Hey Everyone! Just got back from our first trip to Aruba. And Wow Ö it was amazing. I learned so much from reading trip reports and advice on this forum, so I wanted to share ours in hopes that others might find it helpful or entertaining or at least not a terrible way to kill some time. Iíll try to get the full report done soon but in the meantime Iíll post it in parts as I get each day done. I am doing it all from memory so if I forget something Iíll go back and edit it if I can. Enjoy!
Wednesday (03/05/08) Ė Up at 3:15AM after exactly 23 minutes of sleep. Jumped in the shower, loaded up the last minute things in the carry-onís and loaded the car. Decided to skip breakfast and just figured we would grab something at the airport. This turned out to be not such a good idea. Arrived at Logan a little before 4am and had no problems checking in and going thru security. Our flight to Philly was scheduled to leave at 5:30 so we had more than an hour to kill after getting to the gate, which was right past security and the food court. This is where not eating breakfast came back to haunt me. Nothing really started opening until around 5am. So I grabbed some juice and a ham and cheese croissant from Au-Bon-Pain and inhaled it in about 23 seconds Ö 5 minutes before the flight started boarding. Flight took off just about on time. We were scheduled to arrive in PHL at 6:35 and depart for AUA at 7:10am. We got off the plane and started the walk to the next gate. After about 5 minutes of a casual walk we hear an announcement Ö ďThis is the final boarding call for US Airways flight 853 to Aruba.Ē I stop walking, look at Emily, look at the time and blurt out a 4-letter word. I knew we were a little late getting to the gate but didnít know exactly what time it was. Me and someone else immediately start sprinting, leaving our significant others behind. I run and run and run and run. But I am still not close to the gate. I am out of breath and slow down and enter a brisk walk. The guy who started running with me must have done more than just tanning at the gym because he was in much better shape and he ran past me after I slowed down. I finally made it to the gate a little bit after him completely out of breath. Emily was still nowhere in sight. The people at the gate were pretty nice and told me to sit down and catch my breath. Emily finally made it to the gate and we went thru a security search and were the very last ones on the plane. About halfway through the flight 2 of the 4 bathrooms on the plane became out of service. At about the same time I started to not feel so good, and of course there is a line to the bathrooms for the rest of the flight. I think the lack of sleep, not eating a decent breakfast and sprinting through PHL finally got to me. I spent the remainder of the flight with the airsick bag in my hand trying my hardest not to get sick. We landed in Aruba with the airsick bag empty and cannot wait to just get to the hotel and relax. After going through customs we get out luggage and I head to the bathroom to change into shorts and a t-shirt. Outside the first thing we see is a wild dog. I wanted to pet it but after thinking about it for .6 seconds I decided it was a bad idea. My friend told me not to feel bad for the dogs roaming the island. That is just how they are and they learn to survive just fine on their own. There was a line of cabs waiting and the wait went by pretty quickly thanks to a local (Aruba Charlie?) hailing them and loading them. We arrived at the Divi via taxi around 2pm and were able to check in to our room right away. We ended u getting the building requested (Veranda) and we loved it! We were in from 7206 (2nd floor first door at the top of the stairs.) We arrived at the room with them fixing the AC but they were done within 2 minutes and the room was nice and cool. We took a few pictures and I thought we were going to go eat. However Emily said she just wanted to unpack now so she didnít have to deal with it later. I pouted around while Em unpacked 2 months worth of clothes and I ended up eating ice to prevent myself from passing out. While unpacking I made a deal with her. If she wore every single article of clothing for a least 1 hour during the weekís trip she would not have to pay me for her half of the trip. If she didnít she would have to admit she way over-packed and tell me I was right and she should have listened to me while packing. (I EASILY won this bet). We finally made it over to the buffet just before they closed at 3pm. I had a burger, Panini, fries, fish, rice and maybe a few other things. I was very hungry. The food honestly wasnít half bad. I was expecting the worst when it came to the quality. It wasnít the best food ever but it was better than my college cafeteria food. We spent the next few hours on the beach. We walked around the Divi and took some pictures of the different areas until the sunset. (Side note: Iíll try and post all the pictures once I get them on the computer and developed. Em took quite a few with her camera and I have a roll of underwater pics from snorkeling.) We got back to the room and sat out on the patio with a few drinks. Our room was not freezing cold. I tried turning it down but the AC unit would just stay on. After about an hour I finally called the front desk and they sent someone up. I showed them how I was turning the unit down via the panel switch control on the wall right below it but then felt really stupid when he showed the AC remote control on the wall just behind me. Oops. We decided to go back to dinner at the buffet which featured a Greek-ish kind of menu I think. They had lamb, prime rib, potatoes with beef and cheese, meatballs (which I think were more like breadcrumbballs) and a bunch of other things. Again, not half bad. Washed it down with a few glasses of wine. We ate outside on the terrace and there was a band playing at the bar right there. We walked the long way back to the room. And went for a quick dip in the pool. We ended up going to the Alhambra Casino that night. It was much smaller than I expected. I played a few hands of Caribbean Stud but left after about a half-hour after breaking even. The one drawback about the casino was the smoke but oh well, what can ya do? We took the shuttle back to the Divi (I know its close but we were tired and had a long day). Stopped at the Pizza bar for a Quatro Queso Pizza and a drink. We walked back to the room and went to bed around 10:30 or so after a looooonnnnggg day.
To be continued Ö