Wow, as I'm sure you can all relate I can't believe the week went by so quickly. A few general observations this year....
-The island seems more active than last year, maybe shaking off some of the recession's effects. More hustle and bustle, some new places, especially around Palm Beach, and it seems like there is more construction activity in general.
-The World Cup was a great event on the island with the Netherlands going to the final. We saw the last final in 2006 between Italy and France and it was nothing like this. People were so happy to see their team make it to the final, although it was subdued on Sunday night after the loss.
This was our 7th trip in the past 8 years but without kids this time so it was a bit different and we tried a few new things. Also, first time we went Monday to Monday as Marriott now allows check ins Thursday thru Monday. The airport is wonderful on Monday. We checked in and through customs in 15 minutes...and then donated some money at the new slot room at the airport since i had 2 hours to kill. Here's a few short reviews:
-snorkeled on the Jolly Pirates for the first time and had a real fun time, even without kids. Lot's of people on the boat (about 50) so not an intimate trip like some of the smaller boats we have been on, but nice crew, good food and drinks and the snorkeling was fine.
-Breakfast: we usually eat breakfast in the timeshare but tried and loved Linda's Pancakes so much we went back again. You must try the apple pancakes and remember they are really crepes, not IHOP pancakes. Also had breakfast at Matthews one morning at Costa Linda. Good food in a beatiful setting. Always nice drinking coffee looking at Eagle Beach.
-Dinner: tried 3 new places-loved Wacky Wahoos and Chef's Table. WW is just a nice local place with really fresh fish and lots of hustle and bustle. Not the place for a romantic dinner, just great fish. Chef's Tables is a terrific restaurant that has apparently been around for 4 or 5 years and is really not very far from Palm or Eagle Beach. Lovely courtyard tables (indoor too if you want AC), very friendly service, and great food. We also tried Amadeus and were less impressed with our experience. The food was fine but I think I would like this restaurant more in a city rather than a tropical island-it just didn't seem like it belonged in Aruba. As usual, great dinners at Madame Janette's and at Pincho's and terrific ribs at Smokey Joe's.
You are so right about the 2 weeks. I love my Aruba time from the moment we hit the beach - hopefully within a few hours of landing, but it goes by so quickly. Every year we talk about staying a second week but there always seems to be something going on back home that we need to get to. This year my daughter is getting married in LA in August, so still some last minute planning going on. We tried to get her to have the wedding in Aruba but she lives in LA and wanted it to be convenient for her friends.
Jeff, I talked to Claudette abd she told me she knows you guys. She and her daughter has been our friends for 10 yeara. Let me know when you return to Aruba and we can hook up. Good luck with the wedding. Kent
Snorkel Mangel Halto, day or night with a waterscooter. Check out our website. E-mail Stuart at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Stuart local: 745-7459 Or visit: www.arubabobsnorkeling.com 47th trip in June 2015 and 48th trip in Nov 2015.
Claudette is a wonderful person who works at the Surf Club and Ocean Club for years and actually remembers us and is our true Aruban friend. Kent was supposed to take us out but my wife had a scheduling conflict and Kent actually took Claudette's daughter, husband, and granddaughter out on July 10 . Aruba Today ran a color photo spread on his trip and had how Kent took them out because he wanted to "give back" to his friends on the island. Here's the link: