Cafes, Brunch & Lunch in Palm Beach | Aruba

Continuing Aruba...

When in Aruba make sure you try a Dutch Pancake, they come sweet & savory so there is something for everyone.  There are a few places around the island that specialize in Dutch Pancakes.  Since you can easily pack on those calories on vacation, my friend, Shanam, and I stuck to our 2 meals a day rule.  This worked out well since both of us would roll out of bed around 10 AM and then enjoy the view from our balcony with a cup of coffee.  We would then head to the beach to work up an appetite and then grab brunch or lunch somewhere.  After eating we would then head back to the beach and pool for another 3-4 hours followed by a 3 course dinner.  As you can see, 2 meals a day worked out quite nicely in terms of cost and calories.  Here are a few places to check out in Aruba that are perfect for daytime. 

Tribute to my Dad. 1938-2015


My dad passed away peacefully in his sleep almost 4 weeks ago in Ocean City, NJ, in the midst of his family.  He was a positive person, a hard-working man, a risk taker.  He faced a lot of challenges in life, but always came out ahead due to sheer grit.  He was a disciplinarian, a strong advocate of a good education.  Anything short of hard work and success was unacceptable when it came to his four children.  As we matured into adults, he guided us in navigating our lives and families. His command of the Hindu holy book, the Bhagavad Gita, served him very well in his life - every chance he got, he passed its wisdom on to us.

Dining in Palm Beach & Orjanestad | Aruba

Out of all the islands that I have visited, Aruba may just have the best food and offers a variety of cuisines, Mexican, Italian, French, and Indian to name a few.  I ate my heart out in Aruba, like 4 course meals including complimentary starters.  The best part of my meal was dessert and coffee, so typical of me.  My friend, Shanam, and I agreed to share one dessert for dinner rather ordering two separate desserts, this kept our weight in check and allowed us the opportunity to enjoy more items on the menu.  As you will see below, we ate a lot for dinner, but that's also because we usually ate brunch/lunch around 12 PM, hit the pool/beach, and by the time dinner rolled around, we were starving.  

You simply cannot go wrong with the food in Aruba, at the very least, the food will be average, but never horrible.  I had the pleasure of dining at some fabulous restaurants, and each restaurant had something unique to offer.  Some restaurants had impeccable views, while others had amazing food, and then there were those that offered both.  I highly recommend making dinner reservations around 6:30 PM for places that offer sunset views since the sun typically sets around 7 PM in Aruba.  Enjoy the sunset with a cocktail, it was one of my favorite moments on the trip.  Additionally, I loved that every place we went to gave us a complimentary bread basket with butter, and the best part is the bread was hot.  Whipped butter melting over hot bread may just be my new guilty pleasure.  It’s the simple things in life that we so often take for granted and I'm learning to slow down and enjoy the ride.  Enough digressing, here is my review on Simply Fish, Madame Janette, Pinchos Grill & Bar, and Windows on Aruba.  

Sightseeing in Palm Beach | Aruba

Aruba holds a special place in my heart because it is the first vacation I’ve taken in 21 months since I was going through some major changes in my life.  For those of you who “know know” me, know that I usually don’t wait that long to hop on a plane.  To say I was ready to board a plane and hit a beach sipping Pina Coladas is an understatement.  I was in search of my happy place.  Bon Bini Aruba!

Referred to as, “One Happy Island,” Aruba has been on my travel list for quite some time now.  With perfect weather all year round, very little rain and no hurricanes, it’s understandable why Aruba is known as “One Happy Island.”  The locals here seem happy with life and love living in Aruba, and the tourists keep coming back year after year to vacation in Aruba.  Timeshares are quite popular on the island and everyone I spoke with mentioned Aruba is one of the safest islands to visit. 

Situated just 12 degrees north of the equator, the sun rays in Aruba are extremely strong so the higher the SPF, the better.  The water here is a very pretty greenish blue color, more so in the shade of green.  Having said that, I will say the best water I have experienced so far in the Caribbean was in Turks and Caicos where the water was a perfect shade of turquoise blue and you could literally see your feet in 3 feet of water.  Unlike Turks and Caicos, in Aruba, you can’t see your feet in 3 feet of water.  Gotta be honest, right!  Regardless, Aruba water is still very, very pretty, and after Turks it is probably the next best water in the Caribbean.

In terms of cost, the USD is widely accepted on the island and most resorts are relatively affordable and family-friendly.  Taxis are reasonable with a standard fixed rate.  Most cabs charge $9 to get from point A to point B, so a ride from Palm Beach to the capital, Orjanestad, will run you about $9, but so will a ride that is half that time.  Taxi fare to the airport is $25.  Tip is generally 10% for taxi drivers and waiters.

Speaking of waiters, the food in Aruba can be quite pricey.  At most romantic, slightly more upscale restaurants with a view, a piece of fish will run you anywhere from $30-$45.  Grouper seems to be quite popular on the island and it is highly recommended at most restaurants.  For you non-fish eaters, there is usually one chicken dish and steak dish on the menu, however for the vegetarians, I barely came across any veggie items on most menus.  With that said, I’m sure most places will cater to vegetarians.  Desserts are usually about $10 and cocktails are about $12.  Additionally, every cuisine is easily available on the island, you name it, they have it - Mexican, American, Japanese, and even Indian. There is something for everyone.  I highly recommend visiting Aruba if you haven’t yet been, you will leave happy!PalmBeachAruba

Friday’s Favorites : Fashion & Beauty

As you know I recently travelled to Aruba, so naturally I did a little summer/beach shopping before I left.  One favorite purchase is the Banana Republic Drapey Pants in Black Moss, they are almost like an olive green.  These pants are so versatile, you can dress them up or down, wear them with pumps or flats.  Another favorite is this pair of Denim Short Shorts from Express.  It's my first pair of really short shorts and I’m hooked!  Next week is all about Aruba, stay tuned!
summer & beach favorites
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