This is my last post from Aruba. We are on to Panama tomorrow. We moved down to the low-rise hotels on Eagle Beach for a couple of days to a sweet little hotel called the Tropicana. Very 50’s inspired and a bit (ok more than a bit) outdated but clean. Yes, I am talking pink and turquoise right down to the bathroom.
It’s funny how you can have a completely different experience in the same destination. Comparing this to the elegant Renaissance Ocean Suites is like comparing Pavarotti to Sinatra in the best of all possible ways. Sometimes you just crave a different flavor and this place was yummy.
So, check in was a breeze and our very eager bell-hop Pablo was more than willing to help us to our room. Pablo reminded me a little of Joe Pesci. We were chatting all the way and learned he was born in Columbia and lived in Aruba for 25 years. We mentioned we were going to be staying in Panama for a while and hopefully learning some Spanish. So he spent the next 45 minutes giving us a very detailed Spanish lesson. I am serious. He was so sweet, wrote every word down for us to study and told us he would quiz us the next day. Meeting people is my favorite part (so far) about traveling.
That afternoon we decided to try the swim up bar and stayed for happy hour and Karaoke. Now, neither my husband nor I can sing but my husband can impersonate singers amazingly well. So, lubricated by a couple of drinks, he was soon crooning that old Frank Sinatra favorite “Summerwind”. He followed up with the popular Willie Nelson tune “On the Road Again”. The crowd (about 5 people) went wild.
The next day while Sam went to the Gym and I was having breakfast, along came Pablo to teach me the Spanish words for each part of my breakfast. He was a little stumped on “muffin” for some reason but collaborated with the server to get just the right pronunciation.
When we left the next day, Pablo walked us out, hugged and kissed us and told us in Spanish how kind we were. Seriously, was it weird to tear up after spending such a short time with a very sweet Spanish teacher/bell-hop? Some people can make an impact very quickly. Should you find yourself at the Tropicana on Eagle Beach, look for Pablo and you will see what I mean.
Next stop – Panama!