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.
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.
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.
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.)
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,