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Aruba 2010 Ch. 1

Hi,

This is the first chapter in my travelogue of our two-week trip to Aruba this year.  I hope you will enjoy it.  If not, you will find an Escape Clause at the end.

We left Buenos Aires on a freezing cold and rainy day at 8:45 PM on the 3rd of September 2010.  Our flight was from Ezeiza to Miami, then after a 2 hour layover we move on and arrive in Aruba at 1:35 PM on the 4th of September.  The transition was incomparable.  We were greeted with sunny skies, emerald blue waters, balmy breezes, and the magnificence of our Aruba timeshare.

                             
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A stunning view of the resort at night.

Over our past 3 years as we visited Aruba, we watched them build these four new 8 story pods, adding 140 units to the resort, plus these beautiful pools, and the Pure Beach pool bar and restaurant.  They were completed last year.  The new pools, the Pure Beach bar and restaurant, and the new units are all top notch.

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The Pure Beach Restaurant is totally open air, and the food is excellent.

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This photo was sent to us by Rosey, or sales rep.  Just in case you are thinking about buying a timeshare in Aruba.  LOL

The 7th & 8th floor comprise the 1,550 sq. ft penthouse suites.  Nice, but way more space than we require.  For a big "rich" family it is perfect.

The 545 sq. ft. studio unit is more in line with our needs.  The unit we bought back in 2002 is a studio in the original part of the resort.  We actually looked into upgrading to one of the new units last year, but the requirement for an upgrade was that you had to purchase a second week.  That was out of the question then.  Well, as fate would have it, on Friday, our last full day this year, there was a tropical down pour that you wouldn't believe.  We've been coming to Aruba since August, 2002, and being a desert island, well out of the hurricane belt, it VERY seldom rains here.  This year there were 4 hurricanes churning in the Caribbean, and the locals tell us that they were sucking moisture off from the South American continent.  Aruba is located very close to Venezuela.

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This down pour put the kabash on going to the beach, so we decided to visit the sales office, just to see what sort of deals they might have this year, realizing that the world economy was in the toilet, we assumed that the sales folks might be a little hungry.  That assumption was pretty much dead on.  This year they removed the requirement of purchasing a second week.  We could apply the equity we have in our original unit, and they now allow you to accelerate 10 years forward from the end of the contract, plus they were giving us 5 additional weeks up front, so that means that for the next 15 years we could have a second week in Aruba without using any of our RCI Points.  And, once the 40 year contract has expired, we only pay $1.00 to extend it for another 40 years.  I'm sure this is something like a casino where the bean counters have figured out a way for the house to always win, but what the heck, who cares when you get to spend a couple of weeks each year in this tropical paradise.  So, we sat in the sales office talking with Rosey for about an hour, watching the maintenance folks in the lobby using squeegees to push the water out of the huge new lobby (it is open on the side that faces the pool, and there was no way to keep the torrents of rain from coming in).  But remember, it almost NEVER rains in Aruba.  It is a "desert" island.

Pete has always wanted a view from our room, but being on the ground floor, that was pretty much impossible.  One of our favorite things to do is to go out to the beach in the evening and watch the sun set.  Often the sunsets are rather anticlimactic, but this year we had a great to spectacular sunset nearly every evening.  Here is an example of what I mean by "spectacular".

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   This was taken on our first evening of week #2, from the balcony of the room they moved us to, a one bedroom unit on the third floor of Pod "D", the pod nearest to the beach, and as we later found out, was the most expensive pod.

Well, back to what I was leading up to with our visit to the sales office.  The outcome was that we did purchase an upgrade.  How could we resist all those perks.  LOL  People have told us that we are timeshare junkies.  Well, it sure beats sitting at home watching television.  And as long as we can afford a flight to anywhere in the world, why not just do it, to borrow Nike's slogan.  What we bought for the upgrade was a studio unit in Pod "B" on the 6th floor.  It has a view looking over the top of the pool and Pure Beach Restaurant, and almost due west, so our view of the sunsets will be fantastic.  Pete is overjoyed, but then so am I.  We can hardly wait until next year to enjoy our new digs.

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The thing we really like about the Aruba Phoenix is that in the row of hotels on Hotel Row, it is the very last one at the south end, and to get to it from all the other hotels along the strip, you have to pass through a public beach area adjacent to a vacant lot next to the Westin, which will probably never be developed (but never say never).  So, this bit of open no mans land discourages most tourist from venturing down to our end of the beach.  It is very quiet most of the time (except when the play Bingo at the old pool area), and we never have a problem finding a palm frond umbrella and beach lounge chairs to spend the afternoons in the sun, just reading, swimming in the warm Caribbean waters, and simply relaxing, without a care in the world.

On our first night, since we are usually tired from the long flight, at check-in we always make a reservation at the Sunset Beach Bistro, here at the Phoenix.  Then we go to our room and change into beach attire, so we can spend some time on the beach before Happy Hour.

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                 Who could not love this beautiful scene?                                                             The sun is strong, so I soon take to the shade.

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                                 This is our first Happy Hour . . .                                                 . . .and we both start with margaritas.

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                   We enjoy another margarita before dinner.                                   The view looking towards the beach.

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                        As we enjoy a delicious first meal . . .                                 . . .there is a wedding dinner happening on the beach.

Well, I'm up to a message size of 1.5 MB now, so I suppose I should end this first chapter.  This is only our first day, but since there is not a whole lot that we did in the two weeks, I doubt that there will be many more chapters.  However, I may be a little too verbose for your taste, and you may not have the time to read my random babbling, so please don't feel embarrassed at all by using this Escape Clause and asking me to remove you from my mailing list.  I swear that I will be totally understanding, and won't hold it against you.  Honest!  But if you stick with me, I will try to make it as interesting as I can.

Cheers!  Besos y abrazos!

Ron Weaver