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 Post subject: Ann/May 29
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2020 11:20 am 
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As Aruba moves forward once again...I will take a few steps back. :wink:
In early May the neighborhood remained quiet, the drive through town continued to be Stephen King like and though time was adjusted, the curfew was still in place.

About 2 weeks ago (maybe 3 ...time flys :wink: ) I decided to do my weekly food shopping at Super Do It Center in Shaba as I needed a few household items (shower rod, batteries, etc) that I knew they would have. If you have never been think hardware, household, etc plus food (and good meats!) . The trip took me from Paradera down through Tanki Flip and Lendeert and over to Shaba. The drive was like a different world....busy! Not as busy as usual but certainly very busy when compared to the main boulevard from airport heading north.
This area has Stearn GMC dealership, as well as many small auto supply and repair shops, small grocery stores and restaurants doing take away....it was 11:30 AM....all that contributed to the 'busy road'. Really you wouldn't know anything was different! On the return home I took the regular route through town....still no one on the streets, very few cars, a ghost town!

At the Do It Center, you waited briefly in line to enter, they sprayed your hands and your cart, most wore masks, arrows on the floor to social distance.

On the 17th a US friend who owns a home here and had decided to stay and I agreed to treat ourselves to one of our favorite activities "Sunday Brunch". (neither of us had engaged with each other or other people in weeks) Elements at the Bucuti was offering Sunday brunch, delivered or pick up for a very reasonable price ($75 for two). Yummy sounding menu which included a bottle of bubbly and a bottle of OJ for make your own mimosas. The entire food array was delicious, well packaged and well presented and a real mood booster for each of us! We had our brunch at her home (she is single) and it was very easy to social distance! We ate all we wanted and had enough leftovers to split and get another meal. (the price has now increased to $75 per person...that is way over priced in my opinion...it was great but not $75 per person great :wink: )

So fast forward (hey it is all relative) to today. Many more openings including restaurants for outside seating only, some schools (they had to get ready :roll: )churches (I am sticking with virtual Mass...too many people in the church I attend...I am avoiding crowds!).
Ling's is no longer checking temperatures, though they do spray your cart or you can spray your own. Most staff are wearing masks and the social distancing is enforced.

More people are back to work. Two neighbors who were working from home are back in their regular offices. One neighbor who is a supervisor on maintenance crew at the two Ren buildings has been back to work for about 3 weeks. The Ren has been doing some makeovers and repairs and according to him they are ready for guests.

Beaches are now open for beaching (chairs, towels, sit and spend the day)

I have not checked out the major beaches...Eagle is a bit rough and too much of a drop off for me and while I was at Palm Beach for a day in March with house guests, it was my first time up there in a year (yup I have really become a local :lol: )

An area I call "the beach along the side of the road" (between West Deck and Pinchos) is busier. I enjoy spending some of my beach time there. Calm waters and lots of trees for shade...very popular on the weekends for locals....during the week you can have large areas to yourself. Very easy to social distance during the week.

Linear Park is as busy as ever at the end of the day. Individuals, couples, families! Easy to social distance and it continues to be a great local asset encouraging healthy habits!

The drive through town is less like Stephen King and more like Sunday morning in Aruba. More cars in parking lots (like where are the people though?), the street entrance to Crystal and Gendleman's Jewelry are no longer boarded up. The gate at the entrance into Seaport has been lifted.

And my favorite beach location reopened on the 25th!! Reflexions (across from Talk of the Town). The water is always calm, there is a bathroom for guests, umbrella and chair rentals are less than half what is charged on Eagle and Palm and a good restaurant and bar area. Everything a 'gal' could want! I checked it out on the 25th to see how they were set up....first row of umbrellas are further back from the water and not as many umbrellas available. Tables in restaurant area have been refinished (they looked brand new) with a smooth surface to make them easier to clean, tables well spaced, hand sanitizer areas set up, signs about distancing, staff cleaning after guests left area. So I made a reservation (hey I want to sit where I want to sit :wink: ) for Wednesday the 27th. Selected my spot with their help. When my friend and I arrived they even had roped off the area around our chairs!! (even before the pandemic I would have them put an extra chair and the nice trash bucket near me so people are not on top of me and I can move my chair to follow the shade! Yup, I know, a princess) On Wednesday we had all of Reflexions beach area to ourselves. On either side there were people set up under a tree or in the sun. Very easy to distance in the water. There is a good HH from 4-6 and in my opinion there were as many people as usual for a May afternoon. All well distanced either at tables on the beach or on the deck. I have been going to Reflexions for years and years and always enjoy my time there either alone or with others. House guests request going there when they first arrive. If you are ever on the island when I am I will be happy to share my story of our first visit there and our chat with Jorge the owner (originally from Columbia) ....a cute story to file under "a small world".

Inside restaurants open next week, hairdressers also or maybe they opened this week, can't remember. Casinos are still closed but the great news is The Ritz is now going to be smoke free when they reopen!!! Yipee!! Some of us are in hopes all casinos become smoke free. Hey I am not going to a place where people are deliberately blowing droplets into the air no matter how well they comp me!

From what I 'hear' and what I read Aruba is working hard to find the best way available to reopen the boarder and once again do what they do well....welcome tourists! There is so much involved, they know they have to get it right in order to avoid another shut down. They are (to the best of my understanding) working with scientists, physicians and the worldwide health organizations to set up best practices. Nothing is now nor will it be perfect but I have been impressed so far. I commend the efforts.

Now that the island is virtually 'virus free' and the boarder has not opened we feel we have at least two weeks to lead a regular life.
Once the boarder reopens (which it must if Aruba is to survive) we will reevaluate and decide how to function.

That's it from One Happy Island! I hope you all can visit soon! :D

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Last edited by ann on Fri May 29, 2020 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ann/May 29
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2020 11:48 am 
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Thanks Ann, an interesting and informative read, giving us all some hope. I’m happy to wait until it gets cold again, keeping my fingers crossed status quo can be maintained :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Ann/May 29
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2020 12:42 pm 
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Ann, thank you once again. But shhh, don’t spil the news about Reflexions. It will get too busy. Reading that you were there made me happy for you and sad for me, as we should be there right now too.

Aruba is part of the Dutch Kingdom and as I said before in another thread (that was tajen down when nasty political comments were posted), we have an Outbreak Managementteam that is made up by expert scientists. I understand they will give their advice on how to move on with tourism within the countries of the Dutch Kingdom early next week. The Dutch governement will talk about tourism on Wednesday. I guess around that time we might hear more about what are the plans for Aruba.


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 Post subject: Re: Ann/May 29
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2020 1:35 pm 
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thank you ann, your posts make me so happy. As much as I can't wait to get there I am hoping the island remains cautious as they slowly return to normal. lets hope those that choose to travel do the right thing so everyone can stay safe

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 Post subject: Re: Ann/May 29
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2020 2:08 pm 
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Thanks Ann. It's like reading a trip report! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Ann/May 29
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2020 4:23 pm 
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My thanks too Ann for taking the time to write that update. While I was reading, I felt like I was there too....kind of daydreaming.

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 Post subject: Re: Ann/May 29
PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 9:51 am 
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Thanks so much Ann. Enjoyed your update with all your first hand experiences.
Stay safe.

Doug

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 Post subject: Re: Ann/May 29
PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 10:18 am 
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great post :D
there is a UTube video filmed at Reflexions yesterday. Was that you dancing? :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Ann/May 29
PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 10:37 am 
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larryco88 wrote:
great post :D
there is a UTube video filmed at Reflexions yesterday. Was that you dancing? :lol:


Nope...not if it was yesterday!! :wink: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Ann/May 29
PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 1:29 pm 
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Thanx, Ann! :D A very nice, interesting, and encouraging post. Thoroughly enjoyable read! :!:

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 Post subject: Re: Ann/May 29
PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 3:01 pm 
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Thanks for your update, Ann.
We met several years ago at a BB get-together and you where so kind to give us a ride back to the high rise area and Smokey Joe's. Sorry we haven't been able to arrange another meet-n-greet as we have been in Aruba once or twice a year for the past 19+. BTW, we are an "older couple" from the Boston area, but I wouldn't expect you to remember us.
We have a reservation for the Bucuti in early Dec., but don't feel confident that we will make it (for 20 consecutive years) because we are concerned about health and safety at the airports and on the planes. I would hope that by Dec. these issues have been worked out satisfactorially (sp.), but we are not going to count on it. Also, Jet Blue fares are on the verge of being prohibitive for us to fly, even though we have points to use or use up a credit we have for cancelling a Mexico trip in March.
Anyway, we have until around the beginning of November to make up our minds as Mr. Biemens at the Bucuti has a vacationer-friendly cancellation policy to allow us to cancel up to 24 hours before arriving without any "penalties".
Again, thanks for your report; and "keep up the good work". We love "hearing" about what is happening in Aruba.


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 Post subject: Re: Ann/May 29
PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 5:43 pm 
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A very nice read. Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Ann/May 29
PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 8:24 pm 
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pmarrier...I do remember enjoying a HH with you and your wife! I believe you were headed to the movies after getting something to eat on Palm Beach. Perhaps our paths will cross again. I do read your posts....are you now usually at the Hyatt?

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 Post subject: Re: Ann/May 29
PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2020 6:59 am 
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Thanks Ann for your update. Even if we can’t be there, it is nice to read about the island from someone who is.


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 Post subject: Re: Ann/May 29
PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2020 7:47 am 
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Thanks for the information Ann. Much appreciated.

Claire

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