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 Post subject: July 18-Aug 1
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 7:54 am 
Extra Helpful Expert

Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 6:32 pm
Posts: 8926
Location: Salina, Kansas
I arrived at the airport on Sat the 18th--the plane wasn't even half full. It took a full two hours going through the check-in. Covid test was last. I had done the Pixel at-home covid test that was previously okayed by Aruba but then they changed that policy. So I went to the health dept for another PCR test and they sent me an email that is was negative which I printed out to do the ED card and got the green checkmark go ahead. Then I got an email from Aruba they changed the policy again and would not accept the health dept letter--apparently because it wasn't an actual lab report. They said I could board the plane but would have to take the $75 covid there. So okay--three negative tests later, I was free to roam. You do need to download the Aruba Health App if you do the covid test there. You will see your test result sooner than email.

I stayed at the Renaissance Resort. The downtown marina hotel appeared to be empty--all reservations went to the 'island' one. Not everywhere was open even if the website said it was. I went to the Aquarius restaurant at the marina hotel but it was closed as was Iguana Joe's downtown. I had breakfast at either the Dutch Pancakehouse or Cafe the Plaza at the marketplace across the street. There are also a Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. Dunkin opens at 6:30am--Dutch Pancake and Cafe open at 8am. The Cafe didn't seem to have as much selection. I ordered a frikandel at the Cafe and got a 'hotdog' with mayo and two slices of bread...odd. There is also Fresco by the hotel pool for breakfast and dinner. I also ate at Cuba's Cookin after 11am. Judi, Dick, Terry and I met at Amuse BBQ there too. Good food.

On Sunday the 19th, I got an email from Delta that the flight back to the states had been cancelled. That seemed to be happening to several people on various airlines. I could have flown American Airlines to Atlanta and took the Delta flight home from Atlanta but that involved an extra stop and overnight in Atlanta. The next Delta flight straight back to Kansas was Aug 1 so okay then..glad I had an empty credit card and there was no problem extending my stay at the Renaissance. I'm so glad I stayed.

I took the water taxi over to the private island. He said the water was a little choppy today but they never needed the life vests. OMG...I advise against riding it when the water is 'choppy'. It's only about a 10 minute ride to the island and I was so glad to have made it there without the boat flipping. The island is great. There is the Papagayo bar and grill straight ahead (where I had shrimp tempura) and to the right is Flamigo Beach which also serves food (I had grilled corvina with yucca chips) and a full bar. Towels are provided in the middle by the shop as well as kayaks. They sell little cups of food for the flamingoes on that side. It wasn't crowded--plenty of places to sit in shade without renting a cabana. I made a total of three trips over there--the water was calmer for the other two boat rides.

Terry, Judi and I went bar hopping at the local bars on Tuesday. Judi has an awesome playlist of Monkees music! She and Terry came to the hotel on Wednesday and sat at their manmade beach. It is full of seaweed and really not good for swimming. Terry snorkeled and came upon a jellyfish that hotel personnel with a net came and got out. She also found a conch we watched come out of it's shell. I took a taxi uptown to the Palm Beach area a couple of times and visited Bugaloe for breakfast one day, then walked to Moomba's. Another day I ate at the Garden Fresh Cafe by Playa Linda--very good health food place. Then went on up the street to Che Bar before heading back south. Stopped at Salt and Pepper and walked on down back to Bugaloe. Several great drinks! On Tuesday, Judi, Ann and I met for lunch at the Pizza Hut. Then Judi took me up to the California Lighthouse so I got a tour of the north side. There were wild goats by the golf course which looked brown and dry. It doesn't look like it's being maintained very well. There wasn't anyone eating at the restaurant.

The next day Terry took me on a tour to Alto Vista, Black Stone Beach, Casibari and the Natural Bridge. Then we ate at Sultan's. Great food.

I met Ann and Judi at Reflexions beach on two days. They have good food and nice beach. Terry met us there the last day I was there. She snorkled a sea urchin for me to see.

I never took a bus anywhere. The bus depot was never open when I went to to buy a pass. Taxis are at the grocery stores and hotels. Judi and I went to Superfoods just for beer--didn't need a cart. They make you get a cart anyway to maintain social distance yet neither of us had a coin to get the cart out. So we went a short distance up the street to a store where we had no problem.

Every door entry wherever you go provides hand sanitizer and you are expected to use it. Some places automatically squirt your hands. A lot of places take your temp before you are allowed to enter. The island takes the covid very serious. I felt safer there than at home.


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