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Old Sunday, September 26th, 2010, 12:04 PM
AhhAruba AhhAruba is offline
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Default Sept 10-24

My husband and I just returned from our third trip to Aruba. When we arrived at AUA we took advantage of the duty free store and bought a liter of Stoli Gold for $15. Good price!

The first night we stayed at the Renaissance Ocean Suites. We had an oceanfront room and the view was amazing! The room was very comfortable and we were happy with it.

When I got there I realized I had forgotten my swimsuit, of all things. We had to go find one which put a damper on my plans of hitting the pool or beach when we arrived.

That evening we ate at Taj Mahal downtown. The food was outstanding and we ended up eating there again later in the trip. The chicken tandoori with garlic naan was outstanding. I had not tried much indian food before and I am now addicted.

The next day we ventured over to the private island. We got there fairly early which is good because it got rather crowded. We both enjoyed it over there and made a mental note to stay at the Ren again next time. The only downside for us is the limited kitchen in the units. It would be good to stay there in the beginning of the trip but the small fridge and lack of stove would limit our ability to make meals which we enjoy doing while in Aruba.

After checking out we headed to LaCabana where we stayed for the next 12 nights. Amazingly the check in went smoothly and our room was ready. Off to the grocery store to stock up on the necessities. We like all three major grocery stores for different things. The Super Foods is our favorite for lunch meat and fresh bread. Ling and Sons has a better selection of fish and Kong Hing had cheaper prices on juices which we use with our vodka.

The weather during our trip varied greatly. First thing I noticed was the tradewinds were gone. I really enjoyed the wind on our previous trips which were in May/June. I guess September is iffy on wind because of hurricane season. The water is so much warmer though and that was nice. For the first week it rained mostly at night or for brief periods during the day. There were still opportunities to hit the beach so no worries. The second week was not so great. It was cloudy most days and rained a lot. Emphasis A LOT!

The streets flooded in many places which made getting around the island slow. We rented a car from Payless which was the best rental experience we have had. It was $429 for a Yaris for two weeks which we thought was reasonable. It had a great A/C which was not the case in the other two cars we had rented on previous trips from Budget and Royal. We did learn that parking under a tree overnight does keep the car cooler if you don't mind all the bird crap the next day. Lol. It was bad, really bad.

We always love going to LaGranja while we are in Aruba. There are several around and we have gone to the one downtown and also in Saveneta. A whole rotisserie chicken, rice and potatoes was around $15. We had too much for just us so we fed two stray dogs the leftovers. They were very grateful. After that we decided we would feed them any leftovers we had for the rest of the trip. There are so many scrawny dogs running around. We just wanted to take them home. Sad.

We ate lunch one day at Zeerovers in Saveneta. We had shrimp, potatoes and plantains for $20. I was disappointed the shrimp was frozen. I think we would have been happier with the fish. Balashi is cheap and cold so we enjoyed sitting on the new patio looking out over the water.

Over near the hotel is a new bar called The Old Dutch Bar. They are still working on the place and don't serve food yet but the owner John is a great guy and the beers were about $2.50 each. The inside is nice but no A/C so they have several fans which makes it tolerable. We visited John several times, once on a Friday night and he fried some appetizers in the back and brought them out to us. Very nice and hospitable guy.

The last night we moved from LaCabana to the Marriott Surf Club. Check in seemed to go well. We got there at 10:00 and decided to just check on the room and were very surprised to hear it was ready. When we got to the room I put the key in and opened the door and it was a disaster inside. A maid came over and said they were cleaning it and we needed to go back downstairs and see about another room. We did and they said we would just have to wait for the room to be cleaned and it would be 45 to 90 minutes. We had already unloaded the car so decided to wait in the elevator lobby. We saw several people go in and out of the room but the maid cart never budged. After an hour and a half I called downstairs to see what the hold up was and was told they would call the supervisor and check. Then someone came by and asked us if they could help us and we told them we were waiting on that room. He said he would check and walked past us several times but didn't say a word. Then we saw them wheeling furniture out of the room. Our imaginations were running wild on what might have taken place in the room so I decided it was time to go back to the desk. It had been 2 and 1/2 hours since we originally "checked in" and when I got down there they told me they gave me the wrong room. Said our room would be ready in 20 minutes and they offered a $50 credit for our troubles. We used it to eat at La Vista the italian restaurant which I would not recommend. Way overpriced ($35 per person) for very mediocre food.

Once we got to the room we were extremely pleased. The kitchen is nice and it was great to wash up the dirty clothes before we flew home. The amenities at the Surf Club are very, very nice but it is a huge place and there were a lot more people than we are used to. It is 90% american while we found LaCabana to be about 50% american with several europeans and people from central and south america. The main difference there is that more people talk to you at the Surf Club, not a bad thing just different.

Had some drinks at Moomba Beach Bar and met Ruba (forum moderator) and her husband . We really enjoyed talking to them as well as Mark the bartender who was a transplant from the US.

That night it stormed really bad and we had a 3:00 pm flight out so decided we needed to get to the airport early just in case of trouble with flooded streets. Several roads were closed so we took the long way through lots of water and got there about 11:00 only to discover Delta does not allow check in until 3 hours before flight time.

For the first time in our three trips to Aruba I was ready to go home. I think the weather had a lot to do with it. We realize the weather was abnormal for September but we both decided we like May/June better so have decided that is when we will return.
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Old Sunday, September 26th, 2010, 06:40 PM
Elaine S's Avatar
Elaine S Elaine S is offline
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Join Date: April 26th, 2004
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Default Re: Sept 10-24

First off.... welcome to our board!!

Thanks for taking the time to tell us about your trip - loved it!

Strange weather going on, and I'm sorry your one week included so much rain.

I can't believe you forgot your bathing suit!! lol Oh well, it all worked out.

Nice that you got to meet ruba and her husband. After all these years, we've never met "face to face," but I know her heart to heart, and she's wonderful!

Again, welcome, and I hope you come back to the board often!!
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Old Sunday, September 26th, 2010, 08:42 PM
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roschone roschone is offline
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Default Re: Sept 10-24

I really enjoyed your trip report - can't believe all the rain!!! Roads flooded and closed sounds pretty bad. They say Aruba doesn't have a rainy season, but I've heard about a few heavy rains before. Not often, but when it does rain that much, it's seems it's between Sept-December.

Takes me forever to find a bathing suit, so I hope I never forget mine lol. Sounds like you took in stride though. Welcome to the board, and if you ever go to Aruba in March maybe we'll meet sometime.

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