Caribbean Travel Roundup
Newsletter - Paul Graveline, Editor
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(Ed. Note: The following infromation was supplied by Deborah Roker of Sonesta.)
FACT SHEET DESCRIPTION: The 92-room Sonesta Beach Resort & Villas Anguilla, an AAA 4-Diamond resort, is set dramatically on a long stretch of pristine beach on the shores of the Caribbean Sea. Hand-crafted Mediterranean mosaics, arches and fountains, combined with 50 acres of tropical beachfront and lush landscaping, give the Sonesta Beach Resort & Villas Anguilla a trademark design. LOCATION: Sonesta Beach Resort & Villas Anguilla is located on Rendezvous Bay West on the South shore of Anguilla, 3 miles from Wallblake Airport, which is serviced daily by American Eagle, LIAT, Win Air and Air BVI. The island is 190 miles east of Puerto Rico and 5 miles north of St. Martin. Regularly-scheduled ferry service between St. Martin and Anguilla makes several trips daily. ADDRESS/ PHONE: Sonesta Beach Resort & Villas Anguilla, Rendezvous Bay West, Anguilla, British West Indies, Tel: 264-497-6999; Fax: 264-497-6899. OWNER/MANAGEMENT: The Sonesta Beach Resort & Villas Anguilla is owned and managed by Sonesta International Hotels Corporation, an upscale hotel company based in Boston. GUEST ROOMS: 92 elegant guest rooms, including spacious suites, most with ocean views, and all with balconies. All guest rooms have separate seating areas, large marble bathrooms, air-conditioning, satellite TV, mini- bars, patios, ceiling fans, hair dryers, make-up mirrors, and safes. DINING/ENTERTAINMENT: Casablanca Restaurant & Bar - the resort's elegant, signature restaurant, serves New World cuisine while diners overlook the Caribbean Sea and the mountains of neighboring St. Martin. Accommodating 80, Casablanca offers indoor or al fresco breakfasts, and romantic dinners. Open daily 7 - 11 AM for breakfast buffet, and 6 - 10 PM for dinner, except Wednesday. Casablanca Bar seats 50 for cocktails and evening hors d'oeuvres while guests enjoy views of the beach. Open daily 12 noon - 1 AM. Restaurant ICI - Located on the beachfront, Restaurant ICI serves Creative Contemporary cuisine daily for luncheon and dinner. ICI serves lighter fare, such as pizzas, salads, sandwiches and burgers, for lunch and a full array of selections, including native Anguillian seafood, pastas, beef, chicken and lamb, for dinner. ICI seats 100, and is open daily for lunch, and daily (except Sunday) for dinner, 11 AM to 10 PM. Sunday Brunch served 11 AM to 4 PM. Afternoon Tea - Complimentary tea, with an assortment of finger sandwiches and pastries, is offered daily from 4 - 5 PM. Room Service - Offered daily from 7 - 11 AM for breakfast; 11 AM - 10 PM for all day dining; 6 - 10 PM for dinner; and 10 PM - 12 AM for late night dining. Children's Menus - are available in both Casablanca and Restaurant ICI, as well as through Room Service, and feature kids' favorites, such as hamburgers, sandwiches, chicken, spaghetti and hot dogs. RECREATION: Watersports - swimmers will enjoy the warm, clear waters of the Caribbean Sea from the hotel's beach, as well a palm tree-lined fresh-water swimming pool overlooking the ocean. Windsurfing, scuba diving (off-site), snorkeling and kayaking are also available. Tennis - the resort offers two plexiplane tennis courts, lit for night play. There is no charge for court time. FITNESS CENTER: The resort's Fitness Center offers cardiovascular exercise equipment as well as weight machines for muscular toning and strengthening. GROUP FACILITIES & SERVICES The Sonesta Beach Resort & Villas Anguilla offers two meeting rooms and one board room, totaling 1,770 sq. ft. The professional meeting and banquet space, including outdoor venues, can accommodate VIP groups up to 75 for sales meetings, incentive programs, or executive/board meetings. For more information about group availability, contact the resort's U.S. Sales Office: 200 Clarendon Street, 41st Floor, Boston, MA 02116, 617-421-5477; fax: 617-927-7677. BEAUTY SALON The Jacques Dessange Salon is located on property and specializes in European hair styling, facials, manicures and pedicures. SHOPPING: The Collection - offers unusual and unique handmade crafts by Anguillan and international artists, estate jewelry, famous faux jewelry and artist jewelry, natural Shea butter skin and sun products, antique Japanese kimono scarves, painted and crocheted purses, and gifts for the home. Tradewinds - selling casual wear and beach clothes for ladies and men, featuring Tommy Bahama, Sloop Jones, Gideon Oberson, Anne Cole, Perry Ellis and others in exciting collections of cotton, silk and linen; also hats beach, bags, shoes and accessories. GUEST SERVICES: The resort's concierge can arrange restaurant and airline reservations, island excursions, ground transportation, baby-sitting, etc. CREDIT CARDS: Credit cards accepted as payment at the resort include American Express, MasterCard, VISA. RESERVATIONS: 1-800-SONESTA (800-766-3782)
July 9, 1998 Press Release: Experience a "Room in the Clouds" on one of the Caribbean's most picturesque islands. Continuing the tradition of the world renowned Willard Hotel of Washington, D.C.; Willard's of Saba sets a daring standard in uniqueness, luxury and comfort. Built in 1994 on a dramatic cliffside location 2,000 feet above sea level, it offers a spectacular panoramic view of the Atlantic, Caribbean and five islands. This modem facility has seven elegant and spacious rooms with private balconies, tennis court, hot tub/Jacuzzi, 20- by 40-foot solar-heated swimming pool, bar/lounge with Cable TV and intimate restaurant with fireplace. Corazon originally from the Philippines is the hotel manager and a world class chef. You will delight in her oriental and international cuisine. Her favorites include Shanghai rolls with Zosette sauce, Red Snapper with Rainbow Dressing, Chicken Szechwan Chinese style and broiled Sahon Lobster with butter/lime sauce. Another of her specialties not to be missed is her Lava stone dinner. Room rates are $150-$400 low season and $200-$500 high season. Hotel Manager: Corazon de Johnson S. Owner: William B. Willard, Jr.
July 1, 1998 Little Harbour Try not to confuse Little Harbour with Little Bay . Little Bay is located near Crocus Bay and the Valley, but it feels very secluded and is a favorite spot for boat excursions and snorkeling. Little Harbour is on the south coast, east of Blowing Point. It is more developed, surrounded by luxury villas and the Cinnamon Reef resort . Little Harbour is the most protected bay in Anguilla, but very shallow. We sailed our Laser sailboat here when we didn't know what we were doing and needed to practice tipping it over and righting it. The bottom is more like a lake bottom than the bright white sand of most bays. Rich Hauser of Cinnamon Reef describes it this way Yes, you can swim in Little Harbour 12 months of the year. The other beaches are more spectacular, but I enjoy it here for the privacy - with no day trippers, no yelling, and no plastic cups thrown around. And for the safety - no waves, no undertow, no pulling currents and with the reef we have, if you are new at sailing or windsufing, you don't have to worry about drifting off to Yugoslavia - you're staying right here !!!! Little Harbour used to be a favorite with smugglers in the old days, according to the book Nuttin Bafflin : At Little Harbour, which is almost reef bound with only narrow and ill defined channels of entry, the smugglers set up cleverly placed small fires in John Guy's cave. These fires, which were visible at sea but invisible from land and therefore from the revenue officers, marked the channel through the reef. They were placed in such a way that a smuggler at sea would tack up or down the coast until the fires ashore lined up one behind the other. When this happened, it meant that the channel was dead ahead and he could safely enter. Directions: There are two traffic lights on the main road between the Valley and South Hill. At the George Hill Landing light by the Cable TV office, there is a clearly marked street sign for Little Harbour Road . You can't miss it. It's the only street sign on the main road. However, don't take it. It does not go to Little Harbour! Instead, follow the signs to Cinammon Reef/Palm Court Restaurant at the other light nearer the Valley. The road splits in 1/4 mile and you turn right. Follow this road, which was recently upgraded, straight toward the water. Just before Cinnamon Reef there is a turn to the left which you take. It goes to a small parking area with beach access. There is a private house on the left and Cinammon Reef resort on the right. News Tidbits from Anguilla Conde Nast Travel. Kenny Schik says: Received the July '98 issue of Conde' Nast Travel magazine yesterday. The cover promised "Beach Bar Bliss". 30 places to hang out in the Caribbean. I eagerly opened it up to see if Anguilla had made it, and........ YES! The first page of the article showed Palm Grove! I turned the page, expecting that to be all, and nearly whooped when I saw the picture--people dancing and getting down at The Pumphouse! My wife and I didn't discover The Pumphouse till our second trip to Anguilla. We went there 4 nights in a row! We loved the food, bartender, waitress, the people from all over the world, and of course, Laurie. He treated us magnificently! Two pages later, a two page color photo of Shoal Bay Beach , taken from inside Uncle Ernie's! ARRGGHH! I miss Anguilla!!!! Problems Emailing to Anguilla? Then try anguillanet.com instead. Email addresses in Anguilla used to be email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org , but were switched to email@example.com last year. Recently the mail processor on "zemu" was turned off to stop it being used by spammers. If your email to Anguilla is bouncing, just change the part of the address after the @ to anguillanet.com and try again. "Boysie" Given Best Funeral in Recent Times, as reported in Anguilla's local newspaper The Light . 28-year old Dale Rogers, aka Boysie, was a backhoe and heavy equipment operator from Shoal Bay village and very well liked. Boysie died Friday, June 5, following an incident while offloading poles in Corito. The tragic accident immediately sent shock waves throughtout the close-knit Anguillian community. Heavy equipment operators from throughout the island lined up their trucks and other heavy equipment along St. Mary's Road last Saturday as a mark of respect and the sound of air horns echoed through the strees of the Valley as the casket was borne from the church to its final resting place in the church's cemetary. New Charter Boat Service. Late night water taxi service to St. Martin and regular Thursday night excursions leaving 7PM Cove Bay pier to Marigot's Marina Royale and returning at 11pm. Contact Eric Drai at 1- 264-497-235-6088 or 590-271843 in St Martin. Anguilla Dominates Athletics Match , according to a story in the June 24 St. Maarten Daily Herald : They were invited to tag along on the coat tails of the St. Maarten delegation that was to compete in the Dutch Caribbean Open Athletics Championship. But as it turned out, Anguilla's talented athletes quick took over to dominate the event, walking away with an impressive 6 gold and two silver medals... . The Anguilla team included Desiree Cocks, Timothy Brooks and Kirthly Richardson, all attending college in Missouri, and Shyrone Hughes. B.E.T. Summer Tennis Camp The Anguilla Tennis Academy, organized by Mitchelle Lake and Shawn Romney, begins on July 6th, 1998. This tennis camp is sponsored by Black Entertainment Television (BET) through Mr. Robert Johnson (Chief Executive Officer and Chairman). Tennis camp accommodates all kids ages 6-18 for morning sessions and adults for afternoon sessions. This is the third summer for the camp. The first year drew 70 children, the second 120, and no one knows how many this year! Mitchelle Lake and Shawn Romney are two Anguillian students on tennis scholarships at Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, North Carolina. They are both keen to promote the game on the island and are devoting a considerable amount of their vacation time to pass on their skills to Anguillian children. According to Mitchelle: "I am excited about this year's camp. The tremendous support shown by both local and international businesses towards the program depicts promise for the future of tennis on Anguilla". (First picture.) Shawn also expressed his enthusiasm: "This year's tennis camp is a great opportunity to choose the future candidates to represent Anguilla in local, regional and internationl tennis tournaments". (Second picture.) Assisting at the tennis camp will be Damien Hughes (Tournament Director), Twana Edwards, Corey Bowlin (Tennis Director at Malliouhana Hotel), Elizabeth Gibson (Tennis Director at Cap Juluca Hotel). In addition, four tennis players from Gardner-Webb University will be coming to Anguilla from July 19th - 26th. They will be participating in the tennis clinics and exhibition. Be sure to support the tennis camp this year and visit the public tennis courts in The Valley during the month of July. Anyone who would like to help can phone Mitch at 1-264-497-3234 or email Shawn at firstname.lastname@example.org Guest article by Tara Carter Two New Ways to Find Information The Anguilla Local News has added a key word search facility. If you recall that there was once an article about Cap Juluca that had a picture of the bathrooms, you would just search for "cap juluca bathroom" and click Go . The search engine keeps track of every word in every story ever run in the "When The Cat's Away" The Sunshine Theatre Company gave an encore performance of their hit comedy to a full house at Ruthwill Auditorium. The very funny play was adapted to the local Anguilla scene by Director Felix Fleming (center in second picture), from the original farce by Johnie Mortimer and Brian Cooke. Mildred, a long-suffering, frustrated wife (Chantal Lewis, right in first picture), plans a second honeymoon in Guadeloupe with her blundering fool husband George (Joash Proctor, far left in first picture). Then her high falutin', frigid sister Ethel (Noreen Gumbs, center in second picture) appears at the door having left her philandering husband Humphrey (Elson Gaskin, center in first picture) who is having an affair with his secretary Jennifer (Farrah Banks, right in second picture, winner of the Theatre Arts Award this year). The sisters decide to go on the trip together and leave the husbands behind. Jennifer won't go out with Humphrey because her roommate Shirley is suicidal (Nicole Simpson), so Humphrey blackmails George into double- dating. But a baggage handler's strike in Guadeloupe causes the lady's flight to be cancelled and things really get complicated! Ruthwill Auditorium is in the Valley, next to St Mary's Anglican Church. The Sunshine Theatre Company is known for the high quality of its amateur theatricals, and for starting on time. The official start time was 8:05 and Director Felix Fleming dimmed the lights at 8:12. Upcoming Events in Anguilla The Anguilla Local News has an Calendar for the year showing events, holidays, and activities. July 2. Caribbean Bonfire Pottery. Professor Patricia Fay is giving a multi- media presentation on Caribbean Bonfire Pottery at the Teachers' Resource Centre Auditorium (upstairs in the Library) on Thursday 2nd July 1998 at 7.30 p.m. The evening will include a lecture, slide presentation and display of clay pots from Nevis and St.Lucia. July 27-29. Anne of Green Gables presented by the High School Drama Club at Ruthwill Auditorium. Telephone Eleanor Stacey 497-8981 for more information or to help out. Gone fishin' Info. During the summer months hotels and restaurants sometimes close for vacation and maintenance. Here are some closing and opening dates for restaurants . Most local eateries such as Smitty's and Rafes never close. And since Cap Juluca stays open all summer, there is always at least one gourmet restaurant to eat at! Arista Foods South Hill. Aug 15 to mid-Nov. Barrel Stay. Aug 15-Oct 15. Blanchard's. Aug 1-Sep 30. Casablanca (Sonesta). Aug 30-Oct 7. CoveCastles. Aug 30-Oct14. Ferryboat Inn Restaurant. Closed 2 weeks in September. Gorgeous Scilly Cay. Sep 1-Oct 31. Hibernia. July 15-Sep 15. Koal Keel Restaurant. Sep 1-Oct 31. Leducs. Reopening Nov. Luciano's. Aug 31-Nov. Mangos Restaurant. Aug 1 to mid Oct. Old House. Sep 2-Oct 2. Oliver's Restaurant. Aug 17-Oct 4. Overlook. June 6 to mid Oct. Palm Court at Cinnamon Reef. Sep 1-Oct 31. Pump House. Aug 29-Sep 21. Restaurant Frangipani. Aug 31-Oct 29. Restaurant ICI. Aug 31-Oct 7. Restaurant at Malliouhana. Aug 31-Oct 31. Serenity. Sep 2-Oct 2. Straw Hat. Aug 16-Nov 1. Trattoria Tramonto. Aug 1-Oct 31. The Pumphouse The Pumphouse is a bar and restaurant in a historic building of Sandy Ground village . The place is friendly, they often have live entertainment after 9 or 10pm, and they draw quite a crowd. The menu is simple, the portions are large, the food is well prepared, and the prices are right. Here is part of a review of the Pumphouse by first-time visitor Laine : The Pumphouse was my very first, I swear, in my lifetime, experience of actually sitting at a bar, you know, the long wooden thing. I had never done that! This place makes it easy, too easy and I could see myself propped up there day after day, just watching Donna languidly swirl around mixing drinks. (I love to watch anyone good at their job, it's like a ballet)... Pumphouse May 1998 Menu Grilled Marinated Rib Eye Steak with Fries $18 Classic Caesar Salad $8 Caribbean Jerk Chicken Caesar $10 Pumphouse Pizza $8. Choice of toppings $0.50 each. Big Beef burger with fries. $8 Honey Mustard Chicken Nuggets. $6 Onion rings. $3 Garlic Bread $2 Fries. $3 Fresh Grilled Tuna on Caesar Salad $16 Classic French Onion Soup $5 Grilled Mahi Mahi Sandwich with Aidi fries. $11 15% service charge is added on. The building itself is the old pump house that was part of the salt industry that used to thrive in Anguilla, and the pumps are still there. The Pumphouse has music several nights a week. Here is the schedule for May 1998: Tue 10pm Kinyaya and Friends, Wed 9pm Hotshot, Reggae, Thu 9pm Keith and Raphael- merengue music, and Fri 9pm Reggie Groovers. ] Directions: from the roundabout near Vista Market, take the new road down into Sandy Ground. Follow the road around the edge of the salt pond and you will find the Pumphouse on the right at the end of the village road. Telephone 1-264-497-5154. ================================== May 15, 1998 - Anguilla Local News Cap Juluca, Maundays Bay, Anguilla Due to Cap Juluca's shocking review in the Wall Street Journal , your reporter had to make the big sacrifice and check the facts out in person. So my wife and I decided to celebrate our anniversary with a single night at Cap Juluca, at the other end of the country. Before checking into our Moorish villa, and even though we had our own car, one of the many attentive and friendly staff chauffered us in a golf cart to George's beachside restaurant for lunch. We had a Junior Suite, which includes the famous garden bathroom. And it lived up to its reputation. Tub for two, marble shower, private walled garden. Makes you feel like one of the rich and famous. And our minibar came fully stocked with free drinks and a bottle of rum! To assist you in forming your own opinion, I wanted to give you a picture of the whole beach. But the beach it is too long. I couldn't get it all in one picture. So here is half of the beach, looking east toward Pimms restaurant on the point. We usually swim at Anguilla's Shoal Bay, but this beach is better. Warmer, calmer, and with much finer, powdery sand (although Shoal Bay has better snorkelling). This is the notorious beach erosion at the other end of Maunday's Bay (west). Does that look like "no beach" to you? Most resorts in the Caribbean would kill for a beach like this. And with the beach narrowed from 100 yards to 20 yards, the privacy in these pool villas is total. We were allowed to sneak a peek into one of the pool villas while unoccupied. The entry way goes right over your pool and into a spacious one- bedroom villa. And with the narrower beach, these villas feel like you are right in the water. Ultimate honeymoon location. The landscaping of the grounds is lush, tropical, original and ecological (they won an award for use of native plants--more on the landscaping in future news issues). Here is one of dozens of cool, shaded pathways, this one leading past a pool villa to the beach. If you are lucky enough to live in the Caribbean, Cap Juluca's summer special starts June 1st: $245/night for locals. If you don't live here, the rate is still only $290. A bargain for a resort of this caliber. News Tidbits from Anguilla Tyden Air Grounded Temporarily. David and Candice write "We heard today that Tyden has stopped flying. Is this true? If so, we have lost our best way to get from St. Martin to Anguilla, as the other airlines do not have Tyden's flexibility if the flight to St. Martin from NY is delayed." No, it isn't true. They are only out of action for a few weeks while they change their planes from US flag to British flag and have them re-register in Antigua. Karate Team Does Well. The team, under the leadership of Instructor, Emmanuel Laud, captured 21 medals, including 12 gold, 3 silver and 6 bronze, from a field of almost 300 competitors. As in last year's competition, the team members were outstanding in their performances: Black Belt, Emmanuel Laud, captured two gold medals, while Lanford Morton one silver in the Grand Championship Cup contest. Also excelling were Sheviane Hughes who took two gold medals and one bronze, Mirabelle West and Jelani Banks, with two gold medals each, Shridath Rey, with one gold and two bronze, Juan Gomez, with a gold and a silver, Delon Skellekie and Aidon Scipio, each capturing a gold and a bronze medal, Devin Hodge, silver, and Wayne Richardson, bronze. Read all about it on the club's web page . New University Building. The University of the West Indies operates a remote campus in Anguilla, upstairs in the library. Now that there are 79 part-time students enrolled, the University has decided to build a permanent facility, between Ronald Webster Park and the hospital. Slick Carty Aims High. Anguillian athlete Slick Carty is confined to a wheel chair but that doesn't stop him from playing tennis and participating in track and field competitions. Now his goal is to represent Anguilla in the Special Olympics in Australia in Year 2000. Those who live here know Slick as the Public Works Employee who inspects our cars every year for road worthiness. To get to Australia, Slick has to train hard for the next 2 years and raise about US$20,000 for travel and equipment. If you would like to help out, enquire by email or call Judith Sadler-Bryan at 264-497-5058. New Exchange for Cellphones. In Anguilla you should now dial 235- for a cellular phone instead of 497- Rocket Launching on Sombrero? Forty miles northwest is the furthest outpost of Anguilla, Sombrero Island . The persistent rumours about Sombrero have hit the world press: Beal Aerospace wants to use Sombrero to launch commercial satellites, spending $270 million dollars and launching before the year 2000, according to their web site. Sombrero is a long way from Anguilla and previously was best known for its lighthouse and the difficulty of landing by boat (you climb a cliff on a ladder). Soon you may have another reason to come to Anguilla -- to watch the rockets being launched, from a safe distance. GEM Radio's electronic news service reported that "Technical calculations of the project, to be launched at the beginning of 1999 are being made by the British National Space Centre which is part of the structure of the Industry and Commerce Ministry. ... The island is known as one the biggest ornithological reserves possessing rare specimen of brown pelicans and other birds. British environmental organizations have expressed concern that the construction of a new cosmodrome might produce a strong negative effect on the environment." According to St. Maarten's Daily Herald newspaper, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in the UK has contacted the Anguilla National Trust to find out the current situation. And Beal Aerospace met with Government officials on August 22, 1998 and expressed an interest in Sombrero for satellitel launches. This meeting agreed that an environmental impact study would be undertaken, which is scheduled for May 1998 (now). The RSPB points out that the terns doe not arrive on Sombrero until June and the booby nests from November to March, so they won't be there either. Nick Nuttall , reporter with The Times of London is looking for reaction from Anguilla about the satellite launches, as is Carl Holcombe , a newspaper reporter at the Virgin Islands Independent ( "Beal Aerospace is apparently coming to the USVI to build a rocket assembly plant." ) The Old East End School The old East End School is no longer used for classes, but it still remains an anchor in the community. The single 50ft by 30ft classroom was built on wooden piles, using lumber and shingles carried from St. Kitts. This structure became a school and later a monument, which survived many hurricanes. Its sturdiness enabled it to substitute as a school in 1995 when Luis severely damaged the new primary school. The school has produced a number of prominent Anguillians some of which include: Mr. James Ronald Webster, Mr. Osbourne Fleming, Mr. Felix Fleming, Mr. Vivien Vanterpool and Mrs. Idahlia Gumbs. If you would like to know more about the school, read Mr. Colville Petty's book: A SCHOOL AND ITS COMMUNITY: The East End School 1917- 1974 . This work recounts the tales and experiences in the old East End school. If one would like a copy, it can be purchased at the Anguilla Drug Store or borrowed from our Public Library. The Old East End School was indeed a vital element in the advancement of the the community and its people. The motto still remains evident throughout the community and its alumni: "NEVER SAY FAIL". Directions: From the gas station in The Valley, head east toward the Farrington and Sandy Hill. Take the right fork at the roundabout. Continue straight into East End Village where you will see the old school in front of the new primary school and tennis court. Visitor Feedback Every day brings new email messages about Anguilla. Here is an interesting message that came in recently: Date: Mon, 4 May 1998 16:50:25 -0500 Subject: Thanks Just a quick note to thank you for your special Internet newsletter. We used it to research our Anguilla vacation. We had a wonderful time and found the info in the newsletter to be helpful and accurate. We used the newsletter as our guide when we rented our "jeep" and scouted out places like Windward Point where you can see Scrub Island, the Katouche "rain forest", Cavanaugh Cave, Little Bay (we climbed down!), the Palm Grove Restaurant etc, etc. Knowing ahead of time all this info about the island really enhanced our vacation. Here's some of our "best" list. Best snorkeling - Little Bay Best beer - Newkie Brown at Roy's Best beach - Rendezvous (with about ten people on 1 1/2 mile beach) Best fish soup - Barrel Stay Best adventure - Trip to Windward Point The people were great, the island is lovely and your newsletter is the best. Thanks again, Doug Brown Computer Club News The Anguilla Library Computer Club is very active on the island. Programming Course. The Computer Club, Public Data , and Offshore Information Services are sponsoring a course in Visual Basic programming, starting Monday, May 18th 1998 and lasting three weeks. Classes are Mon-Fri, 7-9 p.m. at the computer club. This is a great opportunity for people to learn a very valuable skill. Instructor Nowell Rogers (pictured here), has been off in the U.S where he studied programming and the basic language for about twelve years. Cost of the class is US$100, which includes the textbook, Teach Yourself Visual Basic 5 in 24 hours . This book comes with a CD containing Visual Basic software. No programming experience is necessary to participate in this class. To register please call 497- 8469. New Computers for Schools. At the invitation of Larry Franklin of the Government Computer Unit, club members gathered on two Wednesday evenings to unpack 50 boxes of computers at the high school. These were donated by Mohawk College, courtesy of Gordon Cillis (ALHCS teacher in Canada for a year), and flown to Anguilla this winter in a Canadian Forces practice flight. But no one knew what was in the boxes! It was very exciting and we managed to get 25 computers working in 4 hours. Now the teacher's lounge at the high school has three computers in it for the first time ever. Of course the systems came loaded with Windows, but without a single mouse. So if you have a spare PS/2 mouse, drop it by the computer club on your next visit. Summer Plans. For 1998 we plan to be open 5 hours per day, thanks to our latest volunteer, 33-yearold Business Professor Gaetano Di Palo of Italy. In response to our call for a free room for him, we had many offers from the community, including private homes and hoteliers at Cinammon Reef, Sonesta, Fountain Beach and La Sirena. So he should be able to live 2 weeks at each place, lightening the load on his hosts and allowing Gaetano to see all parts of Anguilla. The programs are still in the planning stage, but may include organized programs for children in the morning and business computer classes for adults in the evening. Cool! Saving the best for last, the really big news is that the club has ordered an air conditioner. With 30 children and 15 computers running, our concrete building can get very hot. Plus we have to leave the windows open and the salt air eats up the computers. This big improvement was made possible by a very generous donation from one of the owners at CoveCastles . Upcoming Events in Anguilla The Anguilla Local News has an Calendar for the year showing events, holidays, and activities. Updates and Feedback Update on Cove Bay . Cove Bay is the long curving strand of white between Sonesta and Cap Juluca. There is now a new pier for the local fishing boats at the far left (eastern) end of the beach. It looks very nice and there were children jumping off it into the water last weekend! Classic Book. A classic book that we studied intently before moving to Anguilla is finally available for purchase on the Internet: How to Live on a Tropic Island . It covers every place from remote South Pacific atolls to relatively developed places like BVI. Update on Practical Tips: Jay Lackritz writes, "I will be visiting the island next week, and was wondering if they use 115 Volt/60 Hz power and plugs Ala US power." Good question. The answer is yes, US standard power and plugs. Seduced by an Impulse Day Trip: Maurice and Kim Correia from San Diego California found Anguilla last year after taking a ferry from St. Maarten. They left their rental car and hotel in St. Maarten and stayed in Anguilla for four days. The just fell in love with the place, the people, and the goats. They came back this year for more of the sun, sand and sea, but mostly because of the people. And they ought to know a good place to visit when they see it, since they run a RAMADA INN in San Diego: "Nothing like the beaches of Anguilla. White, white, white sand. Crushed coral. As pure as the friendly people." Maurice P. Correia San Diego, California
Trip 5/98 Well, we are back but only physically, one of our best trips ever without a doubt! Arrived on LIAT - from St. Kitts, left on time 12:30pm and flew in 9 passenger Carib Aviation plane - 30 minute easy flight over St. Barths and St. Martin - only 1 other passenger. We did notice that the LIAT flight to St. Thomas was still waiting for a plane when we left - it was supposed to leave at noon. Anguilla airport just the same - caught a taxi from airport to The Boathouse - $12 US. Rental car: Used Island Car Rental - car was waiting at The Boathouse when we arrived about 1:30pm - keys in the ashtray and temporary driver's license in glove box with a map. The company asks that you stop the next day and do the paperwork, we had a Toyota Corolla, a/c and automatic for $240/week - driver's license now cost $10. Just drive the car to the airport when you are leaving and put keys in the ashtray. Accommodations: Rented The Boathouse from a couple in Michigan - it is their vacation home and very comfortable - we found it perfect for us. It is a 2 story concrete building literally on the water at Corito Bay. As one islander put it "it is the only house in Anguilla where you can stand on the deck and p__s in the ocean". There is a fully equipped small kitchen, bathroom with shower and living area downstairs - there is a TV (one channel) and VCR, cd/tape player, and eating area is outside on deck. Sliding doors face south and west for great views of St. Martin. The upstairs has the bedroom (good mattress), another bath with shower and washer/dryer, closet, security safe and deck with hammock. The entire place is very comfortable and relaxed with everything you could need. Check out http://boathouse.ai for more info. Francisca is basically the maid, caretaker and problem solver - she is very helpful and will do whatever you ask. She also takes care of the duplex next door. The beach has turtle grass with rocks and is shallow - there is a reef right out front and the snorkeling was very good - Joe loved it and thought it was perfect for him. There is a duplex for rent on the same property called Palm Shores Villa - it faces a different direction (east) and has a swimming pool - a family was staying there the first couple of days. Reports about the dump were misleading - it is west of the Boathouse a ways and caused no problem at all - all we saw were geckos and lizards plus a couple of dogs that lived down the beach (only negative - we couldn't walk west very far due to the dogs coming after us). We liked the location being closer to town and would stay there again in a minute. It has good breezes, especially the 2nd floor, but be aware there isn't any a/c, we don't mind but it can get hot. Francisca told us that since the owners had put The Boathouse on the internet that it was staying rented more of the time. It is priced right - $900/week low season, plus 10% service charge and 8% govt tax. The owners are nice to deal with and gave us lots of info and advice on restaurants, etc. One other big plus was the lack of mosquitoes and no see'ums at the Boathouse - maybe too much breeze for them. We did drive by the Seahorse (where we have stayed 3 times before) - no one there and all locked up. Couldn't tell if they are still in business or not. The new owners were reserving one beach unit permanently and the rates had gone up when I talked to Allison last Jan. Restaurants: A good tip, even though the restaurants aren't busy this time of the year, call for reservations and especially if you have your heart set on lobster. They appreciate knowing you're coming and they can and do close unexpectedly. This time of the year - lobster is not always available without notice. Breakfast: fixed toast and eggs/French toast most mornings - we did try Serenity for breakfast one late morning - we didn't call ahead and were the only people there - it turned out that they didn't have eggs so our choice was pancakes and sausage, which was good and we enjoyed the view and breeze. We would like to try it again maybe for lunch - they have lounge chairs, bar, tables on the beach, etc., so you can spend the day here - Upper East Shoal Bay. Ate breakfast at Arista in South Hill - good omelets but it can be very hot - not much breeze, go early rather than late - has a deli for sandwiches too, we like to stop here when driving around the island. Lunch - had a burger and fish sandwich our 1st day at Johnnos - always good and we like watching the activities on the beach, usually a few older gentlemen arguing and a soap opera on the tube - we like it! Great rum punch!!! Ate at Uncle Ernies on Sun afternoon but not as good as usual - chicken was out in about 5 mins and a little dry too. We rented umbrella and chairs from Pressure King, aka Daryl, we have a lifetime discount with him, he is a very enterprising guy and genuinely nice. Watched sailboats racing and lots of kids playing - a nice afternoon on Shoal Bay East. Mala's cottage has good rotis for lunch but we didn't try the goat, had shrimp and chicken. You can watch the planes come in and drink a Carib, a good place to stop if driving around the island. Dinner: Our meals usually consist of a couple of cocktails, salad or appetizer, entree and after dinner drink or coffee, for each of us - (no wine). Also, if mosquitoes are especially fond of you - wear slacks and use "off", most restaurants will have "off" available. 1st night was Ripples - it is consistently good and one of our favorites - the fish is always delicious. They have a happy hour menu on Sat from 5-7pm for about $10-11, while we didn't try it there were several tables of people who did. Joe had coconut shrimp and I had great snapper, bill ran about $85. Sunday we tried the Overlook, used to be Cyrils - we were disappointed, maybe it was the chef's night off - red bean soup ok, garlic crusted snapper wasn't very good and Joe's shrimp dish was ok, we liked the decor and the view is nice, but the chairs were very uncomfortable and too tall for me. There was only one other couple dining, total bill was $125. Stopped at Smittys for lobster and crayfish - good rum punch but probably should have called ahead about lobster - not very good and didn't set well with my stomach. Zara's at Allamanda Beach Club was a new good choice, Joe had salad and lobster and I had black bean soup and tuna, the soup was great but tuna a little dry, Joe's was wonderful. Very nice decor and ambiance, good service and the busiest of all the restaurants except Ripples. Total bill $100 - definitely would go back - very quick service compared to other restaurants. Dinner: The Pumphouse at Sandy Ground was new for us too - they open at 7pm and have pizzas, sandwiches, salads, etc., about $10 - the food was good but the waitress lousy. We enjoyed it - it was a nice change from a big meal and will definitely go back - they have music some nights. Our last night, we made a reservation at Olivers (has been open 8 months) - on the beach, very romantic and breezy. We watched the sunset - it is a great location and the service was excellent. Joe had a salad and fresh tuna - absolutely wonderful and I had chicken ravioli (OK) and snapper - a very small portion of snapper but very good and delicious. Everything was very nice but also very expensive - total bill was $150, cup of coffee was $6. We would like to go back but would cut back on drinks - the beverage tab was $50. One table next to us was coming back for a second time in a week - a good restaurant but expensive. General comments from other tourists: 1 gave Blanchards a good review, another gave it a terrible review (Chef Melinda not "on island" apparently) - another good question to ask when making reservations. One couple drove out to Junks Hole for lobster at Palm Grove but they didn't have any - the couple swam around awhile and were leaving when Palm Grove told them they had 1/2 a lobster and would fix it - they said it was delicious. They also gave a thumbs up to the Pepperpot across the street from the school - go for lunch and watch the kids in their uniforms. Another thumbs up for Zara's from a New Jersey couple. Stopped at Sonesta to check out Restaurant Ici - another couple recommended it - we had a $7 rum punch and decided to skip lunch - supposed to be same people that have Koal Keel, it smelled good but we had eaten a late breakfast. Didn't get to eat at Roy's or Ferryboat, had a Carib at Palm Grove - we really like Junk's Hole - we didn't swim or snorkel but always go there for a beer and a sit down. Drove to Dune Preserve one afternoon but it was closed - the construction is still going on next door - the sign says - Cuisart Resort and Spa - opening this fall but they have a long way to go. Nightlife: Heard Johnno's had a good party on Wed night. Owners of Gifts and Liquours Unlimited and the Red Dragon nightclub have an over 30's party the last Fri night of the month and they invited us. We didn't make it mostly because it didn't start til 10pm and goes til 4am - we must be getting old - we were in bed by 10pm reading. Men must wear slacks and sleeves, women may wear shorts. Pumphouse has music some nights - check the outside doors for schedule - different times on different nights. Not sure about Dune Preserve schedule. We drove around the island on Monday and found many places closed - typically Mon. and Tues. seem to be no activity (good beach days) - drive the island on Wed - Sat to find more places open. We drove out past Island Harbour this time and really enjoyed the view. Activities: We have gone sailing on a catamaran before but not on Anguilla so we asked around and was told to take CHOCOLAT - Rollins is a good host and sailor - just show up with towel, lots of sunscreen and snorkel gear, he provides drinks - alcoholic or non, lunch (very good) and good conversation for $80/pp. We left at 10am and got back to Sandy Ground around 5pm - sailed to Prickly Pear, Scrub Island and Little Bay - it was a gorgeous day and we had the time of our lives, again. Would go again with better sunscreen. Rollins is full of info and has lots of stories to share - the other couple on the boat mentioned topless sunbathing on a beach - Rollins told them that it is against the law on Axa, and you can be arrested and taken to jail, (BTW, without your top - otherwise there isn't any evidence), it can be very embarrassing and has happened according to Rollins' brother, a policeman. Be advised. We did make a couple of mistakes - we forgot RAY'S cardinal rule on sunscreen - we didn't get up and slather sunscreen all over our naked bodies one morning - we sat under a deck in a shaded area but didn't realize we were getting burned from the sun off the tiles. Our second mistake was using HAWAIIAN TROPIC sunscreen one time - we remembered later that we got a burn in Hawaii using Hawaiian Tropic - NEVER AGAIN. We recommend BAIN DE SOLEIL - it is really waterproof and stays with you all day, but you need to bring from home - you can't find it much in the Caribbean - seems like everyone sells Hawaiian Tropic. Oh well, live and learn. Music: Since we had a cd player I brought music with us - these are some of the ones we played the most: Taj Mahal and Hula Blues Band - just out new this month Billie Holiday Al Green Van Morrison J.J. Cale Joe Cocker Diana Krall and last but not least - Jimmy Buffett with his new "Don't Stop the Carnival" General Impression: We didn't notice a lot of changes this trip - We asked several locals if they thought things were changing and they said they hoped not. I had read they were going to expand the landing strip but didn't see any evidence of it. No one approached us on the beaches to sell anything I'm glad to say. We found everyone still very friendly and concerned about our enjoying ourselves. We were thoroughly comfortable at the Boathouse and would love to go back - Anguilla feels more like home all the time. It is kind of culture shock being home - we enjoy the pace and philosophy of the Caribbean and we are sure homesick for it already - it is wishful thinking on our part but we get away from the TV, newspapers, etc. and can hide for awhile in blissful ignorance. We did hear about Frank Sinatra dying but that was about it. Kind of wish I had a good Johnno's rum punch right now and was watching the sunset at Sandy Ground - it is one of the more beautiful sites on earth!!!
Just returned to Okla. City on June 13 from 1st trip to Anguilla. What a wonderful week! An absolutely stunning island! This one is on my short list!!! 12 trips to the Caribbean and I think this island is the best! Here's the rundown: American Eagle to the island had 17 passengers from San Juan, both coming and going. Island regulations do not allow you to rent a car at the airport. Must take a taxi to your destination and have the car delivered(the best option)or pick it up later. We stayed at Carimar Beach Club(24 units). Rented 2 bed, 2 bath apt. ocean front for $1200 for 7 nights. Plus 10% tax and 8% serv. charge. Wife (Carol) and 20 yr old daughter (Stef) and myself had plenty of room in this wonderful condo. An absolutely stunning view on Meads Bay with almost deserted beach most of the time. Condo had no a/c and the island was very hot at times. We shared the beach with the Malliouhana and Frangipani but very few people staying at these hotels this time of yr. Malliouhana is impressive looking(and expensive). Car Rental-Apex-Suzuki Samauri-$35 day. Pay for 6 get 1 day free. DINING(all $ totals are for 3 people and do not include alcohol(only bottled water or soft drinks) Breakfast: TOP OF THE PALMS(La Sirena Hotel) $23 (pretty good). THE OLD HOUSE: $32(excellent). THE ARISTA: $32(fair, would not go back). Rest of the wk we bought pastries at MARY'S PASTRIES in the Valley and ate breakfast at the condo. Lunch: ROY'S at Crocus Bay-Oustanding. I had lobster salad@$18, Carol had chicken $7, 2 soft drinks, total $32 (for 2). Lunch at PALM GROVE at Junks Hole-2 lobsters @$35 ea, 1 chicken and rib plate, 3 soft drinks, $104. This was interesting place, just a shack on the beach, A LONG WAY to drive. Snorkeling at beach while owner fixed lunch as fair. Rest of week we either skipped lunch or ate at condo. Dinner: RIPPLES (outstanding). Crayfish (small lobster) @$25, conch, steak, plus appetizers, soft drinks, 1 desert, total $90. RAFE's (great experience) tin roof open air shack overlooking Sandy Ground from the cliff. Mainly frequented by locals that would drive up at get bbq ribs, chicken, fish to go. Low voltage lights made it pitch dark inside. We had ribs, chicken, fish soup, garlic bread, $18 for all 3 of us. Would go back but only during daylight so we could see to eat. After dinner Rafe's sister-in-law corn rowed stef'shair (complete head, $35). We sat on the porch of her home while she did it. Talked and had a wonderful experience with her family. ARLO'S: Italian, wonderful atmosphere, heard they had great gourmet pizza. We were not disappointed. Pizza was $10 ea, we ordered 3 based on what owner told us. But we could have gotton by with only 2 and still taken some home. Appetizers and 2 bottles of water, total $70. ZARA'S (outstanding), gourmet food, snapper, conch, pasta, appetizers, soft drinks, total $100. The last night we ate at B&D's BBQ along side the road at Long Bay. On Fri. and Sat. night a lady (Bernice) sets up plastic tables in her front yard and serves BBQ. Total bill for 2 of us was $12!!!!. This was a great meal!!! CAUTION: On Tues. night, the girls couldn't get ready for dinner until 9 p.m. We found every place to be closed or in the process of closing. We were starving and gorged ourselves on the only food we had in the condo(bread and cookies). Needless to say, we learned our lessons about off season in Anguilla and from then on we made it a point to eat no later than 7 p.m. Other comments heard: Koal Keel, Hibernia, Serenity, Blanchards were rated outstanding by other tourists. Jims BBQ at Blowing Point Ferry was awarded best BBQ on the island by the local paper. I always wanted to eat at the local places (OK, I'm cheap, but also really want to know the local scene). The girls wanted fancy restaurants so we compromised a lot. Meals are VERY EXPENSIVE except for the roadside BBQ'S. I found most dining to be very casual,(shorts and t-shirt or golf shirt). Some of the expensive restaurants such as Blanchards, Frangipani, etc. you would probably want to wear slacks. I only wore slacks one night at ZARA'S and all the other men (3) in the restaurant were in shorts. But I'm glad I wore slacks. On Tuesday, we caught the once per week ferry to St. Barths.$65 pp plus $2 departure tax. A 1 hr. ride. St. Barths is beautiful and was worth the trip. A very busy downtown area. Lunch at LE CREPERIE was $27 for sandwiches, soft drinks, home made ice cream (for 3 people). Very upscale shopping but also found the French to be dressed very casual in the restaurants and bars. We were expecting everyone to be dressed up. Several men in the bars had no shirts. I guess when you are rich on St. Barths you can wear whatever (or lack of) that you want. We took a 1 hr. taxi tour around the island for $10 pp. Well worth it. I have never seen so many beautiful women in one spot in my entire life. They all looked like French models. Carol was watching me closely. If I didn't know better, I would have thought I was on the French Riviera. SHOPPING ON ANGUILLA: Not much here. Best place for T-shirts was the SURF SHOP for high quality t-shirts ($24-$28) and other ready to wear. Also apparel shop at Cap Juluca: Very nice t-shirts, pricey ($30 up). Gem Exclusive (next to Anguilla Drug Store)t-shirts $15-$20. Devonish Gallery great for carvings and pottery.(We made a purchase here) Also for extremely high quality wood carvings ($100-$4000) Cheddies is the place to go. You must visit his shop just to look at his work. Many small shops along main road. All are very unique and we made several purchases. Well worth your time to shop and talk with the shop keepers. They love to visit and are very nice. We also purchased a painting from a French artist in Sandy Ground that does very unusual Caribbean paintings. OTHER HOTELS: Personally visited these: CAP JULUCA (WOW!!) Go there just to see it. Also COVECASTLES just for the architecture. The pink house next to Covecastles belongs to Chuck Norris' ex-wife. SONESTA is very beautiful but lacking for a good beach in front(very windy) however, you can walk to some nice beaches. LA SIRENA looked very tired and worn. FRANGIPANI looked empty but we heard very good things about it. Supposed to be very luxurious. MALLIOUHANA is very nice but stuffy. Beautiful view of Meads Bay.(Expensive). SHOAL BAY VILLAS were very nice. I have a friend from NYC that stays there every yr and loves it. Most hotels are at the end of a dirt road off the main road. Very few (except for Shoal Bay) are within walking distance of any activity. I liked that about Anguilla. GROCERIES: IGA and ALBERTS in The Valley. Several mini-mkts along the main roads that were also fine. Found a great store by Carimar(Flemings, at Long Bay Village) which was well stocked. The owners chatted with us for about an hour. Also good gourmet(by island standards) at VISTA MARKET. MARY'S great for pastries. Also heard that Amy's pastries at Blowing Point was great. Get your pastries before 11 a.m. or they will be gone. There is a small open air market across the street from the post office in The Valley (mangosand bananas) We didn't stop there but chose to buy mangos along road in South Hill. Huge mangos for $3 or $4(E.C.) depending on who was working the stand. DRIVING: LH side of road took 1 day to get used to, then became very natural. If you see someone driving on LH side of road in OKC, just give me a day or two to get back into the swing of things. SNORKELING: Caught boat from Crocus Bay w/Calvin. He charges $10 pp to take you and drop you off at Little Bay. Snorkeling rated at about 6 1/2. Water clear to 25 ft. But did not see an abundance of brightly colored fish. Mostly bait fish. Heard several people saw sea turtles here. The beach is nice and secluded. Great spot for a picnic and to watch pelicans dive for bait fish. Calvin left us for 2 hours and came back to pick us up. Glad we went. SNORKELING AT MEADS BAY: No fish because of pure white sand bottom. But very clean and clear. Snorkeled rocks at Malliouhana. Saw some fish but not many. Rate it a 6. REEF AT SHOAL BAY: MY FAVORITE. Lots of brightly colored fish, very clear, plenty to see. Rate it a 9. JUNKS HOLE; fair, a 6. There were many places we didn't snorkel and heard good reports to varying degrees. Our neighbors drove to Shoal Bay (about 30 minutes) everyday to snorkel all day. I think you just have to experiment. I have snorkeled a lot and just rate Anguilla as slightly above average (except for Shoal Bay). However, the water is very clear. The local newspaper lists good places to snorkel. Only so much time to try to do everything. BEACHES: Visit Shoal Bay, Rendevouz Bay;, Meads Bay, Cove Bay, Little Bay, Maundys Bay, Lower Shoal Bay (West). I am sure there are many others that we just missed. SUN: Very intense. Burn easily. We took SPF 45 sun block. Carol browned easily but I burned. We were very, very careful to pace our time in the sun. We left our lotion behind on the day trip to St. Barths and had to settle for SPF 15. FINAL OBSERVATIONS: This is a great island!! They are doing many things right. The people are wonderful. I only hope it lasts. This is now my favorite island. It is VERY LAID BACK. If you want plenty to do, this isn't the place for the action crowd. It took us a couple of days to slow down. I can see it is not for everyone. No Casinos, no jet skis, no para sailing. My daughter was ready to go bonkers. She was bored to death. She said no one to talk to (what about her Dad?). In retrospect we should have taken a friend for her. On 1 day, she and Carol were the only two on the entire beach at Carimar. No limbo dancers, no fire eaters. Of the 24 units in our complex only 5-6 were occupied. We spend much time driving around the island talking the locals who love to talk about Hurricane Luis in 1995. Quite a story!! They like tourists and are very interested in you enjoying your stay. We could have stayed a month. There were many things we didn't get done like a sailing trip or Scilly Cay or day trip to SXM. I think this is the best time of year to go. Restaurant owners told me in season they are packed with waiting lists. Hotel prices are 2 to 3 times higher in season. I printed up loads of info off of the internet and carried it with me for reference. Also, the great trip report from Joe and Judy helped immensely. The Anguilla homepage provides a wealth of info. Dollars and travelers cheques are widely accepted on the island. No ATM's that I saw. We feel very fortunate to have visited this island and to have walked on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world on Anguilla. It is definitely in our plans to return.
May 2-16, 1998 Notes in no particular order...just as they come to me! The exchange rate is 1.75 right now, down from 1.77 that we remembered last year. To calculate your US dollars, divide the gilder price in half and add 10 percent. Our favorite casino, the Radisson, has a sign out front..."See you in December '98." Boy, we are lost without that place. We tried the Alhambra Casino Sunday and the payouts, we think, are still terrible. I went through $20 in 5 minutes with a few little hits here and there. The Casino has a new entrance on the back side of the building and has been spiffed up inside. On Thursday nights, the Alhambra Casino is featuring a timeshare owner's night. You get two raffle tickets to place in the pot and you must be present to win AND have some proof of timeshare ownership with you such as your confirmation letter. The prize is one week's maintenance fee up to $500 paid in casino chips which you can, of course, cash in. I went to the casino on Thursday night with another couple since Bob decided to stay home. Upon entering I was given four tickets by Rodgers, the greeter. Being the good wife that I am I put Bob's name on two tickets and my name on two tickets. You guessed it! They drew Bob's name! I said, "Yea, that's me!" And they said, "No, where is your husband?" Since he wasn't there, no prize!!!! Some people and I protested but I gave up when she showed me right on the ticket MUST BE PRESENT TO WIN!!!!! The next person whose name was drawn did not have any ID with her nor did she have a confirmation of her timeshare ownership. However, a quick run out to the car produced the necessary goods and she won! There is a new show at the Alladin (this is how they spell it!) Theater outside the Alhambra called "the Chicago Rat Pack," featuring impersonators of Sammy Davis, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. It begins at 9:30 and seating is open. (There's about 70 seats at tables, lounge style) Tickets are $25 pp with one free drink included. The three men are great impersonators of the Rat Pack but, as many of you may remember, Deano did a lot of smoking and drinking on stage while performing. These three do the same in this show, and, while their singing was excellent, we thought the smoking and drinking was WAAAAY overdone. favorite was the guy who did Frank Sinatra. If you closed your eyes, you would have thought it was The Chairman of the Board himself. (We saw the show before Sinatra died.) At the end of the show, a man in the audience was introduced as the long-time manager of the REAL Sammy Davis. In search of another Casino, we went Sunday night to the newly renovated Aruba Palm Beach Casino now called the Meringue Casino. >From the looks of the parking lot, this is where the locals like to go. We had to wait for a parking space. (Rental car license plates all begin with V for visitor. Locals' plates begin with an A.) We played some slots which paid slightly better than the Alhambra. At least the money lasted 30 minutes this time! We watched Caribbean Stud Poker being played and saw a full house dealt but the dealer didn't qualify. The Outback Steakhouse is up and running, located between La Cabana and The Royal Cabana Casino. We won't be going there since we have one about a mile from our house in Vero Beach. I took a free snorkeling lesson at 2 p.m. Monday in the Divi Village pool from Rene and Windie, a husband and wife who are excellent instructors. I plan to go on 4-hour snorkeling trip with them later in the week. (see separate report). Rene (the husband) is a former operating room nurse and he told me that, in his opinion, the Aruba hospital is the best in the Caribbean. The Cyber Cafe, located on the third level of the Royal Plaza in the center of downtown charges $5.75 to use a computer, whether for e- mail, to get on the Internet or just to write something and print it out. Per page price for printing is 55 cents (B&W) or $1.10 (color). They keep pretty busy. There is another kiosk for making calls and accessing e-mail in the Sun Plaza complex next to the three supermarkets diagonally opposite the Dutch Village. That plaza, by the way, used to have lots of shops in it. Most of them are now closed and the place has turned into an office complex...hard to find a parking placed during the day because of all the workers in the building. We visited the Archaeological Museum which is in behind the town next to the Catholic Church. Housed in what was formerly a convent, the modest museum has one room with about 10 display cases holding various Indian artifacts that have been excavated from the island. We saw shell beads, shell tools, knives made from sharpened stones; pottery and even a skeleton with great teeth! It makes you realize that there was life here on Aruba MANY years ago before any tourists arrived on the scene! Across the courtyard from the museum was an art exhibit of Chinese/Aruban artist King. His work is very symbolic and it is interesting to see how he incorporates his name into the folds of an animal's skin or in a cloud or two. The word "King" was hidden everywhere in his work! A bird sanctuary has been constructed by the government for the enjoyment of locals and tourists alike. Located on a dirt road directly opposite the Mill restaurant, you drive in and walk up about four stories on a tower which overlooks several ponds that have been created by the water treatment plant. The Dutch Government paid for the plant which receives waste water pumped from the hotels. After it is treated, it is pumped into the ponds and then, some of the water is piped over to the golf course. We met a local teacher atop the tower and he told us that when the project was first proposed people thought ALL of the water would be pumped into the golf course irrigation system they have been pleasantly surprised with the ample water remaining in the ponds. If you want to buy a dozen or more bottles of Aruba Aloe, it is best to do it right at the factory. I bought 12 bottles for $4 each compared to $5-$6 in the markets and drug stores. Here's how to get to the factory....heading from the hotel area to the airport, take a left at the light at the airport (which is on the right). Take another left when you see a Shell Gas station on the right. Follow that road down and around to a tan building on the right. There is a very small logo/sign on the door. Aruba Aloe shares the building with another Tshirt printing company called Emco (I think). They have a store there selling T-shirts and towels but I didn't take the time to look and regretted it afterward since I am always looking for a bargain! Did you ever wonder why some license plates in Aruba have a half- black plate over the all white plate? Well, we learned that the half black plate means you have paid for your auto registration for the whole year. The white plate means you've just paid for 6 months! Of course, the plates are designated with V=visitor (rental car); A= Aruban and TX=Taxi. You can take a tour of the desalinization plant on Thursdays at 9 a.m. You must call ahead for an appointment. We took the tour in hard hats and it was very interesting. I plan to write up another separate report but I will just note here that the island's delicious water is tested at 15 sites every day! The samples are taken and brought back to the lab for testing. The plant is the 2nd largest in the world, the first being in Saudi Arabia. Aruba Restaurants Reviews Note that some restaurants add a 10 or 15% "service charge" to the total bill. If you ask a waiter if this is his tip many will say no, that this is a tax. This is NOT true. There is NO TAX on food in Aruba. The waiter gets a portion of that service charge, maybe one third. The rest goes to the establishment for breakage, table decorations etc. So, if there is a service charge and you want to tip more, you can. I noted the service charge below on the ones I could remember. It is also worth noting that when you call a restaurant to make a reservation, they most often ask for your name, the name of your resort and your room number. I would suggest that for security reasons, you provide only your name. No one needs to know that you will be out of your room/timeshare eating at a restaurant on a certain night and time. May 2, 1998 Buccaneer It has become a tradition that we eat at this restaurant located in Noord on our first night in Aruba. Our friends, the Smiths, from Bangor, Maine are the ones who got us into this lovely habit. The chef/owner, Joseph, made the rounds of all the tables as is his custom, asking everyone if their dinner was okay. That is a very effective touch. All four of us had the catch of the day which was wahoo, a nice white fish. The catch of the day which is always $12, is fresh and cooked to order. Here, all entrees come with a cheese stuffed potato, a cabbage leaf stuffed with cheese, creamed spinach on a tiny sea shell and plantains in a sweet red sauce. All of the accompaniments are delicious and different. We also admired the brand new bar top which, we learned, was created by the owner. He laid out shells, sand and other ocean treasures in an interesting pattern and then poured clear epoxy over all until he had a thick layer. Under the bar are little white lights which shine up through each shell for a very effective and subtle lighting scheme. Since we were all tired from our flight, none of us had anything to drink except water. Each couple paid $27 for a pair of delicious meals! May 3, 1998 El Patio Tonight (Sunday) we started out to go to our favorite Aruban restaurant, Mi Cusina (my kitchen in Papiemento), located just beyond Le Dome restaurant, but, is was closed and looked in bad shape, as in "closed permanently." SO, we thought we would try the Suisse Chalet which is right down the street. Well, not our night...that was closed too but just on Sunday. Earlier in the day we had heard two recommendations for El Patio, a cute little outdoor place in the Sun Plaza shopping center across the way from Pueblo, which, by the way, is now called ChaSun supermarket. El Patio could best be described as the restaurant where the locals go to get a good meal and lots of it for a cheap price! I had a delicious piece of red snapper with garlic sauce for $9. Bob had a half chicken for $8! The oval platter comes with salad or cole slaw, French fries AND white rice or rice and beans Nothing fancy here but if you don't feel like getting spiffed up for a night out and you just want a good big meal, this is the placed to go....They are open until 11 p.m. Monday, May 4, 1998 Chez Gabriel Today, the shrimp Bob bought down at the docks were so big that there were 15 in a kilo, usually 20+. Cost was $16 with heads. Tonight, he had shrimp cocktail and I had shrimp scampi along with rice and stir- fried veggies. MMMMgood! Tuesday, May 5, 1998 Chalet Suisse Since my mouth had been watering for the beef Stroganoff that I had here last year, we went back here tonight with three friends from the Dutch Village. Two of us had red snapper with Creole sauce ($17.95); one had a rib-eye steak ($21.95); I had my beef stroganoff ($18.95) and our fifth diner settled for a cup of Dutch pea soup ($4) and escargot ($7.95). The service was superb and the food was delicious. Two of us shared their homemade vanilla ice cream topped off with hot raspberry sauce and one of us had peach Melba (both $4.95). Such a great meal and we still can't believe that last year was our first year there! In view of El Gaucho's refusal to write separate checks (see below) it is worth mentioning here that we were two couples and a single person and they had no problem writing three checks. Wednesday, May 6, 1998 The Paddock :Lunch The place is located right in the heart of downtown on the water next to the outdoor market vendors. We decided to have a light lunch there today. It was nice sitting outside under a covered deck by the water watching all the activity in the harbor. I had a bowl of onion soup topped with a delicious cheese ($3.50) and a diet Coke ($1.25). Bob had tuna salad stuffed in an avocado ($5) and an iced tea ($1.25). We concluded it was a nice place for a casual lunch while downtown shopping and sightseeing. 15% service charge. Wednesday, May 6, 1998 El Gaucho :Dinner Returning to this place is an annual ritual. Reservations are a must even in this slower season. The only negative thing we can say about El Gaucho is they are so popular that they apparently can afford to be arrogant! They take their phone off the hook at whim (we saw the hostess do this tonight) and they do not write separate checks! This latter annoyance makes it difficult when both couples are trying to earn FF miles on their AAdvantage Visa Credit cards! How else can we get to Aruba on free tickets! The food, as usual, is tasty; the service excellent. Three of us ordered the El Gaucho "steak" ($20) which looks more like an eye of the round roast when it is served. It is always cooked to perfection. We all ordered ours medium rare and two of us had enough left over for steak sandwiches for lunch the next day. Our fourth diner had the catch of the day which was Dolphin ($18). The steak entrees are served on a wooden platter and came with small boiled white potatoes and a small ear of corn. Salad also comes with dinner. The fish entree was served with rice, corn on the cob and a fried plantain. One of our party had a glass of red house wine ($2.50) and another had a glass of Zinfindel ($3). Thursday, May 7, 1998 The Driftwood : Dinner Billed as an Aruban seafood restaurant, this place has the reputation of "the best fish in town," according to some. One local Dutch person told us the restaurant used to have a good reputation but that had fallen off. Another local Aruban person gave the restaurant rave reviews so we decided to give it a try and see for ourselves. Our party of four ordered two fish entrees, one broiled with lemon butter and the other with Creole sauce ($16 each); an entree of coconut shrimp (6 to a serving) ($21) and our fourth diner opted for two appetizers - onion soup ($4) and coconut shrimp (3 to a serving) ($7). Each dinner came with baked potato AND rice plus veggies, garlic bread and Aruban corn bread pancakes. The food was delicious, but the service was very slow....we arrived at 7:45 p.m.; our food order was taken at 8:20 and we received it at 9:10 p.m. The person who had the entree of coconut shrimp decided on the next visit they would order two appetizers of coconut shrimp and forgo the potatoes, rice and veggies, not to mention a savings of $7! Sunday, May 10, 1998 Le Petit Cafe (downtown) :Outside We've always loved this place for its unique way of serving steak on a shot, hot stone. The steak continues to cook right at the table. We brought some first-time visitors to Aruba here and the four of us ordered the filet mignon, steak on a stone ($18.95). We also has appetizers...shrimp cocktail $7; seafood salad appetizer and seafood bisque (I forgot to write down these prices! A serving of flan, shared by two of us, rounded out the meal. Here, you have the choice of eating inside under A/C or outside on the sidewalk. We chose to eat outside which provided for interesting sights. But, it was noisy with traffic going through the square. Monday, May 11, 1998 Lunch at the Aruba Phoenix We stopped by here today to pay a call on MaryAnn Koch, the GM of the Aruba Phoenix. MaryAnn used to be the members liaison at the Dutch Village and then she moved on to the Americana as assistant GM there so she has come a long way since we have known her. She gave us a quick tour of the villas and took us up to the 14th floor for a spectacular view! the units are beautiful. We ate out on a patio right on the beach. Bob had a salad and I had a sandwich. Nice presentations and good food. It was here that a waiter, not Aruban, tried to tell us the 15% service charge was a tax! We didn't believe him. Tony Roma's This is the only "American" restaurant we go to in Aruba since we love ribs and we do not live near a Tony Roma's at home. I had the baby back ribs, regular portion for $15.75 and Bob ordered the combo plate with four kinds of ribs for $16.95. The meal comes with two side orders, choice of baked potato, french fries, rice, cole slaw, corn on the cob or baked beans. It's the only place we know of on Aruba that gives free refills on soft drinks, coffee and tea! Always guaranteed a good meal here! Tuesday, May 12, 1998 Linda Vista Restaurant at Playa Linda Resort: Lunch This is a nice casual open air restaurant overlooking the beach at the Playa Linda resort. Casual dining for both lunch and dinner and a great place to go if you just want a hamburger and French fries or pizza! They offer salads, sandwiches and several entrees and the prices are reasonable. You can access the restaurant from the beach walkway between the Holiday Inn and the Hyatt or from the street side. Shrimp cocktail at home with four guests Today, I went with Bob to buy shrimp down at the dock. This was my first time there in all the years he has been doing this. But, this year, there is a new policy. Instead of being able to wander onto the dock at 8:30 a.m., Customs has the place fenced off until 9:30 a.m. while they check the boats, supposedly for drugs. All the restaurant people and tourists line up and rush in when the gates open at 9:30 to buy fresh fish, shrimp and produce. This time, instead of the big shrimp Bob bought last week, we bought smaller shrimp for $11 per kilo, much better for shrimp cocktail. Then we invited two other couples over about 5:30 for a little get-together. We ate so many shrimp that we didn't need to eat dinner! Thursday, May 14, 1998 Brisas del Mar : Lunch Today, following our tour of the water desalinization plant, we continued on up the road to Brisas del Mar for lunch. Well, actually we tried to go to a new restaurant just beyond Brisas del Mar called the Flying Fishbone, but it is only open for dinner. (Also located in this restaurant in a day spa for massages, facials, manicures, pedicures etc.) Brisas del Mar features Aruban food and is located right on the water with wide open windows letting in the breeze. We decided to eat our big meal mid-day so I ordered coconut shrimp ($16) and Bob had grilled fish ($12). The entrees came with French fries, baked or mashed (not real) potatoes, some kind of marinated cold vegetables which we didn't like and Aruban pancakes (corn bread) which we love! The food was good but I liked the coconut shrimp better at the Driftwood. Also, I really get aggravated when a restaurant as fine as this one offers instant mashed potatoes. 10 percent service charge. Friday, May 15, 1998 Le Dome For our last night on the island we chose Le Dome, a new Belgian and French restaurant just up the street from the Alhambra Casino. It opened in October at the site of the former Sandra's, operated by two young men from Antwerp, Belgium. One of our party of five came in shorts so we were very politely told that we would have to eat on the porch since their dress code requires long pants on the men. That was okay with us since there was a nice breeze and it was very pleasant. The menu at the Dome takes about 30 minutes to read! The selections of cold and hot appetizers alone take up two pages. What I liked about this very elegant place is that the menu is varied in selection and price, making it affordable for anyone who wants to try it. For example there was a pasta selection for $10, boneless chicken breast for $12 with other prices ranging up to $35 for an entree. Our party of five ordered a variety of entrees: shark, lamb, shrimp scampi done in a spicy bisque- like sauce, a T-bone steak which was huge and tourenados of beef. I didn't write down the prices but nothing was outrageous. A couple of us had dessert...my husband has a banana split complete with melted Belgian chocolate I had a form of cream puff with homemade ice cream and fresh whipped cream and melted Belgian chocolate! The ice cream was outstanding. Mmmmmm good.The service and the food were excellent and we all congratulated ourselves for selecting this for our last meal! There also was no problem getting separate checks. Once again we need to rack up those FF miles on our AAdvantage card! And the decor of the restaurant is worth seeing...tastefully placed antiques, even in the bathrooms! Snorkeling Trip Friday, May 8, 1998 Windie's Watersports (297) 872281 FAX (297) 877015 e-mail email@example.com website: www.aruba4you.com A lovely Dutch couple, Windie (the wife) and Rene (the husband) along with their two sons 11 and 12 and another young assistant named Paul picked 8 of us up in their van and drove to a beautiful private beach called Santo Largo. It is located a few miles beyond the water treatment plant. (we were picked up at our respective timeshares.) This was their weekly Friday afternoon snorkel trip and beach barbecue, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.. Upon arrival, the boys unloaded and set up chairs for everyone in a shady spot under the mangrove trees, also a table and grill, all from a trailer towed behind the van. We all sat around relaxing with a cool drink before heading out to the reef. We put on our gear provided by Windie and Rene, including special masks for those of us who are near sighted and can't see once we remove our glasses! Also provided were rubber boots to fit inside a pair of fins. And off we went into the water in a line following Rene with Windie and me bringing up the rear. Since this was my first real snorkel experience, I swam and kicked much too fast and thus started to hyperventilate so, Windie had me slow down and hold onto her buoy as we swam out around the reef. It was wonderful looking at all the coral and the different colored fish but, I have to admit, I was concentrating more or breathing and moving around than I was on enjoying the sights around me. I'll have to save that for another trip now that I am been "baptized!" We were in about 16 feet of water but the buoyant salt water makes it very easy just to float and look around without much swimming or paddling necessary. On the way back to shore I did try to relax, floating more and looking at the sights. Since I didn't realize that things looked closer through my mask than they really were, I thought I was going to scrape myself on the reef a few times but, I didn't, and managed to find my way back to shore with a little guidance from Paul. After returning to our campsite, we sat around and chatted with the others in our party.....all from the greater Boston area.....while Rene barbecued. Soon, dinner was served buffet style on a board from the back of the trailer. We had chicken, grilled fish, hamburgers, Dutch potato salad, carrot and raisin salad, garden salad and watermelon. Lots of cold soft drinks, beer and other alcoholic mixed drinks were available. All of the food had been prepared that morning by Rene and Windie. Their two boys also earn their spending money by doing the dishes, first rinsing them in the ocean and then washing them when they get home! Then we all piled into the van for the return trip home arriving about 7 p.m. Since I am an avid duplicate bridge player I was pleased to learn that Rene had won the bridge championship on the island a while back and that a sanctioned duplicate bridge game is played every Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at the Bushiari Resort. Windie also told us that there is a tour of the water treatment plant every Thursday morning at 9 a.m. So we will call ahead as she suggested to make a reservation for the tour. Windie, by the way, is her real name! Her parents were always around boats so when she was born she was given the name Windie. But, in Holland, at that time, you could not make up names, so on her birth certificate is written "Wind," which is a real Dutch name. Windie and Rene are a hard-working couple but you can see that they enjoy what they do. I was especially impressed with their patience in teaching "newbies" like me snorkeling techniques. They offer snorkel tours Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30 to 12:30 including coffee/tea, Dutch raisin bread in the morning and a sandwich after snorkeling. Price is $40. Friday is the above mentioned beach barbecue for $55 (we paid $50 each since we signed up in advance) and scuba diving and swimming lessons are given on other days of the week. We highly recommend a trip with Windie and Rene! It was lots of fun, the food was delicious and we were able to snorkel with patient teachers! We would recommend that you take a good insect repellent with you if you plan to spend any time on the sand under the mangrove trees. My husband did not go snorkeling but came along for the barbecue so he sat on the sand in a chair while we snorkeled. The next day his legs were covered with red welts from "no-see-ums," little gnats that bite before you can see 'em! He looked like he had the chicken pox! Check out Windie's Watersport web site or send them an e-mail if you want more information. Tour of the Water Desalinization Plant Aruba May 1998 Contact: Eric Arrendell at 851685 to sign up Someone told us that tours are given on Thursdays at 9 a.m. but advance reservations are required. We requested a 10 a.m. tour instead since I am not a morning person and Eric kindly obliged us. After donning hard hats at the gate, Eric walked us through the plant for about 1.5 hours. Some of the facts I gleaned from the tour: This plant is the second largest in the world, the first being in Saudi Arabia. 8 storage tanks hold about 12,350 metric tons of water (enough for five days for the whole island) The island consumes about 8.5 million gallons of water each day (I had them convert this figure from metric tons so we could understand it better so I hope their math is correct! I didn't check it! So don't hold me to these figures!) Okay, now here goes the SIMPLE explanation since I am no engineer! Salt water is brought in from the ocean and heated to a very high temperature. Steam from that passes through the electrical generating plant to turn the turbines to produce the island's electricity. Then that steam is cooled down into water which is then passed over an artificial waterfall made of coral rocks piled in large wooden boxes. This helps help purify and oxyegenate the water. From this 'waterfall, the water passes through another process which purifies it more and then it moves to the storage tanks! So, the bottom line is we are not drinking salt water as some of us thought! We are drinking water that comes from steam that comes from the heated salt water! The brine that remains after the salt water is heated is dumped back into the ocean. Eric told us that making use of the salt was tried in the past but was found not economically feasible. We saw much of the above process and then toured the computerized control room that manages the whole plant. All the equipment in the control room comes from Aqua-Chem Inc, Water Technologies Division in Milwaukee, WI! Next we toured the on-site lab where we were shown the day's water samples being tested. Samples are collected from about 15 areas of the island every day and tested. Several water tanks are located about the island but are not in use yet. They are soon to be filled and in operation. The plant is owned by the government but it was privatized some time ago so the employees work for WEB which I think stands for Water Energy resources. Eric was a very pleasant and accommodating host. We would highly recommend this tour to anyone who might find it interesting and educational. We did but some of our friends thought we were nuts to spend our vacation doing this! Let's just say that we needed a short break back to reality from two weeks of lounging around in the sun and the surf!!!!
(Ed Note: Hugh has a beautiful house in Aruba which you can rent. You can check it out at http://pages.prodigy.com/ArubaHouse/ or contact him at Hugh R. Lamle 1185 Avenue of the Americas, 18th Floor New York, New York 10036 Telephone 212-730-2000 FAX 212-843-5949 )
1. Boonoonoonoos - F7/A8/S8/$20 good local Caribbean food. Some hot and spicy, some not. Most people like it. Orangestad. Phone 31888 2. El Gaucho - F10/A8/S9/$20 Argentine aged beef. Great! Get the tenderloin. Decent south American red wines if you'll spend $30 for a bottle. Not a good pick for vegetarians. Orangestad. Phone 23677 3. Chez Mattilde - F9/ A10/S9/$30 Fanciest place in Aruba. Good food, nice ambiance, high prices. Orangestad. Phone 34968 4. Charlie's Bar - F6/A6/S6/$?? Saint Nicholas (the other end of the island, near Baby Beach which is good snorkeling beach but 18 miles from our house). Cold beer and boiled shrimps. Not worth the trip from the hotels but worth a late snack if you go to Baby Beach. 5. Golf Club Restaurant (Vantantas Del Mar) - F8/A 10/S9/$20 Good food, nice place (especially the more intimate seating area by the bar or outdoors). Very good jazz trio. Lighthouse area. Phone 67800 6. Light House Restaurant (La Trattoria) - F8/A9/S8/$20 Really nice for the early sunset dinner, but then again so is our verandah. Good Italian food. Sit outdoors. Lighthouse area. 7. Bistro 81 in the Radisson - F9/A7/S9/$20 NY style bistro food. Piano player. High-rise hotel area. Phone 66555 8. Bistro-Quet at Playa Linda - F8/A8/S 8/$20 Cooking on hot stones. Flavorful! High-rise hotel area. 9. Buccaneer - F6/A6/S6/$20 on one of the roads going away from the high rise hotels but less than 1 mile from our house. Major selling point are the GIANT aquariums with interesting tropical fish. Food OK. You can always go there for a beer and see the fish if OK isn't good enough for you. 10. Brisis Del Mar - F7/A7/S8/$18 About 5 miles past the airport going away from our house. Typical open air Aruban seafood, on the water. Tourist and locals like the place. Get directions. 11. Grand Hyatt Hotel - Two restaurants. The fancy one F8/A9/S8/$25 has indoor and outdoor seating. Sit outdoors at a table next to the black swans pool. Check out the iguanas that climb the rocks. Good food, nicer ambiance if outdoors, prices you expect. Less fancy one F7/A8/S7/$16 has seating on a deck and the outdoor bar by the beach also inside but the whole point is eating outside by the beach. Real casual and food OK, but they do have their "margarita night" and other specials. Nice place to have a beer and see the people who are paying $1,300 (plus room tax and service) per night for a two bedroom suite. (Perhaps you should be paying us more?) 12. Old Conucu House - F8/A8/S6/$18 Nice ambiance, decent Caribbean food, slow service so don't go if you're a "type A". 13. The Driftwood - F8/A7/S7/$18 fish restaurant in Orangestad. Good fresh sea food. They tend to overbook so expect to have a drink at the bar. Phone 32514 14. La Bouillabaisse - F7/A7/S7/$18 Fish with a Caribbean French accent. Not the south of France but you won't be hungry or unhappy. The Bouillabaisse is good. Phone 71408 15. Marina Piratta - F7/A 8/S7/$18 Local Aruban seafood on the water well out of town. Get directions and look at the map. It's a little tricky. 16. Le Dome - F8/A 9/S8/$20 Local This newcomer is located near La Cabanna, Divi and La Quinta. Continental and charming. 17. Papiamento - F9/A9/S7/$23 Nice old house, good food, romantic setting for dining outdoors by the pool. Near our house and the high rise hotels but on one of the roads north of the hotels. Quite popular so make a reservation in advance. Phone 64544 18. In town by the wharf - There are a lot of restaurants there. Lively and decent food. Mostly tourists (but then again so are you.) I haven't been disappointed but can't remember the names. Let me know what you think. 19. Sandwiches - F8/A8/S8/$5 For the windsurfing types try the little shop in the sail loft of Sail Board Vacations - killer but order ahead. Casual, real casual and you can sail there and tie up at their corral. 20. Wednesday Night Windsurf Village BBQ - Very low key and friendly atmosphere. Beer, chicken and ribs. Outdoors. All you can eat. Moderate price. Windsurfing videos. Locals and visitors of all ages. A lot of fun, especially for the 18 year olds - they can walk to it. Stop by Windsurf Village to sign up. $25 (all you can eat) 21. Thursday Night Vela Night - At the Boardwalk Apartments near Vela. Catered by Boo Noo Noo Noos. Similar to Windsurf Village but different food. See the folks at Vela to sign up. Also a lot of fun, especially for the 18 year olds - they can walk to it. Outdoor dining. Go early and stay late. $25 (all you can eat) 22. Tony Roma's for Ribs - F7/A7/S8/$17 The usual Tony Roma's. That means good tasting greasy ribs, onion rings and fries. You can call ahead and take out probably the best fast food in Aruba. 23. Bennehana - F7/A8/S9/$18 - The usual Bennehanna everything tastes like soy sauce and garlic. Great show for the kids. 24. La Dolce Vita - F8/A7/ S8/$16 - Perfectly made al dente pasta. Good Ceasar salad and eggplant parmesan. Relatively inexpensive. 25. Tuscany - F8/A9/S8/$22 - Italian (hence the name Tuscany) at the Marriot. Most people seem to like it. Some think it is a bit high priced compared to the many other good Italian meals you can get in Aruba. 26. Valentino's - F8/A8/S8/$25 - Italian. Expensive but good. Try the various seafood pastas. Quite popular so reservations are a must. 27. Flying Fishbone- F9/A9/S10/$20 - Located on the beach near Brises Del Mar and the desalinization plant (about 5 miles past the airport going towards St. Nicholas) this charming place is worth the drive. The food (even some decent wines at affordable prices) and ambiance are the strong points (isn't that what you came for) and the energetic young Dutch staff are a plus. 28. Que Pasa- F10/A10/S8/$20 - Located in Oranjestad on a side street you might be put off by the location and appearance form the outside. The food (surprisingly sophisticated, is the strong point along with a cordial and knowledgeable you Dutch staff. While I like the ambiance (it can best be described as Euro-Caribbean funky with a certain charm if you are into that sort of thing) others may find it a bit too funky. Owned and operated by the owners of Flying Fishbone but a different menu. 29. Marina's Killer Sandwiches - F9/A9/S9/$5(lunch only)- As weird as this sounds...go into the sail storage area of Sailboard Vacations. In the back on the left is the sandwich shop. They are killer and not too expensive. Best to drive by (or sail by) before 11:00 am and put your name on the list with your selection. She will build it for the time you indicate. 30. Aruba House - F?/A10/S? - Eat what you like. Truly authentic home cooking! Prices vary - Grilled shrimps & pasta $2.50 If I left out one of your favorites, let me know and I'll comment on it. There are a lot of good places in Aruba and its hard to remember them all. Mostly I like to buy some fish or shrimp or lobster from the fisherman at the dock and grill them on the BBQ in our garden. Great views, no wait for the table, the music I want to hear on the stereo and a choice of dining in or outdoors. I can even sit in the hot tub with a glass of wine while I wait for dinner to be served. I can't get away with it every night soooo I take the family out when they insist. Make reservations in advance in the high season. Cocktail hour - Our verandah, of course (if you rent our house), and any of the hotels happy hour. Again, for the windsurfing types (or others who have perfected a good line of BS...did you see my duck gybe, forward loop, big air...? Don't mention the backward triple loop, it's never been done! Even if you were never on a board and they say they didn't see you, you can say you were sailing on the "outside" and thought you saw them. Chances are, they weren't on the outside, but they will be complimented that a great sailor like you thought you saw them when you did the loop.) Try Sailboard Vacations mini bar on the deck in front of the windsurfing storage area. Frozen drinks and cold beer. Not fancy...forget the sport jacket and maybe the shoes. Notice the people with the duct tape on their hands and feet. It holds the blisters in place. Don't feel sorry for them, they had a lot of fun. The tape is a kind of medal of honor thing or a badge of perseverance. You get blisters from trying too hard, especially in light wind days. Oh! Try the Polar Beer from Venezuela.
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