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Thread: Ongoing trip report - January 29 through February 5

  1. #1
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    Ongoing trip report - January 29 through February 5

    I began planning my trip to Aruba in September, when the forecasters predicted another rough winter for the upper Midwest. Practically every day since then, I have been lurking on this board and others to target the best places to stay and the most fun things to do (so grateful for everyone's advice). For me, this is part of the fun of traveling - looking forward to it and planning. So it was surreal to finally be waking up at 1:45 a.m. today to catch my taxi to the Minneapolis airport at 3:15 so I could be on my Delta flight by 5:20 a.m. After my connection in Atlanta, we finally landed here at around 3:40 p.m. Aruba time - 1:40 p.m. back home.

    I was relieved to have made it through entry in about a half hour (per the recommendations on various forums, I chose a midweek flight to avoid the crowds.) Then I made the requisite stop at the duty-free liquor store - that had pretty slim pickings (only chardonnay and a some super sweet wine for white choices). There I met a lovely couple who was staying at Amsterdam Manor as well, so we shared a taxi here. They informed me they have a timeshare here. Amsterdam Manor doesn't sell them anymore.; you have to find someone who has one and buy it from them.They said their investment has more than paid for itself.

    They gave us a yummy punch drink at check in...and I was grateful to the bellhop for handling my suitcase (why, yes, I ridiculously overpack). And I was surprised by a bottle of wine in my fridge. It was when I was heading to dinner at Passions on the Beach (make your reservation ahead of time on www.opentable.com), that the notorious septic smell which many have complained about hit me. You could even get whiffs of it the restaurant. Which is just as well, because I ate far less than I normally would. (Their shrimp spring rolls are *to die for* though.)

    Tomorrow, my big plan is to walk walk walk - up to the Palm Beach area and to Super Foods; going to get my bearings. I did rent a car for a couple of days which I am going to cancel because I don't foresee myself or any car coming out whole and complete with all those crazy roundabouts.

    I am challenged to keep my eyes open, so I am going to sign off.

    Thanks for reading!
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  2. #2
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    So glad you're getting a bread from the mid-winter blues...... thanks for posting!
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  3. #3
    Senior Member LisaGrn's Avatar
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    She's already a whiz at trip reports!! LOL!! Sweet dreams!


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  4. #4
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    Thank you so much for posting.
    Sleep well and ENJOY tomorrow and on and on and on.
    ​In a world where you can be anything, be kind!
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  5. #5
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    Welcome!!!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Sue M.'s Avatar
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    You are off to a great start. I am glad you had a safe flight and are ready to have a wonderful vacation. I look forward to you trip report.
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  7. #7
    Super Moderator WaltVB's Avatar
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    Thanks for taking the time to post. Please be careful crossing the road to Superfoods, a taxi is cheap and so much safer.


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  8. #8
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    Enjoy your stay. Yea! more trip reports coming our way.
    Sean and Susan
    [Countdown=12/01/2013 2:30 AM;]I'm finally there]Count down:[/Countdown]
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  9. #9
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    Thank you for sharing your trip with us, as you know, it lightens the day for those of us not in Aruba. Sounds like your arrival went well and I hope you enjoy the rest of your trip!
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  10. #10
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    You all are way too kind and encouraging and thoughtful! Thank you!

    I am a little tipsy an tired, but that's good

    I was up at 3:45 a.m. Central Time, which is about 5:45 here. And I couldn't fall back asleep - this is very much like back home. So, like back home, I tossed and turned for an hour and finally gave in and started my day. Made some coffee and was relieved to sit on my patio and enjoy scent-free air, so to speak. After lounging for awhile, I decided I needed to go over to Superfoods where I purchased a variety of mystery treats like kokosmarkronen per stuks (fabulous coconut cookies) and mini geuulde koek stuks and cashew punt. And also, a whole grilled chicken - which was surprisingly tasty. And some juice and butter and carrots and bread and butter and coffee and such. And the grand total, including the big fancy "Superfoods" bag because I forgot mine - was $33. I don't think that's too bad. What I found amusing was seeing food with names of the people I grew up with like "knoblauch" or "Van Dijk" - my third cousins are Van Dunks. (Alas, I didn't get the tall, blonde Dutch good looks.)

    I had no idea I had the equivalent of a Super Target but better right behind my resort . Why better? Because I hauled two types of floaties in my luggage - turns out that Superfoods had both. Hell, if they carried clothes I am pretty sure I could just fly down without any luggage and then just go shopping...I am endlessly impressed with the selection in this place - not to mention the bakery...which is how I keep my figure

    What *really* impressed me was their pet aisle - they had bunny and budgie food in addition to the requisite cat and dog food. Am tempted to buy seed and leave it out for the birdies in front of my room; I love birds and feed them back home, but I realize not everyone thinks that's a good thing. I spent a solid hour today just admiring the little colorful sparrows and tiny pigeons flitting to and fro...would love to have a flock hang out by me.

    Confessions: I did walk over to Superfoods (sorry) but was very watchful. Folks stopped and waited for me to cross.

    Once home and groceries unloaded it was time to play in the sea. Drowned myself in reef-safe 50-proof sunscreen and am grateful that I came out barely tanned. I have gotten sun poisoning before and chills and fatigue and nausea are no fun. The palapas were all taken, but it's all good because I prefer playing in the water anyway - but I will be up 5 hours from now to nab one because my friend has arrived and she wants to spend the day on the beach.

    Still, even in the ocean, I occasionally got a whiff of the septic plant. Aruba needs to get that fixed so they don't go the way of Boracay, Philippines which had so many challenges with its infrastructure that they had to ban tourists for several months to deal with it.

    I was informed tonight about Aruba's government, 150 people of its 16,000-person population lead the country. There are two parties but they are basically the same. If you are in the government and a new party takes over and you get fired - well, you still collect your salary, if I heard correctly.

    This was after a few rum drinks at the bar where I met a couple of very nice women from Sweden, which isn't much of a stretch from Minnesota (where I'm from.) It only took them 10 hours to fly from there...

    I also met a woman from Suriname (I never met anyone from Suriname before) after I mistakenly assumed she was married to the guy next to her - they did look good together - this was after rum punch #2. Unfortunately, they just met.

    She told me to eat at an Italian restaurant that was in a house in downtown - she couldn't remember the name though. I did, however, because thanks to the generous people on these message boards, I had already booked reservations for this very night. Italy in the World was a spectacular meal. Homemade pasta!!! And, OMG - the best bottle of wine: ZioPaolo...and that's not the rum punch talking. My friend and I both agreed that the price was reasonable ($66 a person with tip because we feel guilty about not tipping) for an appetizer, huge entree and spectacular wine. (She had veal that was the size of her plate.)

    So, it's 1:07 a.m. and i, once again,can barely keep my eyes open. Will report more tomorrow - which will include a meal at Carte Blanche.

    If you want to see photos - go to my instagram site: https://www.instagram.com/ideastowords/ But try not to think me too much of a narcissistic twit. (A few too many obnoxious selfiies - what happens is that it takes me hours to do the hair and spackling - my version of going-out makeup - uffda. Therefore, I go out, have a couple drinks, come home and decide i need to commemorate the hard work for eternity. I will not, however, apologize the multitude of kitty photos
    Last edited by ideastowords; 01-31-2020 at 04:50 AM.
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