Karen and I have been looking forward to this trip since we landed back home in January. A total of 15 of our friends were on the Island this time to celebrate a our friend Bill and Vicki's 15th wedding anniversary and Vow Renewal ceremony at the Radisson.
9 stayed at the Radisson. 2 at the Hyatt, and 4 of us Karen's dad's Condo at Gold Coast.
When arrived early on Sunday and headed up to the condo. We were there by 2pm. We got in touch with some of our friends who had arrived on Saturday and made plans to meet up at around 5pm. Karen and I unpacked and spent some time by the pool. We headed over to the Radisson and had a few drinks at Bill and Vicki’s room before meeting up with the others and going to a nice dinner at Salt and Pepper, which everyone really enjoyed. We had the sunset special and everyone felt nice with the free Sangria! After dinner we went over to the new Senor Frogs and had a few drinks and spent a few hours over there. Everyone (except the 2 children) was a little tipsy and had a blast. Karen and I went back up to Bill and Vicki’s room for one more drink and we headed back to the condo.
We headed to Super Food and Ling and Sons for shopping first thing. I was in charge of the cake for the vow renewal reception and we had Ling and Son do a beautiful custom cake that I would pick up on Wednesday. We unpacked the groceries, had a quick lunch and then headed down to the Radisson to hang with everyone on the beach for a couple hours. Our friends that were staying with us, Mike and Angela, were arriving at 2pm at AUA. We stopped at Price Smart on the way to the airport and picked up a few extra items we needed and made it to the airport just as Mike and Ang were coming out of Baggage claim. We went back to the Condo and spent a little time by the pool. We had dinner reservations at Madame Janettes for 7pm for 6 of us. We picked up Eric and Kim at the Radisson and had a wonderful dinner at MJ’s. Everyone loved it! I ordered the Almond Grouper for the second time and it was a little dryer than I remembered, but still fabulous. After dinner we met back up with the rest of the group who had dinner at Fishes and More. A few of us went to Sopranos Bar, but the singer was obnoxious so we left and spent the remainder of the evening out at the Radisson bar. The 4 of us staying at the condo had some drinks in the backyard when we got home and called it a night.
The Radisson / Hyatt group were renting Jeeps and doing a self guided island tour. They stopped by the condo at about 10am to make some Sangria and let it marinate all day for the BBQ we had invited everyone over for that evening. The 4 of us spent the day at Arashi beach and the pool at the condo. We also took Mike and Ang up to the lighthouse for a bit. Everyone arrived at the house for our BBQ around 5. Drank Sangria, grilled, swam and had a wonderful evening.
Today was the vow renewal ceremony. We spent the day by the pool. Karen and Angela did a little shopping by the High Rises. My responsibility was to pick up the cake and drop it off at Pinchos. There was a cruise ship in town and traffic was a nightmare. We went to the ceremony at the Radisson and it was GORGEOUS. Sunset ceremony with a steel drum player. Vicki and Bill had a hired a photographer and a photographer from Aruba Today showed up as well and we made it into a full page spread in Friday’s paper. Dinner at Pincho’s was PERFECT! I would highly recommend Pincho’s for a small organized gathering. The owner Anabela was so great to work with and made everything just right for the couple.
Vicki and Bill had received a couples massage from one of our friends. Karen and I told them we would watch their kids while they got massages. We headed down to the beach at the Radisson and watched the kids for an hour and half. The kids brought us over to the Hyatt where we had other friends staying and we went on the water slide. It was a blast! We had some lunch at Gilligan’s at the Radisson which was overpriced and a bit disappointing. We then headed up to Moomba beach to go on the Jolly Pirate cruise. Jolly Pirates were a blast as always. We had a few happy hour drinks at Moomba and then we all went back to our rooms/condos to shower and change. We met back up at Smokey Joes and had a great dinner. We had never eaten there and I enjoyed it more than I expected. After dinner most of us went to the Casino at the Radisson and played blackjack/roulette for a few hours. Karen and I broke even and were happy and headed back to the Condo.
Mike and Ang had to leave for their flight at 11. We hung around with them until then. We then headed down and spent the day on the beach at the Radisson with Vicki and Bill and the kids. We had lunch at Bugaloe Beach which was inexpensive, light and perfect. Had a great day of drinking beer on the beach and swimming in the pool and doing nothing productive. Karen and I showered at the condo and met back up with everyone. We had dinner at Casa Tua which I must say has some of the best thin crust pizza I have had in a long time. 4 adults and 2 kids killed 3 pizzas off! We went back to the Radisson bar and had a few drinks. Vicki and Bill and the rest of the crew had flights on Saturday, so we said our sad goodbyes and went back to the condo.
Karen and I are now the lone couple left on the Island. We spent the day at the pool today and then took a nap. We are heading over to a local friend’s place for dinner tonite and then have to pack up tomorrow for a 5pm flight.
This has been a great trip and I got my mug in the newspaper!