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Old Wednesday, November 18th, 2009, 12:49 PM
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Default trip report 10/29 - 11/13 Mill - Riu

Left Newark on Continental on 10/29 on 8:30 am flight, took off at 9:30 landed at 1:20. Picked up my sim card at fast phones, they inserted and made sure everything worked fine. I ordered 84 minutes for $20. I should have asked where I could replenish as I did run out. There is a LeSportSac kiosk in the Paseo mall and one shop in Awarak Gardens that have the flex cards. They told me they had $15 cards but couldn't tell me how many minuets it would be. I ended up going to the Digicel office and picked up the $15 card which has about 60 minutes. At least now I know for next year.

Off to Thrifty to pick up my rental. They said they didn’t have my reservation or any cars. It was a good thing I had the email confirmation, they then found a car. It was an Atos, this car should be taken off the road, it was in terrible condition and I did not feel comfortable driving it. When I got to the Riu the next day I turned it in for another car. My mistake was renting an economy car, never again. Jackie at the Thrifty desk at Riu was more than accommodating. I only rent for the first 3 days and then again for the second week. The second week they put my reservation for 12/6 instead of 11/6. Jackie did her best to get me car and came through. She gave us a jeep until she had one, what an adventure that was. By the time we got back from Lings she had our car. I can’t say enough about Jackie, she goes above and beyond.

The first night I stayed at the Mill. The price with tax was $101 and was perfect for what I needed. I booked thru Continental and got and extra 250 bonus miles. The staff is very friendly and the resort is very nice, pretty empty though.

Thursday night at the new Village there was a Halloween Food Festival. They were selling coins to use for meals, I bought 7 coins for $10. Various restaurants had booths set up and each had a dish that was 2 or 3 coins. I had the grouper from Hadicurari – 3 coins, chicken kabobs and fried rice from Chino Latino – 2 coins and a piece of pumpkin pie from Papillon – 2 coins. They also had a band set up.

On Friday I stayed by the pool at the Mill until about 10:30 then went over to the Riu to check into my timeshare.

My unit was not ready but Ruella gave me my bracelet and towel cards so off to the beach. Had to pick up friends at the airport in the afternoon then back to beach.

Since this was my 18th trip and I’ve seen just about everything everyday was pretty much spent on the beach from 8:15 am till sunset at 6:15. The usual trip to Alto Vista chapel and one afternoon downtown. Light breakfast, bagel or muffin, light lunches, sometimes just cheese and crackers. Always a great dinner out.

Both my 5th and 3rd floor units at the Riu were in good condition. We all got new mattresses and all but 2 of the units were repainted. Rumor has it that more will be done, but it will take time.

Week 44 at Riu was much more active than previous years. Drinking seemed to be out of control. One guy passed out at the pool bar, was given mouth to mouth and taken away in an ambulance. The next day some guys stripped off their bathing suits to bikini’s and were doing their version of water aerobics behind the instructors.
Not exactly what anyone at the pool wanted to see, especially those with young children. Someone said one of the guys was the same one taken away the day before. Saw a young girl in the casino who could barely stay on the stool. We were just waiting for her to hit the floor. She was in the same condition in the elevator on another day. I think she spent the entire week comatose. By the afternoon the pool had cups and spilled drinks floating and who knows what else. The only time I went into the pool was the day there seemed to be a diesel spill in the sea. Unfortunately I was waist deep until I realized it was in the water and not coming from one of the boats at the dock. Used the top pool, thought maybe that was cleaner.

Week 45 seemed to be back to the normal crowd, nothing unusual happening.

Seemed to be much more cruise traffic this year. Some days you could hardly find a place on the beach and the Riu has one of the biggest beaches in the high rise area.

A lot of new things opened in Palm Beach, at least new since my last visit. The new village area is really nice. The restaurants there are Papillon, Chino Latino and Cactus Jacks Grill. Ben and Jerry’s and a few shops. Hard Rock is huge but we hardly ever saw anyone in there. The South Beach center, across from Aqua Grill, has the South Beach Lounge, an open air bar, Café Rembrandt, Café de Pyp, a japenese restaurant and Busters Garage. There are also various shops. While we were there a radio station held a new car contest. Contestants had to put one hand on the car and the last one standing would win it. It started Thursday 10/29 and was going until Sunday November 1st. Stopped each night to see how many were left, there were a few on Saturday night around 9 but on Sunday morning it was cleared.

Halloween seemed to be a much bigger celebration this year. The tattoo was going all night, at 8am on Sunday they were still coming off the boat.

On Tuesday the 3rd we got the effects of Ida. Lots of waves, water came up the beach at the Riu, one part was about 10 foot from the sidewalk. Huts were underwater. The next day the seeweed came up but then gone the day after.

On Sunday the 8th there was a volleyball tournament in front of Bugaloe. The catamaran races were pushed back to November 20th.

The Phoenix looks like it’s just about complete. It’s beautiful but the beach is very small.

Did pretty well at the casinos this year, only played at the Radisson and Riu. Made a little money on Let it Ride, hit the penny slots for $435 with only .40 in. I’m not one to play the max coins, only the max lines with 2 or 3 per line. The most I spent each night was usually less than $50 with an hour of play time. Overall for the 2 weeks I came home $350 ahead. Lots of people winning at the Riu slots, $3000, $5,000.

Spent a few hours at Bugaloe. Great food and drinks, always a good time. We actually met some of the people on the bb during their stop there on the pub crawl.

Here are some of the restaurants we ate at. Usually had 1 or 2 glasses of wine with dinner. Most of the time had no room for dessert.
The Village Food festival – grouper, chicken and fried rice, pumpkin pie
Casa Tua – Palm Beach – great pizza
Bugaloe – several times - had wraps, sandwiches and the curly fry nachos
Sole Mare – seafood risotto
Taste of Belgium – great burgers, went once for burgers and another just for the Belgium waffle
The French Market – bacon, egg and cheese on a muffin
Fishes and More – mussels and shrimp creole
Smokey Joes – great ribs
Café Rembrandt – 2X - great prices. Had creamy garlic soup, beef bourguignon, second time had the toastie sandwich
Tulip – grouper creole
Linda’s Pancakes – just love those pancakes, banana and walnut
Que Pasa – fish trio, barracuda, mahi and shrimp
Bingo – filet mignon, rib eye and shrimp. Burgers and salads look great too
Wacky Wahoo – conch and shrimp stew
Chef’s Table – mahi, red snapper and shrimp. Pistachio ice cream for dessert
Gilligan’s – grouper sandwich

Wanted to get to Gostoso and The Promenade but ran out of time, will have to wait till next year.

We thought the nor’easter would delay our flight home on the 13th but it didn’t. Left at 3:30 and arrived back into Newark at 7.

As always, a great trip, can't wait till next year.

Here's some photos (I hope the link works)

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...00000001034239

Linda

Last edited by dwippies; Wednesday, November 18th, 2009 at 02:03 PM.
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Old Wednesday, November 18th, 2009, 01:23 PM
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Elaine S Elaine S is offline
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I Love Aruba Re: trip report 10/29 - 11/13 Mill - Riu

Great trip report, and loved your pictures, Linda!!! Thank you.
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Last edited by dwippies; Wednesday, November 18th, 2009 at 02:01 PM.
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Old Wednesday, November 18th, 2009, 02:05 PM
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Default Re: trip report 10/29 - 11/13 Mill - Riu

great report and pics linda!

do you have your pics stored anywhere besides facebook since only members can probably see it?
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Old Wednesday, November 18th, 2009, 03:13 PM
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Default Re: trip report 10/29 - 11/13 Mill - Riu

I don't have them anywhere else. I could post them to photobucket if anyone can't open
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Old Thursday, November 19th, 2009, 09:59 AM
Kathy from Ohio Kathy from Ohio is offline
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Default Re: trip report 10/29 - 11/13 Mill - Riu

Great trip report, Linda. The pictures were fantastic. We are doing our "countdown" til March...can't wait! It was nice to see the places you go to up at Palm Beach. We stay at ABC, but will definitely have to try Bugaloes.
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Old Thursday, November 19th, 2009, 12:54 PM
JohnJT JohnJT is offline
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Default Re: trip report 10/29 - 11/13 Mill - Riu

Sherry was right.
I thought I would look at your pix.
So far, I have avoided Facebook and Twitter etc.
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Old Thursday, November 19th, 2009, 01:13 PM
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Default Re: trip report 10/29 - 11/13 Mill - Riu

awww, come on john, join the masses. even i am on facebook, lol. i haven't found the purpose for most of it but i'm a member,

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Originally Posted by JohnJT View Post
Sherry was right.
I thought I would look at your pix.
So far, I have avoided Facebook and Twitter etc.
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Old Friday, November 20th, 2009, 11:06 AM
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Default Re: trip report 10/29 - 11/13 Mill - Riu

I posted the pictues on Photobucket, I don't think you need to join to look

Pictures by lpieta - Photobucket
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Old Friday, November 20th, 2009, 11:10 AM
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Default Re: trip report 10/29 - 11/13 Mill - Riu

linda, it works fine. thank you. the pictures are too good for anyone to miss.

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I posted the pictues on Photobucket, I don't think you need to join to look

Pictures by lpieta - Photobucket
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Old Friday, November 20th, 2009, 03:55 PM
JohnJT JohnJT is offline
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Default Re: trip report 10/29 - 11/13 Mill - Riu

Very nice pictures!
Thanks for re-posting on Photobucket!
What was the entree at Chef's Table?
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Old Friday, November 20th, 2009, 04:05 PM
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Default Re: trip report 10/29 - 11/13 Mill - Riu

The first one was at Que Pasa, the second one with the tapas desserts was at Chef's Table
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Old Friday, November 20th, 2009, 06:47 PM
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Default Re: trip report 10/29 - 11/13 Mill - Riu

Hi Linda,
I looked at your great pictures twice, and will surely go back to look again. Makes me want to be in Aruba! Can't say enough about your all-encompassing trip report. I have taken note of restaurants I most definitely will get to in February.
Thank you so very much.
Mary
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Old Friday, November 20th, 2009, 10:39 PM
PhoenixGirl PhoenixGirl is offline
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Default Re: trip report 10/29 - 11/13 Mill - Riu

I'm not on Facebook either. Thanks for posting the pictures on another site. LOVED the pictures of all the kitties.
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