Before getting up really early Tuesday morning at 2:30am, we played a session of pickleball in the town hall.

American Airlines Philadelpia airport

We had to get up early as our flight for our 2-week Aruba vacation left at 6am from Bradley Airport in Hartford. Surprisingly enough we had never seen the airport so busy and that at 4am in the morning. Our Parking lot shuttle was full, we had a long line to checkin. For some reason my passport details were not accepted trying to check in the day before. Fortunately Paula now also has Global Entry and we were able to use the this time much faster TSA Prev line. After a layover in Philadelpia, where we almost missed our flight due to too much lounging we arrived in Aruba at 2pm local time (1 hour ahead of EST). Soon we were able to get our car and check in our appartment. We did a walk along the beach, had a nice cocktail and enjoyed the sunset.

Aruban flag

The next morning, Paula and I woke up on time and went for a jog along the bike path that went along the beach. We did 2 minutes on and 2 minutes off. We ran to the center of town and back. Later that day we went swimming and snorkeling at 2 beaches: Tres Trapi where I saw some of the famous sea turtles while snorkeling and quick stop at Arashi beach. The rest of the afternoon we were hunting for beach chairs. After 6 different shops we found them at the Flora garden center store. Later that evening we want for a long walk into into Oranje stad, close to the harbor where the big cruise ships port. On the way back we stopped for a cocktail at beach bar / restaurant West Deck.

Cocktail at West Deck

Thursday morning, Paula and I did another walk along the beach now towards the airport. Today wind surfing was on the menu so we went my friend Jeroen, where I had wind surfed 2 years ago, and we rented a beginner board for 2 hours. Paula used the 2 square meter sail and me the 4 square meter sail. Paula picked it up fairly quickly.

Windsurfing with the 4m2 sail

After windsurfing we went to Catalina beach, where I snorked some more but other than a few interesting fish nothing else. Today also the first time I tested my Apple watch in the water. On the way back to our appartment we drove by the Aruba Racquet club and bought a week membership to access the tennis and pickleball courts, the well equipped fitness room and the pool.

At the Aruba Racqet club

The next day we went to play pickleball at the Racquet club, first on the big tennis court with the higher tennis nets, and at the end we tried the pickleball field which was a little short but worked well. The challenge off course was the ever blowing (but heat relieving) wind. Afterwards I went into the gym and did my leg stengthening work out. I did tweak my groin a little doing squats with a little more weight than I was used to. After lunch we drove to the nearby surfside beach and enjoyed a cocktail afterwards.

Cruise ships

Saturday we went out and played some more pickleball at the racquet club and now used the dedicated pickleball field. We had little friend, Zach, join us and he played with our paddles ad pickeball when we took a break. In the afternoon we went snorkeling at Mangel Halto. I had brought my gopro this time and was able to take some nice underwater photos and video, until the gopro sprung a leak and it was dead. I also had forgotten to remove my reading glasses from my shirt and lost them somewhere at the bottom of the reef.

Snorkeling at Mangel Halto

I has found out about the Aruban Pickleball club and that they had a Sunday morning session for the public from 10:30-12:30 am. It was hosted in a sport facility with 5 pickleball fields, opposite from the Aloe factory. We were not the only visitors that had found them as there were 50 pickleballers, which made it a nice social event. The local elite players had their own field and the other 4 fields were shared with 40 players of different skill levels. It was warm (free sauna) but no wind, which made it much easier. In the afternoon we hung out at the beach and enjoyed some cocktails and nachos at Surfside beach.

Pickleball at the Aruba pickle ball club

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