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Old Friday, October 22nd, 2010, 09:03 PM
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Smile changes I saw

We just returned from 12 days on Aruba and thought I would mention the changes we saw this year. This was our 13th time on Aruba. These changes could have occured anytime in the last 3-4 years. We did visit Aruba a year ago last May, but never left the resort except to go to the grocery and dinner. It was a "just relax" visit that we both needed. We went to Maui in 2008 and Aruba the year before.
I guess the weather was the biggest change. We got only the last 3 days of a month of rain. We saw more rain on our first Monday this year than we have seen in our other 12 trips all together. It was monsoon like for 4 hours and rained most of the day. Tuesday it sprinkled most of the day and wednesday was cloudy all day with off and on sprinkles. Nothing but sunshine after that during the day. A couple of nightime showers that were gone by daylight.

Most of the shops at Seaport mall are closed.

Amechies is gone. Loved that place.

Strange to see a vacant lot with a sign for a new grocery store coming soon at the site of the Black hog saloon and miniature golf and Alfredos.

Arashi beach looks very nice now. They put up walls and a paved parking lot along with some palapas. Even had a guy with a mobile drink stand set up in the parking lot. No restrooms yet.

More palapas at Malmok as well.

Baby beach also has rock walls and more parking.

Construction going on for the new Ritz Carlton.

Duty free shop in the arrival area at the airport now.

American Airlines business class lounge in departure is no more. Its a membership only lounge now. They dont call it an Admirals club though.

Pizza Bobs at the Costa Linda. Good Pizza too. Also brucheta and tomato mozzarella salad.

The road at the end of the Costa Linda parking lot is no longer fenced off. You can go through to ABC and CDM and Dushi bagels. There is a one way arrow pointing in the direction of CL, but I saw several cabs go the other way so I did too.

There is a mobile drink vendor at the lighthouse and at the gold mine.

It costs 50 cents instead of a Quarter to use the bathroom at the natural bridge site. First time weve been there since it fell.

There is another new mall in front(back) of Hernancia mall.

Getting harder to find a parking space.

New chef at Madame Janettes. Wll try it again but disappointed on this trip.

Beach is eroding at CDM/ABC.

They need to bring the goats back. Weeds along the main roads are completely out of control. I remember the first few trips we made there were goats along the roads and it looked ike a park between the lanes. Trimmed down. No weeds. Goats eat weeds. We saw 2 guys, one with a small gas push mower and one with a weed wacker trying to trim 3 foot high weeds between the lanes on the road by CL. They might get done with that stretch by the time we go back next year.

Wind farm is up and operating.

Boa constrictors have become a problem. Saw a dead one on the road. They will eat all the native bird population eventually if they are not eradicated. Not native but evidently someone turned some loose a few years back and now they are a problem.

Thats all I can think of right now but feel free to add to the list over the last few years.
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Old Friday, October 22nd, 2010, 09:53 PM
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Default Re: changes I saw

BOA CONSTRICTORS?? Never heard about those before....have I just been living in a cave or is this common knowledge? And I sure hope the new chef at MJ's is just trying to adjust to his surroundings. Any chance you just hit it on an off night? It's our favorite restaurant. Thanks Bob - For anyone who hasn't been there in a few years, this was a nice recap of the changes.

Really though, Boa Constrictors? Yikes and Yuck
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Old Friday, October 22nd, 2010, 10:18 PM
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Default Re: changes I saw

Hi Bob,
Thanks so much for your notes taken on your trip to Aruba. I'm glad the rain cleared for you. I suppose we'll have to say it's 'progress' about the drink vendor at the lighthouse, but I don't care for that kind of progress. I've heard from a couple of other people about their disappointment with the new chef at Madame Janette's but I also hope he'll improve. Oh, that new mall behind Herencia-----who needs it?????? More progress!!!!!You knew the Black Hog burned???? I miss Alfredo's. Well Bob---once again thank you for the information.
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Old Saturday, October 23rd, 2010, 12:29 AM
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Default Re: changes I saw

mary, remember that it wasn't that many months ago that the last new chef at mj's was killed in a car accident. it will take this guy a bit of time to learn the ropes and recipes. i'd give it another try before giving up.

i too miss alfredo's. not fancy but i really enjoyed the place.

and ro, yup, boa constrictors. scary stuff.

bob, thanks for all of the details. it's great info!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArubaMary View Post
Hi Bob,
Thanks so much for your notes taken on your trip to Aruba. I'm glad the rain cleared for you. I suppose we'll have to say it's 'progress' about the drink vendor at the lighthouse, but I don't care for that kind of progress. I've heard from a couple of other people about their disappointment with the new chef at Madame Janette's but I also hope he'll improve. Oh, that new mall behind Herencia-----who needs it?????? More progress!!!!!You knew the Black Hog burned???? I miss Alfredo's. Well Bob---once again thank you for the information.
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Old Saturday, October 23rd, 2010, 03:02 AM
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Smile Re: changes I saw

the aricle I read about the boas said they killed less than a hundred 7 years ago, over 200 the next year, over a thousand 2 years ago and around 2500 last year. The concern is that they are breading way faster than they are being killed. They eat birds, bird eggs and small animals.
Brown tree snakes were accidently introduced onto an island in the pacific of which the name escapes me now, and after about 25 years they had made 8 species of birds extinct and every small mamal species.
They, as the boas have no natural enemies on the islands. It will become a major problem if the government doesnt act. I would say putting a bounty on boas would take care of the situation in a few years. It worked here with coyotes. Cant hunt them now.
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Old Saturday, October 23rd, 2010, 08:02 AM
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Default Re: changes I saw

Thanks Bob for your recap of your vacation and the thoughts about the changes. I agree that things are different now than even 10 years ago. Much has happened.
We went to MJ's for dinner and everyone was very happy with the food they ordered. We must have hit a great night. The new chief has very big shoes to fill...I think he will hit his stride and be fine. We were told he is trying to incorporate some new items to the menu..along with the old favorites and they are tweaking them both to come up with the best menu possible. Time will tell...
I read about the boas on Facebook on one of the Aruba pages...there are steps being taken to irradicate them from the island...I hope they are able to get the situation handled soon. I, for one, didn't see one....but we didn't stray far from home this time.
So glad you enjoyed some nice days....it was sure one big change for us this time with all the rain. But, next year will be better....I am sure of it.....
Again, Bob...thank you so much for your thoughts...
ruba
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Old Saturday, October 23rd, 2010, 08:31 AM
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Default Re: changes I saw

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Originally Posted by sherry View Post
mary, remember that it wasn't that many months ago that the last new chef at mj's was killed in a car accident. it will take this guy a bit of time to learn the ropes and recipes. i'd give it another try before giving up.

i too miss alfredo's. not fancy but i really enjoyed the place.

and ro, yup, boa constrictors. scary stuff.

bob, thanks for all of the details. it's great info!
Hi Sherry, Yes we were there when the chef died in a car accident. We had reservations for dinner that evening, and were called to say the restaurant would be closed. We had met the chef a few times so it was a shock to us. We went a few nights later and we quite satisfied with our meals. Of course i will return this February. Hey, on another note----Elaine and I are down to double digits.
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Old Saturday, October 23rd, 2010, 08:47 PM
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Default Re: changes I saw

When we were at MJ's in March, the terrible accident had already occurred. However, I thought the chef that was killed was relatively new to the restaurant at the time - didn't think he was a head chef. All the meals we had in March were wonderful. One way or another, I am confident that MJ's will settle for no less than their usual high and consistent quality of food and service. May just take a little time.

Never tried Alfredo's.........

And Ruba, you just have to have better weather next year 'cause we are all going to save a day of sunshine for you. Yeesh, you sure had your share of wet this year.
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Old Saturday, October 23rd, 2010, 10:34 PM
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One Happy Island Re: changes I saw

Aruba Bob, We just made a fast trip to Aruba. My 22nd trip and we were there from Oct 14 thru 19. Perfect weather and when I was snorkling, I seen a lion fish. I heard later that they have come from the Bahamas and they kill coral and eat fish but nothing eats them. Now they are going to be a problem. Also I seen so much coral bleaching. The fire coral and green brain coral are turning white. They said the water is warmer than normal so its killing the coral. I seen it as much as 50 percent of the coral. Its not going to be very good for the underwater life. Kent
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Old Sunday, October 24th, 2010, 10:22 AM
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Default Re: changes I saw

And Ruba, you just have to have better weather next year 'cause we are all going to save a day of sunshine for you. Yeesh, you sure had your share of wet this year.

Thank you Ro...that would be most appreciated....so when you and Elaine and Mary go...you all will be able to tuck plenty of sunny days away for us.
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Last edited by ruba4ever; Sunday, October 24th, 2010 at 10:23 AM. Reason: none
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Old Sunday, October 24th, 2010, 09:35 PM
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Default Re: changes I saw

Sherry, there's no doubt that one of my first nights out while in Aruba will be at my favorite restaurant, Madame Janette's.
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Old Sunday, October 24th, 2010, 09:37 PM
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Default Re: changes I saw

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruba4ever View Post
And Ruba, you just have to have better weather next year 'cause we are all going to save a day of sunshine for you. Yeesh, you sure had your share of wet this year.

Thank you Ro...that would be most appreciated....so when you and Elaine and Mary go...you all will be able to tuck plenty of sunny days away for us.
Ruba----why don't you squeeze in an extra vacation in Aruba this year, so you can join us in February.
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Old Monday, October 25th, 2010, 07:30 AM
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Default Re: changes I saw

Would love to Mary....but we may be doing a little trip to Arizona and Vegas in April....so Aruba will have to wait until September...
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