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Thread: When, Where and What?

  1. #21
    Senior Member MAZOO-2's Avatar
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    When was your first Aruba trip? 1995 on recommendation from a friend who was travel agent. Flew down on Aruba Air (miss them) Last time whole family was together before college forthe kids.

    Where did you stay?
    La Cabana,actually they misplaced our reservation and put us in one on the time share units in the back.

    What did you do?
    A lot of beach time, kids were water babies, remember the clam shell shade things on Eagle Beach.Walked over to Hog’s Breath Saloon and did the mini golf thing. Rented ajeep and did our own tour, let my son drive the jeep, even though he wasn’tsupposed to (under age to drive a rental). Went all over and it was amazing.Then went on a guided jeep tour to see if we missed anything.I remember a sign in my rear view mirror, on the rough side that said something to the effect. Do Not Enter, active firing range.Not to worry we already drove through it. Had dinner at Talk of the Town one night. Back then we all were dressed up,my son and I had jackets and slacks on and my wife and daughter had casual dresses on. Liked it so much we arranged to extend the stay another two days and it only cost an additional $100 total to change our flight back.

    What brought you back?
    Second time and every year since 2000 (Palm Beach). The people, weather, atmosphere, and the restaurants over the years. Meeting people from this board. It feels like a second home. I once figured it out and it was actually cheaper in Aruba then doing a week renting a house on the Jersey Shore for a week in August.

    See you soon. !!!
    Last edited by MAZOO-2; 04-11-2016 at 12:45 PM.

  2. #22
    Member Sashamcg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea J. View Post
    Might be fun to do....

    When was your first Aruba trip?

    Where did you stay?

    What did you do?

    What brought you back?
    My first Aruba trip was over Christmas in 2004. We had been travelling to Grand Cayman annually and in 2004 Hurricane Ivan hit GC in September and destroyed the condos where we stayed. The airlines said we could change our flights but we only had until the end of the year so we scrambled to pick somewhere else to go. A coworker had just come back from Aruba so I researched it and we decided to give it a try. We've been going annually ever since! Twice last year! We only went the one time at Christmas and a few times in October but most trips we've taken have been over Thanksgiving, which we love. Last year it was in March and Thanksgiving. I prefer November.

    We stay and have always stayed at Manchebo, we love it! Last year on our second trip we did spend a few days also at the Hyatt. I prefer Manchebo and the low rises though.

    Gosh I wish I could remember all that we did! I know we had a car and got lost...a lot! I'm not sure if it was the first trip or not but I remember we had dinner reservation for El Gaucho and we drove around probably an hour before we could find it! We were arguing in the car and the downtown back streets were so confusing. I thought for sure they wouldn't have a table for us by the time we found it but they did. We decided then and there that we would never make it as a team on the Amazing Race! LOL I know we did the Jolly Pirate and maybe De Palm Island ( we did visit there once over all these years). My husband is a diver so he went diving. We drove the island this trip ourselves (did jeep tours in later visits) and visited the Natural Bridge, Baby Beach, etc. Maybe horse back riding (or that could have also been another trip). We ate out at a lot of great restaurants. Remember eating at the Italian place at the mini golf place where you meal was served in a frying pan! Never did so the mini golf though.

    We really loved it there, fell in love with Manchebo and the beach there. It was longer for us to travel there than GC but the island overall was cheaper once you got there. We found out the condos we loved in GC were not going to be rebuilt and the island was going to take a long time to recover so we decided to make Aruba our new vacation destination and never looked back!

  3. #23
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    Absolutely love reading the replies!
    thanks all. smile

  4. #24
    Member shanb42's Avatar
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    Our first visit was on a cruise ship in 2002. We spent the day on Palm Beach and ended our day with food and drinks at what is now Buglaoe. I think it was called something else at that time. We had a blast. So, when we got engaged in 2003 and started thinking about where to go for our September honeymoon, there really was no question - ARUBA!

    We stayed for the last 2 weeks of September 2004 at the Hyatt in an ocean front room and were spoiled. It was a quiet time to visit with absolutely perfect weather. We were amazed by the variety of restaurants and how good the food was everywhere we ate.

    In 2006, we took our 5 month old daughter. And with the exception of 2008 (when my youngest was born with some medical issues) we have been back every year since. My girls pick Aruba over any other vacation destination. I imagine we'll be visiting Aruba with their kids someday!

  5. #25
    Member TravelNLesa's Avatar
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    First trip--in September, 2000.

    Accommodation--Marriott Stellaris

    What we did--a lot of R & R on the the beach but we did take the DePalm Island tour (Lighthouse, Alto Vista Chapel, snorkeling at Baby Beach and more) and had the bus driver drop us off in O'stad for a little walking around and a wonderfully fun late lunch at Carlos and Charlie's. We didn't rent a car that trip but taxi's were plentiful, convenient and easy! I remember that we tried The Buccaneer (and the owner/chef checked on us, too!), Chalet Suisse, El Gaucho, Fishes and More and either Amazonia or Texas de Brazil. I'm sure Champions, Waves and LaVista are in the mix, too, as well as whatever Ruth's Chris was before it was Ruth's Chris. We also did the couple's spa thing at the Mandara Spa at the Marriott Ocean Club and it was heavenly and fun at the same time. The grated carrot soother after the coffee scrub was giggle-ious, LOL! I will only say that hubs and I had the opportunity to clean the carrot bits off ourselves and each other before hitting the aromatherapy tub : )

    Why we keep coming back--it's a beautiful island and we appreciate the geographic and economic variety (the manicured resort areas to the "outback" to the more urban and industrialized areas) in such a small speck of land surrounded by the beautiful sea. That sea varies, too, and we really like that. All that said, it's the friendly and kind people of Aruba that keep us coming back.

    After thoughts--When my husband and I married, in 1990 at 32/31 yoa, I kinda wanted an Aruba honeymoon but he wanted to go to Jamaica. I'd already been to Jamaica a few times with friends but Jamaica holds a place in my heart, too, and he'd never been there. It was something we could share and it was a wonderful honeymoon trip! So 10 years later we were looking for a spot to spend the Marriott points burning a hole in our pockets and it was Aruba time! We were short on airline points and had to spend $900 each for coach air tickets--yikes! But we did it and we're glad we did. My 86 yo dad died 2.5 weeks prior to our first trip. My mom was 3 years into living in a nursing home after suffering "a life as we know it, is over" stroke event and the hotel kept sending us calls and messages about activities and drink/meal specials! My first big trip after my mother's problem but my problem since we should've thought to ask the hotel to turn our line off to all that. To add to that, the first book that I brought with me, was Larry McMurtry's Duane's Depressed, LOL! Bad choice but so happy that my dear husband kept me sane!

  6. #26
    Senior Member arubabob's Avatar
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    First trip was May, 1996

    Stayed a week at the Aruba Beach Club on an RCI exchange. Did a little snorkeling and sightseeing but mainly layed on the beach, swam in the ocean and did nothing.

    We come back because of the total relaxation we get there. No hurry, no fuss. No other place has what Aruba has. Great restaurants, beautiful beaches, challenging golf course, casinos, great weather, friendly people etc. You can add your favorites to the list. We used to say we love it there because we never get any phone calls. Cant say that anymore.


    We arrived at about 9pm that first trip and did not really see anything that first night. The next morning we got up and walked downstairs and asked the desk person where we could get some breakfast. She said, go out that door and walk down the sidewalk past the pool and there is a restaurant there. We walked out the door and saw a sign on a palm tree that said restaurant, just 6 palm trees. We were seated right in front with a view of the beach. DW and I decided right then that we would be coming back to Aruba. Having coffee and breakfast sitting at a table overlooking a beautiful beach, clear Caribbean water, sugar thieves all over, iguanas waiting for a bite and a breeze keeping you cool. It doesn't get any better than that. The restaurant is now called Matthews but at that time it had a different name and the name changed again before it became Matthews. We always eat our first breakfast there. It has become a tradition for us and whoever is traveling with us.

  7. #27
    Senior Member AUA1989's Avatar
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    First visit; honeymoon, 12/30/1989 at the Americana. We got married a year after we both got real jobs, so we splurged. DH-to-be suggested the location, and I'm glad he did. At that time Aruba was still a fairly unknown destination and everyone kept asking us where it was.

    We did very little. Mostly beach time and pool time. I remember pool bars were a fairly new thing and I wanted a hotel with a POOL BAR. I don't think we ventured out of the hotel very much. We took a cab a few times. Roma di Notte was our favorite restaurant. We ate at the buffet quite a bit at the Americana and remember asking the servers what was in the heating pans. The response we got was simply, "meat". It was my first time in a hotel on the beach with a balcony. I spent quite a bit of time on the balcony. My bridesmaids got me a silk robe as a wedding gift. I left it on the chair on the balcony overnight, and it happened to be New Year's eve. In the morning it was covered with red paper from fireworks. Someone had exploded a bottle of sunscreen and it was all over the robe. Some of us know how crazy New Year's can be on the island!!!!! We ventured downtown and were in awe of the red paper lining the streets. We did one snorkel cruise on the Pelican or Dolphin, I believe. Red Sail Sports was the go-to activity vendor at the time.

    We felt safe, loved the weather, beach and food, so we returned for our 1st anniversary, a few of my February birthdays and a couple other times until we had kids. We took just a couple trips when the kids were little and they stayed with grandmas then took the kids 3 times when they were in their teens, again because of the safety, weather and beaches.

  8. #28
    Senior Member TEAMARUBA's Avatar
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    Second week in January of 1983. Folks couldn't swing the prices over X-mas break so they pulled us out of school. Loved them for that !!!! Stayed at the Holiday Inn when non-paying goats would try to enter the hotel grounds at every chance. Across the street from the hotels was nothing but land, cactus,shrub and goats. I have to admit we did NOTHING but hang on the beach, absolutely fantastic trip. The farthest I was away prior to that was a relatives summer home in PA where the banjos were a plenty. That started our journey and love of the island, I do remember not seeing one cloud the entire time we were there....that was enough for me !!!! I still get asked why we return so many times, don't get me wrong we have been to numerous other islands, but nothing...nothing compares to AUA. Blame it on the weather, the people , all I can say is I absolutely love this Happy Island. Heading back in July to celebrate wifes 50th with another couple and are planning on the whole family(including girlfriends) for New Years. Bully is gonna need a bigger cooler !!!!

  9. #29
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    Still loving the stories

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