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Trip Report Long Overdue Trip Report from Aruba - October 2011

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In October 2011 we went to Aruba for our fourth trip to the island. This was our third time staying at Manchebo. After the vacation I was very busy planning for my parent’s fiftieth wedding anniversary party in November. Then the holiday season came along and I completely forgot about the trip report. We are planning our next vacation and I realized that I never wrote one for our last trip.

Manchebo remains my all time favorite resort. It’s a small intimate hotel with an incredible beach, good restaurants and a great bar at night. Their staff is friendly and always helpful. The updates in their rooms are a great improvement. We feel like we’re going home when we return there.

We had fun at the Tuesday night manager’s cocktail party. They served complementary drinks, chicken wings, egg rolls, mozzarella sticks and meatballs. We saw Edgar, the hotel manager who is such a nice gracias person. He seems very proud of what they’ve done with the hotel and wants it to be a success. The singer/musician, Brian entertained the crowd with a good repertoire of songs.

Our big adventure on this vacation was chartering the yacht, Morning Star for a snorkeling trip. As I’ve written before, I can’t swim but I enjoy being in the water. My husband went snorkeling in Barbados on one of our prior vacations but I was afraid to join in. This time I agreed but wanted to make sure that I would have someone with me to help if I needed it. Katrin and JJ are the operators of the Morningstar and were very nice. I put on a lifejacket and jumped into the water but it felt uncomfortable at my neck so I ended up taking it off and using a kickboard to help me float. I had the goggles on and could still put may face in the water and see coral and fish. JJ went snorkeling with us while Katrin stayed on the yacht and cooked lunch. It was an enjoyable day and I was proud of myself for being able to snorkel. I’m not sure I would rush into going again because it was hard for me and I tend to get seasick easily.

We were caught in a torrential downpour when we were shopping downtown one afternoon and decided to duck into Cuba’s Cookin for shelter and lunch. We really enjoyed the food and the atmosphere there. If we return to Aruba I definitely would to return for dinner hopefully during a night when they have live music.

Papillon was another first time restaurant that we enjoyed. We had left overs to take home and they packaged them up in aluminum foil in the shape of a basket. I was amused at this and skipped for part of the way home singing we’re off to see the wizard a la Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.

We went to Fishes and More near Sopranos Piano bar before a night of singing and drinking. There is a stage, where they have live music on some nights, outside of the restaurant complex at Fishes and More, but you’ll have to wait to sing along until you go to Sopranos.

Since we’ve been to Aruba a few times we’ve developed some favorite places on the island. We visited some of them again on this vacation. We went on the Kukoo Kunuko party bus for the fourth time which was fun but they played too much new techno and rap music for my taste this year. I guess we’re getting older. Mama on Kukoo Kunuko is always crazy - in a good way. We went on the bus on a Wednesday night and twice she referred to it being the weekend. I guess in her job every day is the weekend. I think she was having too much fun! I may have to give her a mini mental if we return. We went to a new bar before dinner this time. They said they were trying it out as a new stop.

We ate at old favorites The French Steakhouse and Pizza Bob’s again for their convenience to Manchebo. At the hotel we tried a continental breakfast of gouda cheese and a crescent roll which was a surprisingly good combination. We have since replicated this at home.

We also returned to Screaming Eagle and had their “Dinner in Bed”. We both ordered their three course chef’s signature dish. They asked us to choose either seafood or meat. We chose the latter and it was excellent. They have a bed like area that we sat on with our backs against pillows along a wall. We sat with our legs outstretched and had tray tables that went on our laps. The meal was extravagant and is a great way to celebrate something special.

We returned to Gasparito but something was missing from their food this time. I was disappointed because I had always liked dining there in the past.

In conclusion Aruba remains one of my favorite islands and was as always a fun place to relax and get always from it all.

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