Aruba Blog Posts

March 21, 2018

Arubus

Instead of renting a car, or taking a taxi, tourist can take the bus to various points on the island. On the island of Aruba the public transportation bus is the Arubus.

Arubus Graphic

Information from Arubus Website

Arubus N.V. is the major public transportation of Aruba owned by the Government of Aruba. We provide public transportation over major areas of the island. We also provide public school buses and private charters.

Over the past 35 years Arubus has grown from a fleet of 14 busses to a total 42 busses.

Our fleet consists of: 15 International busses, 12 Yutong busses and 21 Volvo busses

The main hub is at the Oranjestad Bus Terminal, where you can connect to other buses to travel throughout the rest of the island.

There is two bus that travels along the route, the big bus and a little bus. The big bus cost a little more than the smaller bus.

All the reviews that I saw online talk about how clean the buses are and how friendly the drivers are. Make sure to let the driver know where you are going as they might recommend a different stop for you to get off on.

Some things I learned about the Arubus

  • If you're in the Palm Beach area, you'll be using Line 10, 10A, and 10B to get around. It cost $5 to go from Palm Beach to the Oranjestad Bus Terminal (round trip).
  • The 10 bus goes between the Oranjestad Bus Terminal and Boca Catalina beach. The Boca Catalina Beach is considered to be one of the best swimming beaches in the Caribbean
  • The 10A bus goes between the Oranjestad Bus Terminal and Catalina Cove. Catalina Cove is a perfect place to go snorkeling and to the California Lighthouse. This is the only bus that goes to this far on the island, make sure to board the right bus!
  • If you are considering visiting the California Lighthouse, take the 10A bus to the Arashi Arubus Stop (Last Stop). Then it's a 17-minute walk to the California Lighthouse.
  • The 10B bus goes between the Oranjestad Bus Terminal and Casino at the Ritz-Carlton. The Ritz-Carlton Casino opens at 4 pm and a great place to watch the sunset.

Aru Bus Type Buses

Arubus Terminal

  • The Oranjestad Bus Terminal is located across the street from the Royal Plaza Mall.
  • It is also located near the cruise ships drop off. ( You can find information on the Cruise Ship schedule: Oranjestad Aruba Cruise Ship Port Schedule 2017

Getting Tickets

There is a smart card where you can get a reduce bus fair. However, you need to be a resident of the island to get the card. The Smart Card is only available at the Oranjestad Bus Terminal and not at the airport.

They only accept cash on board the bus, you can get change - so you don't need exact change.

March 14, 2018

Unique Souvenirs to Buy in Aruba

A vacation is complete without finding something special to remember your trip. When picking out your ideal souvenir, you want something that is unique to the location.

Here are five "must have" souvenirs from Aruba from various island tourists.

Aruba Unique Souvenirs

Aruba Aloe

This seems to be the most common thing that people get when they visit the island. You can buy the lotion at many stores on the island. Visit the factory to get a tour of how they make the location.

Aruba Aloe Factory, Museum and Store Pitastraat 115
Hato, Aruba

Aruban License Plate

The Aruban License plates are unique and make great wall decorations to a beach house. Someone that really likes Aruba has the license plate decorated around their hot tub at their home.

You can find them everywhere around the island. They are unique and not easily available off the island.

Local Pottery and Art

In the Palm Beach area are several small art shops where you can buy locally made pottery and art designs.

There is a flea market just across the street from the Renaissance Mall

Aruba Reusable Bag

A popular bag that you may see people have at the Aruba airport and beaches. The bag features: California lighthouse, Indian Cave Paintings, Immigration Stamps and the DiviDivi tree and the Aruba license plate.

You can find the bag at the Airport (Shopping Area and Gate 5), Marriott Vacation Club at Tropical Breeze, Renaissance Mall at Cocosol, Royal Plaza in Fantasea.

Jewelers Store

You can great deals on Watches and other Jewelry items in downtown Oranjestad.

The "Touch of Gold" store actually sells jewelry that is made on the island - which is considered rare since most stores just sell imports.

You can bargain with most stores to get a cheaper price than what you see.

There are several Pandora stores on Aruba, you can find an exclusive Aruba Charm. It's the Aruba symbol on an official pandora charm. It can only be purchased in Aruba.

March 7, 2018

Signs in Aruba

There are two Aruba signs that are perfect to show everyone that you're in Aruba. One is the colorful Aruba sign with a star, and the other is the 'I Love Aruba' sign.

The purpose of this blog post is to show where you can locate these signs on the island. This is based on other blog posts and the GPS information on photos found online.

The best bet for finding these signs is visiting downtown Oranjestad.

Aruba Signs
Thanks to Eric Mijts for the 'I Love Aruba' photo.

I Love Aruba

There are two places where you can find this sign in Aruba. There is a smaller version of the sign that has been moving around the island on a trailer - usually park for a long duration.

Original and Largest Version

Downtown Oranjestad near the Marina and next to the Renaissance Hotel in Oranjestad.

Smaller Version

In the Palm Beach area - in front of the Riu and Hilton Resorts.

California Lighthouse area - near the White Lighthouse Restaurant.

Aruba Sign

Official Version

You can find the sign in Linear Park near downtown Oranjestad. It's located just off the Lloyd G. Smith Blvd. It's located on the right-hand side of the road, chances are you'll see it on your way to your hotel from the airport.

Smaller Version

Palm Beach Area - There's a smaller sign near the Senor Frogs.

February 28, 2018

Aruba Island Tours

Your vacations plan to Aruba might be to sit and relax on the beach for the entire duration of the vacation. However, by day three you may get a bit bored and feel the need to venture away from the all exclusive resort.

Here are some island tours that might be interesting to take. (I haven't taken any of these, so I can't really speak on experience on how good they really are.)

Aruba Features

Take A Submarine Ride

Aruba Atlantis Submarine Expedition

See the beautiful deep Caribbean Sea from a U.S. Coast guard approved submarine. Tour last 1 hour 50 mins and cost $105 for adults and $79 for kids.

Tour the Island Animal Farms

Half-Day Animal Sanctuary Tour in Aruba

Visit the Aruba Ostrich Farm, Donkey Sanctuary and the Phillip's Animal Garden in one morning or afternoon. Total Tour duration is about 4.5 hours. Cost is $42 per person.

Take a Jeep Tour

ABC Tours

Tour the Island of Aruba from Aruba's #1 Jeep Tour Company. You can choose the Cave Pool & North-Coast Explorer, Rugged Natural Pool Safari or the Blackstone Treasures UTV Tour.

The Island Ultimate looks to be the tour to take. It's a full day tour where you take an adventurous off-road tour of the island. Cost is $108 per adult, a child is $70. Tour includes a Hot Lunch and Snorkeling Gear.

Water Park Fun

Surfside Beach Experience takes you from your hotel to Splash Park Aruba

Enjoy a couple of hours of fun in the water in Aruba's only inflatable water park - located just off Surfside Reach.

Cost is $45 a person for a two-hour fun time in the park

February 21, 2018

Aruba International Airport

Queen Beatrix International Airport, is an international airport located in Oranjestad, Aruba. It has flight services to the United States, Trinidad, and Tobago, most countries in the Caribbean.

Aruba Airport Landing
Thanks to Flickr user Rcoppola for the photo!

Twelve Things I learned about the Aruba Airport

  • Official Name is Aeropuerto Internacional Reina Beatrix (Queen Beatrix International Airport.) Airport code is AUA
  • On 22 October 1955, the airport was named after Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands during her royal visit to the island. It was renamed in 1980 after her accession to the throne.
  • Aruba Airport has a runway length of 2814 meters (9232.28 feet). Last updated in July 2008. The airport now meets the standard runway size of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
  • 8th busiest airport in the Caribbean (Puerto Rico is the Busiest Airport)
  • Busiest week at the airport is the first week of the new year. Busiest time at the airport, according to Google Stats, is between 2 pm and 4 pm.
  • The longest flight leaving the airport is to Stockholm, Sweden. Which departs/arrive about once a week. Distance: 8,696 km or 5,403. It's a 13-hour journey.
  • Largest size planes that arrive at the airport are the Airbus A330-300 (292 Seats) and the Boeing's B787-800 (291 Seats) both from Europe
  • Tourist leaving the Island are highly encouraged to arrive at the airport 3 hours early. Plan to be standing in long lines during this time, especially if you have flights departing between 2 pm and 4 pm. (Tip: Bring a USB battery charger for Cellphones!) You must pick up your checked luggage and carry it through US Customs and Border protection processing.
  • In between the Central Security Checkpoint and the U.S. Customs area is duty from shopping. You make your purchase and then pick it up after you go through customs.
  • There is a Souvenir store near the U.S. Departures gate after screening checkpoint. You can get last minute souvenirs as well as snacks for the flight.
  • You may want to print out the map of the airport to help understand the departure process.
  • There is free WiFi at the airport. ( Kids can watch YouTube while they wait. )

Getting to/from Marriott Surf Club Aruba

There is no Airport Shuttle service to get/from the resort. According to Marriott's Website, the estimated taxi fare is $30 one-way.

There are various limousine services available and they cost about $100 more.

There are no public transportation means to get to the Marriott Surf Club.

February 14, 2018

Aruba

This spring we’ll be visiting the island of Aruba. This will be our first visit to this tropical island. Over the next few week’s I’ll be looking into interesting things about the island.

Aruba is a tiny Dutch Caribbean island off the coast of Venezuela, has dry, sunny weather, blond beaches, and gentle surf.

Aruba is a popular winter destination for those that live in the New England. It provides a great break from enduring the long frigid winter weather. There are non-stop flights from Boston, New York, and twelve other major United States Airport. Just about every location is at least one stop away from Aruba.

Aruba Header

Eleven Interesting Things I learned about Aruba

  • Aruba is about 75 square miles in area. It has about five miles (8 km) at its widest point and 19 miles (30 km) in length. It is rank in 39th place by Caribbean island by size. The island is just a bit smaller than the Grand Cayman. (76 Square Miles)
  • Aruba was first inhabited by the Arawak tribe. Europeans discovered the island by America Vespucci.
  • Aruba celebrates Independence Day on January 1st.
  • The Capital City is Oranjestad
  • The major Economic industry is Tourism, followed by Construction (Which is fueled by the growth of the tourism industry).
  • Aruba is the richest economy in the caribbean with a GDP per capita of $23.353. Bahamas is second at $22,17.
  • Current Population is 104,822 (About the same population size as Cambridge, Massachusetts)
  • There are 7,103 Hotel Rooms on the Island of which 2,272 rooms are for timeshare.
  • Coldest Day in Aruba was on January 30, 1976 when it was 66 F (18.9 C)
  • Hottest Day was in 2003 when it got to 99 F (37.2 c)
  • Distance from the Equator: 862.5 miles (1388.05 km) (Equivalent distance between Boston and Milwaukee (859 miles) (1382.43 km)
  • Aruba distance from Boston, Massachusetts: 2,061 Miles (As the crow fly)

June 28, 2017

Evernote Helper

Have you ever worked on a document and then an idea came up for something completely unrelated to what your working on?

Ya, it happens to everyone.

The problem is if you completely stop what you're doing - you'll loose focus on the task at hand.

EverNote Helper (Menu Item) can be a real life saver. When you encounter a distraction thought, such as "I should really check out that Tom Cruise - Tom Gun Music Video" you can just make a quick note without closing the program you're in. This is possible because EverNote Helper is a Macintosh/Windows system-wide utility.

Evernote Helper Graphic

I have found that EverNote helper is good way to remember things when you don't want to interupt your current task.

Screen Capture

As an added bonus, you can take a quick screenshot with your quick note. You don't need to take a full-screen shot - you can just take a picture of a selected area of the screen or any window.

Audio Recordings

Macintosh users can add a voice recording but I don't see any use for that. At my office it's pretty quiet - I don't think I would ever use this.

Some real world examples

Don't think it's something you need to use? Check out some real world tasks that have happen to me:

  • Thought of a cool gift idea while browsing Amazon? Take a screen shot and make a note.
  • See a cool graphic design on social media that you would like to duplicate? Take a screenshot of it and comment on why you like it.
  • Need to bring some supplies to work tomorrow? Take a note.
  • Found a bug but don't have time to file a report? Take a screenshot and jot down some notes.
  • Wouldn't it be great if.. Take a quick note.
  • On a call, need to jot a phone number or address?
  • Discovered a cool Alexa saying? Take a note.

At first I thought having another menu item didn't make any sense. However, I discovered that it makes perfect sense for just a quick note.

Once you remember the keyboard commands you'll be using this feature all the time.

Evernote Menu Help
Quick Cheat Sheet Guide.

One last Thought

Think about it - when was the last time your desktop sticky note had a screenshot?

June 7, 2017

Emoji in Evernote

EverNote is a great tool to organize everyday notes. You can put notes in Notebooks and tag them so you can easily find them later.

Did you know that EverNote Supports Emoji icons? It's a cool way to highlight notes or notebooks. Check out this example of the Done and Food Notebooks.

Notebook Emoji

As you can see it's pretty easy to identify the use of those particular notebooks.

What are Emoji icons?

Emoji are a small digital image or icon used to express an idea, emotion, etc., in electronic communication.

Emoji in Evernote

You can use emoji within your documents. But did you know that you can use them in headers and in Notebook names?

This can make it easier for certain notes or notebooks to stand out. As in the above example, my 'Done' notebook is where I store completed Blog notes.

All Emoji are Not the Same

Androd Emoji and Apple Emoji are different, this is important to know if your using EverNote on different devices types.

Emoji

Also keep in mind that Apple and Android don't have the same Emoji library. When Android encounter an Emoji that is not in their library, you'll get a box to indicate an incomplete emoji, If you keep a single OS platform, then this isn't a problem.

Emoji Technique

Using Emoji is a good way to make ordinary notes stand out. This is a great idea for those reference notes that you may need to use all the time.

Just remember to not throw an Emoji on synced Notebooks. (i.e. Notebooks that are being used by IFTTT, such as Twitter and IOS Photos.) If you add an Emoji, you're essentially changing the name and that may cause the sync to fail.

February 26, 2016

How to Scan to Evernote on a Mac

If you do a search around the internet for instructions on scanning documents directly to Evernote on a Macintosh, you'll find that many are out of date. You may think it's no longer possible. Well it still is...and it's very easy to set up.

Evernote Scan

Here's my simple instructions on how to capture scan images and put them directly into Evernote using Image Capture version 6.7 (OS X El Capitan)

  • Open Image Capture
  • Click on the "Show Details" button on the bottom right window
  • On the pull down menu next to the "Scan To: text, Select "Other..."
  • Select the 'Applications' Folder and then find 'Evernote'
  • Click 'Open'
  • You'll see the EverNote now appears in the pull down menu

Scan file items will appear as individual notes in Evernote. Immediately after the scan, you will have an opportunity to make some notes. This is a good time to comment on why you scan the item.

Evernote recommends to use Color as the "Kind:" and to scan at 72 dpi resolution. (See the example screenshot)

If you have Evernote Premium, the text in the scan items will be searchable. This includes photos. This means if you have a photo with an inspirational quote, you can search for it.

Note: This is backward compatible, which means that if you upgrade to Premium today, anything that you already have in Evernote account will be searchable. Make sure to give Evernote some time to scan and index all your document and photos after you upgrade.

January 8, 2016

Skitch and Evernote

If your looking for a productive Macintosh screen capture tool, I highly recommend checking at Skitch by Evernote. This is a free tool that works very well with your existing Evernote account. You don't need Evernote to use Skitch, but they work so well together, why wouldn't you?

About Skitch

Use an existing image or capture a new one, then add shapes, write on it, draw on it, annotate it any way you like, and save it to your Evernote account so that it is available everywhere Evernote is.

About Evernote

Evernote is a notes application designed to help you stay organized that goes far beyond what you'd typically think of as a notebook. You can add text, images, audio, scanned documents, files, and more to your notebook, synchronize everything across all of your devices in Evernote's beautiful, free apps, and then quickly find anything with powerful search that can even recognize text inside your files and images.

Your Screen Capture on Steroids

The key thing to remember is you can "quickly find anything with powerful search." This means that when you use Skitch and save the screenshot in your Evernote account, you can search for text that is in your screen shot.

That's the power of Evernote and Skitch.

Skitch has all the image annotation that you come to expect from a screen capture tool. You can add arrows, Text, Shapes, Highlights, predefine stamps, Pixelate, and crop images. You can easily export the image out of Skitch so that you can add it to a Jira issue.

Skitch_sm.jpg
Click on image for a larger version.

The good thing about Skitch is that it will create a notebook to store all the images, so the screenshots won't clutter up your default Evernote notebook. In addition, you can manage the notebook how you want, so if you don't want the files, simply delete them. You can tag the notes so that you can find them even easier.

EverNoteAccount.jpg
I have plenty of space in my Upload Allowance.

Feature Requests

I would like to have the ability to record video as I can do with other applications, such as MonoSnap and Snap Z Pro X. Sometimes it's a lot easier to describe a bug when you see it in action.

Image/Shape Library - This would be a personal library of shapes and images that users could add to the screenshot. Knowing the image was issue happen in Firefox or Chrome could add a lot of value to the screen shot.