This site uses cookies. Some are essential while others improve your browsing experience and allow us to advertise. For more info visit the privacy policy page.

Allow inessential cookies for:

Your preferences have been updated.

Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 33

Thread: August 2019 Pre-Labor Day Trip (8/23-830) -Intro plus Day 1 & 2

  1. #11
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Any beach!!
    Posts
    5,358
    Post Thanks / Like
    Ricardo’s has a dish very similar to this but they add shrimp and scallops.

    0 0
     

  2. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    15
    Post Thanks / Like

    Red face

    Sunday 8/25/19
    Another lovely day in Aruba. Most of our day time activities are going to be of the ‘lather, rinse, repeat’ variety, as we really don’t do a lot during the day, except hang on the beach, enjoy happy hour, enjoy lunch on the beach, and start discussions about that evening’s dinner locale around 4:30-5:00pm. We had 3 palapas for 8 people, all fairly close, so there was lots of lounger hopping, and visiting.

    More Starbucks for breakfast. My husband does not do coffee, so he’s usually an orange juice and breakfast sandwich guy for breakfast. Today, I enjoyed another iced coffee and a delicious chocolate croissant. Everyone made their way slowly to the beach, and we did enjoy another lovely day with happy hour drinks, and lunch on the beach.

    A vote had been taken, and tonight’s dinner venue was going to be Melt Away. The college kids decided not to join us, so we were a party of 8 tonight. Our hotel concierge was good enough to call for us, and reserve a table. Personally, I had never been to a fondue restaurant before, but I am now a HUGE fan. Everything we had was delicious. For appetizers there were a couple of salads. 2 orders of truffle fries, and 2 orders of cheesy garlic mushrooms. People, believe me when I tell you, the sauce that these mushrooms were in was so good, I would have drank it out of a mug like it was soup. The truffle fries were even elevated when they were dipped into the sauce. Even my husband, who does not like mushrooms, enjoyed the fries, dipped in the sauce.

    Moving on to the fondue portion of the evening. We went with 2 cheese fondues for 4. We had bread, veggies, some meats, and in what seemed like a very strange combination, very sweet, red grapes. I did not manage to snag a grape, but everyone who did said that it was a phenomenal combination, and absolutely delicious.

    I asked, in vain, for the recipe for the cheesy mushrooms, and the chef did not want to share (which I TOTALLY get). I’m going to keep trying via email to see if I can wear them down.
    I know Melt Away is fairly new to the scene, and I would not hesitate to recommend it, and to return, it was really delicious. If you like fondue or grilled cheese, this is a must do.

    So, in keeping with our theme, we strolled for a little bit, and then wandered up to the crepe hut. SO sad for us, it was closed. Locked up tight. I was not happy. My husband had seen a King Churro kiosk inside the Paseo Herencia Mall courtyard, so we went there for our evening sweet. The first batch we had were OK, but the second batch we had were fantastic! I think the first batch had been sitting for just a little bit.
    Time to head back to the Marriott. We typically cut through the Holiday Inn, and walk along the walkway through the holiday Inn, past MoomBa beach, past the Surf and Ocean Club, and find our way back to the Marriott. It helps to assuage some of the caloric guilt for all the indulgent food we’re enjoying if we walk to and from dinner.

    Monday 8/26/19
    Today was snorkeling day! This is really the only excursion/activity that we pre-schedule. We’ve done the Jolly Pirates once, and that was a lot of fun, but we found Blue Melody/Black Pearl sailing 5 or 6 years ago, and this is our vibe. The trip is from 4-7pm, and check-in is right on the dock at MoomBa. We decided that we would meet at the dock, rather than meeting in the lobby, and heading down en masse. For those of you who are not familiar, the sailboat only holds 24 passengers, and everyone has their own cushioned lounger. Once everyone is checked in, and we cast off from the dock, we actually sail to the 1st snorkeling stop. We spent about 45 minutes here, before getting everyone back on board and heading out again. This trip has 2 snorkeling stops, an open bar, fresh watermelon for a snack, a Dutch cheese sandwich on multigrain bread. Both stops were like being in an aquarium, there was a lot of activity, and I saw a lot of fish I had never seen before. I’m a former college swimmer, and lifeguard, so this is just right in my wheelhouse. There was a couple on our trip who had never been snorkeling before and were a bit nervous, so I did speak with them a little, and they were having a great time.

    At our second stop, our captain got in with us, and led a few of us out on a longer swim in search of sea turtles. Saw one very young one in the distance, which was super cool. When we got back close to the boat, he gave a few of the guys in our party some bread, and we had some fish coming right up to us. The couple who were nervous stayed a little outside the fray, but watched the whole thing, and could NOT stop raving about how cool and beautiful it was.

    After the 2nd stop, it was GRILLED CHEESE TIME! Now, when we first discovered Blue Melody, and were reading online reviews, we could not believe all the rave reviews about the grilled cheese. I believe my initial thought was, ‘It’s grilled cheese, how good could it possibly be?’ Well, I was so very wrong. I’m of the mind that grilled cheese is like pizza, even when it’s not great, it’s still pretty good. This grilled cheese, however, is amazing. Made fresh, right on board, with loads of Gouda, and a buttery herb spread inside that is just delicious. If you are looking for a low-key, highly enjoyable sail and snorkeling trip, I cannot recommend this trip enough. Joanne and Albert are gracious hosts, and we enjoy every single second with them.

    We make our way back, and get to enjoy the sunset on the water. Just glorious.

    Once we get back to the hotel, we decide we don’t really need a full dinner, but decide to get a few nibbles at the lobby bar, so we’re not all starving at 11pm, and gorging ourselves on Gelato (not that there would be ANYTHNG wrong with that!) Everyone gets cleaned up, and we reconvene in the lobby. We actually decide to head over to La Vista (the sit down restaurant at the Marriott) and sit on the terrace for drinks and chicken wings. It was JUST what we needed, a little snack to tide us over.
    The college kids joined us for this as well, so as we were ready to call it a night, we all said our goodbyes, as they were heading home tomorrow.
    0 5
     

  3. #13
    Aruba since 1979
    Moderator
    Andrea J.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    34,416
    Post Thanks / Like
    everyaugust loving your aruba story

    thank you for sharing.
    my mouth is watering after reading of melt away and grilled cheese and wings!

  4. #14
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Any beach!!
    Posts
    5,358
    Post Thanks / Like
    It’s so funny you say how good could a grilled cheese be? That was my thought when we went out on the Black Pearl and boy were we surprised at just how good they were. The crew onboard is wonderful!

    Enjoying your reports!

    0 1
     

  5. #15
    Senior Member ArubaAce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Arashi Beach, Malmok Beach, Eagle Beach.
    Posts
    1,690
    Post Thanks / Like
    Loving your trip! I went on the black Pearl twice and I always looked forward to 2 grill cheese sandwiches. On both trips I was too full for any dinner and also just had a lite snack a little later after trip.





    0 0
     

  6. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Posts
    187
    Post Thanks / Like
    And let us not overlook their delicious rum punch! That's almost as divine as the grilled cheese sandwiches!


    0 1
     

  7. #17
    Aruba since 1979
    Moderator
    Andrea J.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    34,416
    Post Thanks / Like

    yes I am off topic

    just got back from the grocery store

    sliced gouda for grilled cheese sandwiches for supper tonight

    now back to August's trip report!!

  8. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Posts
    187
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by ArubaAce View Post
    Loving your trip! I went on the black Pearl twice and I always looked forward to 2 grill cheese sandwiches. On both trips I was too full for any dinner and also just had a lite snack a little later after trip.
    Same thing for me, Ace! We had late dinner reservations and cancelled them we were so full. Anyone who hasn't done the Black Pearl/Blue Melody cruise, give it a try. Really a wonderful outing. But it sells out months in advance so reserve early. It's a small vessel and only runs Mon-Fri. Not sure if still the case, but there's a discount if you book online.


    0 0
     

  9. #19
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    15
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by LisaGrn View Post
    Same thing for me, Ace! We had late dinner reservations and cancelled them we were so full. Anyone who hasn't done the Black Pearl/Blue Melody cruise, give it a try. Really a wonderful outing. But it sells out months in advance so reserve early. It's a small vessel and only runs Mon-Fri. Not sure if still the case, but there's a discount if you book online.
    Lisa--yes, there is still a $20 discount for pre-booking online.

    Tuesday and Wednesday coming up next

    -Debbie
    0 0
     

  10. #20
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    15
    Post Thanks / Like
    Tuesday 8/27/19
    This was the first year my husband and I stayed for an entire week, so this day was fabulous for me. Usually, Tuesday is our ‘last full day’ and we’re heading home on Wednesday. NOT THIS YEAR. We still had Tuesday, Wednesday AND Thursday. What a glorious feeling. I work for a pool company, and right after Labor Day is one of our busiest times, so I never felt I could be away that long leading into the busy season. Well, I took the plunge because life is much too short, and it was JUST fine. So much so that we think we may go for 10 days next year! Anyway, to find the topic again. Today was another beach day, and 4 of our intrepid travelers had decided to do a Great Big Mabel trip. I did not want to go on the inflatable, but did stroll down with them to see if I could go for the boat ride for pictures and video. Our driver was happy to have me along, and there was another young lady along for the ride as well (his girlfriend I think). She was absolutely lovely, and the three of us had a great time. One of our group is quite, shall we say, enthusiastic, and kept urging him to go faster and faster. He did ask that I let him keep my phone, so I did not lose it overboard. I was happy to comply, and he got some great pictures for us. After the ride, 2 of our group headed out to meet the college kids, and ride to the airport with them, just to get them checked out of the condo, and settled and checked in at the airport.

    Now, today, there was some unusual activity on the beach. For those of you familiar with the Marriott, they have torn down the towel hut, and relocated it about 200 feet to the right (if you are looking at the hotel, from the beach). It’s a much more modern looking structure (more of a towel kiosk than a hut), and hopefully the beach/recreation folks like it. Now, as to the construction; the Marriott had erected temporary walls, and set speakers up around the perimeter of those wall, and played some great, island/reggae music. You really can cover ANY song to a reggae beat. And their playlist proved it. They also had guest services folks walking around apologizing to everyone, and some lovely young ladies walking around with fresh fruit for anyone on the beach. They really did a nice job trying to mitigate the disruption. Our beach server was also very apologetic. We were probably in the 2 closest palapas to the construction, and 3 members of our group managed to NAP while demolition was happening. So the disruption was really minimal. And honestly, we were there, during low season, and the work has to get done sometime. I could not believe the abuse some of our fellow guests were heaping on the Guest Services folks, the servers, and even the guys who set up the chairs under the palapas. Just SO unnecessary.

    We made a point of seeking out one of the ‘suits’ to let them know that we thought the disruption was minimal, and that their staff had been doing a fantastic job, because these poor folks were taking it on the chin today.

    Our plans for dinner this night were at Smokey Joe’s, which, to quote a good friend from Ireland, is always ‘cheap and cheerful’. The menu is big enough for everyone to have a good choice, and the food is always good. Not gourmet by any stretch, but always good, the ribs are great, and my husband had the hanging steak, and said it was FANTASTIC. Now, for those of you who have been paying attention, I bet you can guess where our next stop was going to be. Yes, that’s right, you guessed it, The Crepe Hut!!!! Thankfully, they were open tonight, so all was well.

    After our post dinner sweet a few popped into the mini-mart for random refreshments for the rooms. (Soda, beer, wine, etc). My husband drinks mostly Guinness, which can be tough to find on island, and this mini mart usually has loose Draught Cans, which he loves. Our purchases in hand, time to meander back to our home away from home at the Marriott. We again spent about 45 minutes to an hour just sitting by the pool, chatting. The onsite security guard did come speak to us, and I think once he realized we were a bunch of dorky ‘grown ups’ and were up to no mischief, all was well.

    Tomorrow (Wednesday) our group is reduced by 2 more, as one couple heads home

    Wednesday, August 28th
    Today, two more of our group head for home. They are on the afternoon non-stop to Boston, so they head out of the hotel around 10:30 or so. They do come down and spend about an hour on the beach with us, just enjoying the last little bit of sunshine and sand (and I’d like to think, our company!).

    After our intrepid travelers left, we settle in for another beach day. It also turns out that it’s day 2 of heavy machinery/demolition/construction. Again, this was really very minimally intrusive, at least to us. One of our group (who’s in the construction field) was filming and taking pictures, as kind of a before and after record, and our FABULOUS beach server was chatting with him, just before the 1st Happy Hour of the day started. Another guest approached them, made a snide comment to our friend, who replied, that he really did not mind the construction at all, as it was a great sign of progress and improvement. The other guest then turned to our server and asked him what he was going to do to compensate him for ‘ruining his entire vacation’. At this point our server’s excellent customer service skills kicked into high gear, he told our friend that he’d be back in 10 minutes to take our Happy Hour and lunch order, and started walking the guest back to the bar where they fill the beach orders (I can only imagine his boss was stationed there). Before they left, our friend made a point to tell our server in front of the cranky guest to take his time, get to us when you get to us, and that we were really absolutely fine, and not bothered at all by any of the construction and noise.

    No idea what happened with the other guest, but when we were settling up at the end of the day, we were told that Marriott was buying our lunch. They could not comp us our drinks, but they were happy to buy us lunch. Completely unnecessary, but a lovely gesture, and greatly appreciated. I think it was a “thank you” for being reasonable, human, and not complaining.

    I have to say again, these folks all work so hard to ensure that we have a great vacation, that we try to tip generously, and try to make a connection, and chat with them a bit, rather than just barking out orders, and barely acknowledging their existence, like we see some other guests doing.

    For dinner tonight, our plan was to go to Azzuro. We figured we’d just try to walk in, as we were only a group of 6, and if they were not able to seat us, we’d go over to Casa Tua for pizza and pasta. Azzuro was able to seat us, and we had a great comfort food filled Italian dinner.
    All full up with pasta and sangria, we waddled our way back to the Marriott.
    0 3
     

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •