|December 26, 2018|
This year we took our first trip to Aruba. It was a fun relaxing trip.
Before going, we did some research to learn more about the island. We wanted to know more about the island and what makes the island special.
We learned a lot about the island and it helps make it a fun trip. We ended up with 16 blog posts about Aruba. While they were all good, some topics were more important than others.
Here are the Top 9 Aruba posts of 2018 - they are worth checking out before going.
|May 30, 2018|
The Marriott Aruba Surf Club is a fun place to spend the day in the sun. The Pool area is a fun place to be all day long.
|May 23, 2018|
Here is the drink menu for the Sea Worthy's Pool Bar at the Marriott's Aruba Surf Club. During the day is a very popular bar with people looking to get a nice refreshing drink. Happy hour starts at 1pm
The bar is an open bar and they could make just about any mixed drink that you wanted. We asked for these two popular Caribbean drinks:Aruba Ariba
We liked this but found that bars off Marriott property did a better job making this drink. (They had more flavor and you got more drink) Make sure to try a different place at least once.Aruba Knockout
Had this on the beach, it was good. As I recall it was a great drink to sit and relax in the sun. This was only available at beach-side, not exactly sure what was it in.
Back in 2007, I wrote a blog post about the various drinks that we enjoyed at Pelican Bay in St. Maarten. It's another page to look at for some drink ideas when heading to the Caribbean or having a Caribbean theme party.
|May 16, 2018|
On our recent trip to Aruba we found it very challenging to find places that offered Gluten Free meals for my seven-year-old daughter. There were several restaurants in the Palm Beach area that did have gluten free options and the one we liked the best was The Lazy Turtle Aruba.
When we arrived at the Passeo Herencia Mall we wanted to go to the Iguana Cantina, but they weren't open. We arrived at 5 - when they are scheduled to be open but they told us that they were ready yet. So we ventured out to another restaurant.
We found The Lazy Turtle nearby and asked about their Gluten Free options. The host had to check with the kitchen, and came back and said that they did have Gluten Free options for us.
When we sat down we were told of several options but was impressed when they informed us that they would be able to make her Gluten Free Pasta.
The pasta arrived very quick, and the server mentioned the dish was gluten free - which is a good sign that the kitchen was aware of the allergy.
My daughter tried a few bites and liked it and she ended up eating the entire dish. Which is a rare occurrence since she typically wants to save some for a later meal.
We were fortunate as they only charged us $5 for the pasta - as part of the kid's meal. (Aruba can be an expensive place to eat out)
We did have plans to go back since all our meals were really good, but we didn't as we wanted to try different restaurants on the island.
We certainly recommend going to the Lazy Turtle for anyone looking for a Gluten Free meal in Aruba.
The Lazy Turtle Aruba is located in the Passeo Herencia Mall in Noord, Aruba. There telephone is +297 5871992.
Like most restaurants at the Passeo Herencia Mall, they don't open until 5 pm.
|May 9, 2018|
Your not completely isolated from America when your enjoying life in the Caribbean. Among all the local establishments in Palm Beach, Aruba is Dominos Pizza, Wendy's and MacDonalds.
You can even find Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts just a few feet from each other near the Palm Beach Mall. Yes New England, you can get your favorite Dunkin Ice Coffee in Aruba.
There's a Starbucks in the Palm Beach Mall and at the Marriot Hotel. Both places offer the usual drinks and food. They didn't have any egg white breakfast treats. Nether places accept the Starbucks card or allow payments via the Starbucks app.
Both places have the Aruba mugs - both for the same price.
At the Marriott hotel Starbucks, you can charge your order to your room. This is very convenient when getting a nice cold drink after a hot day in the sun.
Brewed Coffee cost $2.75 for tall, $3.00 for Grande, and $3.25 for Venti
Carmel Frappuccino cost $5.25 for Tall, $6.00 for Grande and $6.75 for Venti
The Marriott Starbucks is located in the xxx hotel, conveniently located next to the Casino.
The Palm Beach Starbucks is located in the Palm Beach Mall, along J.E. Trausquin Boulevard. This location offered free wifi.
The Dunkin has a donut sign on the outside so that you can show the world that you were at the Dunkin Donuts in Aruba. Apparently, people do stop by and take a picture.
We arrive at the store late in the day and they still had plenty of donuts in the there were only a couple of unique donuts that were available - Guava and a Chocolate. I had them the next morning and they were delicious.
The store also sells Dunkin mugs and hats. Great souvenir for anyone that you know that likes Dunkin Donuts. (You can also find the mugs on eBay.)
We purchased the large Ice Coffee mug. The one thing we noticed is that the non-slip grip on the bottom would fall out. We speculate that the mug was probably sitting there for a long time.
The only Dunkin Donuts in Palm Beach area is located on J.E. Trausquin Boulevard - next door to the Texas de Brazil Aruba. If your not up to coffee, you can get some Baskin Robbins ice cream.
|May 2, 2018|
The De Palm Tours is one of the many tours that you can take to explore Aruba. They offer a Full Day Tour and a 3-hour tour. It's a great way to see some popular sites and learn Aruba history and culture.
There were six official stops where we were able to get off the bus and explore. Here are some notes about our recent adventure on the De Palm Tour.
We were the last ones on the bus. The bus drove down the road for a bit and then pulled over.
First stop is the California Lighthouse. You get 20 mins to explore the area around the Lighthouse.
After the lighthouse the Bus will stop near the Antilla Shipwreck, near Boca Catalina Beach. You learn a little about the German ship that sunk just off the shore.
After leaving the California Lighthouse you have a nice drive over to the Chapel of Our Lady of Alto Vista. This is another 10 minute stop
As for the Casibari Rock Formation, you view it from the bus. The best view is from the side opposite of the driver.
After the Natural Bridge, you're on the bus for a while on the way to the De Palms Island for lunch. Once you arrive you take a short ferry ride to the Island.
After leaving the Beach, the tour comes to an end and it's time to head back to the hotels. It officially gets over when you arrive in Oranjestad.
We actually asked our driver if we could get dropped off at one of the downtown hotels to do shopping. He didn't mind, as it saved him a stop since we were the only ones at our hotel to get on.
|April 25, 2018|
If you're leaving Aruba and heading back to the United States, make sure to arrive at the airport really early - especially on a Weekend. Everyone will tell you that getting through Queen Beatrix International Airport is an experience.
Here's a walkthrough of our experience and some tips we learned along the way. On our trip, we traveled using JetBlue.
As soon as you walk into the airport, you need to check-in. JetBlue allows you to do it in advance, but you still need to check your luggage.
After check-in you move to the left of the building and wait outside in the Aruba Emigration line.
After the person checks to make sure you have the right paperwork, you move inside to meet another Aruba Emigration official.
After they verify that you're allowed to leave the country. You now wait in the Airport Security line.
After you go through the general airport, you have to pick up your luggage and see US Customs.
Customs will be quick - make sure to declare anything that you have!
Make sure you can lift your bag. You will have to place the bag on the belt which is about a foot and a half off the floor.
We're not exactly sure why we have to do this again. Seems that they could have placed the bags in a secure area so you don't have to leave and then get rechecked.
|April 18, 2018|
The Palm Beach area is famous for calm waters and white sandy beachfront. It is located right in front of the luxurious stretch of high-rise hotels. This is where the Aruba Marriot, Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort & Casino, and the Radisson Aruba Resort are located.
Talk of the Town Hotel and Beach Club, Palm Beach Retreat, Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino, Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa and Casino, Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, Marriott’s Aruba Surf Club, Holiday Inn Report Aruba - Beach & Casino, The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba, The Mill Resort Hotel Aruba, Hotel Riu Palace Aruba, Barcelo Aruba, DiVi Aruba Phoenix, Brickell Bay Beach Club & Spec Boutique Hotel, Boardwalk Small Hotel Aruba, Tropicana Aruba Resort & Casino, Blue Residences Aruba, Caribbean Palm Village Resort, Playa Linda Beach Resort, Palm Aruba Condos, Royal Club Grand Aruba Resort, MVC Eagle Beach Resort Aruba, Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort Aruba.
|April 11, 2018|
Aruba is most a desert country, and most of the side roads are dirt roads. If your going to tour the island might as well do it by Jeep.
There are a couple of companies that offer Jeep tours of Aruba:
"Aruba’s #1 Jeep Tour Company"
|April 4, 2018|
One of the most famous photos from Aruba is that of the Divi-Divi tree by the ocean:
The famous tree is located at the very north end of Eagle Beach (where Eagle Beach ends) across the street from Amsterdam Manor.
A Divi tree is scientifically known as the Caesalpinia coriaria. This is a leguminous tree or large shrub native to the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and northern South America.
Other Common names include Cascalote, Guaracabuya, Guatapana, Nacascol, and Watapana.
US Customs laws prevent bringing back any trees back to the United States. However, you can buy seeds online and grow your own. Just remember the tree likes warm weather - all year round.
You can buy Divi-Divi seeds from seedvendor.com, they have 20 seeds for $10.