5th. Easter Sunday. Did an egg hunt in our room. Easter bunny came to Aruba and left a nice basket for DD! Then headed to the beach in the afternoon. Dinner was at Daniel's. Yum.
Monday, April 6th. Pool all day. Met a lovely couple from Connecticut with 2 sons. Spent the day at the pool with them. After we showered we headed to Date Night #2. Quinta del Carmen. AMAZING!!! Alhambra afterwards. Lost a bit.
Tuesday, April 7th. Toured the Aruba Aloe museum. Bought a few more products. Ran back to SuperFood to get a few more things. Beach in the afternoon for a couple of hours and then Matthews for dinner.
Wednesday, April 8th. Dutch pancake house for breakfast then did some souvenir shopping in town. DD used her Easter money to get presents for her classmates and teacher. Afternoon we did pool and BINGO and then.....off to the hospital. All of DDs underwater activities took a toll on her ear. We were there for 3 hours and then were told she just had an irritation in her ear and throat from the chlorine but no infection. Just told her to keep her head above water for 2 days and that the ocean was better. Tylenol for pain. Luckily, the couple that we made friends with had ear drops with them and we used them on DD for the rest of the trip. Worked like a charm. Got back from hospital at 8:30pm. Pizza bob's and bed.
Thursday, April 9th. Beach day but no underwater activities for DD. Then back to the pool for BINGO. Barneys for dinner then met our new friends at Paseo de Herencio mall again. Took a carriage ride, watched the water show and then headed to the Gelatisimo for gelato. Yum
Friday, April 10th. Breakfast buffet a the Radisson. Toy Store for DD. Beach with hubby and then back to the pool area for face painting (for DD) and BINGO. Last night for our friends so we tried to get into West Deck but the wait was too long so the hostess called over to Yemanja wood-fire grill to see if they could take us (so nice). They could take us so we headed over for a great dinner. Said goodbye to our friends :-(
Hubby and I headed back to Seaport with DH for last hurrah. Broke even.
Saturday, April 11th. Last full day in Aruba. Beach day. Leftovers for lunch. Sat on balcony for awhile and reflected on the past 2 weeks with drink in hand and awesome view of the Caribbean. We are blessed. Madam Janette's for dinner.
Overall, it was a wonderful trip (other than DD's sunburnt eyes and my donkey bite)!!! Can't wait until next year.