Moving Day

It is a decent Zungrise this morning.IMG_1006

We enjoy our last hours of our oceanfront views. The Grand seriously has the best oceanfront rooms. If I climbed over the balcony I would fall onto the beach. It doesn’t get any closer than this. Well, it might, but then you’d fall into the ocean, and that would be a bit wet.

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We go to breakfast at Bella Vista. Mayvany comes by to say hello.

I have Chillaquilles, which are so good today.

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We have Mimosas.

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We walk around the resort taking pictures before we go back to the room to pack.

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This is the view from outside of Toni’s restaurant.

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This is more or less what you get when you have an ocean view room.

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They are setting up at the pool bar.

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I go over to the shopping center because my nail polish chipped and I didn’t bring any with me. They have some at the spa, and they have just the right color. When I am walking through the center of the shopping area I think to myself that we should come over her in the evening. I think it would be really nice. We really need to mix up a routine a little.

My plan is to walk back, but it is hot and a butler comes by and gives me a ride. I go to the lobby because I need to go to the gift shop to get nail polish remover.

I go back to the room, avoiding the damn grasshoppers. I take a few pictures in the room.

This is how the robe looks when you arrive.

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I sit out on the balcony while we wait for the bell boy, enjoying my last minutes with my view. I wish those tents weren’t there. That is the massage tents for the people that are not part of the Grand.

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. I am texting with Daniel. He tells me that he went out last night and did not get home until 6 am. He promises me that he will still be here by noon. He asks me to get him a coffee to go. When he gets up he realizes that he is hungover. Really hungover. I tell him that he gets no sympathy from me.

The bell boy arrives and takes our bags and gives us a ride to the lobby. We share the golf cart with the couple who got engaged. They are so young and cute.

The lobby is busy with people checking in. Priscilla checks us out. Zung gets Daniel’s coffee. We say hello to Humberto, who is at the lobby bar. We are sitting in the lobby, waiting for Daniel. Mayvany sees us and comes over. It is a few minutes past noon so she checks with security to make sure he didn’t have any problems getting through.

He arrives shortly after that, only a few minutes late. We load our luggage into his car.

The weather has been beautiful all day, so far. As we drive away, it begins to rain.

 

 

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Last Full Grand Day- Part 2

We get ready for dinner, which is at Las Brisa Mexican restaurant.

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It is a beautiful evening, and the view from the third floor, as we wait for the elevator, is nothing short of spectacular.

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When you arrive at Las Brisa for dinner, they offer you a shot of tequila at a table set up with various tequilas. Zung has one. I do not. I hate tequila. It tastes like gasoline to me. Yes, even the good ones. It is just not my drink.

We are seated and we order. Mayvany come by and we invite her to sit and talk for a bit. Mayvany is so delightful. I really enjoy talking with her. Thankfully, she does not bring up our Italian dinner fail. We just have a nice conversation.

Dinner starts with some soup.

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We have tacos el pastor and chicken molé.

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When they ask if we’d like dessert, I tell our waitress, who has a really flat affect, that there should be a fruit plate prepared for us. The Captain comes by and asks is it for one or two. It takes a long time and I am wondering if they have the one that was supposed to have been made this afternoon. The amount of time it takes is confusing, but when they bring it out, it is beautiful. The Captain says, I know you wanted mango, but it is too soft and not good. The fruit plate is huge! We eat a lot of it, because they went to so much effort.

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After dinner, we go to the bar. I have a cucumber mojito, made by this guy.

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I have Gustavo make me a Rosso Spritz, which is a drink I have back at home. Equal parts red wine, sparkling wine and club soda. It’s very refreshing.

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We talk to some people who are here for the first time and some people who are here for the 11th time, Michelle and John. They mention that they have noticed that they used to get certain perks that they didn’t get this time. We have noticed this as well.

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I have forgotten my meds, so we leave early. We get back to the room and Zung can’t find his phone. He goes back to the bar, but it is not there. Because it is in the room, plugged in. I think this is what they call as senior moment.

 

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Last Full Grand Day-Part 1

Today is our last full day at the Grand. I bet you got a hint about that from the title. Tomorrow we will move to the Valentin Imperial Maya. I am not feeling ready to leave my home away from home. The sun is high in the sky by the time we get up and head off to breakfast.

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The water in the ocean is that brilliant, unbelievable blue.

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It is a clear and sunny day. The beauty of this place sometimes makes me want to weep. But this morning, it just makes me hungry.

We go to Bella Vista and are seated. This guy looks in through the window, longingly.

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There is nothing new or exciting about breakfast.

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Olivia is making omelettes and she is still concerned about our bad experience at the Italian last night. She tells me she will make sure there is a fruit plate at dinner, at the Mexican restaurant, Las Brisa. She asks me what kind of fruit we want. This takes me off guard. We come up with a selection. Honestly though, I am feeling uncomfortable with so much talk about a bad experience. In my opinion, once they know about it, just move on. I don’t want to get anyone in trouble and just want them to use it as feedback to improve.

I ask her about her son, and she loves to talk about him, so the conversation is redirected, to my relief. I have her make me an over medium egg and go back to our table.I think the whole thing is behind me and then Mayvany comes over and asks if we can talk about the Italian restaurant experience later. I assure her we can. I don’t really want to though. Let’s move on people! I am glad they are concerned and I feel that when there is a bump, it is how it is handled that shows the excellence of a resort.

After breakfast we go to the room and get ready to go to the beach. We both go together this morning because it is Saturday and Zung is actually taking the whole weekend off. We don’t see any grasshoppers (BIG sigh of relief).

The weather is just spectacular. It is a typical morning at the beach. This is Day 6.

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Feeding my soul. And staying hydrated with some cold agua.

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Have I mentioned that blue is my favorite color?

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We spend some time in the water. Then it is time for lunch. As we walk through the lobby of our building one of the butlers tells us that our fruit plate for dinner is ready. This is starting to get embarrassing.

Lunch is started in the traditional way.

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No surprises for Zung.

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I ask for lobster quesadillas, which are amazing. Mmmmmmm, so good.

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There is my favorite, coconut ice cream. I am not sure why the coconut ice cream is so much better in Mexico, but it is. It is especially delicious with strawberries. I will say though, the strawberry sauce they drizzle on it is not so great. Kind of sweet and chemical tasting.

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There is lots of wine. Lots.

After lunch we go to the pool bar, looking for Humberto. However, he is not there. So, it is back to the beach, and order more wine.

It’s funny. I am not a huge fan of white wine. But, it really hits the spot in Mexico, during the day.

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After all that wine, there is a long nap. Naps are awesome on the beach, drifting off to the sound of the ocean.

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We go in the water, after the nap. We are having a lovely time and then we see lighting. Yea. We are done.

We go back to the room, where there is champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. They are dressed up in chocolate tuxedos, with a side of gold and chocolate sculpture.

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We move this party out to the balcony.

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This looks lovely, except, the champagne is bad. Really, really bad. We drink a little. I’m going to say though, this is the worst champagne we’ve ever had at the Grand. That’s ok though. There will be more, and probably soon.

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Dinner Fail

Dinner tonight is at Venecia, the Italian restaurant. To me, this is a restaurant where you can really dress up. Tonight I wear one of my rental dresses (search “Rent the Runway” for more info on that), an Herve Leger. These are insanely expensive dresses that I couldn’t hope to ever actually buy. Even if I could, I wouldn’t want to spend that much on a dress that I’ll only wear a handful of times. The dress looks great (can I say that?), but it is heavy!

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We see Fernando outside of the restaurant and he tells me that his daughter really loves the toy I gave her, and he gives me a big hug. Score!

We are seated and water is poured. We order some wine.IMG_0526.JPG

The restaurant is almost full, and our waiter seems very busy. I order one of the salads, but request no anchovies. When it is brought it has none of the promised artichokes, but it does have some kind of fish, which I think are the anchovies, that I asked not to have. It’s odd, but the waiter tells me they are not anchovies, and I forget to ask what happened to the artichokes. The salad is fine though. I just really like artichokes.

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Zung gets the Cesar salad with chicken. It sounds like it should be a lunch entree.

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Our entrees take a very long time. They bring my entree and the risotto that we always share, well before they bring Zung’s entree. The risotto tastes weird. This is a favorite dish, but it just doesn’t taste good this time. It tastes smoky and cheesy. They finally bring Zung’s shrimp, which he says is not as good as it usually is. My lamb is good.

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Service is not very good, but it is not our waiter’s fault. He is just stretched too thin. Our wine and water glasses are not refilled. Trust me, I can forgive a lot if you keep my wine glass filled. They usually don’t leave the wine bottle on the table, either, or I would have been happy to refill our glasses myself.

This is a perfect example of why it is more important for good service that only the number of tables that can be properly taken care of should be seated, as opposed to filling all the tables. People complain that they can’t get a reservation at the restaurant where they want and when they walk by, it has empty tables. It is not about the number of tables! It is about the number of staff!

We order fruit for dessert, but it takes a ridiculously long time for it to be brought out, so we just get up and leave. We go to the Lobby Bar and not long after, Claudia (one of the chefs who goes around checking how things are and making omelettes in the morning, she usually does the cooking class as well) comes to us and asks what was wrong. We tell her all the things that were not right with our dinner. She asks where we are eating tomorrow night and says she will make sure a fruit plate is prepared for our dinner tomorrow.

This is my 22nd visit to the Grand. If you do the math, that is a lot of meals. Occasionally, something is bound to go wrong, with food, with service and sometimes, with everything. It is not the end of the world. There will be another dinner and it will probably be fine. I just don’t get too worked up about these things. The only thing that really bothers me is indifferent poor service. That had not been the case tonight. Our waiter was doing the best he could.

The Lobby Bar is quiet tonight. Except for Daniel. He’s always rowdy.

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We chat with Valerie and George for a bit. I love her dress!

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We have a few drinks. When we leave we see Victor, as we are leaving. Always love seeing Victor.

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We go back to the room, and crash. Vacationing is exhausting!

 

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Water and Wine

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I start the blog for Friday (of the vacation, not of today) with a totally gratuitous morning beach shot off of our balcony. I could get used to waking up to this every day.

I feel good today. Not foggy or hungover. We follow our normal breakfast routine. This morning I go for the lobster blinis. The orders are for three, but I always ask for just two, because they are so rich. It is big chunks of lobster on these little pancake things with a creamy sauce. Sometimes they must put a little cayenne in, because sometimes it has some kick.

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Zung has eggs Benedict. Just kidding. He had an omelette.

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We ask what the pink skinned fruit with all the seeds is. It is Dragon Fruit. Angel brings a whole fruit out to show us.

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I want to know who was the first person to look at that and ask, I wonder if that would taste good?

I go back for some fruit and bacon and Iberico ham. I look for tater tots (how old am I?), but they only have potato wedges.

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Mayvany comes over to say hello. I ask her for permission for Daniel to pick us up on Sunday. She says she will check, she doesn’t think there will be a problem.

As I write that, I have sense of deja vú. Have I written that before?

We go back to the room, and are greeted by a grasshopper. I am SO over this. Zung stays to work and I go to the beach. There are grasshoppers in the hall, terrorizing me. I can see them on the columns. This is reaching into very deep seated fears of mine.

I get to the beach and start setting up at one of the papalpas. Then I notice a grasshopper on the palapa and so I move. They are everywhere! I move next to Valerie and George. Valerie and I chat.img_0942

Her is the evidence that it is Day 5.

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Zung comes out and has a Margherita. We go in the water. We dry off and go to lunch, where we have our usual lunch beverages.

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And Zung has, what he always has.img_0944

I have tournedos and fries. Unfortunately, it is overcooked. I tell them and they bring me a new one, that is not overcooked.

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Zung has coconut ice cream and I have a few spoonfuls. I get a brownie, so I am not dessertless. Is that a word? It is now. And wine. I had more wine. I had a lot of wine. Wine is good. It’s heart healthy.

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There are peacocks, posing for photos, outside. At least, it looked like they were posing.

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We go back to the beach, where I might have had even more wine. Hiccup.

We go to the spa, where the water is really warm. And then we go to our room and enjoy the jacuzzi on the balcony. Lot. Of. Warm. Water. Combine it with the wine. And I am jello.

 

 

 

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