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Old Tuesday, November 16th, 2010, 01:35 PM
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lindaspooky lindaspooky is offline
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Default Trip report Riu Timeshare 10/29-11/12

Just back from 2 weeks at Riu. More rain than usual but still a fantastic vacation.
Hereís our reportÖ.

We booked the park and fly package at the Wyndham Garden Hotel in Newark. $99 a night ($112 with tax) and it included 14 days of parking. There is a restaurant and lounge and the room was very nice.

Left Newark via Continental on 10/29, 9 am flight, arrived in Aruba at 1:38. It took longer than usual to get our luggage and car rental from Thrifty. Got into the car at 3:00, traffic thru town was very heavy, quick stop at Digicel for a sim card but the line was too long. Arrived at the Riu at 4. I havenít travelled on a Friday in a couple of years and will be going back to Wed or Thurs next year.

After unpacking it was off to Lings. By the time we got back to the hotel and unloaded it was nearly 6 pm. This was the first year we didnít get on the beach on the first day.

Dinner was at Gilligans at the Radisson, always good there.

The next 2 weeks were pretty much the same. Up to secure the huts, walk along palm beach from Riu to Holiday Inn, back to the room to change and on the beach by 8:30 am.

After 19 years thereís not much sightseeing to do. We always make a trip to the chapel at Alto Vista. We finally got to the flea market near certified, bought a couple souvenirs for the kids, prices were good. At night we walked along the Palm Beach strip. We did check out the new mall behind Paseo. A lot of the same shops from downtown, not sure if they moved from there. There is a large open area with a jumbo-tron TV, they were broadcasting the world series. The Paseo Mall also had a jumbo-tron, and we noticed they put a swimming pool behind the water show fountain. We never made it downtown this year. On the way to the airport we stopped at the seaport for lunch. Looks like they are renovating, a lot of empty shops.

There is a new supermarket near Palm Beach, Kong Fui. Itís on the road between Casa Tua and South Beach Center. Itís not far from Sole Mar, on the right side, itís before Bingos. They said theyíve been open since April but there seemed to be some empty shelves. Not too much of a wine selection and it was scattered throughout the store. We got a small bottle of Sutter Home White Zinfandel for $8, it was $11 in the little grocery store near Wendys. Didnít price the small bottle at Lings but the large one was $19 so thereís a few dollars savings. Some of the other prices I checked also seemed to be better than Lings. We didnít really look for liquor so I donít know if they carry it. Will definitely check back there next year as itís closer for us. Maybe Super Food will be open too.

Tomas really stirred up the surf. Being from Jersey weíre used to the waves so it wasnít too bad for us. We didnít miss a day on the beach. One afternoon we left around 2:30 because of the rain and the next day didnít get on the beach till noon. The Riu beach didnít seem to be affected as much as the others on Palm Beach. The center section floods but we didnít get as much seaweed as the others. Playa Linda seemed to be the worst, we didnít make it to the Marriott so I donít know what happened there, same with Eagle Beach. All the piers along palm beach were closed on Sat 11/6. I think Pelican and Piets opened a few days later, I think someone posted Bugaloe opened Monday the 14th, not sure though.

Bugaloe really took a hit. On Friday the 5th we were having lunch at the bar and the waves were crashing up thru the boards. For the next couple of days we just watched it get pounded. At one point the boards from the end started floating away. We really missed hanging out there everyday.

The Riu timeshare rooms were the same as last year. Clean and more than adequate for us. We did get assessed $150 per unit for new sofa beds, lounge chairs and lamps which should arrive in December.

Hereís a list of the restaurants we ate at:
Gilligans (2X), Smokey Joes, Bugaloe (2X), Rembrandts (2X), Fishes and More, Scala, Gianniís, Taste of Belgium (for dessert) Casa Tua (Palm Beach & Seaport Mall), Tulip, Lindaís Pancakes, Bingos Ė great burgers, Huchada Bakery Ė great cakes and pastries, Wacky Wahoo and Chefs Table.

Every meal was excellent and while they were all great I would say our best meal was Chefís Table. Just love the Fish Pot and of course the tapas desserts. We did learn something interesting about Casa Tua. Each of the 4 locations specialize in different cuisine. Palm Beach is Italian, behind Paseo Mall is Mediterranean, Downtown Main Street is Spanish and Seaport Mall is light fare. Looking forward to trying Downtown Main Street next year.

Our flight home on the 12th left at 3:55, arrived in Newark at 7:40. As always it took forever to get our luggage. Hopped on the airtrain to the shuttle area, luckily the Wyndham shuttle was waiting. Got to the hotel, went inside for the parking voucher and we were in our car at 8:40 pm, home by 10.

Another great vacation with great friends. Canít wait till next year!

Photos attached here.

Aruba 2010 pictures by lpieta - Photobucket

Linda
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