Thoughts

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.

34C4BB6B-7077-43A6-AC31-B152B3640C8E.gif

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.

B54CD94E-BE07-4CA2-84F8-45080E506F35.gif

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.

4C6FE852-EFEB-4C62-AEFC-3F972DDB1683.jpeg

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

1F76DFC4-AD0E-4183-8849-9BB4C82FDC86.jpeg

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.)

4F4A8A23-EAA1-4DB0-A998-C537AF3A3A31.jpeg

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

GOD BLESS AMERICA!

IMG_0249.JPG

It’s the Fourth of July weekend. There are a lot of celebrations all around. People are hustling to the beaches and beginning long awaited vacations. I always think about barbeques, fireworks, boating, and get togethers on this holiday. Today I wanted to take just a minute to reflect and say Thank You!

We are very priviledged to live in this country. We should be thankful for the fact that we have freedom. Freedom of speech, choice, and equal rights. We are truly blessed and I feel that often times we take these rights for granted.

Anything worth having is worth fighting and standing up for. If it weren’t for the brave men and women that fight for us every day, we would no longer have these rights. To them, I would like to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. All of our law enforcement people need a shout out as well. All of you put you lives on the line every day for me and countless others. I applaud and am thankful for your services.

As a nation, we could be great. Yet we stand divided. We hurt our fellow man just because we don’t like his opinions. People are shot and killed every day for their beliefs or possessions. We watch people burn our flag and stomp all over it. This is not okay! What message does this send to our enemies? Believe me, they are watching and waiting. It’s time for us to get together and treat our fellow man with kindness, love, and respect.

Whether you like it or not, Donald Trump is President of the United States. As a nation it’s time to get on board and support this nation again. It’s a bit pathetic listening to all the whining and complaining at this point. It’s not accomplishing anything! If you want to be part of this country, figure a way to get your point across and try to help! If you don’t like this country……..then leave!!!!!

So, when your out this weekend, enjoying your parties, or watching fireworks take a moment. Think about why you are able to do these things! Be thankful for the people that put their lives on the line every day to give you this privilege. Do something nice for your fellow man. Be kind and smile at a stranger. It can be contagious!

Have a wonderful 4th of July and let freedom ring.  Stand up for truth, liberty, and justice, for all. Enjoy your loved ones and stay safe out there. I wish you all a happy holiday.

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY

I would like to reach out and wish all the Moms a Happy Mother’s Day.  I myself am blessed to be a Mom and a Grandmother, aka “Mimi”. I am also lucky enough to be a stepmother to 3 children as well.

While being a mother is rewarding it also has it challenges. When I was a young mother I remember being terrified that I wasn’t up to the task. Yep, scared to death to be honest. My daughter somehow made it and is a fantastic mother to my grandson. Of course, I can not take all the credit. It truly does, take a village.

Nobody gives you a handbook of instructions. There are no set rules or reasons on how to be a mother. We just do it! Some how, we find our way.

I lost my Mother quite a few years ago. There are still times when I have the urge to call her and consult with her or ask her “what would you do”. So often, I will say something and have to pause, because they are her exact words. It’s those moments when I realize, I am much like my mother.

It was my good fortune to marry into a family that I also love. My mother-in-law has been like a mother. In fact she told me long ago, “you can call me Mom”. I do and I respect and value her opinions. She raised two children of her own, after all. My husband is a wonderful man and his sister is like the sister I never had. I am pretty lucky!

So to all you Moms out there, everywhere, enjoy your day. To all of you celebrating your Mothers enjoy every moment. Time is fleeting and goes by in the blink of an eye. The time to celebrate and love is now. Lets treat these wonderful women with all the joy and appreciation they deserve. I truly hope your day is filled with all the things you love and make you happy.

This one is for you Jeanette ……. wherever you are! I love you!

IMG_1195.JPG

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

 

%d bloggers like this: