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Thread: Not Aruba, but we all love a trip report

  1. #1
    Senior Member Traceyd14's Avatar
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    Not Aruba, but we all love a trip report

    It is the Memorial Day long weekend after being at home for over 2 months. I've been having a tough time the last couple weeks and just needed an escape to different scenery. Originally we were planning to be in Ocean City, Maryland with a group of friends. This plan was made long before any shut downs. A couple weeks ago our friends canceled so we did too. Maryland seems to have more restrictions still in place, and OC reports were showing bigger crowds. So a few days ago, once we knew beaches were open, we made a plan for Virginia Beach with very low expectations. I told Jon I didnt care if all we could do was sit on the balcony, I needed this. The place we are staying was just remodelled and rebranded as a Doubletree during the off season. The rooms are small but the furnishings are nice,the bed is very comfortable and chairs on the. Balcony are nice too.

    Friday afternoon we made a drive with no traffic, which NEVER happens. 3 hours from door to Oceanfront, in contrast to one of our visits last year that took between 5-6 hours for the same trip. Friday night we made some cocktails, relaxed on the balcony and ordered room service from a newly renovated restaurant called Mahi's. Jon had a french dip and I had a crabcake sandwich that was perfect,very meaty not a lot of filler and a brioche bun. We all have our opinions about the 15% service charge, well we paid 25% plus an 18% tip for this one (already added on), we added cash tip just due to the circumstances. Yikes!
    We have masks with us, but have not felt the need to wear them. We have only been on the elevator with 1 other person. The hotel seems to have low occupancy, but this one also has 4 elevators for 8 floors of rooms so I think it helps spread people out.

    Saturday morning we walked the boardwalk. Jon stopped to see of anyone was catching anything near the inlet but nothing happened while we were watching. We walked about 2 miles total, then found an outdoor cafe for breakfast. The had removed chairs from every other table and servers wore masks. We felt safe. They also used paper menus.
    From there we spent the day on the beach. We brought our own chairs. No rentals of chairs or umbrellas were available. The beach has signs with rules and beach ambassadors to enforce things like no tents, no large groups, no large coolers, and so on. People spaced out on the beach very well. The water was too cold for me to go in beyond the ankle, but Jon took a few dips to cool off. The weather was perfect. We had drinks in our insulated cups. A new drink for us, pineapple Malibu rum mixed with pineapple orange v8 splash and a little bit of sprite. It was refreshing and summery. The downside was trekking back up to the room for refills but we took turns. Our hotel has 2 outside bars set up and a patio to enjoy drinks. We had signature Orange Crush drinks and I tried a key lime crush, but will stick to orange. We shared a to go order of chicken wings as lunch. The restaurant next to us seems too crowded, people are right next to each other in the outdoor setting. We would not be comfortable there. We tried to go to a popular seafood restaurant for dinner but the hostess stand and the bar were crowded. We heard the wait for a table was over an hour and the patio to wait with a drink was also crowded. We decided to leave. We ended up back at Mahi's. We got a table with no wait and were spaced out well. We had a tuna roll appetizer and Jon had she crab soup that he loved. We shared 2 meals, scallops and lobster mac and cheese...soooooo good. Jon ordered a key lime pie for dessert but were too full so we had it for breakfast this morning....its vacation, right?!?

    This morning it is cool, cloudy and windy. We are just relaxing and watching tv. We have plans to take a walk and check out the fishing again. This afternoon we are driving by a friends house to wave and say hi from a distance. She is military and still on stay at home orders in her work group.

    The oceanfront was busy yesterday evening but not crowded. The outside dining and bar patio makes our oceanfront room very loud. Jon is a very light sleeper so we are thinking about going home this evening instead of tomorrow, depends how the day goes. I doubt we will go to the beach unless the sun comes out. The hotel is not servicing rooms of current guests, only at check out. I understand but wish they would have told us at check in, and also wish they had some plan for trash service since most meals are to go around here right now.
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  2. #2
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    Thanks!!

    I was so yearning for a trip report..........VB is a great spot!
    Thanks and I hope the sun comes out for you 2 today.

    Enjoy every moment of being our of house arrest.

    When does your office open for you to go back in?

    Quote Originally Posted by Traceyd14 View Post
    It is the Memorial Day long weekend after being at home for over 2 months. I've been having a tough time the last couple weeks and just needed an escape to different scenery. Originally we were planning to be in Ocean City, Maryland with a group of friends. This plan was made long before any shut downs. A couple weeks ago our friends canceled so we did too. Maryland seems to have more restrictions still in place, and OC reports were showing bigger crowds. So a few days ago, once we knew beaches were open, we made a plan for Virginia Beach with very low expectations. I told Jon I didnt care if all we could do was sit on the balcony, I needed this. The place we are staying was just remodelled and rebranded as a Doubletree during the off season. The rooms are small but the furnishings are nice,the bed is very comfortable and chairs on the. Balcony are nice too.

    Friday afternoon we made a drive with no traffic, which NEVER happens. 3 hours from door to Oceanfront, in contrast to one of our visits last year that took between 5-6 hours for the same trip. Friday night we made some cocktails, relaxed on the balcony and ordered room service from a newly renovated restaurant called Mahi's. Jon had a french dip and I had a crabcake sandwich that was perfect,very meaty not a lot of filler and a brioche bun. We all have our opinions about the 15% service charge, well we paid 25% plus an 18% tip for this one (already added on), we added cash tip just due to the circumstances. Yikes!
    We have masks with us, but have not felt the need to wear them. We have only been on the elevator with 1 other person. The hotel seems to have low occupancy, but this one also has 4 elevators for 8 floors of rooms so I think it helps spread people out.

    Saturday morning we walked the boardwalk. Jon stopped to see of anyone was catching anything near the inlet but nothing happened while we were watching. We walked about 2 miles total, then found an outdoor cafe for breakfast. The had removed chairs from every other table and servers wore masks. We felt safe. They also used paper menus.
    From there we spent the day on the beach. We brought our own chairs. No rentals of chairs or umbrellas were available. The beach has signs with rules and beach ambassadors to enforce things like no tents, no large groups, no large coolers, and so on. People spaced out on the beach very well. The water was too cold for me to go in beyond the ankle, but Jon took a few dips to cool off. The weather was perfect. We had drinks in our insulated cups. A new drink for us, pineapple Malibu rum mixed with pineapple orange v8 splash and a little bit of sprite. It was refreshing and summery. The downside was trekking back up to the room for refills but we took turns. Our hotel has 2 outside bars set up and a patio to enjoy drinks. We had signature Orange Crush drinks and I tried a key lime crush, but will stick to orange. We shared a to go order of chicken wings as lunch. The restaurant next to us seems too crowded, people are right next to each other in the outdoor setting. We would not be comfortable there. We tried to go to a popular seafood restaurant for dinner but the hostess stand and the bar were crowded. We heard the wait for a table was over an hour and the patio to wait with a drink was also crowded. We decided to leave. We ended up back at Mahi's. We got a table with no wait and were spaced out well. We had a tuna roll appetizer and Jon had she crab soup that he loved. We shared 2 meals, scallops and lobster mac and cheese...soooooo good. Jon ordered a key lime pie for dessert but were too full so we had it for breakfast this morning....its vacation, right?!?

    This morning it is cool, cloudy and windy. We are just relaxing and watching tv. We have plans to take a walk and check out the fishing again. This afternoon we are driving by a friends house to wave and say hi from a distance. She is military and still on stay at home orders in her work group.

    The oceanfront was busy yesterday evening but not crowded. The outside dining and bar patio makes our oceanfront room very loud. Jon is a very light sleeper so we are thinking about going home this evening instead of tomorrow, depends how the day goes. I doubt we will go to the beach unless the sun comes out. The hotel is not servicing rooms of current guests, only at check out. I understand but wish they would have told us at check in, and also wish they had some plan for trash service since most meals are to go around here right now.
    ​In a world where you can be anything, be kind!
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
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    Thanks Tracey. I enjoyed your report and glad you were able to safely get away to experience a little of our new normal.

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Traceyd14's Avatar
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    We don't have a date yet to go back. I've heard we won't know until after June 10th, and I've heard rumors of maybe going back in July. A face covering for all buildings order came out last week so I am hoping the return to work gets delayed longer. I cannot imagine sitting at my desk in an office that is generally on the warm side and having to wear a mask for 8 hours...ugh
    Last edited by Traceyd14; 05-24-2020 at 09:44 AM.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    Knew we could count on you for a trip report.... also we knew we could count on you to discover a new drink....!!!! Yuck about no trash pickup with the take out waste.... poor planning on their part. Thanks Tracey!
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  6. #6
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    Thanks Tracy! I need that!

  7. #7
    Senior Member brady bear's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing.. it was nice to hear
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Aruba4ever's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing.

  9. #9
    Senior Member LisaGrn's Avatar
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    Thanks, Tracey! So glad you and Jon were able to get away even for a short trip. I'm jealous! LOL!


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  10. #10
    Super Moderator WaltVB's Avatar
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    Thanks Tracey, you shoulda sent a message...


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