Anddddd we’re back! Now where did we leave off? By day 5 I was pretty much recovered from being sick. My sore throat finally went away and I was able to eat again.
Day 5…Wedding Day! We had to be at the pier by 5:15. What pier do you ask? Why Y&F had rented out Marriot’s private island to hold their wedding! AMAZING! We had to take a little shuttle boat over to the island.
Since we had to start getting ready by 3pm, we decided to stay local and just hang out at the pool. Lunch was at the hotel’s outdoor restaurant again. Why? Because during lunch the day before, I saw that the guy at the table next to us had this GIANT hot dog so I decided that I NEEDED to have one too! It was only ehh…I did like the fries though!
After some more lounging and sun by the pool, we got ready and headed to the pier downtown to catch our boat! Since we were early again I picked up a few more souvenirs before heading over to the boat as I was not planning on returning downtown during the remainder of our stay.
The wedding was so nice! Once off the boat we were shuffled to the right side of the island where the ceremony was being held. There were tables set up with servers handing out rum punch. And a flock of flamingos greeted all of the guests! The ceremony was gorgeous and the officiant was great! The Mariott timed the ceremony perfectly with the sunset.
After the ceremony and some group shots we were scooted over to the left side of the island for the reception. YuChing’s details were amazing! Invitations were sent as boarding passes…and escort cards were luggage tags! Her monogram tied everything in nicely as well.
Dinner was delish! Probably some of the best food we had in Aruba! It was set up buffet style and we were able to pick and choose as we please. After dinner we were off to the bar for the first of many rounds of shots and drinks! It was a good time for all!
The boat ride back to the pier was way scarier than going there…because 1. it was pitch black 2. I was a little drunk! But that didn’t stop me from stopping at the hotel bar for a nightcap when we got back! Vodka on the rocks for me. Water for him.
Day 5 Expenses:
Lunch $51 (including tip)
Cab to downtown $15 (including tip)
Cab to hotel $15 (including tip)
We are drawing close to the end…:*(
This was our first day where we really had NOTHING planned. No dinners, no weddings, nothing! We were a little tired of the hotel food so we decided to venture out for lunch. We walked back to the main strip and found NOTHING open! I was getting cranky so we finally settled on Wendys. Yup. Wendys. End of story.
Most of the afternoon was spent lounging by the pool and then in the later we took a walk on the beach to see what the other hotels looked like. It was so nice because there are NO annoying vendors on the beach harassing you to buy this..or to go on this excursion..etc. And the beaches are really clean!
A few happy hour drinks later and we decided we should research a place for dinner. I had a bunch of brochures that I had collected from here and there and a place called Gasparito caught our eye. The place touted itself as an “art gallery and restaurant” in one. So we decided to give it a shot. It was local Aruban food too so we were kind of excited to try that. The menu looked decent. The concierge told us that we couldn’t walk to the restaurant from the hotel…and I’m glad we didn’t try! It was so dark and scary!!! There were no street lights or sidewalks! Dinner was pretty decent. I wasn’t too crazy about my soup that I got for appetizer…but the rest was good! It was a dead night at the restaurant – there was only one other table dining in there! and they were eating outside! So we had the whole interior to ourselves! The staff was so nice…but that is a common trait that we found of people all over the island! Since this restaurant was a little far out of the way, there were no cabs waiting to be hailed so the restaurant had to call for a cab to come pick us up.
1. self explanatory
2. appetizer – ravioli stuffed with Kerry Kerry, a local delicacy…I think it was fish?
3. art gallery
4. the boy’s entree – he got a combo dish of some of the Aruban specialties so we could try a little bit of everything
5. the bill arrived in a little wooden box with some candy inside
6. french onion soup – delish!
7. more gallery shots
8. my entree – I was not as adventurous as the boy…so I just got shrimp cooked with a cream sauce
Day 6 Expenses:
Lunch $15 (what a steal!)
HH drinks $18
Cab to dinner $11 (including tip)
Dinner $95 (including tip, 2 soups, 1 appetizer, 2 entrees)
Cab to hotel $11 (including tip)
Our LAST full day ::sadface::
Breakfast at the buffet downstairs again and then we headed to the pool. The boy was tired of laying out so we decided to take a walk on the beach again. Our newest vacation habbit is to bring home a container of sand and some seashells that we find. We spent about 3 hours walking up and down the beach looking for shells! It was a great way to work on tanning my back because I hate lying on my stomach on the lounge chairs! Back to the pool bar for our last round of happy hour drinks and back upstairs we went.
We decided to stay in the hotel to try out the Italian restaurant onsite. It was surprisingly good and a great way to end our vacation!
Day 7 Expenses:
Breakfast $50 (including tip)
HH Drinks $17 (including tip)
Dinner $95 (including tip, 2 appetizers, 2 sodas, 2 entrees, 2 desserts)
This shouldn’t even count as a real day! We got a late 2pm checkout because our flight wasn’t until 5pm.
After we woke up, we went downstairs to the outdoor restaurant to have lunch. It just wasn’t the same. We were both pouting the entire time!
The cab ride to the airport was uneventful. The driver was very nice as all of the cab drivers in Aruba were.
Overall we loved Aruba! Despite being sick, we both had a great time! This is an island where we can see ourselves returning to. And as always, the Westin did not disappoint! Things in Aruba are very expensive. All restaurants charge a service charge and you are supposed to tip on top of that. Dinners averaged around $100 for the two of us. This was our first time staying at a non all inclusive place in the Caribbean. The Westin did offer an all inclusive option, but we felt that because we had so many plans outside of hotel, it wasn’t really worth it. The AI option would have raised our rate to almost $500/night! We also find that when we are on AI, we feel the need to be little piggies and eat breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday! Normally, I only eat lunch/dinner…I know its not good to skip breakfast blah blah…but breakfast for me is never a real meal…it usually consists of a fruit or a slice of toast, etc.
One plus we found was that the cab fares are all regulated from zone to zone. So if you are traveling from one place to another, you will be charged the same flat fee as the next person.
Now where to go next?…I guess I’ll think about that as I go out and chip off the ice from my car!