This Isn’t Goodbye

These are pictures from last night that Steve took. A little out of order but too good not to include.

I got up early so I could go see Daniel one last time.

Greg had been there every morning also.

It was a beautiful day.

We had breakfast, got packed and then went to spend our last few hours at the beach.

There was a couple from yesterday who had asked if we wanted to use their coupon for a couples massage. Greg and Stephanie had been there and it was decided that Erika and Stephanie would use it.

There was some back and forth with the massage people and the concierge, trying to find out if the coupon was transferable. The couple had gotten it as part of their room package and they were leaving and didn’t have time to use it.

It was ultimately decided that Erika and Stephanie could use it. While they got massaged Greg came over and we talked.

After the massages it was the sad time to go up to the room and shower and get ready to leave.

The bell boy came and my suitcase was on the counter/shelf (not sure what you call it) for a suitcase. He went to pick it up and the zipper came apart.

Oh No!

I was able to zip it back again and he said they could wrap it with plastic. That seemed like a good idea since the baggage handlers aren’t known for being gentle and careful with our luggage.

Spoiler alert, I just recently bought a new suitcase. My requirements are

#1 super-light

#2 lots of room

#3 good spinners

Since I love my TravelPro carry-on I decided to stay with the TravelPro family.

I love the color and am fully aware that it will show the dirt. But every time I see that 90% of the suitcases on the baggage claim carousel are black I am sure that I will never get a black suitcase.

I was once traveling with someone who had someone else pick up his suitcase because…wait for it…they were both black! It got sorted out before we all left the airport, thank goodness, because it was in Mexico when it happened.

Truth be told, I was secretly happy that my suitcase broke because it did not have good spinners. I wanted a new one every time I used it.

I’ll be putting it to the test in the not too distant future. Can’t wait to see how it performs.

Back to our regularly scheduled blog.

We took a couple of last pictures on the balcony.

I am always sad to leave.

Erika and I said our good-byes to the concierge and butlers. Then we were off to La Brisa for lunch.

Steve and Janelle came by to say good-bye and to chat.

I enjoyed some coconut ice cream. But if I’m honest I have to admit the ice cream is not as good as it used to be. I heard recently that they are buying a different kind. That was NOT a good decision.

After lunch we made the sad walk to the lobby.

We stopped to take a pic of Erika in the gondola.

We got to the lobby and I checked out and our ride was there and then we were on our way to the airport.

We checked in quickly, got through security and Erika bought some tequila in the Duty Free shop for her daughter. I just took some pictures. My boys were born in the years of the tiger and monkey.

We had some time so we went to the Wolfgang Puck restaurant and had a glass of overpriced wine.

The flight home was uneventful.

I had told Zung to bring me a coat since mine was lost and it was cold.

Erika and I had a really, really good time. I miss seeing her regularly.

I am going to be MIA for a while because I am going to try to be working in the background to make my blog look a little better and easier to navigate. I would really LOVE your feedback after I’m finished.

I will tell you upfront that I am going to be writing more posts to try to monetize it so that I can afford to keep writing it. I hope you enjoy those posts also.

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

Cheating on Daniel

We had a busy night planned. We had dinner. Then we planned to go to the Lobby Bar. That probably had more to do with meeting up with Janelle and Steve than all of a sudden wanting to be party girls.

People that are looking for a party usually aren’t that impressed with the Lobby Bar anyway. For us it is a fun place to spend a few hours. It often has some kind of nice music. But it’s a low-key atmosphere.

If you want loud music and dancing there is the disco. I’ve gone there a grand total of once. That time was because if peer pressure. I’m perfectly happy to sit at the bar and talk to Daniel and my friends.

We got a golf cart ride to the Italian restaurant, Venecia.

I did something there that I have never done before. You’re going to be amazed that I’ve never done it before.

We sat outside.

But I didn’t get a picture of it! So you’re just going to have to take my word for it.

Dinner was really good.

Erika had roasted vegetables for her app. I must have had the same thing since that was the only picture I took.

For our main course I had the lamb and she had the gnocchi. Gnocchi is often made with egg but they confirmed for her that this was not. She was pretty excited about getting to eat gnocchi and said that it was really good.

I am a real gnocchi snob. My son, Nicholas makes the best gnocchi. It’s little pillows of light, airy potato deliciousness. I only order it at a couple restaurants where I know it will be as good as his. Erika let me have a bite of hers and it was surprisingly pretty good.

This was someone’s dessert. LOL.

Next stop was the Lobby Bar.

We let Dario show us what he could do. He was nice and his drinks were good. But he is not as good as Daniel, of course!

Janelle and Steve showed up. Steve seemed to be feeling no pain.

Erika and I did chocolate cake shots.

You can see that she barely sipped hers. I had to drink hers too.

Erika and I didn’t stay late. We just don’t have it in us.

We did take some pictures with Janelle and Steve. I am including all of them here because Steve looks so funny.

There were some treats for us back in the room.

Erika couldn’t eat the strawberries because the chocolate probably had some milk in it even though it is dark chocolate. It was all up to me. A tough job and I wasn’t quite up to the job of finishing all of them.

We had no disappointments with our last evening. And Erika was suitably impressed with the Grand and how they treat vegans.

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

Somewhere On a Beach

This was just the kind of trip everyone needs once in a while. The kind where you eat, drink, lay on the beach, repeat.

The weather gods had smiled kindly on us for this vacation.

I did some carb loading for breakfast. No reason to. I did it just because I was on vacation and I can! At least it was from the four food groups: thin carbs, rolled flaky carbs, fried carbs and bacon.

We had loose plans for a relaxing beach day so after breakfast we headed back to our room to get ready for that. We took our Mimosas with us.

I had also talked to Daniel about meeting him for lunch. He was going to text me when he woke up. Spoiler alert, he slept all day so we ended up with a relaxing day on the beach.

We both hung out in the water with Stephanie and Greg. The water is a nice temperature.

The massage lady came by and gave Erika a sample massage and she decided to get a full hour. There was lunch and wine and more beach time.

Erika like the Kir Royale.

She did expand her drink horizons though.

When the sun told us our beach day was over we headed inside and got ready for dinner.

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Afternoon Surprise

Erika and I enjoyed some time on the beach. I took her to see the nice area just to the south of the Grand. This area is just past the free-lance massage tents that are up.

It has changed though. This is where they have been dumping all the seaweed that they scoop up from the beach. It has created a ginormous mountain of seaweed that is either decomposing into sand or all the sand that gets scooped up is filtering down to the bottom of this mountain. It looks like a seaweed/san mountain.

It has made it hard to get to that area where we were headed. It has covered up the sandy area so you have to try and walk over the rocks. Some are covered in algae and very slimy and slippery. It’s almost become a barrier.

We made it over there though and swam for a bit. Then we went back to our chairs.

I went back to our building and Victor saw me and told me there was a surprise in our room. He said he wanted Erika to see why we love the Grand so much and hopefully she will love it as much as we do.

I went and told her that we had to go to the room. We packed up our stuff and went up.

There was this.

There was also a bottle of champagne.

We took it out to the balcony and I opened it. Well, it kind of opened itself.

I told Erika she should take the bath.

I sat on the balcony and drank champagne. When she was done we drank it together. Then we got ready for dinner.

Yes, that’s a tattoo on Erika’s foot. She has several. I have none. Still a perfect record.

Dinner was at the Asian restaurant, Haiku. The food was very good. Although I didn’t take pictures of everything.

Erika had the exoticate caribbean fruit. It actually looked better than I had always imagined.

We had the energy tonight to go to the Mixology bar. It would be the first time I had ever tried it.

We walked down the Grand staircase. We ran into Salin, one of my favorite Star Friends. So we stopped and chatted with her for a bit.

There are usually some Star Friends hanging at the bottom of the Grand staircase in the evenings before the show starts. The shows start at 9:30.

Erika wasn’t that interested in seeing a show and I don’t usually go to because I’ve seen all of them.

At the Mixology bar we each had a yummy drink.

The chairs at the Mixology bar are not very comfortable, so we moved to a table.

We were both exhausted, so we just drank out drinks and then went back to our room. Such wild women we are.

The Mixology bar used to be called the Music bar and I believe they have karaoke in there. They also have a big screen TV so they put on sports games.

I have seen pictures and videos of very involved drink making. Cocktails aren’t really my thing, but if you enjoy them definitely check it out. Check it out anyway because it is worth it.

Erika and I had enjoyed another day of fun and relaxation. I think we were worn out from our walkabout earlier.

We’d have to take it easier tomorrow.

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

Going on a Walkabout

I woke up early again. The clouds were not cooperating with my sunrise pictures. It was still a very cool picture though.

I was off to the Lobby Bar to visit with Daniel. Greg was there again. I had some tea and a pastry. Then it was back to the room.

Erika was awake. She and I headed off to Bella Vista for breakfast. She had vegan Chillaquilles.

I had bacon and eggs. Sorry. I’d already started eating before I remembered to take the picture.

We both had Mimosas. I love vacation.

We decided to do a tour of all the hotels today. We got a golf cart ride to the Del Mar. It was not as good a tour as when Zung and I did it years ago. That time we came from the beach.

I had trouble finding my way around, so it was more of a wander about than a walkabout.

The Del Mar has lots of water birds.

This horse is skinny compared to the ones at the Grand. I guess everything is bigger and better at the Grand.

You might notice that I have been carrying the same purse all the time. That’s because I forgot to bring purses. I usually bring several wristlets. I have a lot of Coach wristlets.

I completely forgot them this time. This is what I had put all my cosmetic stuff in, in my travel bag. It was a freebie from Sephora.

Not that fashionable. But it worked.

We were getting hot and tired. By the time we got to the Maya we were too hot and tired to look at the different courtyards. So we just went to the snake bar. We planned to get a drink before heading back to the Grand.

The Maya courtyards are beautiful. Definitely make that a stopping point when you visit the Grand.

There was a large group of rather intoxicated young men. It was only 11 o’clock! The bartender was too busy with them and we didn’t want to wait so we just went to the lobby and asked for a ride to the Grand.

We did get a picture though. We had to angle it carefully so that the drunk guys were not in the picture.

We were able to get drinks back at the Grand.

Mine was that yummy cucumber gin and tonic drink and Erika got a Pina Colada.

Then she switched to Kir Royals. She was sad when it was empty.

We went to the cooking class. I had been hoping they would also have the wine tasting because that’s what they used to do. They must do them on separate days now.

There are many activities going on all the time at the Grand. The Animation team (aka Star Friends) work hard to make sure everyone is entertained. I don’t do most of them because I go into serious relaxation mode the minute I arrive. But I always wish that I did more.

We enjoyed our guacamole and then went in to enjoy lunch.

I didn’t take a picture of it, but they made Erika a special entree for lunch. It was a…wait for it…cous-cous dish. It was very nice that they were making her special things. But why was everything made with cous-cous?

After lunch we returned to the beach.

There would be a surprise that afternoon.

Such an eventful day!

Posted in Del Mar/Beach, Drinks, Food/Menu Items, The Grand | 2 Comments