Bati Bleki – Februari 5th, 2017

batibleki1

The week started with medical issues, talking about a Hyperbatic chamber so essential for wound care, then we went on and listened to the bureaucratic journey of a One Happy Island resident. Insel Air suffered some setbacks this week, and the stress drove us to Yoga 1.01 at Fly Fit Studio at Paseo Herencia.

The Calypso & Soca Monarch produced some interesting entries and controversies, then our dysfunctional MinPres took center stage with his never-ending photo opportunities and Fakebook posts.

Happy reading!
batibleki2

Bati Bleki – January 29th, 2017

batibleki1

This week I wrote about the Aruba Tourism Authority’s town hall sessions in the Noord and Paradera with a View to the Future. I heralded the arrival of the Aruba Bird Calendar sponsored by the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino. I debated why the banks are charging so much to move our money from one pocket to the other. I described the splendor of Renaissance Private Island, and lamented the closing of Aruba’s most charming boutique, the Caribbean Queen, at Palm beach Plaza Mall.

In between we also wondered why are long lines forming in front of the tax office, with islanders wishing to pay their car registration fees.

Happy reading!
batibleki2

Bati Bleki – January 22nd, 2017

batibleki1

I threw my diet to the wind this week. starting with a veritable feast at the Sands Eatery at the Marriott Ocean Club, a great place for fresh seafood. Then Asi Es Mi Peru hosted its ribbon cutting with family and friends in attendance where Jan & Roxana van Nes fed us very well on Peruvian specialties.

Garage Centraal unveiled an all electric car, the Ioniq, a stylish alternative fuel hatchback Hyundai, ushering in a green era. Grupo Anderson, of Senior Frog’s dubious fame, bailed out of Aruba with no trace, ditching 32 employees.

Chef Lij Heron joined the culinary brigade of the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino, coming to us from the Waldorf Astoria in Dubai. On Friday, the AHATA meeting, the Aruba Hotel & Tourism Association General Assembly, did not go as smoothly as predicted.

Happy reading!
batibleki2

Bati Bleki – January 15th, 2017

batibleki1

Aruba has a new governor and our MinPres continued to torture him about his acceptance of the job; politics aside, the new official was well received. Then I debated whether the refinery deal is real or not and discovered it dependents on many factors. A story that got attention was the plight of a young man on a mission to acquire his deserving Dutch nationality.

Some more debate regarding the refinery followed, and a call to look at the numbers carefully. A con woman made headlines here this week, hearing voices, seeing visions, in direct communication with the mother of God; last but not least as prices of gas go down worldwide they go up in Aruba, and I asked why, then I answered…..

Happy reading!
batibleki2

Love Sets Sail

Sabrina Monserrate and Sasha Kucherov were planning an elaborate New York wedding, but after encountering various speed bumps and, as the bride puts it, “unnecessary drama” that was not in their best interest, a plan B was in order.

We played with the idea of eloping but knew our parents would be upset, so instead we picked a date that was a mere month away, invited close family and our bridal party, recruited a good friend and wedding planner, Jesse Reingand got to planning,” Sabrina explained.

No need for mulling over destinations for their wedding—Aruba was inevitably meant to be. 

“Aruba was not only our first vacation as a couple, but a place we both visited as children…additionally, both his parents and mine went to Aruba on their honeymoon. It has been a meaningful place in our lives and seemed the perfect choice.”
-Sabrina

With the help of their wedding planner, Jesse, the couple incorporated a few DIY elements into their wedding. For flowers, Jesse and friends of the couple went to local supermarkets Ling & Sons and Super Food for fresh flowers, making their own arrangements. Sabrina, who formerly worked in the broadcasting industry, made a four-hour playlist, added transitions with an iPhone, and used her iPod.

Sabrina’s dress was a lace, vintage-inspired design with a scalloped neckline from Shareen in New York City

 “I always knew I wanted lace but was afraid it would be too heavy for the beach and sun…this, however, was not the case–my dress was not only lace head-to-toe, but very light and airy, which made it perfect for the beach”, shared the bride.

The ceremony, coordinated by the Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, was held beachfront at the resort.  

The reception was hosted onboard the Jolly Pirates sailboat. Sabrina reports that the buffet, set up on the Jolly Pirates and catered by Moomba Beach Bar & Restaurant, was amazing. The crew of the Jolly Pirates, Sabrina pointed out, was exceptionally accommodating and made everything seamless.

A standout moment for sure was when many of the male guests partook in a little rope swing fun and did some snorkeling!

The Details: 

  • Ceremony location: Beachfront at the Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino
  • Reception location: Jolly Pirates
  • Photographer: Alicia King Photography (New York)
  • Videographer: Omar Brown with Across the Waves
  • Florist: DIY with flowers from Ling & Sons and Super Food supermarkets
  • Music: The bride’s playlist
  • Wedding planner: Jesse Reing (New York) and Marriott’s wedding team

Bati Bleki – January 8th, 2017

batibleki1

It was the first week of the year and I took it easy on politics and relationship. Two departed friends received some well deserved ink, then the island’s craze of inventing children’s names occupied center stage. Carnival season started, I will pay attention to that next week. Have a great 2017. Come back to read frequently!

Happy reading!
batibleki2

Bati Bleki – December 12th, 2016

batibleki1

Aruba Fashion Week occupied an entire weekend at the beginning of the month and included local and international designers staging spectacular runway shows.

Then I went back to my favorite subject: The Dump. I was happy to report that help is on the way, Aruba will be turning its waste into alternative energy!

Then two light columns describing four different activities to do with guests over the holiday season, a fun restaurant experience at Fred’s, a tour of St Nicolas including lunch at O’Neil’s, a walking tour of Oranjestad and a progressive dinner on Palm Beach, with Aruba Wine & Dine.

An interesting post regarding health care followed, and at the end of the week I described out Post-Otmar-Recovery efforts, now that the previous MinTour abandoned his post in favor of his own political career.

Happy reading!
batibleki2

Bati Bleki – December 4th, 2016

batibleki1

The week started with great news about the waste to gas process already in place at EchTech/EcoGas. Then I helped publicize a gift collection for kids organized by PANA, a not for profit foundation, Pa Amor di Nos Aruba.

The legalization of marijuana is open to public debate here and I joined the conversation. Finally, the pitfall of being famous too long, a popular bar loses grip with reality.

Happy reading!
batibleki2

Bati Bleki – November 27th, 2016

batibleki1

It rained like crazy last weekend, it came out of nowhere, or so it seemed. because our weather man didn’t say anything to prepare us…Then I supported the idea of eating our way out of the LionFish, invasive species problem, in anticipation of the LionFish cookout on Sunday.

We welcomed LNG, liquid natural gas and I was sad to note it was my least popular column, ever, not many people here get the enormity of the drilling for that natural resource, on an island making a living from tourism.

Starr Ramos stepped up, and became a union leader, confronting the foreign corporation which closed down Senior Frog’s Cantina. I then wanted you to buy concert tickets for the Animal Rights fundraiser on board FreeWinds, docked in the Oranjestad harbor and finally, I described how much fun we had at the Occidental Grand as it morphed into Barcelo Aruba. Well, not so much fun, it was a stiff affair.

Happy reading!
batibleki2

1 2 3 8