June 1-15, 2012
Arrived in Aruba, on time, to a sunny but very windy day. (Actually, it was hurricane force winds the whole two weeks we were there). Hans was there with our car and off we went to Ling and Sons to pick up supplies for the next two weeks. Love staying in the same unit for two weeks in a row, no moving. Check-in at LaCabana was a breeze. Dropped wife off at door with groceries and luggage. She was just about all checked in in a matter of minutes. The first week we were there it was extremely quiet. No kids and no crowd on the beach or pool for that matter. It seemed odd. But I guess this is the way it is during the first week of June. Something we have noticed in the past few years is that there are many more stray dogs on the beach. Although they seem friendly, they didn't like anyone walking on the parameter of the beach with a back pack! They would run and bark until the person or persons left.
When I arrived on the beach at 6:00 a.m. I was literally there by myself. There were front row palapas to be had until 8:30 -9:00!! This doesn't happen in October. Even though this was to be a relaxing vacation, we still were on the go all day. We ate in a few times but we still went out to our favorite casinos in the evening. Speaking of casinos, the Stellaris Casino at the Marriott, which has been our favorite for a few years now has seemed to change. Apparently, they have a new GM and things seem to have tightened up. Just not the same and costly too. We now have a new favorite and it is the Alahambra. The renovations there are almost complete and they have many new slots for my wife. The tables were fun to play and I left with winnings every night. ( I actually came home with my winnings!!) My new fav.!! Another fun and lively casino is the Cool Casino at the Riu.
On this trip we tried a few new restaurants, at least new to us. We went to the Promenade, twice. Each time we had a very good meal. The first time I had a surf and turf which was great. My wife had a shrimp dish which she also enjoyed. The second time there I had stuffed grouper, first time ever and I liked it. It was stuffed with scallops, shrimp, and my wife had grouper with a creole sauce. Both meals were good and we would go back again.
I wanted to try Da Vinci, which is across from Rembrandt Cafe. This area has become quite popular in the past few years. On this particular night there was a singer and it was very pleasant. I had veal cutlet parm (two small pieces). I have had bigger pieces at other restaurants on the island and my wife had a cheese and shrimp alfredo tortellini. She enjoy it very much and enjoyed the leftovers for lunch the next day. Service was very very slow, but we were on Aruba time now.
We finally went to Windows on Aruba. Very nice restaurant, very elegant. Not as expensive as I thought it would be. They have specials for each month for $27. I started with a scallop appetizer which was delicious. (Not included in the June specials). My wife had a lobster bisque which she enjoyed. She also had the shrimp and rice with curry sauce. I had Surf and Turf. Although very good my Fillet Mignon was small and more cooked than I would have liked. I noticed that other people who ordered from the regular menu and not the June Special had a huge piece of meat, but of course the price was different. The service was excellent, the parking was convenient, great place for a special dinner. Oh and did I mention the view. Whether you are there for sunset or later it is still great.
While we were on the beach one morning, someone came by with a flier from The Blue Lobster. We had heard good things so we thought we would give it a try. It is down the road from Bingo's on the same side. Parking was no problem, but the place was so small. They have many tables outside but with three walls surrounding this area, it was just too stuffy. Inside dining is very cramped. I think they only had six or seven tables. The wait staff is practically right on top of you. Now for the meal. Actually, we weren't too hungry by the time we got there so we decided to just have appetizers. I had onion soup and lobster ravioli. Good but not much lobster in it. My wife (Kathy) had lobster bisque and crab cakes. They serve hot sweet rolls for the table. The chef and sous chef came out to talk to the dinners and were very pleasant. Good food, but too small of an area.
We went to Matthews for ribs. Have been there many times in the past few years. Always a great meal and atmosphere.
Renovations at LaCabana are coming along nicely and I guess on time. While we were there, they were preparing to paint and painting the units facing the pool. Love the new colors. They were still working on the roof. The grounds looked great. The casino, well what can I say. They say it will be ready in Aug. or Sept. but honestly they don't say what year!! When it is finished it should be spectacular. They plan on having a sunken bar and an amazing entrance!! They are also planning on renovation the hallways which I guess is going to happen when we are there in Oct.
So that was our two week vacation. We did what we usually do. Beautiful Eagle Beach all day, then a nice meal and then visit a casino or two. Looking forward to our October vacation when we will be staying for three weeks. I guess you can say we like Aruba!!