Saturday, January 19, 2008

Aruba Dande Groups

Aruba Bound
"The name dande, also spelled dandee, comes from the Papiamento word, dandara, meaning to revel, to carouse, or to have a good time. After King William III of the Netherlands declared slaves to be free, the celebration began.

A group of five or six people usually performs these rituals, though more can join in. These people accompany a singer and travel door-to-door to express their best wishes for the New Year. Repetitive songs, with the chorus which includes the phrase "ai nobe"(aña nobo) – "new year" – sung after each phrase. The celebratory travel usually leads to the houses of the singers' friends and family, where the host collects money in his hat to give to the group. Certain districts may have their own dande groups performing on the second day of the year."

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Is Dine-Around Plan Worth It in Aruba?

I think the reasons you do not see people raving about this program are numerous. The Aruba Gastronomic Association's Dine-Around Program is only worth it if:

a.) you will be dining at those particular restaurants
b.) be prepared to spend additional to do so. In other words, "read the fine print."
c.) don't have your plans written in stone unless you wait to purchase the plan when you arrive on the island. The fact that there are surcharges and a limited number of restaurants participate in the program (more on that to follow) in comparison to the total number of restaurants on the island is just for starters.

For more of my thoughts on this... more

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Aruba Pagara

New Year's in Aruba is brought in with a huge bang. There is a tradition on the island of lighting firecrackers and fireworks on New Year's Eve. The noise of the firecrackers and fireworks are thought to rid oneself of the evil spirits from the past year in order to begin the New Year anew.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Christmas & New Years at the Tamarijn

Aruba Bound
Our family of 10 had a wonderful Christmas and New Years at the Tamarijn Aruba topped off by a beautiful fireworks display accompanied by champagne at midnight on New Year's Eve on the beach between the Divi and Tamarijn. Christmas decorations at the Tamarijn and Divi were gorgeous. I feel very very fortunate to have finally experienced an Aruban Christmas.

If you have read a sufficient amount of reviews on the internet, you will have an excellent idea of what to expect from this resort. It is NOT a 5 star resort, but we have stayed at the Radisson and Hyatt on Palm Beach and found a much more relaxed atmosphere at the Tamarijn.