Aruba 14 – Memorial Day Week 2019

Our 2019 trek was amazing. As our 14th year we figured to keep mixing it up so we started with our friend Lanis in Fort Lauderdale and got the opportunity to share his 37th birthday. This was our first trip flying Jet Blue which featured very enthusiastic passengers.

 

For 2019 we also decided to combine a photo essay and a vlog to capture our journey. It was great seeing the cadre of friends and acquaintances we have met over the years. As usual it was great meeting new friends such as Humphrey, Norma and others. Our friend, Renee Williams joined us as she was doing her second trek and occupied our guest suite.

 

Some ask, “why do you guys keep going back to Aruba every year doing the same thing?” Unfortunately, they miss the essence of what we have been able to capture during our journey’s. Every year there is a new experience and for 2019, it was no different. Below is our photo essay and vlog.


OUR VILLA

https://fredyt3photos.net/2019/05/27/thomas-villa-marriott-aruba-surf-club/

ARUBA EXPERIENCE

https://wordpress.com/view/fredyt3photos.net

A DAY IN SINT NICOLAS

https://fredyt3photos.net/2019/05/29/aruba-v2019-a-day-in-sint-nicolas/

Specialized T-Shirts were a big hit this year as we were able to capture friends who wore themed shirts.

LIVING MY BEST

https://fredyt3photos.net/2019/05/25/im-living-my-best-life-soulbeach2019-moomba-beach/

WE LOVE YOU PHIL

https://fredyt3photos.net/2019/05/27/soulbeach2019-aruba-we-love-you-phil/

TEXAS BOYS

https://fredyt3photos.net/2019/05/27/soulbeach2019-moombas-texas-boys/

 

Here is some of our day in Fort Lauderdale with Lanis

YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE

https://fredyt3photos.net/2019/05/24/yolo-fort-lauderdale-celebrating-lanis-birthday/


Here are some of the Vlogs

O’Niel Caribbean Kitchen

 

 

The Inaugural IslandFest

 

Flying to Aruba

 

A Trip to Super Food

Aruba 13 – Memorial Day Week 2018

CLICK HERE FOR SCENES FROM 2018

 

Aruba 2018 was another great experience we were blessed to take part in. SoulBeach2018 continues to keep out doing itself and this year had the largest crowd we have ever seen. Over the years, they keep getting better and better; with logistics and quality of entertainment.

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Rick and Donna Kelley – Moreno Valley, CA

 

The Kelley Tribe

Through the years we have offered Aruba to many friends and family. Most show an enthusiastic response in joining but few make the financial commitment to see for themselves why this island has become our second home. Rick and Donna Kelley broke all records this year has they had almost twenty in their party (we are still trying to track down Rick’s cousin from the Marriott resort – does she exist??? – LOL). So, thanks to Rick and Donna for sharing their family with us and allowing them to complement the blessing we all received during our stay:

Rick – Donna – Moe – Nikki – Devani – Domonique –

Rev. Jeffrey – fiance – Donna’s sister – Aunne – Devin

Kim and other’s whose name escapes us.

Through the years we have been blessed to develop our Aruba family and it is always great to connect:

Jorge (SmartRent) – Joop and Jenny (Surf Club Executive Management) – Claudia (Vacation Club management) – Orline (Marriott Aruba Management) – Amayra & staff (Aruba Tourism Authority) – Laticia Routen (Big Mama’s) – Shawn, Louis and crew (Surf Club) – Black Charlie in San Nicolas – Jerome (Arubian Taste)

 

2018 was such a blessing, plans are already under way for 2019.

 

Aruba 11 – Memorial Day 2016 – Key Development Discovered

baby beach development
The proposed Serena development

The fascinating thing about making Aruba “our second home” is witnessing the development. Some of it is good…….and some is not. At the same tokens we are not Curmudgeons who frown on any development at all. After all, who are we to get too emotional if the people through their government determine it is in their best interest?

Anyway, there are three distinct improvement projects we have noticed……and it’s only the 3rd day!!!! I am sure we will find more as we visit friends in the interior and other communities of the country.

Baby Beach

Baby Beach is like a world into its own. No doubt driving through you can see remnants of what “once was there.” At first glimpse the place looks baren or almost like a forgotten beach. But, is that not the beauty which attracts people to the beach?

Anyway, coming into the beach you will notice a huge billboard (we did not recognize it last year and we come every Memorial Day week). Wow, the proposed development looks impressive. Our first reaction was what about the locals, the people, the indeginous community? To get some answers we met with our good friend (who shall go nameless for now) who is an Executive for the Aruba Tourism Authority.

  1. I did receive another update TODAY (June 1st) from an authority and source I trust, who is very familiar with project. THE SERENA PROJECT IS OFF THE TABLE. The government and the people decided it was in the best interest to reopen the oil refinery instead of the Serena. Both have pros and cons but reopening the refinery will provide a greater economic and environmental impact. Basically, the developers contemplated that both could not exist and so the government needed to make a choice. The oil refinery will be reopening under CITGO which is controlled by a Venezuela investment concern.
  2. stay tuned……….

This is just feedback from a preliminary discussion but in the next few days I will gather more input from officials at the ATA, as well as those in Seroe Colorado, Charlie’s and Lago Heights.

One more point, those who know us know that Judith is from Belize. Placentia which is a community on the peninsula has undergone similar transformation. On one end it is great to have the economic boon, but on the other hand locals are practically run out of their own community due to not being able to afford the “new lifestyle.”

Street Widening Project

As you venture south of the airport you will notice major construction with the goal to widen the main road. It goes all the way down to Highway 4.

Could this be part of the Baby Beach project? After all, the new development will certainly make it more attractive for tourist?

I was told the contractor is having difficulty keeping pace of the commitment to complete the project (as originally stated), which is why progress appears “helter-skelter.”

Downtown Trolley

The downtown tram is now in its third year. In addition to street work around the trolley tracks, near the bus depot, it appears to be a boon for those getting from the north and south parts of downtown, or the interior shops east of Mainstreet. The issue is some businesses are “dying on the vine,” especially those who were around before the trolley was thought about. The reason is prior to the trolley there was plenty of parking space for customers to enjoy, adjacent the shops.

I am sure a compromise will be reached one way or another because visitors or customers are crucial for the local shops to survive and surely the residual effect of the trolley cannot result in more businesses not being able to sustain themselves.

 

Finally, this is just our perspective and as we get additional information it will be posted. Thanks for reading.

Aruba 9 – Memorial Day Week 2015

2015 was a great year. Hoping straight off the jet and clearing customs we were greeted and driven to pick up our car. From there we high-tailed it to the Marriott and after a quick check-in caught the last couple of segments of the Soul Beach Jazz Festival beach party.

Aruba 8 – Memorial Day Week 2014

Aruba 8 our 2014 trek was another outstanding journey. In addition to having Angela and Noelle join us, we were able to reconnect with Kim (Reston, VA), Shellie (Charlotte, NC) and Tia Blackwell (Reston, VA). We also met several new friends, including Tex, the Aruba “snake catcher” as he was catching Boa’s near the south part of the country.

 

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Aruba 7 – Memorial Day Week 2012

Aruba 7 – 2013 was another great trek featuring new adventures. We really explored the country to get a better understanding of what makes it unique. Hopefully these photos give you a glimpse of what we mean. 2013 was also a year where we met yet three new friends; Kim Howard (Reston, VA), Shelley (Charlotte, NC) and Tia Blackwell (Reston, VA).

 

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Judith and friend from Curacao
Judith and friend from Curacao

 

Sinbad with Dr. King tatoo
Sinbad with Dr. King tatoo
Sinbad
Sinbad

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Aruba 6 – October 2012

Aruba 7, 2012 was delayed from our regular trek during Memorial Day week to the 2nd week of October as this was the year Fredy graduated from Bethune Cookman University.

 

 

Judith taking steel drum lessons at airport
Judith taking steel drum lessons at airport
SAMSUNG
SAMSUNG
Simply Fish - Judith seafood combo
Simply Fish – Judith seafood combo
SAMSUNG
SAMSUNG
Marriott Stellaris
Marriott Stellaris
Mojito at Mojito's Cantina & Grill
Mojito at Mojito’s Cantina & Grill
Nachos at Mojitos
Nachos at Mojitos
Whole sauteed shrimp at Charlie's - San Nicholas
Whole sauteed shrimp at Charlie’s – San Nicholas
Whole sauteed shrimp
Whole sauteed shrimp

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I Luv Aruba
I Luv Aruba
shot of Marriott Aruba Surf Club from the Pier
shot of Marriott Aruba Surf Club from the Pier

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cruise ship
cruise ship

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fresh juice stand
fresh juice stand

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Aruba young basketball players
Aruba young basketball players

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4 barracuda's
4 barracuda’s

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Coconut water
Coconut water
carnival main stage - every thursday
carnival main stage – every thursday
steel drum pro
steel drum pro

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Fred gearing up for debate in front of Charlie's
Fred gearing up for debate in front of Charlie’s
polis officers in the house
polis officers in the house
the baker
the baker
Map of Caribbean - Aruba
Map of Caribbean – Aruba
our villa 2012 - dining room & living room
our villa 2012 – dining room & living room
living room towards door
living room towards door
bedroom
bedroom
thunderstrom in horizon
thunderstrom in horizon


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customer purchasing morning catch
customer purchasing morning catch
Rum Factory
Rum Factory

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Muhammed and Fred adjacent field
Muhammed and Fred adjacent field
on the way to Baby Beach - ran into group of donkey's
on the way to Baby Beach – ran into group of donkey’s

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baby beach - big mama grill
baby beach – big mama grill
furniture from brazil
furniture from brazil
unique chair
unique chair

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curry chicken
curry chicken
Loutiza Raven - owner of Big Mama's
Loutiza Raven – owner of Big Mama’s
baby beach
baby beach

Aruba 5 – Memorial Day Week 2010

2010 was another great trek to Aruba. In addition to getting to see Slim from DC, we were able to connect with Black Mayor Charlie and other crew who are no part of our family.

 

Judith Claudia & Fred T
Judith Claudia & Fred T
Judith prepping for shopping
Judith prepping for shopping
Palmera Rum Factory
Palmera Rum Factory
University of Aruba
University of Aruba
basketball court surf club in foreground
basketball court surf club in foreground
ocean club registration lobby
ocean club registration lobby
Church across from post office
Church across from post office
St. Dominque's College gym
St. Dominque’s College gym
Italian Ice Cream - Gelato
Italian Ice Cream – Gelato
La Salle College
La Salle College
Italian Ice Cream
Italian Ice Cream
Classroom at LaSalle
Classroom at LaSalle
Instructor
Instructor
Soul Beach ads
Soul Beach ads
Judith on Red Carpet
Judith on Red Carpet

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Judith on Red Carpet
Judith on Red Carpet

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University complex
University complex
a closer shot
a closer shot
Natural Bridge
Natural Bridge
Iguana another shot
Iguana another shot
San Nicolas stadium
San Nicolas stadium
Marie & Judith at flea market
Marie & Judith at flea market

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Judith in tube
Judith in tube

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Stellaris lobby II
Stellaris lobby II
Stellaris pool
Stellaris pool

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Judith with crew
Judith with crew

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Natural Bridge
Natural Bridge
shawn receiving gift
shawn receiving gift

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Soul Beach '10 party at Momba's
Soul Beach ’10 party at Momba’s

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money museum
money museum
Fred "The Mayor" & Judith
Fred “The Mayor” & Judith
Surf Club from 14th Floor
Surf Club from 14th Floor
The vegetarian
The vegetarian
Aruba Surf Club from boat dock
Aruba Surf Club from boat dock
Valero Oil Refinery
Valero Oil Refinery

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street scene
street scene

 

 

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new baseball complex in santa cruz
new baseball complex in santa cruz

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new baseball field in santa cruz - all astroturf field
new baseball field in santa cruz – all astroturf field
proud owner
proud owner
Aruba Map
Aruba Map
The Kitchen
The Kitchen
Iguana Cantina dinner
Iguana Cantina dinner
Judith on motorbike
Judith on motorbike
goats
goats

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Rain Storm
Rain Storm

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sunset
sunset
fredt
fredt
judith
judith
Oscar our waiter
Oscar our waiter
Simply Fish seating
Simply Fish seating

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Judith Halibut - Fred Sea Bass
Judith Halibut – Fred Sea Bass
Soccer Field & Track at Olympic complex in Oranjestad
Soccer Field & Track at Olympic complex in Oranjestad

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Shawn and crew
Shawn and crew

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Judith at sunset
Judith at sunset

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sunset from blackberry
sunset from blackberry
President O and Judith
President O and Judith
Surf Club stock photo from beach
Surf Club stock photo from beach
Soul Beach '10 banner
Soul Beach ’10 banner