Mexican Restaurant Dinner

We arrive back at the Grand and Jorge the bell boy gives us a ride back to our room. We take showers and make rum and cokes and rest on the balcony. Then we dress for dinner at the Mexican restaurant.



Zung gets an appetizer platter. I think it was intended for more than one person, so I have a bite or two. Neither one of us is very impressed.



I have the pumpkin soup, which is good, but I liked the Lima soup better, which Zung also has tonight.



He gets the fish tacos tonight.



I get the Lamb Mixiote,  which I did not like.


I think, but am not sure, that this is the tres leche cake.


I also think, but am not sure that this is the guava souffle.



I did not write any notes about what we thought about dessert. I did note, and do remember that we were not as impressed with our food at the Mexican restaurant this time. I would definitely go back, and try some of the other dishes.

Tonight is Daniel’s night off so we skip the lobby bar. Before we left for dinner I called room service and asked for a bottle of champagne. It is there when we get back to the room. We sit on the balcony, drink champagne, read and listen to the ocean, my favorite sound.

I cannot believe that tomorrow is our last full day. It is also our anniversary. 35 years.

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Tami’s 50th Birthday at Now Jade

We have to get up early today because we are going to Now Jade to see our friends Tami and Tom and Steph and Dan and meet the other people who are there with them. Today is Tami’s 50th birthday. I have set my alarm for 7 am, but I wake up at 6:30 and start worrying that I will forget the present I got for Tami. I get up and put it on the night table so I won’t forget it. We get up at 7 and go to breakfast.

To the north it is overcast, but it is pretty clear to the south.

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Breakfast is the usual suspects. We don’t linger.

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We go back to our room, asking the butler before we go up how long a drive it is to Now Jade. He says 20 minutes.

We get ready. I move the present to the area where my purses are. We pack our beach bag. We go down and ask for a ride to the lobby. The butler has to go get a golf cart for us and I suddenly realize I have forgotten the present! I go upstairs and get it and then we get our ride to the lobby. We ask for a taxi and I go in to the front desk to exchange some money. We have to wait a few minutes for a taxi. When it arrives we tell him where we are going and ask how much it will cost. he says $270 pesos. We get in and I ask how long it will take and he says 20 minutes.

We arrive and go in and Tami is waiting for us, along with Tom, Steph and Dan. Big hugs from everyone. Bear hug from Dan. I give Tami her present right away, because if I hold on to it, I am bound to forget it somewhere. It is a blue scarf that is really soft and gauzy. I hope she is a sot, blue gauzy scarf type of girl.

We have to get our wristbands. I take out my credit card to pay for our day passes, but Tami tells me she has already taken care of it. She will not have it any other way so I say thank-you and don’t argue with her.

They have not had breakfast so we go to the buffet and Zung and I have Mimosa’s. Several. We meet Tanner and Hailey, Tami and Tom’s kids, and several of the other people who are part of this group.

We go out to the beach. We sit and talk. You can see that they decorated the palapa with balloons for Tami’s birthday.



I am on the left. Pam is in the black. Tami is in the red, and Steph is on the right.

The sun is out today and it is HOT!

When lunch time rolls around we go to the buffet for lunch. There is a huge variety of food. I get a few things and go back a couple of times. Steph appears next to me at the table and has a plate of french fries because she knows how much I like them. They are pretty good and we have a good laugh about it.


The waiter comes by with dessert for Tami with a candle in it. We sing the Happy Birthday song.


Then they bring her a Mexican Flag shot. Her expression in this picture is priceless.



We stop at the coffee shop next so some people can get frozen drinks. We take the opportunity for a photo-op. Tom is on the right.



We go back out to the beach. We talk some more. We go in the water. It is bathwater warm. There is a little girl named Michelle who is two years old on the beach. She comes over and I teach her how to high-five.

We talk some more. Next year they are going to Secrets Playa Mujeres at the end of June. Helen (no picture of her) says I should come. Zung’s birthday is at the end of June, so I think this may work out. I say we will come for three nights and Tami says four. I tell them that they are a bossy bunch. I think it will be fun. But I cannot really come to the Riviera Maya without going to the Grand, so we will do a split stay.

It is time for us to leave. We go to the lobby and retrieve our passports. A taxi comes and we are told it will be $35. I say that is a lot more than we paid this morning to get there. He says it is a different union. I think that is BS, but there is not much I can do about it. It turns out that I was wrong. There are different rates depending on where you leave from, even if it is to and from the same place. I humbly stand corrected.

We get back to the Grand. I am exhausted. Anytime I leave the resort, I come back exhausted. It was worth it though. I am really glad we got to see everyone and got to help Tami celebrate her milestone birthday.

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Martini’s and Shots and Havana on the Rocks

It is late afternoon when we decide to do a photoshoot. The theme is Havana on the rocks.

Here are the rocks.


Here’s the Havana. From several angles.





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Which is your favorite?

We watch the wedding and then return to the room, shower and relax on the balcony.


We dress for dinner and head off to Toni’s.



We start with a nice bottle of wine. This Muga Rioja is one of our favorites.



Seafood app.




Ceasear salad.



We both get the rib eye, which are thin, but taste delicious. I had a rib eye last night that was much thicker, but it was enough to feed me for three dinners. I don’t have any issues with the size of the rib eye at the Grand.


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Zung has some dessert.


Then we are off to the Lobby Bar, where Daniel makes a bunch of goofy faces.

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I tell him I want to try a shot tonight. I don’t want tequila. I don’t want anything that tastes alcohol-ey. He recommends a chocolate cake shot.



That is exactly what it tastes like. It would be easy to do a bunch of these, but I won’t.

Lisa, one of my Trip Advisor/Facebook friends comes by with her hubs. She’s a Grand regular too. I think this is her fourth visit.

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A couple at the end of the bar says, “Chocolate cake shots for everyone!” Oh no! It would be rude to refuse.

I have a cucumber martini. I finish off the evening with a chocolate martini.



Tomorrow we have to get a fairly early start. We are going to Jade Now resort to visit my good friend Tami and her crew.

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The art of doing nothing

Saturday morning brings sun that is trying desperately to peek through the clouds. I think it can, I think it can!


We go to Bella Vista for breakfast and see Heidi and Luis. We say good-bye to them again. It has been really nice getting to meet them and spend some time with them. Hopefully, we’ll get to do it again some time.

Breakfast is pretty much the same as it has been the previous days.



I certainly enjoy having someone cook breakfast for me every morning. I love eating bacon every morning. My true guilty pleasure though, is having black tea, fully caffeinated, with milk and sugar. I don’t allow myself caffeinated tea at home. It is one of my very favorite parts of vacation.


We are hoping for a sunny day. However, the clouds won the battle and it is overcast by the time we get out to the beach.

I go way to the south end of the beach, in the hopes of it being quiet. Zung wants to go for a walk right away, convinced that if our butts hit the lounge chairs, they will never get up. He is probably right.

I insist that this time we walk down past the Lindo and Maya. There are many small, noisy creatures. I think they call them children. They are not allowed at the Grand. The Grand sometimes has large, noisy creatures. They are called drunk adults.

When we get back to our nice, quiet chairs, we settle our butts on them and read and drink and nap.

We listen to the songs of the sea.


We take an intermission from our reading, drinking and napping to go eat lunch. We both have the shrimp fajitas again. They were definitely worth revisiting.



And, of course…

DSCN3391…fresh, hot and crispy…well, that’s what I ordered. These fries are none of those. Boo! I don’t send them back. That would just be obnoxious. My attitude is that if this particular meal isn’t that good, there will be another one, very soon.

We see Dawn and Steve. They are quite fried. Ouch!

We return to the beach, where they are setting up for a wedding. There was a wedding yesterday. I wonder why they don’t just leave it up overnight when they are back to back like that. They do not though.


I try to take a picture of my toes in the sand. It doesn’t come out the way I wanted, but it’s kind of a cool picture.






I settle in for an afternoon of reading, drinking and of course napping.



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Friday night dinner and hanging out at the bar

Dinner tonight is at Toni’s! Toni’s is a favorite for a lot of people. It is the surf and turf. Most of the time the food is really good. There have been a few misses, but most of the time it is really good. The rib eye is my favorite. It is a very thin rib eye, but very tasty. I haven’t been into eating a huge slab of steak since I was in my 20′s anyway.

I wear a dress I got from Express. My daughter and I decided to share it. I wore it tonight and when I got home I gave it to her. I am way too old to be wearing a dress this short. For tonight, it would have to do. The shoes are Kate Spade and I bought them just about a year ago when I was in San Francisco for my birthday and visiting Nicholas. The necklace is from BCBG and I got it on sale years ago. There are not a lot of dresses or tops I can wear it with.



Appetizers are the seafood selection for me — a favorite, but be warned, it is served cold — and Zung has the lobster soup.

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Zung has the classic surf and turf and I have the arrachera.

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Zung has the apple custard for dessert. I will have my dessert at the lobby bar.



We see Raphael and Gabriel (general manager and assistant GM) while we are at dinner. It seems they are everywhere, all the . time. They are extremely conscientious about their jobs.

We head to the Lobby Bar. We see Heidi and Luis. It is their last evening. We say good-bye. We see Brian and Chad and asked them how Playa was. They enjoyed it. They are leaving tomorrow also. We say good-bye to them. I want to say again how nice these guys were.




The single guy we saw last night is there again. I ask him if he is there alone and how he likes the hotel. He is there with his parents. He is 23 and his name is Ben. he says it is okay. He hasn’t found a good crowd to hang with. He went over to the Maya/Lindo and there were too many screaming kids. He went to the disco and there was a group of graduating seniors, and they were too young. We chat with his mom for a while.

The question pops up often in the forums, people asking if their younger adult kids will have a good time. The time we brought our kids here they really enjoyed it. It depends on your kids, and it depends on the crowd that is not only at the Grand but at the neighboring hotels. It’s going to be hard to find an adults only hotel with a young crowd. It really varies. The one downside (I actually consider it an upside) is the proximity of the hotel to Playa. If you’re at a hotel that is closer, they can go to Playa to look for some action. Like I said, I considered this distance a plus when I was here with my kids. The boys wanted to go to Playa, however, they wanted me to pay for their transportation, and probably for their drinks. I nipped this in the bud when I said I wasn’t going to pay for anything and itemized how much it would cost them. They lost interest in that idea quickly.

We also spoke to a guy who said he was celebrating his divorce. I would have applauded this lemonade out of lemons attitude, except, he had tears in his eyes when he said it. I gathered this trip had been originally planned as a couples trip with his wife. Sad.

Daniel makes me a cucumber martini. I miss Daniel.

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Zung has a margarita. Zung misses Daniel’s margaritas.



A large group of people come in and come up to the bar. They are loud, so we go back to the room.

It has been a nice day. Tomorrow should be better. It is Saturday and Zung will not be going to work. Yay!

I have to tell you, I had a few moments of panic while I was writing this. I took copious notes on my iPad notes app when I was on this trip . I had my iPad open to them when I was writing this and one of our cats came over and stepped on it and deleted the notes. I said some bad words and then googled “retrieving deleted iPad notes” and found them in my mail. So, if this ever happens to you, you’ll know where to find them. (Stupid cat).

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