This past weekend Sarah and I (Sam) made a quick get away to Aruba. 4 days and 3 nights just to escape the cold weather. I’ve been traveling almost annually to Aruba since 2001, and in the last 12 months I’ve made 4 trips. As for Sarah, this was her 4th trip to Aruba in the past 2 years – she’s hooked for sure! People always ask me why I keep going back to Aruba, simple answer is I love it, but if I had to break it down these would be my top 5 reasons –

#5 – The Food – On this trip we checked out a “new” restaurant called Senses Fine Dining https://sensesaruba.restaurant/ located inside The Bucuti one of the “low rise” hotels on Eagle Beach . If you are “foodies” like us, this is definitely one you should check out. 16 chair maximum seating, so if you are planning to go to Aruba book your reservation as soon as you book your trip. Even if you are not a fan of seafood like me, you should try it. I was surprised how much I did because the food is so fresh and the flavors are so well developed. It was $105 for the 8 course meal only Monday-Friday. They change the menu frequently, but we had salmon, rock lobster, duck and wild boar. If I’m being honest we both felt the boar and the duck were a little on the tough side, but the flavors of each dish were yummy. Sarah also did the wine paring, which she enjoyed. I believe it was $80. So, it’s about $240 per person once you add in the tip. The best part was that the food was cooked right in front of you and we really enjoyed talking to two other couples that sat next to us. We were there for 3 1/2 hours, but honestly it was so much fun we hardly realized the time. I wish I took more photos, the presentation was so beautiful. We also re-visited two of our other favorite restaurants while in Aruba. El Guacho Argentine Grill https://www.elgaucho-aruba.com/ I would totally recommend The Gaucho Steak and Madame Janettehttp://www.madamejanette.info/joomla2/ has an amazing menu which includes beef, chicken, fish and pasta – all delicious. The best part is you eat al fresco – who doesn’t love to sit outside in January in the warm tropical air!

Wild Boar with brussel sprouts and baby potatoes with pork rinds crumbled on top.
Desert – Yummy!

#4 – The Hotels – This time we stayed at The Mill Resort and Suites Aruba. https://www.millresort.com/  This is our second time staying here. The hotel is under major renovations, but we stayed in their recently renovated rooms and I have to say, they are clean and the beds are super comfortable. This hotel is located in the “high-rise” area across from the RIU and while it is NOT on the beach side of the street, they do have a small designated beach area for their guests. They have a golf cart to bring you there if you don’t want to walk. For our “weekend” getaway, this place is perfect and plus it’s much cheaper than the “chain” hotels like the Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott, Holiday and Ritz, all located in the “high-rise” area of Palm Beach. Our room had a coffee maker, little refrigerator and a micro-wave. They also have a restaurant and pool bar. Once the renovations are completed, I expect the prices to go up a little. For the money I think this is a decent value especially if you are looking to travel on a budget but still want a nice place close to all the “action”. Also, while they don’t have a casino, it’s a short walk to the board walk which runs along the entire length of Palm Beach and you can stop in any hotel along the way to gamble. I’ve only stayed at 4 other hotels over the past 18 years, we tend to go back to the same place each time because we know what to expect. For a “girls trip” I would totally recommend the Hyatt https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/aruba/hyatt-regency-aruba-resort-spa-and-casino/aruba, it’s pricey but they have exceptional service. For a “family trip”, I would recommend a place like the The Tropicana Aruba Resort and Casino https://troparuba.com/ because they have up to 3 bedrooms suites with full kitchens, including a washer and dryer, and sleeps up to 8 people.

View from the Hyatt looking down toward Palm Beach.

#3 – Entertainment – Listening to music while having a cocktail over the ocean, it doesn’t get any better! During this trip we visited Bugaloe Beach Bar and Grill http://bugaloe.com/ at least 4 times. Located at the end of De Palm Pier near the Hilton Hotel. It’s such a fun atmosphere in which the waitresses also sing during both Happy Hours 5-6pm and 10-11pm. It’s a very relaxed bar, most of the time we show up in with our cover ups over our wet bathing suits. For night time entertainment, check out Soprano’s Piano Bar http://www.sopranospianobararuba.com/ located behind the RIU hotel. Sing along entertainment every night. Each month there is a new musician, so it never gets old. We are all big fans of their espresso martinis – yum!

The Bugaloe sign next to the De Palm Pier.
Photo from above the bar area.
Carol, Sam and Sarah enjoying an espresso martini at Sapranos – March 2018.

# 2 – The Ocean – All of us are lovers of the beach, the ocean and water sports. A must when we visit Aruba is the snorkeling. Sarah and I went on the De Palm Tour catamaran trip https://www.depalmtours.com/palm-pleasure-snorkel-adventure/ for 4 hours. They stop at 3 different snorkeling locations, provide you with a delicious lunch and an open bar for the entire 4 hours – nothing like an Aruba Ariba at 9am! For $89, it’s well worth it. Even if you aren’t into snorkeling, it’s fun just to enjoy the ride.

De Palm Tour’s catamaran.
View of the front of the catamaran.

#1 – The Weather – They call it “One Happy Island” for a reason – every day is like paradise. Known for it’s constant warm trade winds, the
average annual temperature in Aruba is 82 degrees with only 15 inches of rain a year! Over the last 18 years, I’ve been to Aruba in every month from January thru July – the weather has been perfect every time. I always start my trip with 30+ sunscreen and re-apply often. Even with that, I still manage to burn every time – always missing that one little area. So, be careful!

Sarah on Palm Beach – March 2018.

We love you Aruba, until next time…..

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining us!

It all started about 10 years ago, planning Sarah’s 40th birthday party. Sarah, Carol and I (Sam), all work together and are also all Sagittarians – lovers of travel and adventure.  Since then we’ve been planning annual trips, some in the same state, some far away, but always fun!  I love these girls, affectionally known as my Angels.  We decided to write this blog to share our opinions about the places we’ve stayed at, the sights we’ve seen, the concerts and sporting events we’ve been to and all the amazing places we’ve eaten.  We hope you enjoy our blog and are happy to answer questions about our travel.