Friday, April 6, 2018

Aruba: A Little Slice Of Heaven...


If you want an almost 100% guarantee of sunshine (and who doesn't), Aruba is the place for you. This small, tropical island will envelop you in brilliant sunshine and caressing heat all year round. It does rain, but not very often or for very long. Even with its average 82-degree temperature, the winds are predictable and constant, blowing through as if they were sent just to keep you cool and comfortable. In the summer months, the water is so calm that you can float on your raft and barely move around. This also makes it perfect for scuba diving and snorkeling, since there is very little rain to affect the visibility. In the winter months, when the winds are strongest, sailing and windsurfing are perfect water sports to partake in. Most of the rain comes October-December but even then you will still get plenty of sun.

There as so many things to do in Aruba, or you can just do nothing at all. We do know that once you visit Aruba you will desire to come there for yearly vacations with your family because it will feel like a second home to you.














Marriott Trio of Resorts...
There are dozens of wonderful hotels and timeshare resorts to stay at and it's all a matter of preference. We happen to love the Marriott resorts... Marriott Surf Club, Marriott Ocean Club, and the M. Stellaris Hotel & Casino. Each one has something different to offer. They are all located on Palm Beach and surrounded by the turquoise blue Caribbean waters. Depending on which resort you stay in, you have choices of guest rooms, or one and two bedroom villas (magnificent). The comfortable villas have full kitchens, spacious living rooms, and even a washer and dryer. And did we mention the ocean-front units with astonishing views, day and night? The sunsets are spectacular and you can view them from your balcony or right on the beach, one as good as the other. The Marriott will become your home away from home, and you will want to come back year after year.

The Surf Club has two refreshing pools, one with a fun slide for kids, an invigorating whirlpool spa, and a lazy river (great for everyone). The Marketplace is on-site for quick snacks and delightful gifts. And there are organized activities throughout the day and a game room to keep the kids busy when you want a relaxing break. The Ocean Club is calmer than the Surf Club and they have a beautiful pool with a mesmerizing waterfall. You walk up a few steps around the pool and there's a hot tub at the top, overlooking the pool. It doesn't matter where you are, all of the pools are fabulous, and all three hotel snack bars have delicious foods, and drinks! The grounds are stunning everywhere you go.

An assortment of water activities will keep you busy throughout the day, when you're not relaxing by the pools. Jet skis, banana boats, parasailing, and tubing are tons of fun. You can even bring a companion with you on the boat just to enjoy the boat ride.

There are also some awesome excursions to go on. We tried one, and loved it...

Jolly Pirate Cruise...If you want a party on a boat, this is one completely satisfying excursion. Everyone 'pirate' that works on board is enthusiastic and cheerful, which makes it even more fun. They try to get everyone involved so they get the most out of this trip. There are a few snorkeling stops you will go to first and even beginner snorkelers will enjoy it. Plenty of colorful fish will surround you as you float about with your mask in the water, enjoying the serenity and beauty of it all. The last stop is the rope swing and this is a blast. In between stops, while you're hanging around on the ship, Poison Punch is being served continuously (yes, you will probably get drunk if you have a few of these), and a decent lunch is served. Dance and have a good time. If you're on the later cruise, the spectacular sunset will entertain you.



Restaurants, Cafes, and Desserts:











Eduardo's Beach Shack...If you're into smoothies, this is the place for you. With a wide selection of refreshing smoothies to choose from, with the freshest ingredients, this is a healthy way to start or end your day. You'll definitely have withdrawals from them when you return home. Did we mention how reasonable the prices are? Doesn't get better than this.

Casa Tua Restaurant...Excellent food and drinks, reasonably priced, homey atmosphere and perfect service (love our waiter, Alfredo). The mood fits the spirit of the island which is happy and fun. Seating is outside with red-checkered tableclothed tables, live music, and nice ambiance. All of this makes for the perfect evening out. Their pizza is one of the best we've had, very thin and delicious. You can't go wrong with anything on the menu, some of which included coconut shrimp (mouth-watering), calamari, escargot, group, paella, gouda-filled tortellini, egglant parmesan (wow), and pesto pasta (mmmm). Don't miss the tiramisu at the end of your meal... it's to die for. Don't miss Casa Tua's!

Madame Jeanette's...Get ready for an explosion for your taste buds. This restaurant is as good as you can get. The service is impeccable (they make you feel like royalty), the restaurant itself is decorated beautifully (love the twinkling lights in the outdoor dining room...gives it a festive feel), the live music with the summer breeze was intoxicating and made for a relaxing and enjoyable night out, and the food, well it speaks for itself. Some of the dishes you will have to try over time, and believe me, you will be back, are the perfectly prepared rack of lamb, the superb surf and turf (the lobster melts in your mouth), chicken cordon bleu that was stuffed with white asparagus and cheese with ham and a cranberry drizzle, almond shrimp, beef tenderloin, and potatoes that are worth every calorie. Desserts included apple strudel with cinnamon honey ice cream, chocolate souffle with blueberry ice cream, coconut cream cake, and a fudge brownie with Cracker Jack ice cream. And let's not forget about the drinks... they're fabulous!

El Gaucho Argentine Grill... For the best steak you will eat in Aruba, look no further. Many say theirs is even better than some of the greats (Ruth Chris, Morton's, etc.). This western style steak house provides the perfect atmosphere for a hearty steak meal, and even has guitar-playing musicians walking around to serenade you. Start off with a pitcher of Sangria (which will be re-filled for you before you hit the last drop), enjoy the perfectly-made garlic bread that are brought to your table, and then get ready for a quality meal. You can't go wrong with the Ribeye, but the 12 oz. filet mignon is just as sublime. Along with your entree, you receive 3 scrumptious sides (10 choices). If you love potatoes, you have a choice of mashed, baked, smash red-bliss. Other sides include steamed broccoli and fried plaintains. For dessert, don't miss out on the deep-fried cheesecake. You won't be disappointed with this steak paradise.

Gianni's...This wonderful establishment is the most authentic fine dining Italian restaurant in Aruba. Whether you order family style (great for those of you who love lots of food and variety) or individually, be prepared for a fresh, delectable meal. As you walk in, you hear the soothing music of the talented piano player sitting in the corner. Sit inside or outside, both choices are wonderful. Cheese lovers start off with the cheese wheel (you can't miss this one, it's outstanding). They grate cheese off of the wheel, ignite it with Scotch and melt it. Need I say more? Perfectly toasted garlic bread comes next. Continue on with the most amazing Caesar salad you'll find on the island, and then dive in to some tasty appetizers like super fresh buffalo mozzarella with tomatoes, oysters or artichokes (made with the most delicious sauce). Move on to the main course where you'll find hearty selections like lobster in a spicy tomato sauce (huge portion), filet mignon with mushrooms, butterfly shrimp, all homemade pastas including Gianni's famous spaghetti with parmesan reggiano (heavenly) and the black ink squid pasta, grouper in olive oil and lemon, made-just-right fusilli bolognese, veal parmigiana, and orichetta with sausage and broccoli rabe. Sides include rich, creamy lobster risotto which generous pieces of lobster, and peas and pancetta. And, if it's even possible, don't forget to leave room for the cannoli, made with a creamy, sensational filling and the lightest crust you can imagine. As far as wines go, they have an exceptional selection, whether it's by glass or bottle. What a great place for dinner.

Tomato Charlie's...When you're in the mood for some good food, but don't want to spend your casino winnings on a meal out, there's good ole' Tomato Charlie's. We loved sitting outside, so casual and relaxing. Trusted and true, Tomato Charlie's offers large servings that will surely leave leftovers that can be shared or taken back to your hotel room for a late night snack. They have a simple menu and everything is tasty. The pizzas are delicious, nice and hot, with just the right blend of cheese, sauce and crust. Their Caesar salad was full of flavor, the spinach and artichoke dip hit the spot, and the pitcher of beer quenches your thirst. All of their pastas and chicken dishes were fantastic. It just goes to show that you don't need to break the bank to have a great meal in Aruba.

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