Not An Awesome Beach Day

I suspected today was not going to be awesome as soon as I looked out the window when I woke up.

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Apparently whatever I had for breakfast was not picture-worthy.

But this Mimosa clearly was.

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Dave and Tessa came by.

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Aren’t they just adorable? Nicest people too!

For lunch I had the arrachera steak and French fries

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The steak was yum. The French Fries were cold.

So Azael had them make me some more, that were hot.

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The afternoon weather in a word, sucked. I spent some time at the spa in the hot tub and pool. Then I went back to the room, took a nap and then read in bed.

I decided to try out the Iberostar app and ordered some fruit and wine by room service. It arrived! The fruit was good. I had requested a glass of wine and they sent me a whole bottle. Unfortunately, it was warm.

For my last dinner, I dined alone at the Caribbean restaurant. I couldn’t remember the waiter’s name from the other night and I didn’t see him so I just sat where they put me.

My waiter was outstanding. The captain who took care of my wine service was also outstanding.

The app I ordered was outstanding.

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It was cous cous with crunchy vegetables rolled in avocado with a tamarind sauce. It was creamy and crunchy all at the same time.

My entree was a fail.

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It was shrimp risotto with fish on top. The fish was pretty bland. The risotto was delicious. But it was crunchy.

Risotto is not supposed to be crunchy.

Olivia came by and asked how things were and I gave her my feedback.

At her suggestion I got the watermelon dessert and was less than wowed. The watermelon was full of seeds and the sorbet was kind of icy.

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Lander came by. He said he’d heard I was unhappy with the wine. The white wine thing at lunch was really not that big a deal, so at first I wasn’t even sure what he was talking about. I told him there had been some things this time that were a little bumpy. We made a date to chat before I left the next day.

I was ready to leave and Rafael was there to say hi and he said he’d heard that I was not happy about the wine. I thought all this attention on my lunch time wine was kind of funny.

I took a gold cart to the lobby bar and as I handed the driver a tip I looked at him and said, “I forgot to tip my waiter!”

I asked if he could take me back. He said, “Sure.”

As he turned around, Daniel was coming out to greet me and he looked rather confused as we drove away.

Back at the restaurant I tracked down my waiter and apologized for forgetting to leave his tip.

My driver took me back to the lobby bar. I explained to Daniel what that was all about.

The lobby bar was empty as it was Wednesday and everyone was at the Stars Under the Stars party by the pool. I had some rum and visited with Daniel until it was time to go meet the Browns and crew at the party.

Tonight was the fire show and it was spectacular. I took some pictures but this was the only one that turned out at all.

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After the show I went back to the room.

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I packed so if the weather was good I could enjoy the beach before I left tomorrow.

It had been a very enjoyable trip. Although there had been some bumps, it is always nice to see Daniel, Elizabeth, Azael and everyone else. It was especially nice to get to visit with the Browns.

Dave had not been feeling good for a few of the days. But he powers through anyway!

 

 

 

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Another beach day

 

From my pictures, of which there are not a plethora, it looks like I woke up and the day started out the way everyone hopes their vacation days in Mexico will start out…sunny and warm.

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I’m sure I went to breakfast. But, alas, there were no pictures to prove it.

I did, clearly, and not unexpectedly, go to the beach and order another one of those big-ass Mimosas.

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And then took a selfie.

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I think today was the day I went to lunch and Azael was there and I asked him to just bring me every white wine they had. It was only one or two before I found one that I wanted to drink. It was not a Masia Ribot, but it was drinkable.

I like a light white wine. At home I like a Sauvignon Blanc. I tend not to be a Chardonnay fan.

I know there was a day when I went to sit with Tessa and Dave. There might have been two days. One day we talked out of the pool and another day we talked in the pool.

I got to meet Bruce and Cynthia Baudensteil. I have communicated with Bruce for years about the Grand, but this was the first time I got to meet him and his lovely wife, Cynthia.

Dinner was at the Caribbean restaurant with the Browns and their crew.

We had a great waiter. There was a very nice wine.

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And the jerk chicken was cold. Like, really cold. Like, I have no idea why I didn’t send it back cold.

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Of course we went to the Lobby Bar.

A new feature at the Lobby Bar are optional premium liquors. And when I say optional I mean that you pay extra. A lot of people were losing their minds over this. I’m not sure why. There have been optional wines ever since they opened and no one has ever said a word about it.

I was excited to get to try a rum that I was curious about. I was not, however, curious enough to pay $100 for an entire bottle to see what it was like. I was thrilled to get to pay $25 a glass to find out that while it was nice, it was not $100 a bottle nice.

It was a new bottle. I was the first one to be willing to pony up for it.

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Daniel had to measure the exact amount.

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Like I said, it was nice, but so was the new Atlantico rum they have. That is even better than the Havana Siete. Which wasn’t that good this time. I had Daniel pour me some at the bar, to check if there was something off with the bottle in my room. Nope, it was the same.

And, please, don’t make any kind of comment asking me if I think it could be tainted. Just. Don’t.

The Atlantico was my new favorite.

I went back to the room. But first, took this picture as I waited for my gold cart.

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Stunning! Yes?

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I Love the Beach

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I never get up early enough to take a sunrise picture so this will have to do.

I head off to breakfast. They have a tortilla station now and I get a beef tortilla. It is delicious. The chillaquilles have some competition.

The sauce I put on it was super spicy, and it looked so innocent.

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I followed the script and after breakfast, I went to the beach.

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I fed my soul and enjoyed the beautiful weather.

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I had a Mimosa. Now that’s a Mimosa!

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I was also mindful to keep hydrated.

How gorgeous is that water?

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I am terrible about taking pictures when I am by myself.

This was all I took for today.

I went to lunch and I may or may not have lunched with the Browns and their crew.

I do remember that whoever I had lunch with, they no longer had my lunch wine, the Masia Ribot white. I tried another wine and it was not to my liking. I asked for another one and they brought two different bottles for me to try. Neither one had been opened yet.

Ok, now I am feeling like I am high maintenance.

I can’t possibly make them open two different bottles so I say the first bottle they open is fine.

Except it’s not. I try to drink it, but I just can’t.

Wilmer, one of the managers, walks by and I wave him down and apologize and say this wine is terrible. He brings me another one to try. It too is being opened just for me. I try it and I say it is fine.

It is really just ok, but I just can’t possibly have them open another one.

After lunch, I go to the beach again.

For dinner I go alone to Venecia, the Italian restaurant. I honestly cannot remember anything about it.

I know there was bar time afterwards, with the Browns and their crew.

I know, I know. My trip reports suck when I don’t keep notes.

I really thought I had notes, but I can’t find them.

I did forget something important from last night.

Gustavo came to say hello to me. He was the bartender in the music bar and making fancy cocktails in there. I planned to go in while I was here, but I never did. I thought I’d be able to go when I was here in June with Zung.

Don’t ever put things off.

Gustavo died shortly after this trip. He was a good man and he is missed by many.

Well, this is a very sad way to end today’s report. But this man deserves a moment of sadness.

 

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#26 – Trying to surprise Daniel

I feel like I have been neglecting Iberostarrocks.

I have been neglecting Iberostarrocks.

I have had a CRAZY busy summer.

I was sick for three weeks in June.

We traveled to Mexico for my 27th visit to the Grand for Zung’s 71st birthday. We figured it out and it’s his 20th visit.

We got home on July 4th and on July 8th we went to look at a house, “just for fun” and fell in love. Less than eight weeks later we had moved in.

Before all the craziness began, I made a short solo trip in May. I got to visit with Dave and Tessa Brown.

I unintentionally booked my trip to fly out MOTHER”S DAY! It wasn’t until after it was booked that I realized this. I’m not sure my family will ever let me live it down.

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They went and celebrated at brunch without me.

I arrived before 5, on a rare Sunday when Daniel was working.

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I had not told him I was coming because I wanted to try to surprise him with my arrival.

Unfortunately, I had mentioned that I was going to do that and someone who knew of my approximate dates told him that I was going to surprise him. How lame is that?

I waited and waited for him. He was late and then decidedly not surprised. But he did seem happy to see me.

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The bellboy comes to take me to my room. He says we are going to Building 70.

Wait. What?

They always put me in 71. For as long as I can remember. Seriously. I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t in 71.

He asks if I’d rather be in 71. I think for a minute. Although it feels high maintenance, I say yes.

What if I drank too much and tried to get into the wrong room and the wrong building?

Okay, I don’t drink THAT much, especially when I’m traveling solo. But it could happen. Best to not take any chances.

He has to go ask the front desk manager to find me a room in 70. I won’t go into the details. They had put me in 70 because they were just trying to give me a room on the third floor, but I said the second floor in 71 would be fine.

Once in my room, I had the bellboy take a picture of the CROTW. (Ceremonial Removal of the Watch, for any newbies).

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I met and had dinner with Dave and Tessa and their crew. We started out with chocolate cake shots.

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Wait! I just noticed that Dave Dawson didn’t do one. What’s up with that, Dave Dawson?

We had dinner at Toni’s.

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Afterward, we went back to the lobby bar and Daniel made me a fancy looking cucumber mojito.

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Which was followed by a cucumber martini.

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Ken was there too.

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It had been a long travel day.

I went back to my room and poured myself some Havana Siete. I took a sip and said, “What is this?” It did not taste good, or what H7 usually tastes like.

I finished it but doubted I would be drinking it neat again.

I went to sleep, dreaming of my beach day tomorrow.

 

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Going Home Day, It’s Always Sad

I sleep late and am up at 8. It is cloudy again. It always makes me feel better to leave when it is cloudy.

Off to breakfast. I have my favorite, chillaquilles.

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I have some fruit.

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I have some oranges and grapes. They were crushed. A Mimosa, I had a Mimosa, which are crushed grapes and oranges.

I’m not feeling it this morning so I don’t drink much.

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Then it’s back to my room.

I have a little visitor.

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This guy is tiny.

I am mostly packed so I get ready for beach. I call the front desk to ask for a 12:30 check out. He tells me there is a $10 charge for a late check out.  Uhhh, I tell him that they don’t usually charge me. He checks and comes back and says, Oh, you’re right, there won’t be any charge. Don’t you know who I am?! That was tongue in cheek, in case you thought I was serious.

I go out to the beach.

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I think this bikini is really cute, but that thing around the neck is not comfortable at all, which is why I brought it to wear today. I will only have it on for a short period of time.

It had been so quiet on the beach. Order a mimosa and mineral water.

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Try to go into water. There is a lot of seaweed to negotiate and the water is really too cool. I just enjoy the beach, listening, staring. Just feeding my soul.

I go up at 11:45. I am fighting back tears. It really is hard for me when I leave. I know I will be back, but this place and these people are my home and family.

Back at my room I drink more of the good wine. Damn, it is good.

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I shower and am ready at 12:30.

The flowers that Angel gave me still look great and I ask the concierge to make sure that they go to Mayvany.

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I am fighting tears again.

I go to lunch. It is only 12:45 but Azael is ready. He usually doesn’t start until 1.

I have grilled fish and very hot fries. Very hot. He always asks me to check them as soon as he gives them to me. Both are very nicely presented.

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He brings coconut ice cream. I asked for just a little and he brings 4 scoops. Of one three managers actually brings it. I say it’s a lot and he offers to help me. I tell him to sit down. He comes back with a spoon. Everyone’s a comedian.

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I have a gass of white wine that I don’t even finish.

Then there is nothing left to do but leave.

I give Cathy a hug. I tell her to take care of Daniel.

There is the sad walk. I check out. My ride is waiting. Jorge is my driver. He is very chatty and plays nice music.

The airport is a madhouse. I am not sue why.

I am still too full to eat more. I find a place to sit. It turns out to be right next to crying kids. Are you kidding me?

We board. I am in A49 position which seems way back, but I luck out and sit next to a couple in Row,3 who are in the middle and window seats. The flight is full. Aren’t all of them anymore?

I fall asleep soon after take off but not for long because a baby starts crying. I want to cry too.

I know a lot of people are sad on their last full day, but I have figured or how to just enjoy that final full day,, but this leaving day is still so sad. 

Just writing about it makes me want to cry again.

But I know I’ll be back so…

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