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Aruba Nights Island Guide
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Thread: Tell About Your First Trip to Aruba

  1. #11
    Super Moderator WaltVB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LisaGrn View Post
    (which tells you what is happening this year! Ugh!).
    Lisa, I will be 65 this year also. We had to reschedule our April/May trip and were going to celebrate my birthday in Aruba in September, but there was no availability.


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  2. #12
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LisaGrn View Post
    I'm way behind all of you on discovering Aruba! My first visit was in 2015. I wanted to go somewhere to celebrate my 60th (which tells you what is happening this year! Ugh!). One of my good friends was up for it so I did most of the planning. We splurged! Stayed on the concierge floor at the Marriott Stellaris. We went horseback riding, out to dinner every night (Flying Fishbone, Two Fools and a Bull when it was still Fred and Paulie [that was the birthday dinner], Quinta del Carmen, Atardi [then Simply Fish] twice, etc.), but mostly laid under a palapa and swam in the ocean). Had a wonderful time, stayed for a week, and loved it so much, we went back the next year for 10 days. Even more restaurants, Blue Melody snorkeling trip, I did a glass bead-making class one day, and more laying on the beach. Had some challenges with my friend that trip so that is why I decided to go by myself last year and stay at the much more peaceful Manchebo. Best decision I ever made and now I'm addicted to the island and Manchebo!

    Fun story about the 2nd dinner in 2016 at Two Fools (I know, this is supposed to be about our 1st trip, but this is a really nice story!). Paulie still owned it but Fred had left to start his own place and Bas was the new chef. When Paulie greeted the guests that night, he pointed at me and said "Do I ever have a surprise for you!" I couldn't imagine what it was and he just kept teasing me all through the cocktail portion. We finally sat down and there was an envelope at my place with my name on it. It was a card from a business colleague of mine back in Connecticut. I had told him about my impending trip and how much I was looking forward to going back to Two Fools. Well, he apparently looked up their phone number, called Paulie, and gave him his credit card info to pay for both our dinners, plus all the wine we could drink, the tip and even the taxi ride back to the Marriott! Paulie went out and bought a card and Ray (my friend) dictated a lovely note that Paulie wrote out and put at my place (I still have it). It was such a lovely and unexpected treat, pretty unbelievable actually since i'm sure many of you know Two Fools wasn't and still isn't cheap. And it saved me a lot of money (hence, the 2nd Aruba jewelry purchase that year!).

    See, Glenn, I'm no good at short stories either! LOL!
    Great story....... now it's Glenn's turn....!
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  3. #13
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    I think that we should have a 65 medicare party!
    ​In a world where you can be anything, be kind!
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  4. #14
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea J. View Post
    I think that we should have a 65 medicare party!
    Let's start now.... the social distancing is def in place......
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  5. #15
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    Lol. You went to Aruba for my(and Stu's) high school graduation-June 1980.



    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn View Post
    Oh Robin! And Lisa, Peg, Walt, Andrea and everyone else,

    I never get tired of telling this tale. Fair warning though; I am unable to make a long story short. I usually end up making a long story longer. Lisa, I think you know this already!

    Ok, lets get going.

    Let's start with that blank, vacant stare.

    My first trip was in June 1980. We'll back up to when I first started planning this trip. I had heard about Aruba several years earlier and the sing-songy name kind of stuck with me. Anyway, in early 1980 I wrote to the Aruba tourist office in Toronto. Six weeks later a big envelope arrived, packed with brochures.
    Brochures are great but of course I had to get there.

    When I told my travel agent where I wanted to go. He stared at me with an blank, vacant look that said (silently), 'I think there's atlas around here somewhere'. Timbuctu or Timbucthree would have been easier to find, I'm sure he thought.


    Once he saw I was serious, he made the appropriate air arrangements. So, in June 1980, after my CPA exams were finished, it was Northwest Airlines to Miami, then Eastern Airlines from Miami into Aruba. At that time Eastern was the only American carrier into Aruba and no Canadian airlines going there at all.


    And I'm there.

    Accommodation was at Manchebo Beach Resort. There were four or five low-rise hotels in the Manchebo area. The high-rise area had four hotels, The Holiday Inn, The Americana, The Concord and one other who's name escapes me. The hospitaal (Not a mispell. Next time you're driving by, look up!) was the largest building on the island.

    Manchebo was, at that time, owned by the same family who owned Talk of the Town. ToTT was home to Aruba's special occasion restaurant. Their dress code, at least for men was simple and strictly enforced. No jacket, no tie, no dinner!


    Looking back

    I had a wonderful time in Aruba back then. Great food, lots of sunshine, friendly people, and just that feeling of being safe, secure, comfortable and actually made to feel that you are welcome there.

    And now

    In the 40 years since my first trip I have been back many, many times. Yes there have been lots of changes, a much discussed theme here on the forum. As I have said here on so many occasions, it is not for Canadians or Americans to demand that Aruba stay in a time-warp so we can enjoy it's colonial charm. For Dutch people, that's different; it's their place!

    Still, all the things which make Aruba, well, Aruba and which continue to draw us back, time and time again are still there is abundance.


    What I'd really like to do is invite you to Sunset Beach Studios. We'd sit in the palapa by the pool, and I could regale you about this. The forum is great but listening to me live is much more, well, you know...

    Have a great day everyone.


    Glenn

  6. #16
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea J. View Post
    Aruba sets the bar very high so there most everywhere else we go is never quite good enough.
    Very true!

  7. #17
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    Happy Birthday! Once this craziness is over, you and your husband can celebrate in style. Now you can celebrate every day that you are healthy.


    Quote Originally Posted by stoney4555 View Post
    Congratulations Lisa on turning the big 65 this year. It’s the big 65 for me on Sunday. It will be a very quiet celebration but that’s OK. My husband informed me the card and gift will have to wait because he’s afraid to go out. We were supposed to celebrate his birthday on March 18th in Aruba at Manchebo. It was going to be his first time in Aruba and I had planned so much but that’s OK (I’m saying that a lot lately). My first time in Aruba was 2011 with a friend who had a timeshare. We went every year with another couple. I fell in love with Aruba that first year. This year I planned a trip for my husband and I. I just don’t know when to reschedule right now. Airfare is crazy high (United Business Class) right now for dates in the Fall. We’ll see.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpjones View Post
    Great story....... now it's Glenn's turn....!
    Doesn't often happen here CP, but I sent mine in already. It's positively captivating. Ask anybody.

    Birthday's? Well I turned 67 at the end of December. That means you have 9 months to, you know... I'm thinking a new pirate suit would be nice.

    Sorry Andrea, once again I've kind of steered the thread off topic.


    Glenn
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  9. #19
    Senior Member LisaGrn's Avatar
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    No!! Not yet!!! I have until July! Waaaaa! Waaaaaaa!

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea J. View Post
    I think that we should have a 65 medicare party!


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  10. #20
    Senior Member coldsteel337's Avatar
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    1996. I was the operations manager/partner in a telecom company. WE bought well over a million dollars in product each year from a distributor. The owner of the distribution company stopped in one day and during his visit offered our purchasing manager a weeks stay at the Divi Dutch village. I was walking by as the purchasing manager was asked and replied "no", my wife won't fly. He then said, John, would you be interested? Without a hesitation, I said sure, when?
    My Wife and I, along with an adult daughter and her 9 year old son arrived the first week of September. Sitting on the left side of the airplane I still recall seeing the water and beaches for the first time. I still sit on the left side each time we arrive. Back then you walked across the tarmac into the terminal.
    We arrived at DIVI and within 5 or 10 minutes my grandson new where the pools were and had sand between his toes. He announced to all of us " I LOVE ARUBA!" We still use that phase frequently .
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