Everything you say is right on the nose. For me it was more the children of those celebrities I enjoyed spending time with (like young Gina Belafonte). My mother, particularly, was enjoyably star-struck, and I know my father enjoyed it. Returning sometime would be great.
Thanks for sharing your childhood memories.
Hope, you will be able to return sometime. I think it's much more then just those memories. After all, it's the place where you were born.
Did you mainly stay at the beach area of the hotel? Or did your parents take you all over the island? Like to the harbor of Oranjestad? Or to the Natural Bridge? Where the ocean is so strong and mighty?
Aruba has probably changed a lot, especially the beach area where you and your parents spent all those years.
But then, I believe, many things really did not change: the size and shape of Aruba herself. The tropical warmth and the constant trade winds. The turquoise-colored ocean along the white sandy beaches. The breathtaking sunsets with colors ranging from golden yellows to oranges reds, from light blues to dark purples. The impressive wild ocean on the north-side of Aruba where the Natural Bridge is. Even in Oranjestad are still some wonderful buildings with great architecture from a time built way back then. Driving through Savaneta or San Nicholas seems to me like going back in time. Then there are the people of Aruba with their kindness and warmth, smiling a lot. The life style, being tranquil, enjoying a good meal or a good talk, pausing to enjoy the beauty of Aruba, spending time with family and friends, embracing their children.
Many one day you discover the new Aruba and find some of your old Aruba.
The Old Windmill, the long-gone Spritzer and Furhrmann store, certain stones along the beach, anything to do with the old Aruba Caribbean Hotel. What a child remembers. Taps for the natural bridge.
We went all over, as you suggested, and I have a great image of the Natural Bridge (while it still stood). We even took at least one ship to New York on the Grace Line. My mother kept carbons of her weekly letters, so we have a kind of six-year diary. I know we all looked back fondly at Aruba. So amazing to realize it's a household name now, all over the world. We even went to Isla D'Oro, which is just a memory now. Is there still a shark-feeding place on the other side of the Island from Palm Beach? Sometime, if life will allow it, I'll make the trek back. Yes - it was and is the land of my birth. I still remember the sundowns, which one could watch as if seeing a slow-motion replay.