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HAPPY ANNIVERSARY ATBB..thank you ARUBA!

One year ago, on January 27th, while sitting in Aruba I decided to start a blog. I’m not sure if I was inspired by Aruba or a lightning bolt…haha. I honestly wasn’t sure I could do this at all. I gave it one or two posts and figured the novelty would wear off. Instead, I found a sense of release and purpose.  So this particular blog is dedicated to ATBB and Aruba.

This has been an amazing vacation. My husband planned it 10 days prior to our arrival…..spur of the moment! I of course was thrilled; this is our favorite getaway. What’s not to love? Great weather, great food, the locals are friendly, helpful, and speak English. It’s called “One Happy Island” and for good reason.

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Aruba is a 19 mile long island of the Lesser Antilles in the southern Caribbean Sea. It’s 15 miles from the coast of Venezuela. On a clear day the Venezuelan mainland is visible from the south-eastern coast. Together with Bonaire and Curaçao, it forms a group referred to as the ABC islands of the Leeward Antilles, the southern island chain of the Lesser Antilles.

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We met a couple on this trip from Connecticut; Chris and “Bah”. Feels like we have known them forever. We have shared stories about our families and friends, laughed a lot, and eaten some amazing meals. Suffice it to say, we have a lot in common. Food is definitely a love we all share. Hopefully I’ve talked Bah into starting her own blog. She, also from an Italian family, loves to cook and is willing to share her recipes. I can hardly wait!!! A friendship we hopefully will enjoy for years to come.

This trip we stayed close to the airport at the Renaissance Marina Resort, which is now owned by Marriott. It is within walking distance to some of Aruba’s best restaurants. This resort boasts its own private island with pink flamingos that will eat from your hand. A free boat ride escorts you to the island to spend the day lazing in the sun, or playing in the crystal blue water. If you prefer to be out of the sun, cabanas are available so you can just enjoy the island breezes. There is also a restaurant that has great local food, cocktails, and beer. If you prefer, you can stay at the resort and enjoy one of their three pools or a beach lagoon. Like to gamble? There are Casinos as well. Let us not forget the shoppers. Gucci, Prada, Cartier, Tommy Bahama, Nautica, Nike, and many jewelers, just to name a few.

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http://www.renaissancearubaresortandcasino.com/resort-accommodations/marina-hotel-en.html

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It’s only fair that I include some of the restaurants we really enjoyed. Keep in mind, we couldn’t go to all of them but the ones I am listing are well worth the trip. I strongly encourage you to make reservations. Fish is in abundance and fresh. Their meats and produce are flown in and treated with great respect. Dining is an experience here that you will truly enjoy. If you like to fish there are several places that will prepare your catch for you at a decent price. Here are some of our favorites.

http://www.bingoaruba.com/  (Best beef carppacio I have ever had. Also famous for their dutch drink Shroebbler)

http://www.yemanja-aruba.com/main/  (A wood fired grill, the stuffed portobello mushroom was to die for. Their toasted bread with olive tapenade was killer too.)

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http://legaragebistro.com/  (French cuisine. We had a fantastic lunch there.)

http://www.solemarearuba.com/  (Italian at it’s best. We have been dining here for 24 years.)

http://www.thedutchpancakehouse.com/  (Always busy but what a great breakfast. The cruise ships dock at their back door.)

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wacky-Wahoos/278125168880426  (Very difficult to get into. When you book your vacation book a reservation here and hope you get in.)

http://papiamentoaruba.com/  (Beautiful surroundings in an old farm-house. Great food and friendly atmosphere.)

https://www.google.com/search?q=Big+Mamas+aruba&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-us&client=safari  (On Baby Beach, get the fish sandwich, it’s amazing.)

http://www.madamejanette.info/joomla2/menu  (A bit more upscale, great for dinner, a nice treat for your and your special someone.)

http://casibaricafe.com/  (Biggest grouper sandwich I have ever seen and very tasty. It’s where the locals go.)

https://www.facebook.com/midudurestaurantaruba/https://www.facebook.com/midudurestaurantaruba/ (Another local hangout with the best view on the island of the island.)

https://www.casatuaaruba.com/casa-tua-renaissance-marketplace/  (Best pizza on the Island)

http://www.bugaloe.com/  (Fun, great seafood, dancing,  kareokee, entertainment.  Do not miss this one)

So, get your vacation on, come sit under a divi divi tree and relax. Come to Aruba! It is “One Happy Island”.

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CHOPTANK CHARLIE

I am very sad today as I write this post. You see, we have lost one of our four legged friends, known to us as “Charlie”.  Charlie was a beautiful Golden Retriever who was part of the Feehley family. He was well known and loved by many. I will always fondly remember him on the Choptank River, swimming, and chasing sticks and balls thrown in the water. He was always eager to please and very gentle.

Our “fur babies”, become part of our families. We nurture, care, feed, and take care of them in the best possible way we can. In return, they love us unconditionally, without question or pause. There’s something comforting about opening the door and seeing that tail wagging and their smile, just because they missed you; just because they love you.

In my experience this pain is one of the hardest to overcome. It only comes with time, and only you know when that time is. Once you come through the other side you are left with fond memories and the hope that one day you will see them again.

I know Charlie is running in the sunshine, chasing sticks and balls. He’s still there watching over my dear friends and trying to comfort them from afar. I also suspect he has caught up with his partner in crime, Chessie. His female counterpart who passed away only three short years ago.  (Pictured below are Cruiser, and Charlie on the right.)

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Love your pets and enjoy every day you have with them. I believe that’s how they live. In the moment, with you and for you, every second, of every day.

I will keep Charlie in my heart. My prayers and love go to Robyne and Terry. Let time be on your side and ease your sorrow and pain. We will all miss Charlie and will be thinking of and praying for all of you.

In dedication to Robyne, Terry, Charlie, and Cruiser.

xoxoxo

 

 

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