Not Your Usual Sunday

Today started like normal, with breakfast at Bella Vista.

This guy was strolling around. We saw a lot of iguanas on this trip.

We went to the beach. I ordered a drink, and that’s when things started getting unusual.

It is election day in Mexico and they are required to serve food with any alcohol, so they brought some nuts.

We were laying there and I noticed some of the workers who were clearing the seaweed gathering around the ocean’s edge and pointing at something in the ocean.

Then some lifeguards and a supervisor-looking guy joined in.

Then they started walking down the beach towards the south and there was more gathering and pointing. They walked to the other end again.

My curiosity got the best of me and I went down where some of the other guests were standing.

Turns out there is a crocodile in the ocean! Actually, it was a Cayman, which is kind of like a mini-crocodile.

One of the worker guys went in and tried to grab it and it bit him. They may be small but their teeth are very sharp.

I was able to get some pictures but it is hard to make him out because he blended in with the ocean stuff.

He’s there right in the middle. He was about two feet long.

He was trying to get out of the ocean. He knew he didn’t belong there.

Lander, the GM and the asst GMs were there eventually and they finally caught him and he was taken to a fresh-water lagoon, where he belonged.

At noon Daniel picked us up and we went to Puerto Morelos for lunch. His son Mathew is with him. He is getting so big!

We had lunch at Pelicanos, which is where Daniel and I had lunch the last time we were here. It is right by the ocean.

Daniel is such a good dad.

I had fish.

Zung had shrimp (does this man have no imagination?).

We walked around and took pictures.

We headed back to the car and passed one of the polling places. There was a HUGE line to vote. And don’t forget, it is July and HOT and they were in the sun. People clearly wanted to vote.

I told Daniel to make sure that he voted. He later send me a picture proving that he did.

He took us back to the Grand and we asked at the security gate for them to call the Grand and send us a golf cart. The grounds of the property are so pretty.

We went back to the beach and decided to order a bottle of sparkling wine.

Lorenzo is an awesome beach waiter. He even took our picture.

This is the life.

We drank the entire bottle!

Even so, I had some wine when we got back to the room, after my shower.

Since it was Daniel’s night off, and we were getting exhausted from the nightly routine of dinner and going to the bar, so we decided to stay in tonight and order room service.

I got a club sandwich and Zung got pasta with, you guessed it, shrimp. We also got salads. My sandwich and his pasta were really good, as we the salads. The desserts were meh.

One thing I was super excited about in the presidential suite is that they replaced the flowers when they started to look tired. I love flowers and it was so nice having such lovely flowers all over the whole suite for the entire stay.

It had been an enjoyable day.

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

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

We decided to have room service breakfast so that we could sit out on the balcony. The one very nice thing about the balcony in the presidential suite is that there is a nice table and chairs out there.

After breakfast we went to the beach.

There was the usual mimosa, or three.

I always think I’d like to go out on a catamaran like this, but it would involve too much effort.

I also drank mineral water to stay hydrated. I actually really did drink a lot of mineral water. It honestly seemed to make me feel better than just regular water.

Eventually we got hungry and went to lunch.

I had wine, and soon wondered why my wine glass was empty.

But it was quickly filled.

This was the first day of Asael’s vacation and the person he told us would take care of us was falling down on her first day of the job. Asael never lets my glass get empty.

I had a burger for lunch. The burgers at the Grand have been amazing at times and awful at others. This one was pretty darn good. But the bun was kind of stale and falling apart.

When we went back to our room, this interesting, yet unidentifiable towel creature was waiting for us.

Any guesses on what it was?

There was some hammock and wine time after my shower.

Ready for dinner.

More wine. This Daimon Tempranillo is a long time favorite.

Dinner was at Haiku.

We saw Raul very briefly because he was not our waiter tonight.

That is not Raul, but it was nice.

We went to the lobby bar for a bit to see our surrogate son. He made me a cucumber mojito.

Then we went back to the room. Or rooms as it was.

When we stay for a week this would be the last day. Staying for ten days is pretty awesome!

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

Another Hangover Free Day

I wake up to another hangover free morning. There is breakfast and then the beach. 

Clearly we have grown bored of taking food pictures of the same breakfasts every morning. Or Zung was just slacking.

Either way, this was the first picture of the day.

And this was the second one of the day. Obviously I haven’t gotten tired of this picture.

This isn’t a great picture from lunch, but I thought it was cool the way the umbrellas lined up.

There was of course wine at lunch.

Oh look! There was wine after lunch as well. Not sure why I’m back in the room. On the balcony. In the hammock, which is the only semi-comfortable place to hang out out there. It actually was very comfortable until I had to get out of it.

The view is stunning.

Dinner dress of the evening.

Our lovely concierge.

Dinner at Toni’s.

Apple salad.

The green salad with grilled chicken. Ordered without the grilled chicken.

The addition of several salads is one of the best changes to the menus that has been made since we started coming here 11 years ago.

I asked for balsamic and vinegar for my not apple salad.

Zung got the slow roasted chicken breast. He said it was very good.

I ordered surf and surf. It’s not on the menu, but they aim to please. And I was feeling in a surfy mood.

Zung got a Mayan coffee. They didn’t make it tableside that (insert sad emoji here).

I look so fat in this picture. I almost didn’t include it. I even had Spanx on. Looks like I should have worn the extra strength version.

Off to the Lobby Bar. It’s Margerita time.

Made by the lovely Daniel.

We didn’t stay late because we had asked Butler Daniel to make us a bubble bath.

There were a couple selfie fails.

After the bath we heard banging out on the beach. 

I’m not sure why they we working on this at 11 o’clock at night.

Full moon.

And that’s all she wrote.

Until tomorrow.

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

The Tasting Menu at L’Atelier After Just Another Day at the Beach

Yay! I had no hangover when I wake up. Spoiler alert! I paced my drinking for the rest of the trip and a hangover never made an appearance for the rest of this vacation. 

Which is not to say I was drinking lightly. Let’s be honest, I drink like a fish when I am on vacation. 

As I mentioned in my first post for this trip, my sodium levels were very low and I had to get them checked again when I got home. My liver enzymes were also off kilter, probably because of a medication I take for my trigeminal neuralgia. That medication was also probably contributing to the low sodium levels. 

When I got home I wanted to get the sodium checked right away. But they also checked my liver function and it came back really high. It was a test I’d never had before and high levels can indicate heavy drinking.

I was slightly mortified. I told my doctor that by anyone’s definition I drank heavily on vacation.

We checked it again two weeks later and it was in the normal range. I was relieved, to say the least. My sodium was still low though. Boo. 

Back to our regularly scheduled blog.

It was a pretty routine day. 

Margerito came by to say hello.

Asael is just the best. He has the most wonderful smile. He has an incredible memory too.

I went to the shopping center after breakfast to see if there was any jewelry that I absolutely had to buy.

 This ruby spoke to me.

Then it was back to the beach. My shopping expedition made me thirsty.

I said I paced myself. I didn’t say I quit drinking.

I just never get tired of this view.

They were working on repairing the outside of the building and there was drilling and hammering every day. It really was a buzz kill for a beach zen and naps. I did mention it to the concierge and she asked when we napped and then told them to try to minimize the noise.

I know it has to be done sometime. The sea air is really hard on the buildings.

The Grand is grand. It’s over the top luxury. Big columns and paintings on the ceilings. It isn’t a resort with a Mexican “feel” (whatever that means – I read it all the time though on Facebook and Trip Advisor). If that is what you are after, this probably isn’t the place for you.

If having a bracelet on your wrist makes you want to cut it off, this isn’t the place for you. If having to make dinner reservations puts a horrible crimp in your vacation style, this isn’t the place for you. If you’re a man and the thought of wearing long pants to the dinner restaurants sends you into fits, this isn’t the place for you.

If great service, a beautiful, albeit gaudy, facility and gorgeous beach, good food are what you are looking for, this is the place for you.

Before lunch we went to the lobby bar to say good-bye to Steve and Janelle.

It was a fish day for lunch. With french fries. There are always french fries. Even when you don’t see them in the picture.

I got the fish from the buffet today. I asked him to make me some fresh. I make a little sandwich with the roll, meat and cheese.

I like lots of lime on my fish.

I took some more pictures of the presidential suite.

It has a large walk-in closet.

There is also a powder room off of the dining area.

This is the dining area.


We dress for dinner.

We were excited about dinner tonight. It was at L’Atelier. They have a tasting menu. For some people, it is too adventurous, but Zung and I are fairly adventurous eaters, within reason.

There are two versions, and 8 course and a 5 course. Tonight we chose the 8 course. You could also do an optional wine pairing. There were also two choices and we chose the less expensive option. you could also order wine off the included menu. 

Sadly, the tasting menu was not popular enough and is no longer offered. That’s too bad because we liked it a lot. In fact Zung said it was the best meal he’s ever had here.

The first course is some beef tartar, which I had never had in my life. Steve convinced me to try it and it was really a tiny amount and the sauce was really good.

This came with some sparkling wine which was not sparkling because it had gone flat so they had to open up a new bottle.

Next was a sardine which was a little salty and fishy, but not bad.

The soup was really good.

This was squid ink broth with squid noodles. Zung loved it but I couldn’t bring myself to eat it.

Next up was the fish course.

Followed by the beef course.

Next started the deserts. The first one was a delicious It was a light lemon sorbet.

For some odd reason the next dessert was chocolate and very heavy and we were already pretty stuffed by this point.

We were so full but very happy with our dinner.

We would definitely come back and try the 5 course menu.

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

Third Time is Not the Charm

Can you say hangover for a third day in a row? Can you say slow learner?

Upon waking my first thought was, “I’m hungover. Again.”

My next thought is, “I don’t want to feel like this every day of this vacation.

I resolved this would be the last time I’d wake up with a hangover.

For this vacation anyway. Let’s not get too ambitious. Or unrealistic.

It is another beautiful day.

We don’t take many pictures today.

It is pretty much a routine day at the beach.

We take no pictures at all of lunch.

Just more beach pictures.

Cheers!

Dress pictures.

We had dinner at Venecia.

There was an ordeal with my shrimp and spaghetti. The last time I got it I thought the sauce was a bit heavy so I asked for a different sauce. We went through some possibilities and they brought me one to try and in the end I just had them put the regular sauce on the side and it was fine.

They are always happy to accommodate special requests. 

After dinner we went to the Wednesday Stars Under the Stars party by the pool. I wanted Zung to see the fire show.

You can’t get there too late because the seats all get taken, but then you have to wait for a long time and listen to the singing and watch the dancing until they finally start the fire show.

I go and say hello to Elizabeth.

We get bored and Zung takes a picture of the decorations. They look kind of cool with the full moon.

The fire show is as awesome as it had been in May. 

After that we go back to the room. It had been an exhausting day.

Time for bed! Sweet dreams. I had made sure I didn’t drink too much so I was hoping for a hangover free day tomorrow.

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