Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Aruba commentary is up!!!!

In spite of all the drama, we had a great time!!

Let me tell you, it sure was a lot of work for me - but it was well worth it to see Debra sooo excited and happy to experience her first time flying, as well as, an Aruba vacation!!

Happy family vacation, Happy 10 year anniversary to me and John, and Happy 4th of July, Independence Day!!!
Happy reading!!!

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Monday, August 2, 2010

Okay..... Aruba here we come!! UPDATED!!

Okay..... I know we are soooo behind in our updates!!

So, here's the deal - the photos are up from our Aruba vacation, however, you'll have to come back for my humorous, witty and sometimes frustrating commentary!!

In the meantime, hope you like the photos!!

Okay, here goes:  As we were contemplating what to do for our 10th wedding anniversary, we decided to take a family vacation.  We also decided to bring my sister, Debra, along as well.  So, we hustled to get expedited passports for Debra and Jillian.

When we were sure we had passports in hand, we booked an all-inclusive for 8 days/7 nights at the 0ccidental Gr@nd in what we now call Aruba - "Mommy's Ruba" and/or "Myruba"!!
We packed our bags, picked up Debra and headed for the airport.

At check in, we found that one of our carry on bags was mixed up and the wrong bag was checked. We found this out when we went though security and had to throw out 3/4 of our sunscreen intended for Jillian and Debra - which cost a small fortune let me tell you!!

Outside of going down to the Jersey shore with us last year, Debra really hasn't been on a vacation that she could remember.  Sure, as kids and at a very young age, our parents took us to Lake George ( I can't remember this except for seeing old photos), as well as, various day trips though the years.  

Debra knew we were going somewhere, however, she had absolutely no idea what we had planned for her!!  Debra, at the age of 53, was getting on a plane for the very first time and heading to tropical paradise!!!  

When we got to the airport, she was sooooo excited - and when the plane took off, Debra was so shocked, she grabbed Jillian's "Baby".  Jillian starts crying, no make that, screaming when Baby gets ripped out of her hands.  I take Baby back from Debra and give her back to Jillian.  Then Debra takes "Buddy" (the elephant).  Jillian starts screaming all over again.  I take Buddy back , give him back to Jillian and try my best to reassure both of them that everything is okay.  They both calm down and we were on our way.

It was absolutely wonderful to see the shear joy and excitement on Debra's face looking out the window.

As for Jillian, she thought she was on a big bus and proceeded to sing what else of course, "The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round...." followed by a repertoire of:  "Twinkle, twinkle little star",  the ABC's, "Old Mc Donald had a farm" - with several farm animals including a cat and a dog", "Ring around the Rosie",  "Row, row, row your boat" and "Bingo was his namo", as well as, other favorite tunes that Jillian favors - probably not much to the delight of those sitting around us!!

Upon our arrival, we went through customs.  Thankfully no problems there - only to find we were missing two bags at the baggage carousel - all of which contained everything that John needed for our trip, as well as, diapers,wipes and A&D 0intment for Jillian!!

There was more drama when we had no hotel shuttle vouchers which the travel agent had not provided!!  Gratefully, the hotel shuttle driver provided us with said vouchers for arrival and departure.

The drama didn't end there - The hotel had no reservation for us!!
I said what do you mean there is no reservation??!!  I have a receipt!!! 

They put us in a mini suite, told us they would move us to another room the next day as we had a reservation for an ocean front room.  For our inconvenience they upgraded us to VIP status which included room service.

And, this was only the first day!!

Naturally, we took SEVERAL photos of our feet in the water!!!

Not that we have any foot fetishes mind you, it's just that I always argue that I won't go in any water that I can't see my feet in the water and the only water I want to see my feet in is Aruba!!

So, since it isn't very often we can make our way to "Myruba" especially on a regular basis, the first thing we do when we can go is take a picture - or several pictures of my feet in the water - only now we all get in on the act!!  Don't know how we missed John's feet this time!!

Of course, we had to get Jillian a hat!!  And when Jillian got a hat.....

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Aruba 2

... Debra got a hat!!!

They both had to have the same hat, and, they both wore those hats ALL over Aruba!! 

We stayed here and this was the view from our "rooms"!!  Yes, I said "rooms" - as in more than one or even two rooms!!!  More on that later!

As you can see, we ate quite well!!

And, these guys were all over the place!

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Aruba 3

We ate some more....

We even got some rest.

We ran out of sunscreen halfway through our trip and had to purchase a different brand at $15.00 a can.  

After purchasing several cans and using said sunscreen, we found that Jillian had a reaction to it and developed a rash on her face and arms.

We had to get yet more sunscreen, and it was a good thing we had the foresight to bring some children's allergy medicine.

Thankfully, she was fine after that.

The scenery was..... 


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Aruba 4 - no pun intended - yet it's fitting!!

While we were there, world cup soccer was in full swing!
Woka, woka - what ever that means  Still don't know why people kept saying that or even what it means
There was a horse and buggy, and we went to the "Piranha J0e" T-shirt hut - spent a small fortune there too!!

Aruba celebrates "our" 4th of July in wonderfully dramatic form!!!  It was so very exciting  and thrilling to see our flag is such fashion!!!

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Aruba 5

We had "Family" time....

..."Mommy" time...

.... "Daddy" time.....

And, "Debra" time....

Only in "Debra" time - she thought we would be shopping every day!!

 When she found out she was going to the beach every day, she wasn't exactly happy about it.  She managed to get over that when she found out that she could have Dunk!n D0nuts every day sometimes twice a day!!

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Aruba 6 - Bet you can't wait for this commentary!!

Back to our "rooms" story....

We started here the mini suite, which was very sweet indeed!!  On the VIP floors.  Only it was on the side of the hotel facing an alleyway and a lower rooftop air conditioning unit - not to pretty, yet you were still able to somewhat see the water.

The next day we were moved to a shoe box facing the water complete with a streaked glass deck door.  We had more drama when we were repacked and moved to this room.  Jillian and John were in bathing suits, Debra and I were not.  We went to breakfast.

When we went to re-check in, we were told that our luggage was moved to the new room, however, we would not have access to the new room for 3 more hours due to house keeping getting said room ready.

I was more than a little livid and made myself heard in the lobby - not that it helped much. 

 So much for day two of our anniversary vacation.  No bathing suits for me and Debra, no diapers for Jillian.
John and Jillian went to the beach.
Debra and I sweated, and we went shopping.

Needless to say, I wasn't exactly a happy camper.  Debra was happy to go shopping and have her favorite coffee.  I glad that at the very least, she was happy.  

Good news: our bags were found and delivered to our new room with everything intact!!  Bad news:  one of the bags was so badly damaged, we could not use it on our return home.  More bad news - the damaged was not covered by the airline - so said in the small print!!

Fourth day (second day in the second room), this happened!!

As I was brushing my teeth, the sink just FELL out of the counter!!!  I just couldn't believe it!!  It just fell out.  I can't imagine what could have happened if Jillian or Debra were in the bathroom!!

More ranting and raving from me.  They assured us it would be fixed.  More vacation hours wasted anchored to the room!!  The maintenance men finally left and said they would return in the morning.  We went to dinner and then I spent the rest of the night worrying if Debra or Jillian would injure themselves at any point during the night.

The next day we were told that we could have moved to another room the night before, only they could not find us.  Did they call their restaurants for our reservations??  No!!  Did they leave a message on our phone service??  No!!  

We saw the manager after breakfast.  Naturally I was very upset.  They showed us the room next door.  

And we ended up here!!

More repacking!!  More vacation hours wasted!!  John even helped move the extra twin bed from the second room into the third room.  It was much nicer and sooo much more roomy.

Too bad we weren't in this room to begin with!!  I would have been quite happy.  We wouldn't have had so much drama, we wouldn't have wasted sooo much of our valuable vacation time, and even if it was a lot of work keeping both Jillian and Debra happy - I would have at least felt like I was on vacation and celebrating my anniversary!!!   

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Aruba 7 - We came home and headed to Atlanta!! Stay tuned!!!

We sill enjoyed the sun and the sand...

When Jillian and Debra weren't wearing their hats, they wore sunglasses!!

When we weren't wearing our hats and/or sunglasses, we were dancing!!!  Aside from all the drama, we all managed to have a great time!! 

And if you think this kid had a free ride....
(as you can see)
.... we made sure we put her to work!!!

Post script...... On the last day of our vacation and on the way home, poor John came down with a bad case of food poisoning complete with terrible fevers, chills, sweats and several trips to the bathroom which lasted several days!!!  Much to our relief, he was almost back to normal for our trip to Atlanta.  More on that later!

Till next time, Myruba, hope we'll have a better experience!!

Coming up next.... onto Atlanta!!

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