Just another day at the Grand

I’m going to be honest with you all, I was terrible at taking notes on this trip after my last post. I remember some things, but will be going mostly by pictures.

Zung orders a beer. I know that because I see it in this picture and he always orders a beer.


I ask for the wine I had yesterday at Bella Vista. My request is somewhat complicated by the fact that I don’t know the name of it, and can only say I asked for a Sauvignon Blanc and they brought me this other wine instead. There was much discussion, and the thought that perhaps it was a special wine left over from New Year’s Eve. Hugo came over and said they could not get it today, but they would have it for me tomorrow. I ended up with some other kind of white wine.

I have the tournedos and Zung has shrimp fajitas.


My steak is cooked perfectly.


You can see behind  my wine is a gift bag. We brought toffee that is made in Colorado by Enstrom’s to give to some of our favorite staff. I wish we could have brought more, but they were heavy, and we’d also brought a bottle of wine for Daniel and some Legos for his son, Matthew. We gave this one to Azael. He always has a lovely smile and provides spot on service. We look forward to seeing him every morning for breakfast and every afternoon for lunch. We miss him on his day off.

He brings us our coconut ice cream, which is always the perfect finish to our lunch. It’s extra good with strawberries.


I’m sure there was beach time after lunch, but the only picture I have is of jacuzzi time.


Dinner was at Haiku, the Asian restaurant.






We usually eat at a table as opposed to the Hibachi tables. They usually involve more time and we prefer the wok dishes anyway. You can order the Hibachi dishes at a regular table and wok dishes at the Hibachi tables.

After dinner we headed off to the Lobby Bar, taking some pictures along the way.




Daniel made us some drinks.


There may or may not have been chocolate cake shots.


And I may or may not have been photobombed.


We took some pictures with the staff.


That’s all I can tell what happened from my pictures.


Posted in Awesome Staff, Bars, Drinks, Food/Menu Items, Restaurant, The Grand | 5 Comments

Room Service Stumble

I hope you don’t get tired of these pictures, because I don’t.



We wake up around 7:30, feeling kind of dazed (aka hungover). We remember we ordered breakfast and get up so we are ready by 8. Our delivery window is 8-8:30 and usually they seem to deliver earlier in the window. Soooo, we wait. And wait. It is 8:30 and we are still waiting. At 8:35 I say, how long do we wait? Right about then the phone rings. Zung answers it. It is someone from room service asking if our breakfast has arrived yet. He says no, it has not arrived. She says she’ll check on it. I tell Zung we should get dressed, because it is looking like we will need to go to Bella Vista if we want any breakfast this morning.

The phone rings again. I answer it and the woman from room service asks if our breakfast has arrived yet.

Me – No, it has not.

Her – Really? I wonder why not!

Seriously? I can’t believe this conversation is taking place.

Just at that moment there is a knock at the door. Finally, our breakfast has arrived.

We have them set it up on the balcony.


However, it is just too hot, so we take it inside. Can you imagine that, it is too hot in January?

There are mango Mimosas. We take them to the beach with us.


There is a massage tent set up on the beach. They apparently do braids too. Either that or they are head hunters. There is no sink and someone on the Grand Facebook board reported that they do not change the sheets on the massage beds. Germaphobe that I am, I will never get a massage here. Gotta love that palapa style umbrella though.


We go for a walk.


There is a mountain of seaweed, even though the seaweed is no longer a problem. I guess this stuff takes a while to decompose.


We do some ocean gazing.


We come upon a raft.



We found this starfish, out of the water, trying to get back in.


We gave him a hand.


I haven’t seen too many live starfish, so this was kind of cool.

We had worked up an appetite, walking and rescuing starfish. Lunch seemed like a good thing to do next.

Posted in Drinks, Food/Menu Items, The Grand | 3 Comments

New Year’s Day

Even though we were up late last night, we wake up at 8 am. I feel fine, even though I drank so much last night.

It is a glorious day, a great start to 2016.



We head off to Bella Vista for breakfast. Marianna is there, serving Mimosa’s outside of the doors to Bella Vista. I wonder how much sleep she got last night. Still, she looks beautiful and has a shining smile.

Zung and I each take a Mimosa. That is an optimistic act for me.


We ask for Azael’s section. We get food.


My hangover creeps up on me. I don’t drink my Mimosa. I don’t have any adult beverages, all morning long. Ugh!

I see Jim and Sharon, the couple we hung out with last night. Say hi. Eder comes by to tell us that there will be tacos outside of Bella Vista for lunch, starting at one. We decide to do this for lunch. They are also grilling steaks. Big ones.

We stick with the tacos.


We sit inside Bella Vista. Zung orders a Victoria, and he is told that they don’t have it, but they bring him something else that he likes. I ask for white wine and he reels off several different varietals, including Sauvignon Blanc, so I order that. He brings a Semillion instead. It is very good. I have drank all my water and nobody refills it. We go get food, both of us get tacos. Gabriel, my favorite beach waiter, is bartending. I go say hello. Not sure if he remembers me. He is very polite and friendly.

We go sit down and eat. I am feeling better. I drink all my wine. My water glass had been empty for at least 15-20 minutes, and now my wine glass is empty. I try to wave someone down and can’t seem to catch anyone’s attention. I finally get up and go over to one of the servers and ask for more water and wine. Finally get refills. I get some more of the cake and cookies I had last night that were so good. 


While lunch was good, having to run around looking for someone to refill beverages in a restaurant that is not at all crowded is not awesome.

We go back to beach. Do the beach thing, drink, read, nap, repeat. Enjoy some adult beverages.


When we get tired of the beach thing, we go back to our room.Do the Jacuzzi thing, drinks, Jacuzzi.

Get dressed and head off for dinner.


We meet Craig and Alice from Newman, GA, they read my blog. I get such a kick out of people who recognize me from my blog or the Facebook page.


We go to dinner at L’Atelier. We order wine. Zung gets the bouillabaisse.


I have the paté.


I get fish, which is ok. To be honest, I am usually disappointed by fish in the dinner restaurants.


Zung gets dessert.


We see Rafael and I confess to being hungover all day.

We go to the lobby bar. I have a cucumber mojito. Hair of the dog, and all that.


I have clearly recovered from my hangover.


Zung has his favorite, a Daniel Margherita. 


Zung and I do some chocolate cake shots.





Holly, from the Facebook group comes over to say hello.


Saray, from Public Relations, comes by to talk to us. We have an nice conversation.


When we have had enough we go back to room. We order breakfast for room service, the next morning. Then we crash. All those adult beverages have caught up with me.


Posted in Awesome Staff, Bars, Drinks, Food/Menu Items, Restaurant, The Grand | 4 Comments

New Year’s Eve – Part 3

Off to the lobby bar to wait for midnight! On our way we stop to take pictures with Eder. They have all kinds of props, and Eder takes the pictures for us.



Except for the picture that he is in, Zung takes that one.


After taking some fun pictures we proceed to the bar. We hang out with Daniel. He makes me a cucumber martini.


Zung loves a Daniel Margherita.


We chat with some people and then go to the show. They are handing out bags of noise makers, hats, streamers. They ask us if we have reservations. We had no idea you needed reservations. Daniel had mentioned that you could get reservations (for an extra fee) in the front row and they served better sparkling wine. It may have even been Moet. I don’t know because this was never offered to us. The place was packed and they were adding extra chairs in the back and this is where we sat. They also gave us flashing baton things.


We order more bubbles.


The show is good, but it feels like it goes on for a long time. As it gets near midnight I ask Zung if he wants to go back to the bar and hang out with Daniel.


It is pretty quiet in there. The guys who play live music almost every night are there. There is no countdown, we just notice that it is midnight, so we ask for for bubbles.


We insist that Daniel have a glass too. Or at least pose for a picture with us with a glass.


After bubbles, I have a cucumber mojito. We talk with a couple, Sharon and Jim. They are really nice people. At 12:30 they set off fireworks over the golf course. The four of us go outside to watch them.


After the fireworks I am feeling pretty toasted, so we go inside and say good night to Daniel. We go back to our room. There are New Year’s presents, an Iberostar keychain and a CD.


I haven’t listened to the CD yet, but I put the star on my keychain so I can be reminded of the Grand every day (as if I need a prompt).

I finish my mojito and then go to sleep.

It was a very fun way to spend New Year’s Eve. We’d definitely do it again.

Posted in Awesome Staff, Bars, Drinks, Entertainment, The Grand | 2 Comments

New Year’s Eve – Part 2

After lunch we return to the beach. We are nothing, if not predictable! We read and nap. We go back to the room early so we can sit in our awesome  balcony jacuzzi.


We make rum and cokes. We dress for dinner.


I bought my dress over a year ago. It was long and sparkly, and so beautiful. A little snug. But, I loved it so much, I bought it anyway. But once I got it home, I realized it was not right for anything. I finally hemmed it to tea length and adjusted the zipper so that I could eat and breath. It was pretty perfect for tonight.

We are eating at the “Gala Buffet” at Bella Vista. Alberto, Sarah and Adrianne are there, all dressed up. They all look so nice. The hostesses are all wearing black.

We are seated.


We start with a glass of bubbles.


Then we order a bottle of red wine. The buffet has everything! There are many desserts (which, let’s face it, is the most important meal of the day). Really, the array of desserts is impressive.


Then there is food for the people who feel like they have to eat something before dessert.


There are beautiful ice sculptures.







My soups. Tiny little soups.


Enjoying being “home” for New Year’s Ever.




Fernando stops to say hello. I swear it is just a coincidence that his tie matches my dress.


The couple next to us is older, and she is complaining. A lot. At first it is funny, but then it gets annoying. I start to wish that we’d requested to be seated in the Gourmet restaurant section because it is quieter in there.

After dinner we head for the Lobby Bar. People are lining up for the next seating, and the line is long!

The night is still young!

Posted in Food/Menu Items, The Grand | 1 Comment