Water and Wine


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.




Posted in Drinks, Food/Menu Items, The Grand | Leave a comment

Dinner on Day 3 (or whatever day)

I love this dress. It is so comfortable. Often when people say that something is “comfortable”, it is also sloppy. My pajamas are comfortable. That doesn’t mean I should be seen in them out in public. But this dress is really pretty, and it is comfortable too. It is not a rental. It is mine. It is also versatile. If I put a cardigan on, I could wear it to work. I could wear it out for errands or shopping too. I love dressing up for dinner and a versatile dress is a bonus.


Dinner is at Haiku, aka the Asian restaurant. We order some wine.


Fernando comes by to see how things are going. We talk about the grasshoppers/locusts. He tells us a funny story about his reaction when one jumped onto him when he was driving on his motorcycle. It quite freaked him out. He tells us they are seasonal. I make a mental note. Giant grasshoppers/locusts in September, crabs in June.

Dinner is good. We eat our usual favorites.

The sushi is an amuse bouche.


Shrimp tempura.


Skewered something. The stuff they decorate the plate with is pretty unnatural looking, that neon pink.


This was the “flower” on the table.


Eder shows up just in time for a pictures.


After dinner Zung goes to the music bar and watches the football game. The Broncos were playing. I go to the Lobby Bar. Mayvany comes by and says hello. Rafael comes by and says hello. Hugo comes by and says hello.

Daniel doesn’t think much of my drink choice, a cucumber mojito, blended. It was okay. Worth trying but I doubt I’ll have it again.


Zung comes out at half-time. The Broncos have a new quarterback playing. I don’t follow football closely enough to be able to remember all the details, but I do remember that they won the Superbowl last year.

Elizabeth wants to take a picture with me.

This is what Daniel takes first. Eye roll.


Elizabeth is quite the beauty.


We include Daniel in one so he doesn’t pout.


Daniel keeps trying to fill my glass. I tell him to stop because I am still trying to figure out how much I can drink without getting wasted and not feel weird the next day. I have Gustavo make me a Rosso Spritz, which is red wine, sparkling wine and club soda. Very delicious and very refreshing.

A gentleman comes by and says asks if I am Andrea. He and his wife, Joel and Debbie Pederson live in Phoenix, but used to live in Denver.  They are on the Facebook Grand page. It is their second time here.

Zung comes out when the game is over. Denver won in a squeaker, 20-21.

We don’t stay late. We goo back to room and drink some HC, neat.

Sleep well. 


Posted in Awesome Staff, Bars, Drinks, Food/Menu Items, Restaurant, The Grand | Leave a comment

Day – 3

Today is Azael’s day off, so we decide to have room service. We ordered it last night with the card you put on your door. I learned from one of the butlers that that is one of the things the night shift butler does, pick up those cards from all the rooms. It arrived around eight.


II had waffles. We ordered some fruit. They always send a basket of pastries. I have forgotten to order bacon. Well, that’s a bummer. Zung gives me some of his. Bacon is one of my guilty pleasures on vacation. I try to eat it every day. Lots of it. I like mine crispy.

When you order a mimosa, they always send a full bottle of champagne and a pitcher of juice. I am feeling foggy. Not the typical hungover feeling, but foggy and shaky. My mimosa, which most of the time helps this feeling, does not help today. I end up feeling this way most of the day.


As we sit there, by the window, we can see grasshoppers flying by the window in large numbers, like something from a Hitchcock film. It creeps me out. Last year it was crabs all over the place at Secrets, and this year it is massive grasshoppers. Someone told me they are really locusts, but they looked like grasshoppers, so that is what I will continue to call them for the duration of this trip’s blog.

I took a Mimosa out to the beach. Hmm, I’m holding up four fingers here, which would indicate it’s day 4. I’ll need to think about that.


I ask for a bucket of ice for our water. We have an awesome beach waiter. His name is Jobni and he keeps replacing the ice.


Zung comes out around 11:30. He gets a margarita, and I get a Shandy. We get some chips and salsa and guac.


For lunch we go back to the room. We really like the club sandwich, but that is only available from room service.


Of course, we ordered french fries too, and of course they are not as hot and crispy as when we get them at Las Brisa We also order chocolate cake, but it is more like a heavy mousse, so I only take a bite.

Our tummies full, we go back out to the beach. We read. We go into the water. When I feel more sober, I get a glass of wine.I don’t want to be feeling sober, now, do I?

There are birds. I am embarrassingly entertained by birds. Or I should be embarrassed. I’m not really.


We stay out for a long time. We go back to the room when it is time to get ready for dinner.

Posted in Drinks, Food/Menu Items, The Grand | Leave a comment

How much can I drink? Not much!

It is hot, but my drink is cold and the sound of the ocean is feeding my soul.





We go back to the room and I nap, trying to sleep off the drunk. I can’t seem to get a handle on how much I can drink. The dosage of my meds is really messing up my normal tolerance.

Dinner is at Toni’s tonight.


Alberto comes by to say hello and check how everything is.

This is our second dinner at Toni’s. It is not as successful as our first dinner a couple of nights ago.

I have only one glass of wine, and I don’t even finish that.


We start with the pear salad, which is new on the menu. It is pretty. but just bland.


We both have the ribeye. I have one part that is cooked perfectly, and the rest is overcooked.


Zung has some dessert. I don’t think he was very impressed. But I didn’t include it in my notes, one way or the other.




To the bar!

I try a chocolate cake martini, but I don’t like it.


We chat with a couple from Atlanta, Josh and Mila. Alberto comes by and we chat with him for awhile. We ask about the attempt that apparently failed to have no reservations at some of the restaurants. They have gone back to all the ala carte restaurants requiring reservations. I have no problem with that.The buffet does not require reservations. There are some resorts that don’t require reservations, but the downside is that there is not always a table when you show up. I prefer to know that there will be a table when I arrive, so I’m good with the reservation system.

Alfonso, the former GM, is there to have dinner with one of the executive chefs, and he comes by and we chat for awhile. He is at another resort now.

I have a couple of cucumber mojitos and feel drunk again. We go back to the room before 10:30. Party animals we are not.


But I do have awesome shoes, which more than makes up for my lack of late night partying abilities.


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

Day 2 – Part 1

First quiz question: How many parts were there to Day 1?

Answer: I don’t want to go back and count, so you let me know, k?

Sorry that it’s been almost two weeks since my last post. Exactly one week after we returned from Mexico, my daughter and I went on a long planned girl’s trip to Las Vegas. If you want to know what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, we decided that we are Vegas duds. We could barely stay awake past 10 o’clock, and were usually back in our room by 9. Vegas duds. I’ve done a lot of traveling in the last several months. I expect that to stop for awhile, so my blog posts should be more reliable (she says confidently).

It is another beautiful day.


We don’t vary much from our schedule. So, I bet you know what happens next. If you guessed that we go to Bella Vista for breakfast then, ding, ding, ding! You are correct! Zung gets an omelette, I’m sure, but since there is no picture to prove it, he may not have. Oh, who are we kidding? He always gets an omelette. I however vary my culinary choices. Today I get chillaquilles, red sauce, onions and realize I always move the onions to the side. Must remember next time to ask for no onions. I also get some fruit in various forms. Some on a plate and some in my glass, with champagne, also known as a mimosa. And black tea. I always get black tea, with almond milk and I put some sugar in it. The sugar in the brown packets with the extra large grains. It’s kinda brownish because it’s raw sugar. No white processed sugar for this gal. Unless that’s all there is. I can lower my standards in the pursuit of sweetness.


Clearly I forgot to take the picture before I started eating. Sorry.

After breakfast I go to the beach and Zung works in the room. He enjoys the view out the window. I personally would find it incredibly distracting. It is better that looking at a parking lot and not being able to just walk a few steps and be on the beach.

It seems like it is a long time until a waiter comes by. He wants to know where my husband is and he looks surprised when I say he is working. He asks me, why? I reply, right?


I go up to our room at some point and there are two enormous grasshoppers near our door and one actually on the door frame that I don’t see. It flies away when I put the key in. I scream. Nobody comes to check out the blood curdling scream. They are there when I leave the room and one flies away. I ask the concierge if they could spray the hall.

Zung comes down around 11:30.


We go in the water. It feels so nice, the perfect temperature.

We go to lunch at Las Brisa.


I have the grilled fish.


Zung has the coconut ice cream and a cappuccino.


I skip the coconut ice cream, but have him keep refilling my wine glass.

Now I’m drunk.

There are naps and the water again.

It is a perfectly lovely afternoon.

Posted in Drinks, Food/Menu Items, The Grand | 6 Comments