Afternoon Surprise

Erika and I enjoyed some time on the beach. I took her to see the nice area just to the south of the Grand. This area is just past the free-lance massage tents that are up.

It has changed though. This is where they have been dumping all the seaweed that they scoop up from the beach. It has created a ginormous mountain of seaweed that is either decomposing into sand or all the sand that gets scooped up is filtering down to the bottom of this mountain. It looks like a seaweed/san mountain.

It has made it hard to get to that area where we were headed. It has covered up the sandy area so you have to try and walk over the rocks. Some are covered in algae and very slimy and slippery. It’s almost become a barrier.

We made it over there though and swam for a bit. Then we went back to our chairs.

I went back to our building and Victor saw me and told me there was a surprise in our room. He said he wanted Erika to see why we love the Grand so much and hopefully she will love it as much as we do.

I went and told her that we had to go to the room. We packed up our stuff and went up.

There was this.

There was also a bottle of champagne.

We took it out to the balcony and I opened it. Well, it kind of opened itself.

I told Erika she should take the bath.

I sat on the balcony and drank champagne. When she was done we drank it together. Then we got ready for dinner.

Yes, that’s a tattoo on Erika’s foot. She has several. I have none. Still a perfect record.

Dinner was at the Asian restaurant, Haiku. The food was very good. Although I didn’t take pictures of everything.

Erika had the exoticate caribbean fruit. It actually looked better than I had always imagined.

We had the energy tonight to go to the Mixology bar. It would be the first time I had ever tried it.

We walked down the Grand staircase. We ran into Salin, one of my favorite Star Friends. So we stopped and chatted with her for a bit.

There are usually some Star Friends hanging at the bottom of the Grand staircase in the evenings before the show starts. The shows start at 9:30.

Erika wasn’t that interested in seeing a show and I don’t usually go to because I’ve seen all of them.

At the Mixology bar we each had a yummy drink.

The chairs at the Mixology bar are not very comfortable, so we moved to a table.

We were both exhausted, so we just drank out drinks and then went back to our room. Such wild women we are.

The Mixology bar used to be called the Music bar and I believe they have karaoke in there. They also have a big screen TV so they put on sports games.

I have seen pictures and videos of very involved drink making. Cocktails aren’t really my thing, but if you enjoy them definitely check it out. Check it out anyway because it is worth it.

Erika and I had enjoyed another day of fun and relaxation. I think we were worn out from our walkabout earlier.

We’d have to take it easier tomorrow.

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Going on a Walkabout

I woke up early again. The clouds were not cooperating with my sunrise pictures. It was still a very cool picture though.

I was off to the Lobby Bar to visit with Daniel. Greg was there again. I had some tea and a pastry. Then it was back to the room.

Erika was awake. She and I headed off to Bella Vista for breakfast. She had vegan Chillaquilles.

I had bacon and eggs. Sorry. I’d already started eating before I remembered to take the picture.

We both had Mimosas. I love vacation.

We decided to do a tour of all the hotels today. We got a golf cart ride to the Del Mar. It was not as good a tour as when Zung and I did it years ago. That time we came from the beach.

I had trouble finding my way around, so it was more of a wander about than a walkabout.

The Del Mar has lots of water birds.

This horse is skinny compared to the ones at the Grand. I guess everything is bigger and better at the Grand.

You might notice that I have been carrying the same purse all the time. That’s because I forgot to bring purses. I usually bring several wristlets. I have a lot of Coach wristlets.

I completely forgot them this time. This is what I had put all my cosmetic stuff in, in my travel bag. It was a freebie from Sephora.

Not that fashionable. But it worked.

We were getting hot and tired. By the time we got to the Maya we were too hot and tired to look at the different courtyards. So we just went to the snake bar. We planned to get a drink before heading back to the Grand.

The Maya courtyards are beautiful. Definitely make that a stopping point when you visit the Grand.

There was a large group of rather intoxicated young men. It was only 11 o’clock! The bartender was too busy with them and we didn’t want to wait so we just went to the lobby and asked for a ride to the Grand.

We did get a picture though. We had to angle it carefully so that the drunk guys were not in the picture.

We were able to get drinks back at the Grand.

Mine was that yummy cucumber gin and tonic drink and Erika got a Pina Colada.

Then she switched to Kir Royals. She was sad when it was empty.

We went to the cooking class. I had been hoping they would also have the wine tasting because that’s what they used to do. They must do them on separate days now.

There are many activities going on all the time at the Grand. The Animation team (aka Star Friends) work hard to make sure everyone is entertained. I don’t do most of them because I go into serious relaxation mode the minute I arrive. But I always wish that I did more.

We enjoyed our guacamole and then went in to enjoy lunch.

I didn’t take a picture of it, but they made Erika a special entree for lunch. It was a…wait for it…cous-cous dish. It was very nice that they were making her special things. But why was everything made with cous-cous?

After lunch we returned to the beach.

There would be a surprise that afternoon.

Such an eventful day!

Posted in Del Mar/Beach, Drinks, Food/Menu Items, The Grand | 2 Comments

Is a Steak House a Vegan’s Nightmare?

After a completely wonderful day we went back to the room to get ready for dinner. This cute critter was waiting for us.

Over my many trips I have gotten towel critters and I have not. I think it depends on the maid and her abilities to make them and the time she has. I imagine there are times when she is busy enough that she doesn’t have time. I’m an adult though and the appearance of a towel critter is not going to make or break my vacation.

We took advantage of the presence of the concierge and asked her to take our picture. We did look lovely if I do say so myself.

Tonight we were going to Toni’s Surf and Turf.

Erika has always been easy going about where we eat. She’s a vegan for animal rights reasons but she’s never been judgemental of me.

We took a golf cart to the restaurant and were seated. We ordered wine (of course). Erika spoke to the manager about her dietary needs. He asked if she was okay with honey. He actually said “honeybees” but she knew what he meant. She said no, she doesn’t eat honey.

They told her that the chef would make her a special meal.

They brought the first course. I had a salad. The salad with the apple is one of my favorites.

Erika was given a vegetable brochette. It looked and smelled delicious. About two seconds later the waiter came back and took it away. It had been made with honey. They remade it, sans the honey.

I had a ribeye. I always have ribeye. I don’t eat a lot of red meat, but when I do, I make it count. Hehe.

They made Erika another dish with couscous as the base.

There was dessert. Mine was pretty but I’m not going to lie, it was pretty blah. Erika had sorbet.

Erika and I wimped out again. We were tired. We went back to the room. We read and I had leftover wine.

I was glad that we were on the same page. There’s nothing worse than one person who wants to be out late partying and the other person just wants to curl up with a good book.

One of my favorite authors, Elin Hildebrand, usually writes books to come out in the summer. This year she wrote one that came out in October, Winter in Paradise. It’s a series.

It was so good. I can’t wait for the next one to come out. I have read every single one of her books.

We had big plans for the next day!

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Sideways Pictures

Hello Readers!

I have gotten some comments/messages from some of you about the orientation of my pictures. For some of you they are showing up sideways.

On my iPad, iPhone and laptop on Chrome they are all oriented correctly. If you are viewing it on Safari you may be getting the sideways orientation and I have no idea why. It apparently is a Safari glitch.

Not my fault! But I’m sorry all the same.

Hopefully it will get corrected soon.

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Not the Only Early Riser

I did not sleep well and woke up early, about 4 o’clock. I kept trying to convince myself that I would fall back to sleep. Then I thought, I should go see Daniel. He’s probably lonely and needs some company.

It was 6 o’clock before I actually got out of bed.

I did get an almost sunrise picture, but once up I was too impatient to wait.

I walked to the Lobby Bar. Much to my surprise, Greg was already there. He said he and Stephanie woke up really early also. She was working out (you go girl).

I had some tea and visited with Daniel and Greg. Daniel asked me about my drinking. I told him that I’d had a lot to drink and went through the list. There were about ten different alcoholic beverages that I consumed through the course of the previous day.

When I got done Daniel said, “That’s not that much.” Greg said, “I don’t know, that sounds like a lot to me.”

I expected Erika to text me but she never did. It was getting close to 8 o’clock and Daniel would be leaving so I got a golf cart ride back to the room.

Erika was still asleep. I sat out on the balcony for a little bit. I went back inside and she was sitting up. She said the phone had rung and woken her up. She was rather irritated. I didn’t blame her. It was the rep for Southwest Vacations saying we had to come arrange our transportation back to the airport. Which was not accurate since we had private transportation.

I was however glad that she was finally awake.

Erika got up and we headed to Bella Vista for breakfast.

I was delighted to see Asael. As usual he remembered my favorites. I ordered Chillaquilles.

I balanced things out with some bacon and fruit.

Erika found enough suitable food at the buffet. She couldn’t find the peanut butter so Asael brought her some and told her where it was.

We went back to the room and got ready for the beach. That involves applying generous amounts of sunscreen. Like absurdly generous amounts.

Must. Not. Get. Sunburned.

They have sunscreen at the towel hut by the pool, but you have to use it there. It is usually Hawaiin Tropic Sheer Touch. I like this brand but I need a higher SPF than they have, the highest of which is 30.

I use Neutrogena Ultra Sheer, which is my very favorite. It doesn’t feel sticky at all. They also make a spray with an extra long handle so I can put it on my back when I’m alone.

Once were thoroughly sunscreened up we quickly made our way to the beach.


We quickly ordered some drinks.

Erika asked for the drinks menu, which was a great idea. I haven’t looked at one of those in years. It had all kinds of good ideas. She appropriated it for the rest of our stay.

I ordered a cucumber gin and tonic and it was really yummy. I think I have a new favorite drink.

Erika got a kir royal.

We also ordered a bucket of ice and bottled water. Sadly, they are becoming a zero plastic waste hotel chain and this is no longer an option, I have learned from my Facebook group.

My plan is to bring an insulated cup. I was just going to bring my Bubba. However, my friend, Tessa, got a really pretty one. That got me to checking out my options and look at how pretty these MIRA bottles are! How can I be expected to resist such an attractive beach accessory?

When we got hungry we went in for lunch where yummy things awaited us.

There was Asael, and wine. Erika liked my Masia Ribot white wine.

I had fish and fries.

Erika had salad and a veggie burger.

I finished off my lunch with coconut ice cream. I am not sure why, but the coconut ice cream just doesn’t taste as good as it used to.

There was more beach time and more drinks.

Erika went in the water. Stephanie and Greg were in so she hung out with them.

If I had to describe the day so far it would be perfect.

We were having a perfect day.

Posted in Food/Menu Items, The Grand | 2 Comments