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Thread: Weston's Covid Trip 1/30/21-2/5/21

  1. #21
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    Full Day #2 in the books.

    The first thing we noticed was that it was considerably warmer. We woke up looking for real breakfast. We decided to head to Dushi Bagels and Burgers. Parked over at the Hyatt parking lot as I did not see any open street parking across the way in the alley. Again it was around 9:45am and only three other tables had people at them. Three of us got bagel and egg sandwiches with cheeses and meats. We also had supreme hashbrowns. My wife got the fruit and yoghurt parfait and a bagel. We all enjoyed breakfast very much. We finally got in touch with the Trikes Aruba people. They had groups already booked for today (Tuesday) and tomorrow. He told me we could do the full island tour including baby beach on Thursday which is what we wanted to do but I am not sure that is how we wanted to spend our last full day on the island so we told him we would get back to him. The wife and I decided we would take my cousin and his girlfriend on a self guided island tour. We rode up past Arashi and headed to the light house for stop number one. We have been to the light house on our two other trips but decided we would climb to the top for the first time. It was $5 per person and there were numerous stairs and they were very narrow. When we got to the top, we were told that the winds could reach around 70mph. It definitely felt close to that. The views from up there were great! We even saw little goats running on the golf course next door. We made our way back down and the wife had been talking about getting a drink in a coconut since before we left Connecticut. We went over to the bus and he prepared fresh coconut drinks for our little group. He said since the cruise ships have stopped coming he has been very slow. He said almost all the cruise ship tours stop at the light house and typically a lot of the people buy a coconut drink from him. We then headed to Alto Vista Chapel. We were the only ones there. My wife and I commented to each other how normally when we go there, the ladies are outside selling small wares and the tour busses come and go. It was a much quieter experience this time. We then headed to the Bushiribana Ruins and took some pictures. We ran into one other couple while we were there but that was it. The food truck and bathroom trailer that were stationed there were sitting idle. Our next stop was to the Natural Bridge. Again no tour busses or tours. Just our little group of four. We enjoyed the clean bathroom amenities in the gift shop for $1 per person and decided we would do the rest of the island another day as it was around 2pm and very hot. We are thinking Fontein cave, the skin eating fish across the way, drive through San Nicolas, and onto Baby Beach. We got back to Stellaris and freshened up. We were going to go to Aquarius at Renaissance for dinner as my cousin is a seafood lover and we thought the buffet would be a good option for him, but it looks like they are doing a modified buffet where you order off of a sheet and they bring it to you. We opted on trying Madam Janette's instead. I called around 5pm and was able to get a 630pm reservation for the four of us. They sat us under a pergola in the back right corner of the restaurant. There was a brief rain shower and we were happy we were under there because we did not get wet, while others ran for cover. Overall we really liked the feel of the restaurant. The food was only so so. They did a great job with the appetizers. We had bang bang shrimp, crab cakes, and Hungarian goulash soup. For dinner, two of us had surf and turf and two of us had the Burgerloine that was stuffed with onions, cheese, and mushrooms. This is where we ran into issues. 1 of the 4 meals was prepared correctly. One of the surf and turfs, the beef was ordered medium rare and came out well done and the seafood was all over cooked. Both Burgerloine's were ordered medium rare and came out very well as well. We are not normally send back our food people but we felt for the money it was not fair to have to eat well done beef. They corrected the 3 dishes and we ate them when they came back out. They tried to offer us desserts but we declined. We had already been there 2.5 hours and were getting dining fatigue. They were nice and removed the appetizer charges from the bill for the inconvenience on the meals. We made our way back to Stellaris, it was around 9:15pm. We stopped at the gelato shop in the lobby and had some gelato and enjoyed the live singer that was performing. She ended five minutes before 10pm and we called it a night.

    Today is a beach, pool, casino day. I think we might try Gianni's tonight as a few in our little group want the pasta in the cheese wheel. I would not mind Casa Nonna but it is not all about me :-). Then we will head to Aruba Ray's Comedy Show.
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  2. #22
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    thanks for sharing your adventures with us.
    neither Paul or I have been in the lighthouse.
    I think that the claustrophobia would hit partway up and it would not be pretty

    Madame Janette is our favorite restaurant and although I am sorry that you had to send your meals back, I am glad that they corrected it and removed the appetizers from your bill.
    yup, sometimes we all have bad nights.

    continue to enjoy!!
    AIDTM THINK.. is it Thoughtful? Helpful? Inspirational? Necessary? Kind?

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  3. #23
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    We also love the feel of MJs and I am happy to hear that you gave them the opportunity to make things right. We also love the feel of self guided island tours, especially when there are new eyes to share the sights with.

    Thanks for sharing your trip! I really appreciate it!
    Loving Aruba from NJ
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  4. #24
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing.... sorry Mme J's disappointed but glad they worked to make it right. Keep enjoying and pls keep posting!
    A wise man is easily fooled.... but only a fool would fool a wise man...!
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  5. #25
    Senior Member Aruba4ever's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing. Can't believe how few people are there in Feb.
    Trip 32 begins on June 5.








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  6. #26
    Senior Member Traceyd14's Avatar
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    Another option for the cheese wheel would be Azzuro at Playa Linda. Its the same restaurant group as Giannis but a better view. Just a thought.
    Thank you for sharing you trip. It is certainly different for this time of year but sounds like you are making the most of your time.
    The best trip is the next trip. Anxiously waiting to book something.
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  7. #27
    Super Moderator WaltVB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traceyd14 View Post
    Another option for the cheese wheel would be Azzuro at Playa Linda. Its the same restaurant group as Giannis but a better view. Just a thought.
    Thank you for sharing you trip. It is certainly different for this time of year but sounds like you are making the most of your time.
    You beat me to it. I also think Azzuro would be an excellent choice for the cheese wheel and the view is great, especially at sunset.

    https://28037c5c-2392-46d3-ae5d-54e0...c50f3c4ddd.pdf

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  8. #28
    Senior Member LisaGrn's Avatar
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    There are several of us on the Forum from the Nutmeg State. Welcome!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Weston View Post
    Hi LisaGrn,

    Weston is my name. I live in Connecticut but not in Weston. Great to see other Connecticut people on here!
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  9. #29
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    I agree it is so very quiet here. The view from the lighthouse is very cool, but those steps were not my favorite.

    Thanks for posting!






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  10. #30
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    Good Morning!

    Walt and Tracey, thanks for the recommendation on Azzurro! I will explain more in the post but I really appreciate the recommendation. That is what makes this forum awesome!

    Full Day 3 in the books. We woke up around 8am and I grabbed two side by side front row palapas on Stellaris's booking system online. We made our way down to the beach and got set up. We stayed for a few hours and enjoyed the warmth and refreshing ocean water. I thought the beach felt a little bit busier yesterday then it has been but it is hard to tell as many palapas remained empty. We enjoyed lunch on the beach with food from Waves Beach Bar and Grill. While out on the beach we had a few visitors. We had a nice lady from Mandara Spa come around to ask if we were interested in a massage. We had the vacation club sales person ask if we wanted a tour. Finally we had a man and his bulldog come around telling us to come visit The Bull Dog Bar. He told us it was a bar that also had karaoke and we could get free shots if we made it out that way later. Sometime after 1pm we went back up to the rooms. The ladies took a nap and my cousin and I wanted to get some gambling in, due to the casinos closing at 10pm each night. We went over to the Ritz Casino and it was pretty quiet. While at the Ritz, I saw the suggestions from Tracey and Walt to look into Azzurro for dinner for the cheese wheel. Neither Giannis or Azzurro had reservations available until 7pm or later and with the Aruba Ray Comedy Show on our schedule for that evening we thought it would be cutting it to close. We gambled until about 5pm and I think we both left just a little bit down. We came back to Stellaris and met up with our ladies to head to dinner. We enjoy going to Iguana Cantina when we are on the island and my wife really likes the pink iguana drink. We figured that would work out well with the Paseo Herencia Mall being across from the Holiday Inn. We parked in the parking garage connected to the mall. Again, when we arrived into the center square of the mall it was so quiet. Hardly anyone walking around. My wife and I noticed that Melt Away Cafe that had just opened when we were last here in October of 2018 was already closed. Plenty of tables available at Iguana Cantina and we enjoyed our meal. We sat over looking the center square and noticed the Bull Dog Bar was in the center of the square. The place the guy on the beach was advertising to us earlier in the day. We saw one couple sit a table at the Bull Dog the whole time we were dining at Iguana. After dinner my cousin went into the Harley Davidson Store and my wife took a quick look in Aruba Aloe Store. Then we headed across the street to the Holiday Inn. We had never been inside, but it was neat seeing the inside of another hotel/resort. We checked in for the Aruba Ray Comedy show by filling out a raffle/contact tracing card. We have visited his show before and always enjoyed it. The ballroom opened the doors just after 8pm and we went inside to find our seats. I would say the show had about 75 people in it. Tables and chairs were well spaced out. They did offer beverage service with servers that came around to ask if you wanted anything. The show consisted of Ray and 5 comedians last night. Many of them gave a quick appreciation thank you to Ray for being able to set up the show so they could do something besides comedy on Zoom. You could tell they were all really happy to be performing in front of a live audience. The show was very funny! They finished up around 1030pm. This was the first night we were away from our resort when it got close to the 11pm island curfew time. It was amazing to see how everything was closed up tight when we left the Holiday Inn. We went back to the parking garage to get the car. I went to pay at the pay booth and it was closed. We looked and saw that even they had already left. The gates were up. We got the car and headed back to Stellaris. With the 11pm curfew it has definitely made our evenings end much earlier.

    Today we have our covid testing appointments at 11am at the hospital. Then we will grab lunch somewhere and do the rest of our self guided island tour in the southern part of the country. We have a 7pm restaurant reservation at Giannis right now because Azzurro does not seem to have any availability again. I will keep checking. Then we will hit some stores for shopping this evening. The days have been going by so fast, as always!
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