Aruba by Steve Cannon

Hope the following information will be of use when visiting or thinking about Aruba.

Golf course is almost complete and should open unofficially sometime in Dec. with grand opening in Jan. Everybody is still guessing how the wind will effect play but just being able to play in Aruba is great. The new Government seems to be on right track, they are doing a lot of studies and most people feel they will start making changes in a very short time. There are still problems with power supply, 3 outages in 2 weeks but life still goes on, unless you are on the top floor of the Hilton.

I stayed at Amsterdam Manor and they have just gotten cable, about 28 channels including all major networks. Hook up for whole island should be by end of year. It's nice to be able to relax and see the rest of the world after a hard day at the beach .

A few restaurant notes, El Gaucho is closed for remolding and should open for the busy season around the middle of Dec. The Flame is running a big promotion on steak (I wonder why) and is doing a lot of advertising. Food is good buy still not El Gaucho. The Flame does have one of the best Caesar Salads on the island. La Dolce Vita has moved from intown to the old Bon Appetite restaurant, a five minute walk for the high rise hotels. I checked out report that Puelbo and Ling were not converting to dollars and charging higher amount. Every time I handed clerk US she would calculate amount of purchases in dollars without me having to ask. Hope those reports were misunderstandings. A quick rule of thumb to figure Florins to dollars is to take half of the amount and add a little more than 10% to that figure. That should be pretty close to the dollar amount owed.

They are going to try out another traffic control idea at the airport so that everything runs smoothly, don't hold your breath. Speaking of airports, if you can, avoid Miami when returning from Aruba, it's a real ZOO and getting worse. Going to Aruba via Miami is OK but customs coming back took almost an hour, of course they take you on a walking sight-seeing tour of the airport.

The wind was a problem a few days, not that is was blowing hard, but it wasn't blowing at all, so that all the tiny little bugs stayed around. No one should complain about the wind, it keeps you cool and sends all those little critters to South America.

I checked out most of the casinos and make my donation before moving on. Seaport casino seemed to be paying off on the .25 machines, while the $1. were coming out pretty good at the Hyatt. I hit for 1000 nickels at the Alhambria, then had to wait while they opened the vault to pay me. Paradise Beach Villas is up and running, they have builder for phase 2, but sill no money at this time. They are working hard on getting the needed funds and should have more information in Dec. One change is that phase 2 owners can request time in phase 1 and if available will only pay the maintenance fee and will have a confirmed stays.

It rained a few days, about 5 to 10 minutes then the sun came back, in fact a few times the sun stayed out to watch. It still amazes me to watch people on the beach or at the pool run for cover when it rains. That's about it for now.