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Thread: August 2022 Friends and Family

  1. #11
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    ***UPDATE 8/10/22***

    Have started purchasing/collecting/gathering all the ‘bits and pieces’ we need for the trip. They include, but are NOT limited to:

    · YETI 20oz Tumblers and YETI Water Bottle (Happy Hour hydration is VERY important)
    · Anti-Theft Backpack for the beach. This is new for me. It’s a ‘string bag’ type pack, but a bit more robust. It’s anti slash and has a combination lock with a strap that we can loop around the palapa, or our lounge chair.
    · Beach tote bag
    · Sun Hats, very large brimmed straw hat, and smaller, ‘sporty’ hat for our excursions or if we decide to go walking around town
    · Waterproof phone pouches for the beach and snorkeling
    · Swim goggles for swimming laps in the morning at the adult pool
    · Mask and snorkel
    · Travel sized toiletries/Sunscreen to get us started, so we don’t have to spend our 1st full day on island ‘running errands’
    · BEACH FLOATIES!!!!!!! My new one has a cup holder, very exciting
    · Portable charger, and cables for phone, ipad, Kindle, Apple Watch. I actually have a three in one charger on my desk at work that handles my phone, my Apple watch, and my EarPods. I think I’m going to bring that along as well, to leave in the room, as it can charge 3 devices while only using 1 outlet.
    · EarPlanes. I have HORRIBLE ear pain when flying, and these little doo-dads really help me. They help to regulate the pressure, and makes it a much nicer experience
    · I’ve started stashing any small bills I get back in change to use for tips.

    We’ve got a group chat going with the 6 of us who will be on island at the same time, and we polled the group, mostly for the folks who were leaving 1st if there was any place in particular that they’d like to eat. We do try to accommodate any ‘must dos’. Got no real concrete answers, so I think we decided to add Twist of Flavors to our repertoire as our ‘new place to try this year’. Their menu looks great, and there is a mushroom appetizer calling my name. We were lucky enough to eat at Meltaway in 2019, and while they did not survive the pandemic/shutdown, they had a cheesy/garlicky mushtoom app that I STILL think about and crave. I all but BEGGED the chef and manager for the recipe when we were there, but they wouldn’t give it up, and now they are no more…..so sad for me.

    My packing goal for clothes is to try and do a ‘capsule wardrobe’ so that everything could potentially be worn with anything else. Lots of neutrals, but I really feel confident that I can avoid overpacking this year. We’ll see how things really work out. Like I said upthread, it’s really always the shoes that do me in!

    I think that's it for this week's update. Next week we'll really start getting ready in earnest. Oh, one small detail, I do have to figure out how we're getting to the airport. Really I just have to call the car service and book the ride.
    ~Debbie
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  2. #12
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
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    That is quite the list! I keep a generic running list on my iPad and would be lost without it. I really do try to pack light but could never do just a carry on.

    Twist of Flavor’s mushroom appetizer is fabulous. It’s garlicky and cheesy and a little oily. Perfect for spreading on bread and absolutely delicious. We normally get an assortment of appetizers when we go. I’ve found that sometimes their menu doesn’t really match what you order, yet what you are served is great. For instance, Tom ordered a ham and cheese with tomato soup. What came out was a large thick ‘“slice” of Italian bread with ham and melted cheese served open face. Dunked in the soup it tasted like pizza.

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  3. #13
    Senior Member LisaGrn's Avatar
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    TOF's food is great. The grouper I had last night was awesome. And anything that they serve with their Jack Daniels BBQ sauce is out of this world! And they have a really good bartender!! The important things in life...
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  4. #14
    Senior Member Laura in NH's Avatar
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    That's quite a list! Sounds like me hahaha
    I love TOF and try to make it there at east once per trip.
    ​Laura from NH/Divi Village

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  5. #15
    Super Moderator WaltVB's Avatar
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    Next week's update should include ED card status... Keep us posted!
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  6. #16
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    Your planning sounds to be on target!! And yes, the mushroom app at TOF is delish!
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  7. #17
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    Hope you feel better now!
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  8. #18
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    ***UPDATE 8/19/2022***

    Our reservation for Twist of Flavors on Saturday, 8/27 is confirmed! Very excited about this, especially with all of your rave reviews. It’s always exciting, and a little scary to be the one to choose a new restaurant. But, I’ve got a VERY good feeling about this.

    I booked our car service last week for our trip to the airport. We’re in SE Mass, and have been using this service for 15+ years. It’s owned by the father of a former soccer teammate of our son’s, and they are phenomenal. A little spendy, but in the 10+ years we traveled to SW Florida over February School vacation week, they NEVER stranded us, despite numerous weather delays. They will always have my loyalty, because they’ve always taken very good care of us. We fly home with our travel buddies, who live in the same town as us, so we’ll share our ride home with them.

    One of my traveling companions and I both cut out of work a bit early on Thursday, hit up a local dive shop and purchased masks and snorkels. I’m not a germaphobe in any way, shape, or form, however, in the age of COVID and Monkeypox, out of an abundance of caution, and being a bit skeeved out, we decided we did not want to use community masks and snorkels. We're snorkeling twice with Joanne and Albert on Blue Melody this trip. We got fairly mid to high end masks, but we’ll use them for years, so I feel it was a very good investment. Plus, we have some bucket list trips we’re talking about, and many of them wil include snorkeling.

    This same travel buddy and I have also come up with a plan for 2023. Our husbands are VERY comfortable being ensconced at the Marriott. We enjoy it there, it’s always a great place to stay, and we enjoy it there a lot. However, we did dinner a few years ago at The Chophouse at Manchebo, and we really think we’d like to try it out. So we are going to propose a split stay, 4 nights at Manchebo, and the balance of the stay at the Marriott. We may just book it that way, and “ask forgiveness instead of permission”, but we’ll see.

    But the absolute BEST part of this update is that I successfully did our online ED Card. My parents actually came to work today to take me to lunch for my birthday. I had them come up to my office, so they could watch me do the ED card, as we’ll be in Aruba when it’s time for them to do theirs. My mom is the more computer savvy of the pair, and she’s confident now, she can do it.

    We received our beautiful green check mark, received the email with the PDF, downloaded the Health App as well, so I think we are good to go on that front! This is when it really starts to feel real to me.

    Tomorrow is Saturday, and I have a hair appointment and a manicure appointment. I plan to do ALL the trip related laundry on Sunday, and hope to be packed by Monday or Tuesday, with the exception of the ‘last minute stuff’ that gets thrown in before we head to the airport. Our flight is typically around 7am, but JetBlue seems to have eliminated that non-stop. We’re flying out at 9:41am now, and I’m not sure how the airport will be a couple of hours later than we’re normally there. We do have TSA Pre Check, so that will help. Planning on getting to Logan2.5 hours prior to the flight, and hope to be bored at the gate with a delicious iced coffee while we wait.

    Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are shaping up to be VERY busy at work, as I have a new admin we’re training, my co-manager is out of the office Monday, and I have about eleventy-billion people to get back to. Oh, and Monday I also go back to the Ortho for a follow up on my ankle. It’s still pretty tender, I’ve been wearing the boot nearly all the time. I did go without a couple of days, and it feels a bit better out of the boot, but it’s pretty swollen. I’ll get another xray, just to make sure everything is still OK, and will get the advice of the Dr or his PA as to whether I should or should not wear the boot on the plane. We do so much walking when we’re there, I want to make sure I’m up for it, and will not do any additional damage.

    So that’s it for T-Minus 6 days, and I am very nearly giddy with anticipation.

    We still have 4 nights to decide on dinner venues, but I think we’ll play those by ear, and see what we feel like.
    ~Debbie
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  9. #19
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    So very much looking forward to your adventure in Aruba.
    With or without the boot!! Hopefully without.
    THINK.. is it Thoughtful? Helpful? Inspirational? Necessary? Kind? sidtm
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  10. #20
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    Wow... maybe splitting time between Marriott and Manchebo..... interesting.... I'm looking forward to your adventure....! Good luck with those few crazy days at work.
    A wise man never knows all......only fools know everything!
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