RESONA DEBUTS AT LOCAL STORE. The Minister of Culture, Otmar Oduber and the CEO of the Aruba Tourism Authority, Ronella Tjin Asjoe Croes, hosted a press conference and social mixer in honor of Michael Lampe’s new folkloric project, a updated music compilation of local classics. We got a taste of the album and liked it very much! While watching the video clips taken during production I noticed that Miguel Genser has cute dimples in addition to a great voice, Gabriela Krozendijk delivers heartfelt music, Ataniro sports new facial hair, and Biggie Boy scores big with his version of an oldie. Please note that Local Store has delicious hand-cut potato fries, don’t miss!
IT’S NOT HOW MUCH MONEY YOU MAKE, IT’S HOW MUCH MONEY YOU KEEP. Stichting Kidspreneur organized Camp Millionaire last weekend and the Money Game workshop just recently. It is an initiative of Nancy Maya, former glamor-girl turned self-styled educator and I compliment her on that. Under the Kids Inc. Aruba umbrella she decided to help kids understand money and pave the road to financial independence. Wow, you’re impressed, right?! The program is available on line, and Nancy bought it with a built-in instructor, Elizabeth, who came to Aruba to facilitate the materials. The workshops unfolded in The Office, a friendly, classroom and conference space rental place in Eagle. The workshop room was festooned with truisms such as: Invest with your head, not with your heart; Borrow money only when it makes you money, and financial success comes from managing risk, not from avoiding it. So, I dropped in to witness the guru in action. Elizabeth’s presentation was very good, teaching the young audience about expenses, and about the relationship between time and energy invested by employees, and the eventual pay-checks handed to them by their employers, after tax deductions. She talked about sticking to good habits, which apparently rich people have, when they keep track of their expenses. I would have loved to send the Aruba government for a weekend workshop with Elizabeth, they could learn a thing or two. In fact the whole island should attend the seminar, and learn how to manage finances, save and invest and stay out of debt. Check it out on line: winthemoneygame.com. What I took away is the following: Ban piddly junk purchases, which we are so good at, piddly-junk being stuff we don’t really need. The workshop was supported by RBC Bank and a number of other sponsors, 4sale magazine among them. It’s a five star idea, hope Nancy Maya runs the distance with it. Dear reader, I regret to say but I agree, as hard and as boring as it is: Creating Financial Freedom Is A Matter Of Developing The Right Habits.
HAPPY HOUR HEADQUARTERS. I am not supposed to tell you, for fear of mass invasion, but Nos Clubhuis, perched on top Hadicurari restaurant is a picture perfect happy-hour location. We found Joost Boerman there, in charge of F&B, a professionally trained chef from the Netherlands, who started the 2dayicook blog about his adventures in Aruba and his plans to brew his own beer. Perfectly cute and charming, he is also a Lion Fish sushi/ceviche/tiradito expert who gets it: Eat lion fish, before lion fish eats all fish! While I thought he had an innocent Harry Potter air about him, Joost reported most people think he looks like Clark Kent!
RAMADA COLOMBIANA SERVES GREAT SOUP. In Tanki Flip, Ramada Colombiana must be Aruba’s smallest restaurant and one of the most reasonable. We had lunch there last Monday and managed to spend Awg 66 on generous, tasty lunch for three hungry souls. Colombian food is hearty and filling, and if you are in need of chicken soup, with yucca, you know where to go. Every day features another soup, and son #1 says the oxtail is memorable.
CHARITY GOLF TOURNAMENT. Arion Wine Company and Wente Vinyards are orchestrating their popular golf tournament on March 27th & 28th, with celebrity, fourth generation winegrower, Eric Wente, as host, representing California’s oldest, continuously operated winery. A welcome reception for sponsors and players at Papiamento Restaurant on Friday will highlight Wente’s delicious red and white wines. Edward Ellis always does an amazing job on catering that reception. Then on Saturday a tournament at Tierra Del Sol Golf Course will raise funds for Telefon pa Hubentud, operating #131, a phone answering service designed to empower kids with information, and emotional support. The upcoming tenth edition of Wente Vineyards & Papiamento Restaurant Golf Tournament is inviting you to sign up at firstname.lastname@example.org. The 12:30pm shotgun start and exciting golf will be followed by buffet, wine tasting and an award ceremony at the famed banquet area overlooking the California lighthouse.
OPENING TROP CASINO & CLUB. The opening festivities of the Trop Club & Casino attracted many locals, fans and friends of the cozy casino, which was completely redesigned by Cai and Milly Profet, Inarch NV. Casino Director Wilfred Trimon, handsome in a dark suit, welcomed VIPs at the door, joined by the recently repatriated resort general manager Richard Roy and his wife Rosanne Roy-van Rooij, who resumed her work at La Cabana Beach Resort & Casino, one day after her return from Florida. Having been closed for 100 days, the Trop Club & Casino staged an exciting comeback, and Chief Engineer Angel Rojas reports the Tropicana Resort rooms will be renovated next!
THE ENDURING CHARM OF CHOPARD. Rudolf Lang, Managing Director at Chopard Marketing Services, Inc., hosted a Champagne reception at the Ritz Carlton last week. The company has been making watches in a small village in Switzerland since 1860. Ulysse Chopard, founded the business. His son Paul Louis Chopard, moved it to Geneva and grew if significantly, then grandson Paul André Chopard, identified a helpful partner and investor by the name of Karl Scheufele, and together they invented the Happy Diamonds. Once that transpired, in 1993, they lived happily ever after, enjoying prosperity and business success. The kids, Caroline Scheufele and Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, are still at it, making stylish watches and jewelry, because the patented Happy Diamonds, make that company happy. I too believe that in life, you should have at least one good idea, preferably a great one! Thank you Dinesh and Varsha Mahtani for your hospitality.
NEW HAND-CRAFTED COCKTAILS. On Friday night we tried TEN new, different cocktails at the Hollywood Smokehouse, Alhambra Casino & Shops. All craft cocktails are concocted with house-made syrups, freshly squeezed juices and fresh herbs. I said tried, as in tasted! No, I didn’t drink all ten, they are all so dangerously delicious that two is the limit! My favorites were the Peach Moon and the Acai Cosmo. The Peach Moon is made with Carolina Midnight Moonshine, muddled peaches, peach schnapps, simple syrup, fresh lemon juice and Angostura bitters! The Acai Cosmo, is shaken with Russian Standard Vodka, Acai Liqueur, Grand Marnier, cranberry juice and fresh lime juice. All cocktails are made at the smokehouse by Wonder Boy Danny van der Linden, a talented mixologist who tweaked the recipes created by superwoman Tina Causey-Bislick. Also awesome: The Cocopom Cooler made with Ron Barcelo rum, Pomegranate Liqueur, Coconut Water and Orange Bitters! RC@visitaruba.com