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Tourist Tales What makes you visit? What amazing stories have made you come back?

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Old Friday, August 29th, 2008, 06:24 PM
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SanNic44 SanNic44 is offline
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Default Aruba Summer Reflections

I spent July and August in Aruba this year. These comments come from the perspective that I lived in my shack in Savaneta as opposed to renting a place or staying at a hotel or similar. I only mention this because it changes the outlook a little.

Let me begin by saying that Aruba continues to develop. I took the sales tour for several high-rise condo projects and a couple of townhouse and detached house developments. All are looking to the upscale market with prices that astounded me on a per square foot basis. Iím not sure how these residents (or renters) will all fit on the beach if they choose to go there. There are to be large swimming pools but the beach may feel the pressure.

Most all the restaurants I visited were quite busy for the summer season. The quality of food and service seemed to be reliable. One place is now off my list of stops because it was absolutely terrible on two occasions. I wonít mention the place because I donít post bad reviews. They might have had a couple of bad nights or maybe I did. Either way, Iím not going back until I hear someone say theyíre back on track.

I discovered a few new local places, in particular Casa Vieja, that exceeded my expectations. I like Colombian food so this was a slam dunk. Some snack shops also surprised me, but I like that kind of fast food, too.

Major hotel bar drink prices are now beyond my tolerance. Sorry, Iím not paying $21+ for a glass of wine for Mrs. 44 and a jack/soda for yours truly. Youíll catch me once or twice breaking this rule but not often. I found better values at some restaurant bars, and youíll see me there instead. Along those lines, my preference for the $39 Sunday Brunch at Hyatt remains unchanged. I do eat $39 worth, probably a lot more.

Infrastructure in Aruba is improving. Roads in the Santa Cruz area were milled and repaved. The new traffic circle in Pos Chiquito is almost finished. They got rid of the speed bumps, and hopefully the message got through to people that they need to slow down around pedestrians. More road work will need to be done to fix pieces of the coast road between Balashi and Savaneta; again, hopefully, this will not be ignored when the highway is completed. At the airport they do a stupid thing sometimes by towing the returned rental cars parked in the lane there. This drives the clerks crazy, so please show them some extra patience because they can be frazzled at busy times trying to juggle the customers and avoid the tow truck. (Message to airport administration: Lay off! Expand into the parking lot where you clip us a couple of guilders to park when we pick up our pals. That lotís only half used anyway.)

I made several new friends, including ex-pats from several nations as well as Aruban natives. This was the biggest thrill, especially the people who are now opening up, telling me their stories from the good old days along with a few current adventures. Warning: Anything you tell me could end up in a novel! This is something I love about Aruba, the confluence of people from all over the world.

Iím thankful to have a shack in Aruba and canít wait until itís suitable to share with family and friends. For anyone considering buying in Aruba, you wonít go wrong so long as your expectations are not to get rich quick but rather to enjoy a Caribbean island.

In the near term (2-5 years), I expect other areas of Aruba to attract visitors who are looking for a more laid back experience. Iíve heard rumors of small-time private tour operators coming up with ďgo nativeĒ type of packages. This, in my opinion, is a good idea. There are plenty of places in Aruba where you can feel ďship wreckedĒ on a desert island. No, you wonít have drink service on the beach. You might have a meal thatís not your idea of haut cuisine. But you will have a genuine experience, something youíll be talking about for years to come.

Let me know if this has been helpful or if I simply write too much.

44
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Old Friday, August 29th, 2008, 06:42 PM
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dwippies dwippies is offline
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Default Re: Aruba Summer Reflections

daniel, it is not only informative but interesting. thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SanNic44 View Post
I spent July and August in Aruba this year. These comments come from the perspective that I lived in my shack in Savaneta as opposed to renting a place or staying at a hotel or similar. I only mention this because it changes the outlook a little.

Let me begin by saying that Aruba continues to develop. I took the sales tour for several high-rise condo projects and a couple of townhouse and detached house developments. All are looking to the upscale market with prices that astounded me on a per square foot basis. Iím not sure how these residents (or renters) will all fit on the beach if they choose to go there. There are to be large swimming pools but the beach may feel the pressure.

Most all the restaurants I visited were quite busy for the summer season. The quality of food and service seemed to be reliable. One place is now off my list of stops because it was absolutely terrible on two occasions. I wonít mention the place because I donít post bad reviews. They might have had a couple of bad nights or maybe I did. Either way, Iím not going back until I hear someone say theyíre back on track.

I discovered a few new local places, in particular Casa Vieja, that exceeded my expectations. I like Colombian food so this was a slam dunk. Some snack shops also surprised me, but I like that kind of fast food, too.

Major hotel bar drink prices are now beyond my tolerance. Sorry, Iím not paying $21+ for a glass of wine for Mrs. 44 and a jack/soda for yours truly. Youíll catch me once or twice breaking this rule but not often. I found better values at some restaurant bars, and youíll see me there instead. Along those lines, my preference for the $39 Sunday Brunch at Hyatt remains unchanged. I do eat $39 worth, probably a lot more.

Infrastructure in Aruba is improving. Roads in the Santa Cruz area were milled and repaved. The new traffic circle in Pos Chiquito is almost finished. They got rid of the speed bumps, and hopefully the message got through to people that they need to slow down around pedestrians. More road work will need to be done to fix pieces of the coast road between Balashi and Savaneta; again, hopefully, this will not be ignored when the highway is completed. At the airport they do a stupid thing sometimes by towing the returned rental cars parked in the lane there. This drives the clerks crazy, so please show them some extra patience because they can be frazzled at busy times trying to juggle the customers and avoid the tow truck. (Message to airport administration: Lay off! Expand into the parking lot where you clip us a couple of guilders to park when we pick up our pals. That lotís only half used anyway.)

I made several new friends, including ex-pats from several nations as well as Aruban natives. This was the biggest thrill, especially the people who are now opening up, telling me their stories from the good old days along with a few current adventures. Warning: Anything you tell me could end up in a novel! This is something I love about Aruba, the confluence of people from all over the world.

Iím thankful to have a shack in Aruba and canít wait until itís suitable to share with family and friends. For anyone considering buying in Aruba, you wonít go wrong so long as your expectations are not to get rich quick but rather to enjoy a Caribbean island.

In the near term (2-5 years), I expect other areas of Aruba to attract visitors who are looking for a more laid back experience. Iíve heard rumors of small-time private tour operators coming up with ďgo nativeĒ type of packages. This, in my opinion, is a good idea. There are plenty of places in Aruba where you can feel ďship wreckedĒ on a desert island. No, you wonít have drink service on the beach. You might have a meal thatís not your idea of haut cuisine. But you will have a genuine experience, something youíll be talking about for years to come.

Let me know if this has been helpful or if I simply write too much.

44
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Old Friday, August 29th, 2008, 07:39 PM
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Elaine S Elaine S is offline
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I Love Aruba Re: Aruba Summer Reflections

I second what sherry said and can't wait to be back there!

Hope you're working on the sequel, daniel!!
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Old Sunday, August 31st, 2008, 08:46 AM
Linda VH Linda VH is offline
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Default Re: Aruba Summer Reflections

It is always good to get another perspective - different from us who are "over the bridge". Really enjoyed your book! Will send you a message on your website. Thanks again, Linda
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Old Sunday, August 31st, 2008, 09:00 AM
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One Happy Island Re: Aruba Summer Reflections

I enjoy your comments. The thing on the bad meal twice is I don't think you are bad mouthing the place but sometimes I like to know where it is so I don't waste one of my nights there. I spend 6 weeks on Aruba and if you would care to share the place with me personally, please feel free to e-mail me. Thanks alot. Kent Gerber kentgerber@adamswells.com
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