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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:24 am 

Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:57 am
Posts: 32
Location: New Jersey
Another fabulous vacation in my favorite place. This report may repeat a few things from last year. We ( my BF and I) flew SW out of Baltimore (I live in NJ) because we used points and it’s less points to fly from there. My divorce helped boost the points. I am sure my divorce lawyer flew first class somewhere exotic too. We did the park, sleep, fly option at the Holiday Inn Express and caught the 4:20 am shuttle which means we were up at 3:30. Our flight was at 6:50 and we breezed right through and had time for tea/coffee and breakfast. Easy boarding and a fully packed plane. I fell asleep right away (thank you Xanax) and slept right through take off. Smooth flight and landed a little early. Breezed through customs and got our bottle of vodka and we were at the Ocean Club right in time for lunch.

As you recall from last year we are on a very tight budget. We both work two jobs as well as shovel snow to make extra money. I am no spring chicken and this winter was a bit brutal, but I kept the thoughts of going to Aruba in my mind as I froze my butt off. Southwest lets you bring 4 suitcases and we had two packed with food so we only had to buy produce and meat at the grocery store. We spent under $100 at Lings. We also brought 2 bottles of Prosecco, 2 bottles of wine, 12 pack of Spiked Seltzer and a 12 pack of Leinenkugel beer. I know, a lot of liquor. This is our only vacation with no kids and we take full advantage of it. We love to sit on our balcony every night and have our own happy hour with some snacks before heading out. We also enjoy our afternoon drinks on the beach. We are in full detox mode this week.

We rented a one bedroom for $1700. They are going to remodel next year and I will admit the décor is a bit tired and needs some sprucing up. I do like how clean the rooms are as well as the property. We do not rent a car and thus we stay at the high rise area so we can walk everywhere.

Every morning we take a walk to the Hilton to see my favorite Cockatoo, Pepe. She loves to be petted and I love seeing all the birds there and talking to the caretaker.

My BF got up every morning and got our palapa and let me sleep in. We never had an issue getting one and we love meeting new people every year.

We had our breakfast and lunch and 4 dinners in our timeshare and went out for 3 meals. We had sushi at the Marriott and it was really good and excellent service. We did Aqua grill and it was delicious and we also have excellent service there as well. We always do Atardi at the Marriott and another great meal. We did the timeshare tour (again) and received $175 in vouchers which we used at Aqua Grill and Atardi and they threw in a buffet breakfast at the surf club. That was pretty awful. I would not have been happy if we paid for that.
We love going to Sopranos when Carl is there. He is so much fun to sing with and he gets the crowd involved and it’s almost like a wedding. August 1 he is done for the season so after Tuesday we didn’t go back. We did see a good band at the Hard Rock Café one night and had fun dancing with the crowd there too.

We didn’t go on any excursions this year. We floated in the water which was so warm and much cleaner than last year, napped and chatted with the people around us. Very relaxing which is what we needed.
We did venture over to the Ritz Carlton on our second night and played a few round of roulette and didn’t have any luck so we sat down at a blackjack table and the table had a side bet and there were different odds for 20 or better and if you suited you won more, etc (wasn’t real sure of the odds), but the dealer said it was a good bet. Well, we won $1,000 on one hand. I almost had a heart attack! I still am not sure what we had, but I am so happy we played that. So we started out week out ahead of the game. I really like that casino. Clean, not too crowded and they give you nice drink in a real glass. After the win, I like it even more. We played all week and gave some back and then won some back so all in all we had a great week gambling. We did go to their outside bar and watched the sunset twice. It’s a beautiful hotel and the staff were very friendly.

Our flight home was at 12:20 so we left the Marriott at 8:45 and we were at our gate in under an hour. We gave ourselves 3 hours, but since we had an earlier flight we had more than enough time. Met a nice couple at the bar who had just been on their honeymoon and he was a marine so we bought them drinks to celebrate and thank him for his service. Flight home was not fully booked so I had an empty seat next to me and had a nice nap most of the way home. We got home by 8, unpacked and gave out gifts to the kids and a snack and then both of us got up Sunday morning and off to work. Rude awakening!!

Until next year…….

The night after our win at the Aqua Grill


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