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Thread: BeninMA Trip Report 4/1/19-4/7/19

  1. #1
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    BeninMA Trip Report 4/1/19-4/7/19

    Trip Report for 4/1/19 - 4/7/19

    Well, I enjoy reading everyone’s trip report so, better late than never, I figured I would post our trip report. We skipped going to the island last year so we were extra excited to get back to our happy place. We stay at the Holiday Inn - we have a 7 year old boy and find it to be a great family friendly resort.

    We were scheduled to depart on the Monday 6AM JetBlue out of Boston arriving at 10:45. As soon as everyone was on the plane the pilot announces “Unfortunately I have bad news and it’s not an April Fool’s joke. Our flight computers have crashed and IT does not know how long it is going to take to re-upload our flight data.” Ughhh! In an ironic twist, two years ago we boarded then had to de-board while they got a new plane because they couldn’t get the computers to work. Finally at about 7 everything was set and off we went. I heard later this was a system wide east coast issue. The pilot hit the turbos and we made up a little time in the air and landed around 11:30. We have a 7 year old so we get to short cut down the early stairs and went directly to an agent. A quick stop at duty free for vodka, grab bags, a taxi, a stop at Superfoods for beer and we were at the Holiday Inn by 12:30. The room wasn’t ready but would be soon so went to pool bar since we were starving and finally felt like we were on island time!

    In general our days are repeats - why mess with perfection! We don’t stray too far from the reservation, we have busy lives and we laugh on island that doing much of anything feels like a lot of work. We wake up around 6AM and I’m out for a run around 6:15-6:30. I usually set up our chairs on the beach before the run under a tree in the front row. (As everyone’s talked about, all the palapas have been moved back toward the boardwalk and are very tightly packed in.) I get back from my run and sit in a chair for a while enjoying the calm and quiet beach for a little while before going up to room and preparing for the day. We’re usually down on the beach by about 8AM. For breakfast, most days we’d have a quick bagel from Dushi Bagels or an egg sandwich from Scott’s Brats.

    The days are spent between loungers, floating in the water on the donuts we brought and occasionally playing in the pool. My 7 year old quickly found a few friends to play with so he generally wanted to be where ever they were. For lunch, we go up to the room for a bit of down time. We brought a bunch of food including tuna, mayo, wraps, pringles, etc so lunch consisted of that stuff for the most part. A few days we had brats / Italian beef from Scott’s. We also could never skip Eduardo’s - I like the Acai bowl and the wife likes the nutella.

    We usually head back to the room at about 3-4PM for a little rest and relaxation prior to dinner around 6. A few days, I headed over to Fireson Brewing for a craft beer before meeting the wife and son in the lobby for dinner. Fireson’s a great little brewery and Tony, the owner, was great to speak with.

    A quick summary of dinners:
    Monday - Pelican Pier. The wife had booked a reservation for the first night and we looked forward to dining on the water not far from hotel since it was a long day - dinner was ok but not as good there as it was two years ago. Menu has changed and I just wasn’t overwhelmed.
    Tuesday - Taste of Belgium. Was on a long list in my head of potential places to eat. We started with french onion soup and had a beef tenderloin slow simmered in beer and chicken schnitzel. Everything was excellent and we each had a little of each entree. By the way, the son is a picky eater - generally, his dinner consisted of us running to McDonalds for a chicken nugget happy meal before a restaurant so at least he’d eat something at dinner!
    Wednesday - Something different, Garden Fresh Cafe. We don’t eat heavy meals or dine out a lot in our daily lives. So, we thought why not have a nice fresh, light meal.We split a salad bowl special, order of falafels and a beef tenderloin bowl. All was great and tasted super fresh. It’s a nice fast casual place if you don’t want a ‘fussy’ dinner.
    Thursday - Not much of a plan for dinner. Salt & Pepper (one on our favorites list) was in the hunt for possible places. But, nothing was really calling us out. We finally settled on Chicken and Lobster - another on our favorites list. We got the special - a rotisserie chicken, lobster tail, tenderloin and three sides. It was delicious and we both talked all dinner about how good it was and was consistent with two years ago. Our son also loves the place although once again enjoyed his McD’s at the table.
    Friday - Gianni’s for the parmigiano spaghetti bowl with sausage and meatballs. This was high on the list of ‘we gotta do it’. We also started with calamari. It was a delicious meal and is obviously high on many people’s gotta try lists. Gianni’s is great with a very high level of service. We can now say we’ve done that and get something else next time! Oh yes, quick stop at Baskin Robbins for a little ice cream on way back to the HI.
    Saturday - You’d think for our last dinner meal we’d go out with a bang but no, back to Garden Fresh for a light meal. We were both feeling a little weighted down so this hit the spot again. I did have to break down and get a slice of their nutella cake for dessert, which was excellent.

    Sunday was spent getting up early and getting to the beach for as much fun, sun and water as we could get. We had a 4:45 flight back so the plan was to get back up to the room at about noon to shower and change then check out and grab lunch. Our goal was to grab a cab at about 1:30 or so to get us to the airport shortly before 2. We weren’t sure where we wanted lunch but ended up a Dushi Bagels for a delicious burger and chicken sandwich. We split each to enjoy a little of each. We arrived at the airport around 2 and used the self check-in machines for JetBlue. I didn’t keep exact track of time but it was around 1.5 hours from curb to gate.

    Sorry for the length but I appreciate reading everyone’s trip reports and hope you like mine. We love the happy island and are looking forward to our next trip there!


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  2. #2
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
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    Nice trip report! Glad your flight delay wasn’t terrible. Nothing worse than being excited to get moving only to get kicked off. At least it sounds like they made up some time.

    We’ll be heading down on Tuesday and every time I read someone’s TR I find myself wanting to add a new restaurant to the list. Been hearing a lot of good things about Chicken and Lobster lately. Too many restaurants and not enough time!

    Thanks for sharing!!

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  3. #3
    Super Moderator WaltVB's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for posting your trip report. Sounds like you had a great relaxing time and we agree with the dinner choices. We have not been to Gianni's, but it's "on our list". Time to start planning your next trip!


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  4. #4
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    You are the best. Thanks for trip report. Sounds like you guys had a very relaxing trip.
    Sean and Susan
    [Countdown=12/01/2013 2:30 AM;]I'm finally there]Count down:[/Countdown]
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  5. #5
    Aruba since 1979
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    Thanks for sharing your stay with us.

    Time to start planning your next Aruba adventure!
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    Senior Member Aruba4ever's Avatar
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    great report- thanks for sharing with us.

  7. #7
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    Thanks for the report... time goes so quickly on the island. Glad it made you smile again!
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Traceyd14's Avatar
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    Great reports - your trip sounded perfect to me! Pelican is our first night tradition, but we usually stay on the bar side. We have found them to be perfect some years and other years, lacking a little of what we loved the year before, and then a bounce back the next year. We like their food overall.

    Side note - As your son gets older, you may want to consider making the move from Holiday Inn to renting a timeshare at Playa Linda, where you could have the full kitchen and a separate bedroom for you and a day bed for your son. It's really a great layout and would fit your style of making lunch in the room. Just a thought, since you guys seem to like a lot of the things we do, I'm thinking it would be a good fit.


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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traceyd14 View Post
    Great reports - your trip sounded perfect to me! Pelican is our first night tradition, but we usually stay on the bar side. We have found them to be perfect some years and other years, lacking a little of what we loved the year before, and then a bounce back the next year. We like their food overall.

    Side note - As your son gets older, you may want to consider making the move from Holiday Inn to renting a timeshare at Playa Linda, where you could have the full kitchen and a separate bedroom for you and a day bed for your son. It's really a great layout and would fit your style of making lunch in the room. Just a thought, since you guys seem to like a lot of the things we do, I'm thinking it would be a good fit.
    Yes, thats certainly on our radar Tracy and thanks for recommending. My wife has a friend who’s parents have owned 3 weeks there since they opened. Her friend’s been going since they were kids. We definitely like the idea of having a kitchen and a couch to hang out in the room.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member FBS199's Avatar
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    Thank you for sharing your report.


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