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Old Wednesday, January 30th, 2008, 01:21 PM
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Default New member with question - Y Aruba?

Hey there, I just signed up at the site and I'm glad to find it so active with knowledgeable folks. I've been to Aruba once before, had a good time but not great (I was much younger than I am now, I should point out). At the moment, however, I own some timeshare weeks here in the states and have the opportunity to swap for some Caribbean time. So, why Aruba? What makes the spot so much more appealing than other spots, like the bay islands or Bahamas (I've only been to the former, btw, also several years back). Curious to hear folks "pitch" Aruba against the advantages of other spots.
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Old Wednesday, January 30th, 2008, 01:30 PM
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Default Re: New member with question - Y Aruba?

welcome wood! great questions.

i think that it is different things for different people. for me it is going somewhere that has the greatest people in the world. i can sit and talk with a total stranger for hours and feel from the first moment that he or she is a friend. add to that the topography. it isn't a lush island. it is so different from most to look at. i have heard it called ugly by a few but i see it as beautiful. the variations as you drive around the island are amazing. speaking of driving, it is a safe place to drive around and explore. easy to get lost but impossible to get so lost that you will never return. every drive is an adventure.

then add in great beaches, first class hotels, fun casinos (that i rarely win at), the best drinking water in the world and amazing restaurants and it is wonderful.

for the young, the nightlife is excellent but starts very late. for the old, the pace is relaxed.

btw, how many years ago did you visit aruba?

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Originally Posted by woodteal View Post
Hey there, I just signed up at the site and I'm glad to find it so active with knowledgeable folks. I've been to Aruba once before, had a good time but not great (I was much younger than I am now, I should point out). At the moment, however, I own some timeshare weeks here in the states and have the opportunity to swap for some Caribbean time. So, why Aruba? What makes the spot so much more appealing than other spots, like the bay islands or Bahamas (I've only been to the former, btw, also several years back). Curious to hear folks "pitch" Aruba against the advantages of other spots.
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Old Wednesday, January 30th, 2008, 01:53 PM
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Default Re: New member with question - Y Aruba?

Bon bini, wood!

Sherry did a good job with her summary. I harken back to the various "top ten" polls that I have seen over the years (as in: top ten favorite things about Aruba). Number one is invariably the climate (driest island in the Caribbean; outside the hurricane belt; refreshing breezes; and virtually no oppressive heat) but number two always seems to be the people. Arubans are generally the friendliest, most welcoming people I know. They genuinely appreciate their guests (and, yes, they do treat tourists like guests) and they go way out of their way to make sure that their guests have a good time while on the island.

There are, of course, eight other items on every list, including (in no particular order), the beaches, the wide variety of really good restaurants, the overall quality of the resorts themselves, the shopping, the low crime rate and overall sense of safety, and others that I don't recall.

I like to point out a couple of intangibles that should never be taken for granted. The island is a very prosperous island. (It was already prosperous years before the first tourists ever arrived.) Of course, I'm not saying that there are no poor people but you will not be faced with the abject poverty that you will see elsewhere in the Americas. Hand in hand with being a prosperous island is the well-developed island infrastructure. The main roads are good, the drinking water is the best in the world, electricity is reliable... In short, you don't have to worry about "going primitive" on Aruba. (Of course, if you want to go primitve, I suppose the island can accomodate that too.)
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Old Wednesday, January 30th, 2008, 02:05 PM
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Wink Re: New member with question - Y Aruba?

Went to the Bahamas 4 times before I discovered Aruba.....4 different times of the year and NEVER had a solid week of decent weather. The Bahamians are VERY standoffish and not particularly friendly, unlike Arubans who are voted year after year as THE FREINDIEST in the Caribbean. Drugs are way to prevalent in the Bahamas and as a former U.S Immigration/Customs Inspector the Bahamas rank #2 in Crime right below Jamiaca and one above the U.S. Virgin Islands in crime statistics........being told it is not advisable to leave the hotel compound in Jamaica at night, made for a really lousy vacation, and it's a shame cause visually Jamaica is stunning in scenery, but too dangerous for people who know little or nothing about the island to go hopping all over it......it's sad.

Aruba doesn't have the overall scenic beauty of other islands, but their beaches are wolrd class, the Arubans can't be nicer and my safety is number one when out of the country and for that reason Aruba is my choice every year.
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Old Wednesday, January 30th, 2008, 02:16 PM
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I Love Aruba Re: New member with question - Y Aruba?

Aside from everything Sherry already said, we love Aruba for the wonderful, predictable weather. It is out of the hurricane zone and the trade winds are wonderful.

Bobbie
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Old Wednesday, January 30th, 2008, 03:56 PM
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Default Re: New member with question - Y Aruba?

What does it for me, is not to be tied down to whatever resort I may be staying at. We like to go out and explore the island and know that we are safe wherever we may end up. I love the calm waters on the leeward side of the island, and the crashing waves on the rocks of the windward side.
Tom
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Old Wednesday, January 30th, 2008, 04:40 PM
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Default Re: New member with question - Y Aruba?

Great responses and everyone pretty much hit the nail on the head. I'd just like to simply add - it's also underneath the hurricane belt!

oh yea and....................

From the moment you see the tiny island from the airplane as you land, you get a feeling of warmth and welcome. It's a simple island! Rocky terrain, filled with sand dunes, caves, natural bridges and pools, huge waves, and breathtaking views. The other side of the island is saturated with nightlife, hotels, restaurants, casinos, moonlit walkways along the beach, and warming people. It's one of the safest if not the safest island in the carribean. You can experience their culture throughout the entire island. It's probably the most Americanized island in the carribean. Some people may say that's a bad thing. I disagree! Aruba has the best of both worlds! It's home away from home! You feel safe, wanted, welcomed. It's a place where you are wined and dined. Aruba is destination that begs for your arrival. It welcomes you with open arms

Quote:
Originally Posted by woodteal View Post
Hey there, I just signed up at the site and I'm glad to find it so active with knowledgeable folks. I've been to Aruba once before, had a good time but not great (I was much younger than I am now, I should point out). At the moment, however, I own some timeshare weeks here in the states and have the opportunity to swap for some Caribbean time. So, why Aruba? What makes the spot so much more appealing than other spots, like the bay islands or Bahamas (I've only been to the former, btw, also several years back). Curious to hear folks "pitch" Aruba against the advantages of other spots.
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Old Wednesday, January 30th, 2008, 06:12 PM
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Default Re: New member with question - Y Aruba?

There are many reasons as to why Aruba. I would wonder what the responses would be if your question was - "Why NOT Aruba?"

If you want my take on it, read my Snippets.

I just love this little rock.

be well
charles
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Old Wednesday, January 30th, 2008, 07:16 PM
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Default Re: New member with question - Y Aruba?

My family found Aruba a few years back and will be returning for the 4th time for almost 3 weeks in March. Before children, we loved going to really off the beaten path places-Vieques, Culebra, Guanica, Tulum, Eleuthera and Isla Mujeres to name a few. Once we had children, we wanted to know that medical care, etc. was available if needed. Our first trip to Aruba we ended up in the ER with my then 2.5 year old son. It was just food poisoning, but it was very hard having a child that young with a high fever and vomiting and not being able to bring him to the doctor. We brought him to the ER on advice from a family we had met there who raved about the medical care. They were right. We were seen relatively quickly and given a prescription for suppositories since my little guy won't take ANY **** medication. Our bill was $40 (less than the copay in the US). Our prescription was $9 for 2 large boxes of suppositories-that I just finished last week. The US equivalent over the counter feverall runs about 5x as much.

Anyway, other than medical care, it is nice to feel safe all the time.
The people are wonderful.
The beaches are beautiful and not too crowded if you stay away from the high rise area.
There are plenty of reasonable and good restaurants.
The climate is perfect.

I can't wait to go back!
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Old Wednesday, January 30th, 2008, 10:54 PM
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Smile Re: New member with question - Y Aruba?

We enjoy the island because the weather is great anytime, the people are friendly all the time, there are wonderfull restaurants in abundance. It is a place that we always feel safe in. We have been about everywhere on the island and have never felt uncomfortable or threatened. We always have a good time there. That being said, it is not the only place we go. We went to disneyworld with grandkids last may, Hilton Head Island and San Diego 2 years ago and have a trip planned to Maui in September. Already got the plane tickets. We have been to many islands and many places but Aruba remains at the top of our list because we know we will have a good time when we go there..
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Old Thursday, January 31st, 2008, 12:47 AM
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Default Re: New member with question - Y Aruba?

For me it is Just The Feeling of Peace in my Soul And being at rest .That I can totally relax and not think about anything else. It puts me in a Zone. That is very relaxed no stress. I can hang with a crowd If I want to and I can find my own space and nobody else is around.


Now I Love to travel so there are plenty of spots around the world I still have to go to But Aruba Yeah I can see retiring there in few years.
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Old Thursday, January 31st, 2008, 08:53 AM
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Default Re: New member with question - Y Aruba?

I've Been To St Martin, St Thomas, St John, Puerto Rico, The Bahamas, & Hawaii But They Don't Compare To Aruba. Once I Came To Aruba It Has Been My Vacation Destination Ever Since. The Island Is Beautiful And The Biggest Difference Is The People. So Friendly And Hospitable. It's The Best. This Is Trip 20 To Aruba For Me And My Family And I Am So Glad We Discovered This Island!
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Old Thursday, January 31st, 2008, 09:05 AM
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Default Re: New member with question - Y Aruba?

I have had friends go and say.." I don't know what the big deal is " it was just OK.

I will say that you don't have to decide if and when you want to go back to Aruba....Aruba will make that decision for you....and it doesn't take long.
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Old Thursday, January 31st, 2008, 09:17 AM
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Default Re: New member with question - Y Aruba?

we found Aruba several years ago, and love it..you have beautiful weather, nice resturants and hotels, but for us it was the people of Aruba that keeps bringing us back..every year the people of Aruba welcome us
into their home (the island) and they bring us back into the real world, and take us away from that fast paced environment that we live in..once you are there you will know what I mean
Tico & Miss Judy
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Old Thursday, January 31st, 2008, 10:07 AM
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Red face Re: New member with question - Y Aruba?

Wow! I am so impressed with the information and postings on this site. And now I am more excited than ever. I have NEVER been to Aruba and will be there with my sister March 2 - March 9. My lovely husband got me this "vacation" as a gift for my 50th which is March 2! He travels all the time and we were able to use mileage and marriott points. Originally, I was going to Hawaii (Big Island), but changed because I was worried about the weather and length of flight. (We will fly to Chicago from Omaha and then directly to Aruba).

I began by reading reviews about the Renaissance Suites and the Island and found "Big Papa"'s story. I was enamored by the story so much that I wanted to know more. I also thought that if Aruba was this enchanting and I had such a great experience, I may have to come back later and bring my husband. He is staying back because we still have a son at home and he knows that I will enjoy this more if I know my son will be okay. (BTW, we have traveled a bit- last summer went to Paris for his company after our 25th wedding anniversary and we've taken family to Mexico...)

Now for the questions... I only saw "Big Papa's" report in 2005 on his first visit with his wife--I love you both-- was this all true? Did you go back? When and where-- are there other postings? (How many times and what is your favorite spots to eat?

Sherry-- Are you a near "native" of Aruba-- how many times do you go and do you travel with anyone else? If I could only do two or three "touristy" things, what should they be?

Everyone--I read some postings where there has been "food poisoning" or flu like symptoms or someone has gotten sick-- is this common- is there something we should avoid-- should we bring medications, just in case?

IS there anything I should be aware once we get there? Any hints or "stay away from..."

(I'm not a "fishing" type person, or snorkeling type, we like to relax, sun, eat nicely (not huge meals), but variety and drink some but I'm not the best "drinker".) My sister and I have fun- laugh alot and love people, but want our quiet-- get away from the stress of it all.-- We are both dieting and exercising like crazy now.

Sorry for the long posting. I feel like you are all one big family. I'm so looking forward to this. Wish I could meet you. I know you all have different backgrounds, but sound like lovely people. (If you have photos you can share of yourselves in Aruba, please direct me) AND BTW, it is fricking freezing here in Nebraska...
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Old Thursday, January 31st, 2008, 10:34 AM
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Default Re: New member with question - Y Aruba?

welome!

it's warmer here but freezing rain expected tonight in maryland.

big papa and george are about to leave on another trip to aruba in a week or two. they are hooked. we remember his worried posts before the first trip. he came home from that trip and started planning the next one. dan, jump on when you have a chance and tell this birthday baby all about your aruba addiction.

i almost feel like a native aruban. my heart is there and will stay there forever. in may we will go for our 20th visit with another visit in august. i do travel other places but aruba is stuck in my head 24/7.

the food poisoning is an oddity. it happens. illness happens on vacations. the worst illnesses are caught on the flights before and after vacations, lol. i can attest to that. any otc meds you might need unless they are unusual, will be available at any pharmacy on the island. medical care is excellent so any emergency that you can think of can be taken care of. we have been to the dentist and er more than i would like to remember. all experiences were positive.

nothing really to stay away from. the biggest reminder is to bring lots of sunscreen. bright red skin is only good on a lobster. keep reapplying it and remember you are near the equator. that sun is hot.

ok, that will get you started. ask all the questions you want. that's what we are here for.

now, i am off to errands so everyone behave, hahahaha!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guambogirl View Post
Wow! I am so impressed with the information and postings on this site. And now I am more excited than ever. I have NEVER been to Aruba and will be there with my sister March 2 - March 9. My lovely husband got me this "vacation" as a gift for my 50th which is March 2! He travels all the time and we were able to use mileage and marriott points. Originally, I was going to Hawaii (Big Island), but changed because I was worried about the weather and length of flight. (We will fly to Chicago from Omaha and then directly to Aruba).

I began by reading reviews about the Renaissance Suites and the Island and found "Big Papa"'s story. I was enamored by the story so much that I wanted to know more. I also thought that if Aruba was this enchanting and I had such a great experience, I may have to come back later and bring my husband. He is staying back because we still have a son at home and he knows that I will enjoy this more if I know my son will be okay. (BTW, we have traveled a bit- last summer went to Paris for his company after our 25th wedding anniversary and we've taken family to Mexico...)

Now for the questions... I only saw "Big Papa's" report in 2005 on his first visit with his wife--I love you both-- was this all true? Did you go back? When and where-- are there other postings? (How many times and what is your favorite spots to eat?

Sherry-- Are you a near "native" of Aruba-- how many times do you go and do you travel with anyone else? If I could only do two or three "touristy" things, what should they be?

Everyone--I read some postings where there has been "food poisoning" or flu like symptoms or someone has gotten sick-- is this common- is there something we should avoid-- should we bring medications, just in case?

IS there anything I should be aware once we get there? Any hints or "stay away from..."

(I'm not a "fishing" type person, or snorkeling type, we like to relax, sun, eat nicely (not huge meals), but variety and drink some but I'm not the best "drinker".) My sister and I have fun- laugh alot and love people, but want our quiet-- get away from the stress of it all.-- We are both dieting and exercising like crazy now.

Sorry for the long posting. I feel like you are all one big family. I'm so looking forward to this. Wish I could meet you. I know you all have different backgrounds, but sound like lovely people. (If you have photos you can share of yourselves in Aruba, please direct me) AND BTW, it is fricking freezing here in Nebraska...
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Old Thursday, January 31st, 2008, 01:07 PM
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I Love Aruba Re: New member with question - Y Aruba?

As sherry said ~ welcome to our board.

I'm leaving on Saturday for my 14th trip, or is it 15?? lol The only thing I can tell you is that I'm as excited, maybe even more, then I was going the first time.

From my perspective, Aruba's paradise. I love the people, the friends I've made over the years, the weather, the ambiance, and so much more. The thing I don't like... leaving the island when it's time to go home. Enough is never enough for me.

And, I'm lucky enough to have seen BP and George in the flesh, and get to know both of them over the last couple years on island. We'll be sharing sunsets and drinks again in the next couple of weeks!!
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Old Thursday, January 31st, 2008, 01:56 PM
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I've been to Aruba six times, beginning in Oct. 04, and now own two weeks at the Marriott Surf Club. I use the lockoff option, so I now have a potential of FOUR weeks in Aruba every year! Up to now, I've gone on snorkeling boat trips, both afternoon ($35 or so), and full day (about $60 with Capt. Anthony on Tranquillo). Except for once, I've traveled by myself and felt perfectly safe walking around downtown during the day (I stick to the main street at night) and in the high-rise area any time. Now that I've just earned my SCUBA certification (in Hawaii), I have an additional incentive to use all my weeks in Aruba. I'm told the diving is almost as good as Bonaire, with more wrecks, enough to keep me busy for the two weeks I'll be there this May. Also, you're not pestered by people hawking stuff on the beach, unlike other islands. On Paradise Island, I got a few hair braids just so the rest of the braiders would leave me alone! Most of the time, I don't even rent a car, because most of the activity operators will pick you up at your hotel and drop you off afterwards, and the bus downtown is just a little more than $2 roundtrip. Never had more than an hour of showers on any trip (though I heard that it rained a lot during one week in Nov 06, the week before I arrived.)
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Old Thursday, January 31st, 2008, 06:00 PM
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I Love Aruba Re: New member with question - Y Aruba?

Ditto for all of the above entries. We've been to all the islands in the Caribbean and keep returning to Aruba because of the VARIETY of restaurants and beaches and casinos and things to do. I never felt like that on any of the other islands. After 18 trips (several weeks each trip) it seems like there's still stuff we haven't done. There are always new restaurants and places to check out. I always feel at home there.
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Old Thursday, January 31st, 2008, 06:48 PM
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Default Re: New member with question - Y Aruba?

Thanks to all for the generous responses. I like Big Papa's statement about Aruba choosing for you, heh! That's more or less what's happened with me, although I haven't been to Aruba in almost 20 years. I imagine it's changed quite a bit since then.

I look forward to experiencing the great weather and the friendly people, and I'm noting every single one of your replies, so thanks!!
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Old Thursday, January 31st, 2008, 08:44 PM
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Default Re: New member with question - Y Aruba?

Guambogirl……Congratulations on your upcoming 50th.birthday and your trip to the Island….To answer your questions…

Did you go back?….Yes we did…Feb. of 2006 and we celebrated our 28th. Wedding Anniversary…and renewed our Wedding Vows.

I did a report ( some would say a novel,lol ) about our trip and you will find it in the trip report section under “ other accommodations “…scroll down a ways…look for “ BigPapa Trip report- 2006.…and then you will find part 2 ..part 3..part 4 and then the End….I only stopped then because I got “ carpal tunnel “..lol…

George and I will be going back for our 30th. Anniversary this Feb. 10th. For 2 weeks…and this will be our 5th. Visit.

Was it all true?…..All but the snoring part…in truth I snore louder than I said..lol

I hope you have a safe trip and a wonderful time…and make memories to last your whole life threw.
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Old Thursday, January 31st, 2008, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodteal View Post
Hey there, I just signed up at the site and I'm glad to find it so active with knowledgeable folks. I've been to Aruba once before, had a good time but not great (I was much younger than I am now, I should point out). At the moment, however, I own some timeshare weeks here in the states and have the opportunity to swap for some Caribbean time. So, why Aruba? What makes the spot so much more appealing than other spots, like the bay islands or Bahamas (I've only been to the former, btw, also several years back). Curious to hear folks "pitch" Aruba against the advantages of other spots.
Aruba is like a Great family recipe that has been handed down to all of use to share....It just has all the right ingredients.
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Old Friday, February 1st, 2008, 10:27 AM
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I Love Aruba Re: New member with question - Y Aruba?

Hubby and I like to travel, although because of our small business, we can't get away all that often. There are so many places in the world that we want to visit. That being said, when we just want to relax, there is no place like Aruba. It takes us the better part of the first week just to wind down and then another week to just enjoy. We don't rent a car anymore. I refuse to pay for a car that sits in the parking lot all day. The bus system and taxi service, serves our needs quite well. When we come back home from Aruba, we are always well rested, but can't wait to return again and again.

Bobbie
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Old Friday, February 1st, 2008, 01:04 PM
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Wink Re: New member with question - Y Aruba?

Sherry, Elaine, BP and all,

Thank you for the tips on this Amazing Aruba! If things work out, maybe this will be my first of many trips, God-willing. It all sounds "addictive".

BigPapa (a.k.a. Dan, a.k.a. Georgene's romantic husband!)-- You MUST publish your "journals" and I'm not kidding. I was going to spread out your 4 part report from your wedding vow renewal trip over several days, but I started reading this morning and couldn't quit. And I am a sap, but I couldn't quit crying... Maybe it's that getting near (that age I'm getting close to)-- but you are a terrific writer and it is better than any novel I've read--lol! I want to know more about how you chose the places you stayed at and your trip before the 2006 trip with members of your family. Any photos? You know I am from the midwest and have 3 sons and I pray the "Hail Mary" everytime I get on a plane-- do we know each other? LOL. There are many more coincidences-- but I will tell you more later. You said that you are a lucky man, but I think your wife is also lucky-- Good for you two!

With everything written on these boards, I must say the allure of this passionate island and it's people is incredible-- thanks everyone for your contributions and for "spreading the word". What if I had not changed my plans?

And for many of you... how many days (a couple of weeks?)

P.S. How do you do that countdown thing with the airplane showing?
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  #25  
Old Friday, February 1st, 2008, 05:34 PM
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charlierat charlierat is offline
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Default Re: New member with question - Y Aruba?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guambogirl View Post
BigPapa (a.k.a. Dan, a.k.a. Georgene's romantic husband!)-- snip -- but you are a terrific writer and it is better than any novel I've read--lol!
Now that's the living truth!
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  #26  
Old Monday, February 4th, 2008, 09:43 PM
mambo mambo is offline
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Default Re: New member with question - Y Aruba?

I think I would have to agree with Ron B. This island does put you in
a zone and brings peace to the soul. I hate leaving it, and it seems
that as soon as I leave, I'm thinking about my next trip back. I really
don't like wishing my life away, but that is what I'm doing. Just to get
back to Aruba. It's a vicious cycle, leaving and thinking about the
next trip back. It is an addiction. There are so many great things
about this place, from those incredible balmy nights, sitting outside
at a great resturant with no bugs eating you alive, and just the warm
breeze on your skin. The beautiful days where it seems the sun is
forever shining. The tropical drinks, the cuban cigars. I could go on
and on, but you get the point. So if your asking why, you have a
thousand reasons to go.
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Old Monday, February 4th, 2008, 10:12 PM
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kevin d kevin d is offline
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Default Re: New member with question - Y Aruba?

So many easy reasons for why I love Aruba, but for me it always comes down to the people. Of all the islands I've been to, including the one I live on now, there is nowhere else that I am more willing to rent a car and try to get lost on than Aruba.

Try it and you'll see why, and you'll see the rest of Aruba in the process. Dare the island and its people to get into your soul. My name is Kevin, and I am an Arubaholic.

Welcome to the new members - say hello to my Aruban friends when you go.
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