I have been urged to post a trip report of my recent return trip to "One Happy Island," aka "Paradise." Left for the Island July 26th and returned to U.S., on July 10th.
Both of the above words, "One Happy Island," and "Paradise, certainly apply to Aruba. It is often difficult to put into words how much one enjoys "Paradise." The excitement begins long before the plane ride; and carries over days or weeks after one returns.
The flight was non-stop direct. It was on UAL. The plane trips to and from the Island were smooth.
Upon arrival at the airport, my expectations of spending considerable time through passport control was unfounded. It was fast and efficient. I remember, years ago, when the airport was so very small and it seemed like forever to get through the same checkpoints.
Upon arrival, it was, of course, sunny outside and there were the gentle breezes that one loves so much on the Island. Even getting a rental car went very smooth.
The stay was at both the Marriott Surf (a bonus week); and the timeshare at the Ocean Club. Unfortunately, the timeshare has been sold; but there was still a week left to use.
About the two hotels...and keep in mind "different strokes for different folks"...we enjoyed the pool and the Ocean Club more than the Surf Club. Though you got excellent attention and good service at the Surf Club; the "Lazy River" around the pool, was very crowded. We enjoyed our week at the Ocean Club, the little water falls in the pool; and, not too crowded more.
Of course, returning, was like going home after being away for a couple of years. I was pleasantly surprised that at a few of the shops...as well as with employees...the people did remember me. It was not as if it was the usual greeting to a tourist; rather like they remember things I said or did when I was there last...even after thousands of others had been there over the last couple of years. Everyone I met had a smile and many nice greetings. No rude people or unpleasant experiences.
We ate primarily by shopping at Ling's & Sons and cooking in the room. When we did go out to eat, however; we remembered Tony Roma's and the ribs...delicious and the meat so tender and falling off of the ribs. Also, a favorite, though expensive, was "Texas de Brazil with all the sampling of meats and good service. We did try a little restaurant...Le Petit ...Stone Grill Restaurant"...in front of the Playa Linda. Boy...again a matter of opinion...the steaks were delicious. They put bibs around each of us...not since I was an infant had I needed one..; and then brought out the steaks...mine was surf 'n turf...on a hot stone. you could actually watch what was raw meat...red inside...slowly cook to exactly how you would like to have it; and the shrimp could be done the same way. It was an interesting experience. I would go there again...matter of fact, we did go twice.
The wind was not bad, but for a short time there was very little of it. I did...and since I am fair-skinned...get a little burn; and, amazingly a bit of tan on my chest and back lying out in the sun around the pool. We only went to the beach a couple of times. It seemed that just lying around and enjoying the pool was perfect.
Finally, we only had one day with rain...cloudy in the morning; a little sun for a couple of hours; and, then, a lot of showers. I understand that a storm did by-pass the Island heading towards Venezuela. Only one day of rain out of 14, and the rest with sunshine and breezes is a huge bonus for anyone.
We did allow three hours to take care of exiting the Island at the airport. Again, though the lines looked extremely long; it went fast and smooth. On the other hand, I would suggest giving yourself at least that long to get through Security; passport checks; and U.S. Customs.
It was sad leaving the Island, of course, after two weeks, but returned home with the hopes of returning to "Paradise" in the not too far future.
Thanks so very much for the nice comments. Each and everyone of them is like having very close friends...and, of course, all on the forum are considered such...give personal greetings and welcome back.