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Thread: Ongoing trip report - January 29 through February 5

  1. #51
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    Lessons learned on my trip to Aruba:

    1. Don't pack so much! Aruba has everything and it's much better just to buy it when you get there than pay for an overweight suitcase after packing three types of floaties that could have easily been purchased at Super Foods. (Yes, I did that.)

    2. Bring an empty suitcase for the curry ketchup and the dutch almond-paste cookies. Only half-joking. So, I thought I would buy souvenirs for the folks back home, and opted for the manufactured almond-paste cookies because I didn't want to upset customs with freshly baked goods. Well, I brought them into work, sampled one, and was flabbergasted by its amazing texture and flavor. So I promptly looked up where I could buy them in the states - $27 a package on Amazon! So then I looked up a recipe - and you need to be a master-chef to execute it. Then, I sampled the ketchup and loooooved that too. Fortunately, that can be purchased online here in the states at a reasonable cost.

    Which brings me to my third lesson learned.

    3. Enjoy the food! I wonder sometimes about America's over-processed, sugar-stuffed, hormone-ridden food and how much that contributes to obesity, because I ate and ate and ate down in Aruba. Wonderful meals. Guess what? I didn't gain an ounce. Not one ounce. I think the sun and sea made me puffy. Now I wish I was a bit more liberal in my indulgences. (I swear, if there's such a thing as reincarnation, there are three reasons I would decide to come back - bakeries, pets and beaches.)

    4. Avoid the high-rise section, at least in high season. That is, unless you love mind-boggling crowds, one chair stacked up against the other, row after row, on the beach, and packed swimming pools.

    5. Find a hotel with easy access to a beach. It's nice to be able to just walk out the door with a water bottle and flip flops and trot a few feet and be on the water.

    6. Unless you enjoy unexpected drama, only bring someone you know well. Otherwise, go it alone. You will organically run into fun and friendly people. I did every single day!

    7. Prioritize comfy shoes and bring only one pair of dress shoes that will go with everything. (I did precisely the opposite because I am a vain and silly woman.)

    8. Visit the butterfly farm early in your visit because you can visit free thereafter!

    9. Schedule a dinner at Carte Blanche six months before your visit.

    10. Arrange international calling and data with your wireless carrier. For about $15 more a month, I got unlimited texts and data with Tmobile, plus .30 a minute phone calls.

    11. Bring just enough cash to tip folks who do stuff for you - like clean your rooms or help with suitcases. (I feel guilty for not tipping, even when tipping isn't deemed necessary.) Here's why: There wasn't a place I couldn't use a credit card.

    I hope this is helpful to someone. It feels good to be home, but the travel day was exhausting - 14 hours of travel what with connections and waiting. Rolled into my home about midnight, spent an hour or so entertaining and feeding kitties (they get a sitter in my absence), and getting myself reacclimated and unpacked. At 3 a.m., I fell into bed and had to be up by 7 a.m., and then bus to downtown Minneapolis for a day of work. Talk about contrast from 48 hours prior.

    Thank you again, everyone, for your insight, ideas and encouragement! It's been a trip
    Last edited by ideastowords; 02-09-2020 at 11:45 AM.
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  2. #52
    Super Moderator WaltVB's Avatar
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    Guess we should have mentioned take half the clothes you think you'll need and twice the money. In all it sounds like you had a great trip (in spite of your travel companion's slight indiscretion) and learned a lot. So when are you planning on going back?


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  3. #53
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing your vacation with us,

  4. #54
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    I love your summary!
    I have never had the dutch almond paste cookies. They are now on my list!

    Last trip to Aruba I did well with only bringing 3 pairs of shoes.....birkenstocks for dinner/evening, oofos for around the pool and sneakers for everything else.

    Thanks!
    ​In a world where you can be anything, be kind!
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  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by WaltVB View Post
    Guess we should have mentioned take half the clothes you think you'll need and twice the money. In all it sounds like you had a great trip (in spite of your travel companion's slight indiscretion) and learned a lot. So when are you planning on going back?
    Hi Walt!

    I am contemplating visiting over my birthday in November. Off season. Here's the deal: I was planning a trip to the Cat Island, Bahamas at the end of April, but now the charter I was taking has changed its schedule and I have no way of getting there without *two* overnights in Nassau - NOT what I want to do. So I am thinking of cancelling that trip and doing something fun over my birthday. (Thank God for cancel-for-any-reason trip insurance.)

    Thanks for reading my posts!
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  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea J. View Post
    I love your summary!
    I have never had the dutch almond paste cookies. They are now on my list!

    Last trip to Aruba I did well with only bringing 3 pairs of shoes.....birkenstocks for dinner/evening, oofos for around the pool and sneakers for everything else.

    Thanks!
    I will have the same shoe plan next time I'm glad you liked my summary and definitely, the cookies are outstanding!
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  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pegmeister View Post
    Thanks for sharing your vacation with us,
    Thanks for following it!
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  8. #58
    Senior Member LisaGrn's Avatar
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    Right on point with lessons learned! So glad your first trip to the happy island was so enjoyable. Truly enjoyed your reports!


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  9. #59
    Senior Member LisaGrn's Avatar
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    Sounds like a plan to me!
    QUOTE=ideastowords;355958]Lisa - I am so glad you enjoyed my trip reports - I appreciate your kind words and encouragement! And, I would love to travel to Aruba in the off season for better rates and fewer crowds. If I do, I will definitely give you the heads up! Thanks again![/QUOTE]


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  10. #60
    Aruba since 1979
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    we always travel in "slower season"
    typically for the first 2 weeks of May and late Nov into Dec.

    minneapolis in the dead of winter must be deplorable. I was there for a conference a number of years ago in the spring and it was brutally cold and gray then.
    just like boston brrrrr

    so, you did pick a good time to go to aruba!!!
    ​In a world where you can be anything, be kind!
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