The Beach 
   Resort Pictures 
 Jeep Tour 
   California Lighthouse 
   Alto Vista Chapel 
   Gold Mine 
   Ostrich Farm 
   Natural Bridge 
   Natural Pool 
   Fontein Caves 
   Baby Beach 

Our Trip to Aruba


  We traveled to Aruba in the spring of 2005 mostly on a whim.  Or, at least, on short notice.  While that sounds wildly spontaneous (and possibly romantic) the reality is that we were just lazy and didn't plan ahead.  However, if it helps you to have that more adventurous image of us in your head, we won't complain.

  We initially got interested in going to Aruba through one of those shameless mailings that attempt to get you to stay at a certain resort, during which time they try to sell you a piece of said resort.  In this case it was the Marriott Surf Club, Marriott's second time share in Aruba.  We thought we'd take them up on their offer (which was pretty good by the way) and since the weather was pretty aweful this spring, we figured it would be a nice getaway.  Due to above mentioned laziness, we didn't call back in time to get a date in the early spring.  So...  we went to plan B.  That was asking around if anyone happened to have a time share week that they wanted to sell us.  As it turns out, one of Mark's co-workers owns at the Marriott Ocean Club (first of the two Marriott time shares in Aruba).  This time share does not work on specific weeks and so we were limited only by availability at the resort.  After a bit of wrestling through various dates we managed to get a week.  Unfortunately it was the week starting on Easter.  Sorry Mom; Sorry Dad.  Adventure called.

  So we were off to Aruba for a week's vacation at the Marriott Ocean Club.  Not a bad deal.  I'll tell ya, that 85 degree weather, with the constant trade winds, in April was awesome!  Admitedly, it was a bit surreal to go from 30 degree weather to 85 degree weather in the span of a day.  It took us all of about 10 minutes of sitting at a bar on the beach watching the sun set over the ocean for us to get over that.

  This part of our web page documents the places we went, the things we did, and the sunsets we watched (almost every night ).  We had an excellent time and would highly recommend Aruba to anyone.  It's not quite Bermuda as it's slightly more ramshackle and quite a bit more Americanized (can you say Taco Bell??) but still, the weather can't be beat.  We've heard a few people comment since that they won't go there due to the way the government has been handling the investigation into the disappearance of Natalee Holloway.  For that, you'll have to make up your own mind.

Things to know:

- The electrical system is the same as in the US.

- Aruba has it's own currency, the Aruba Florin, which is tied to the US dollar at 1.77 Aruba Florins to the US dollar.

- There is a government set taxi cost from the airport to the resort area.  We didn't verify that until after we'd been taken.  Look it up before going!

- The "high-rise" resorts are the northern most resorts along Palm Beach, the "low-rise" resorts are this between the "high-rise" and Oranjestad.

- The bus system is simple and convenient from the "high-rise" area.   Buy a round trip ticket when boarding the bus, it's easier and more cost effective.

- If taking a jeep tour, make sure you're in the first jeep.  If not, prepare to get dirty.

- Sunset, at least in April, was around 7:15.

- You should eat at La Trattoria: El Faro Blanco, located at the foot of California Lighthouse,  once.  The food is not so great, but the view is worth it.  Make sure you're there for sunset!

- The time zone is Atlantic Standard Time which is equivalent to Eastern Daylight Savings Time all year round.

- Even though that breeze keeps you cool, you're only 12 degrees north of the equator.  If you smell something burning, it's probably you.

We hope you enjoy our travel log!

Mark & Melissa