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

  1. #41
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    are your friends already planning a return trip?
    Quote Originally Posted by Weston View Post
    Full Day 4 In The Books.

    Our first stop of the day was to the Hospital for our drive through covid testing to be able to go back to the USA. Our appointments were for 11am. We arrived around 1040am and by the time we got to the testing tents it was a couple minutes after 11am. They scanned our qr codes to bring up our information from the Aruba Health App, took our credit card payment of $75 per person and performed the test. It was a swab of the mouth and nose. They told us we would have the results in less then 24 hours. We left around 1110 am. We wanted to get some lunch before finishing our self guided island tour. We headed to West Deck. It was all of ours first time there. We were the first table of the day. We had a great table looking out at the ocean. We really enjoyed the setting and the food. When we left, they had about 3 other tables they were serving. I am guessing when cruise ships filled with passengers are in port that West Deck probably gets much busier being so close to the port, and having the nice beach right there as well. We topped off the rental car with gas. $1.59 per liter right now. We headed to Arikok. We stopped into the visitors center. One other car was in the parking lot. We paid for our admissions and headed to Fontein Cave. Again, only one other vehicle that was leaving when we arrived. We took the walk down the path to the fresh spring so that the fishes could enjoy our feet :-). My wife and I had done this one of our previous trips but it was fun bringing some new people for the fish eating experience. We probably were down at the spring for at least a half hour and were the only ones there the whole time. We even had around 10 little goats come by. We watched them drink water from the bigger spring pool that is down there. After the fish had their fill, we got back in the rental car. It had gotten considerably more hot out. We skipped the guadairikiri cave this time. We took the drive down through the park past the windmills and down towards baby beach. A few donkeys were out near the ATV/Quad course and people were feeding them. We pulled into baby beach and it was considerably busy compared to what we have been seeing up near us at palm beach. We grabbed snow cones from the food truck that was parked there. We exited baby beach and drove by the pet cemetery and then took the long journey back to Marriott Stellaris. We freshened up for an hour and a half and then headed to Giannis for 7pm because we could not get a reservation for Azzurro. I never tried to call but nothing was available online for them. We parked in the parking lot behind Benihana. The gate was up when we drove in. It was all of ours first time at Giannis. I never knew how big the restaurant was. The outside deck was all I ever saw walking by but they have a big air conditioned dining room as well. We were seated in the inside dining room. Miss Aruba was at the restaurant in a stunning yellow dress with her Miss Aruba sash on. We are not sure why she was there but we watched her seat a few tables, have dinner at the bar, and stop by and say hello to tables. We were thinking maybe the Giannis group sponsored her in someway? The food at the restaurant was good. The service was very good! The 3 that ordered the cheese wheel pasta were very happy. I enjoyed my gnocchi and chicken in a vodka sauce. We finished up and it was around 9pm. We spent the next hour walking through the shops and making our way all the way to the stores across from Holiday Inn. By 10pm all the stores were bundled up tight. We got back to the car and the gate was still up for the parking lot. Two nights of free parking in a row! We retired for the night.

    Last Full Day in Aruba plans. We woke up around 715am this morning and saw our negative covid tests in the Aruba Health App. We are going to head to Chicken and Lobster for breakfast and then spend the rest of the day back here at the Marriott enjoying the beach, ocean water, and pool as much as we can! Thinking maybe Tango Argentine Grill for dinner. I really enjoyed that restaurant the last time I was here.
    AIDTM THINK.. is it Thoughtful? Helpful? Inspirational? Necessary? Kind?

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  2. #42
    Super Moderator WaltVB's Avatar
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    Really enjoying your reports Weston. Next time you go to Baby Beach I highly recommend a stop at Rum Reef.

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  3. #43
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    Last Full Day Trip Notes

    When we woke up we saw our negative testing results in the Aruba Health App. We filled out our attestation forms on Southwest for our flight. We took screenshots of the confirmation and the negative test result to be able to show at the airport. We went to Chicken and Lobster for breakfast. The waffles were very good. As a group, I think we enjoyed the Dushi Bagels breakfast better. We came back to the Marriott and used the beach and pool all afternoon. To give an idea of how quiet it was, our little group was in the pool alone for probably two hours. We attempted to order a few drinks at the swim up bar. They made the drinks but would not allow us to sit on the stools as that falls under sitting at a bar which is against Aruba government covid rules currently. I agree with the consensus of the forum that timeshares are busier then hotels right now. I went and used the outdoor bathroom at the adults only pool, which is basically behind surf club. Their stretch of sand and palapas was considerably busier then the Marriott's. We checked into our Southwest Flights at 3:20pm and all got early A boarding without purchasing the Early Bird, which leads me to believe that the plane is going to be pretty empty. We left the pool and beach and went upstairs to get ready for Tango Argentine. We parked behind the restaurant in the Arawak Gardens parking lot. It was complimentary. We walked to the front and their was one or two tables sitting outside. We asked to be sat inside in the A/C. We had the entire restaurant to ourselves for our full meal duration. They had a lot of great specials going. We really enjoyed our last dinner meal on the island there. We went back to the resort after dinner to enjoy the last little bit of evening time on the balcony.

    Our plans for this morning are to pack up the luggage, enjoy some time on the balcony soaking in the warmth and the views as the weather at home this morning is 28 degrees F and snow showers, and grab breakfast again at Dushi Bagels. Then we will gas up the rental and head to the airport. We are going to try to get to the airport around 1230pm for our 320pm flight.


    On a side note, as a group while at the pool yesterday we were discussing how to possibly spark some business at the lodging properties. We heard from multiple associates how business was starting to pick up in January and then everyone left on January 25th to avoid the testing to reenter the USA. I think they need to follow suit of some of the other hotels and resorts that already have testing on site. I would set up testing at my hotel/resort/timeshare location. I would then run a promotion that the lodging property would offer FREE testing to the occupants of that room to be able to return to the USA or other country that needs testing to reenter. If a room is supposed to have two occupants then it would receive two free tests, four occupants would get four tests, etc. The promotion would spell out free, they could say how they will have the results back well before they are needed for the flight home, and how the testing is on property, no taxi, shuttle, or rental car is needed. If a lodging partner was to partner with a testing company, I am sure the testing company could bring down the price per person that the lodging property is charged. It was just an idea while we were enjoying the pool.
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  4. #44
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing your vacation with us. Safe home!

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  5. #45
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    We are actually planning a large friends and family trip for 2022 I believe. I think they will be back!

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea J. View Post
    are your friends already planning a return trip?
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  6. #46
    Aruba since 1979
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    thank you so much for your Aruba Story

    I loved reading every word.

    Safe travels and be safe!
    AIDTM THINK.. is it Thoughtful? Helpful? Inspirational? Necessary? Kind?

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  7. #47
    Senior Member LisaGrn's Avatar
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    Safe travels home, Weston! Really enjoyed your detailed reports. Enjoy it while it lasts because we're getting another snowstorm Saturday night into Sunday! Welcome back to New England!
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  8. #48
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    Safe travels and thanks so much for the reports!






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  9. #49
    Senior Member brady bear's Avatar
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    Just finished reading your fabulous review.
    Thank you for sharing with us.
    Safe travels home.
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  10. #50
    Senior Member Traceyd14's Avatar
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    I am a little late to catching up on your report. We agree with you on preferring Dushi Bagels over Chicken and Lobster. I did find the servers and chicken and lobster more friendly but all things considered, Dushi is a go to for us. We also enjoy sitting inside at Tango, but we skipped it on our last trip.
    Thanks for sharing your trip.
    The best trip is the next trip. Anxiously waiting to book something.
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