We are up Thurs. by 2 a.m. to finish last minute packing and to airport by 4:15 for 6 a.m. flight with United through Newark. Flights go pretty smooth with a little running between terminals in Newark but arrive on time to AUA approx. 1:40 p.m. First impression upon landing is WoooHooo, we are here and safely!!! Coming in through customs was actually not bad at all. Electronic readers and seeing we had printed copy of immigration form we were waved on through. We come out of the terminal to catch cab to HI. After our driver, Reuben, saw that traffic was in a bit of a jam, he promptly cuts through other streets and makes his way around to get us back on track. We arrive at HI and head to check in, which was not that long and was told our room should be ready in about an hour. We leave bags in holding area and start to explore the grounds. We head to the Oceanside Bar & Grill by the pools and enjoy our first drink, an Aruba Ariba. Yummmm!! A few more were ordered after the first sample. The winds are very strong today….felt great!
We go back and check on room and it is ready. We are in the Sea Tower which is great…partial ocean view, 3rd floor. Moomba’s side. Very roomy, king size bed, sofa, chairs/table, refrig., balcony. Large bathroom (shower only). A/C worked fantastic our whole stay!
We start our trip off at Bugaloe’s for supper. View was out of this world!! I got the Grouper filet which was excellent. My sweetheart got the fried seafood basket. He said the grouper was good but the shrimp were a bit overdone. I tried one and agreed…left in little too long. We head to the casino and sit a little while playing the slots. Didn’t do that well….my sweetheart ended down $100 and myself $60.
We are up early and head to the Palm Bar for a light breakfast before heading out on our tour with Trike Tours. Rameses was our tour guide and he was wonderful! We had an absolute blast on this tour!! It was so fun!! After it was over, he drove us back to our hotel and we walked down to the Pelican Pier bar and enjoyed several frozen concoctions and Balashi Chills!! The heavy winds were still blowing and it felt great!!
The next day (Sat.) we slept in and decided to spend the day downtown to do a little shopping after a full breakfast at the Corals breakfast buffet. So many choices and it was quite good. Monique was always there with her beautiful smile. We took the bus to downtown and walked from the “I Love Aruba” store down to the Renaissance Resort and Casino/Renaissance Mall and back to start. Was a good day!! Winds seem to have diminished from last couple of days. Not quite as windy but still some breeze.
Ate supper at the HI - Da Vinci’s, and selected the Salad and Pasta Bar they were featuring that evening. Was really good and hit the spot. We strolled back to the room and sat on the balcony listening to the beat from Moomba’s until turn in.
Awoke the following morning (Sun.) and headed back to Corals for breakfast. Afterwards we headed to the Towel Hut to hopefully get a palapa after waiting in line to see if any “no show” palapas were available. Yes!!! We got one!! We head to our assigned place and start to chill….with a colada and a Chill. Many of these were partaken during the day! We had a couple, then the rest of their family rudely try to move in and crowd us out of our spot but they came…..then left and didn’t see them rest of day so worked out. The ocean was fantastic and enjoyed our day on the beach so much!! We opted for the lobster dinner and view at Sea Breeze that evening, our last nite on the island. It was very good and the view/sunset was stunning!!
We head to the casino and do a little slot gambling. My sweetheart hits for $360 and I end up coming out even for what I put in since arriving, so was good visit all in all!
We awake and start packing, head for breakfast then return to room to finish packing and head to lobby for taxi to airport by 9:00a.m. I’m crying here….do not want to leave this beautiful place and the beautiful people!!
We get to the airport by 9:20 and good thing, because it really starts to pick up within 20-30 mins. after we arrived. We get through both customs without any problems and head to the “Crying Room”, but then we head down towards “One Happy Bar” and wait for it to open at 11 a.m. so we can have our last couple of Chills before boarding our long trip home. We arrive back to our home airport safely. Our trip to this island was such a wonderful experience…and although short, we loved every single minute of it!!! We will be going back!! We met a lot of nice people who have been going for many years and just can’t see going anywhere else!
So glad to hear your first trip was so great! You hit many of our favorite spots. Our first trip was Holiday Inn too, and of the food we had there, I would say the breakfast buffet and dinner at Seabreeze were the best part of their all inclusive package.
Did you purchase the all inclusive package at Holiday Inn?
Pelican Pier at sunset with a bucket of Brights!
Sunsets at Bunker Bar
LG Smith Steakhouse, Windows on Aruba,
Thanks for posting you are a great writer! Congrats on your first of hopefully many, many more Aruba vacations. I am so happy to hear you loved the Trikes Tour, we have done it twice, do not hear of too many who have tried it and all who have end up loving it.