“What Next?” Solo Trip

May, 2016. I need a trip to Mexico. I’ve had several things come to completion, or end within the last year. Hell, within the last seven months. It started with my hospital attaining its Baby Friendly designation in October, 2015. That had been something I had wanted for about 20 years and been working on for the last three years. Two days after that I stepped down as the lactation coordinator, a position I had held for 12 years. I finished the work for my Master’s degree in Health and Wellness just a few weeks ago. I also had a professional article accepted for publication at about the same time. I had re-organized my kitchen, and had a list of organizing projects around the house. But I felt like I needed to do more professionally. I had been tossing around the idea of starting a consulting business, helping hospitals through the process to Baby Friendly designation. I also was thinking about just getting a second job, and had an interview for when I returned.

I had been in a funk for the last few weeks. I decided to book a solo trip to Mexico. If the ocean doesn’t hold the answer, at least it will feed my soul.

Four nights. I am doing carry-on. I can’t get everything in my carry-on bag, and end up putting my toiletries bag in my travel bag. Have I mentioned what an awesome travel bag I have? My shoes have to hold their breath when I zip up the carry-on bag. The goal with the carry-on is that I can lift it up into the overhead compartment. I think it could do three nights, but four is stretching it. But four is what it is, so stretch is what we do.

That night I have a dream about running around in the morning trying to find a larger bag and throwing everything in at the last minute. Gotta love a good nightmare.


My flight leaves from Terminal C, but I always go through security at Terminal A because the lines are shorter. Then I take the train to Terminal C. The TSA lady gives me a hard time because I am standing on tip toes because I am a germaphobe. She asks why I didn’t wear socks. I say because I wore sandals and if I’d worn sock she wouldn’t be able to see the starfish on my toes. Just kidding about that last part. I did get lots of compliments on my new sandals. Lots!

She wants to know if I go barefoot when I go outside. NO! There are germs out there. And, what’s your point anyway?

This photo does not do justice to the sparkly effect of my sandals. But you can see my cute starfish.


I finally get to terminal C. I buy magazines and water and hand sanitizer (don’t laugh) and go to Root Down for breakfast. I start with a Blood Orange Mimosa.


I have a fried egg sandwich. And another Mimosa. There should be pictures here, but I have run into technical problems that are resulting in many f-bombs being dropped. So, I’ll just proceed with the narrative until I can get into the genius bar at Apple, and maybe he/she can tell me where my freakin’ pictures are.

I board and since I fly Southwest, it’s always a mystery where I will sit. This time I get the third row, aisle seat. It is always an aisle seat. I need to keep my eye on the flight attendant. I figure if he/she is bored, or playing Candy Crush, then there is nothing to be concerned about regarding that smell, sound or bump. I will go back to Siberia to get an aisle seat. This time, thankfully, I don’t have to.

Third row, aisle seat. There is a guy in the window seat. Nobody sits in the middle seat. Thankfully, window seat guy is not chatty.

I hear a conversation in the row behind me. The lady, who has a 7 month old, has to pump her breasts, and she has never done it before. You go girl! I tell her that I am a lactation consultant, in case she has any questions. She is probably wishing I was less chatty/nosy.

There are lots of loud conversations, while we wait to take off. We get the safety instructions. My friend, Steve, told me that there is a generation who doesn’t know how lap seatbelts work. I still say my thing. I HAVE to, or bad things will happen. (It’s a seatbelt, just like any other seatbelt, and if you don’t know how to use it, you probably shouldn’t be out in public unattended).

The pilot says, keep your hands and feet inside the aircraft at all times because we’re about to go REALLY FAST.

I can tell, this is going to be an entertaining flight, because, everyone is a comedian.








Posted in Drinks, Shoes, The Grand | 4 Comments

All Good Things Must Come to an End

Going home day. Zung got up early enough (easier to do this time of year) to get some awesome sunrise pictures.


The effect it has on the columns around the Jacuzzi is stunning.


We head off to our last breakfast.

This early there is no one on the beach yet.


Here is one more gratuitous sunrise picture.


Azael is working outside, which is too cool for us. He comes by to say hello, but we have to say good-bye. Our service is still very good. I know I go on and on about how great Azael is, but the truth is most of the waiters are really great.

We say good-bye to Olivia and Matianna. Her internship is coming to an end, so we won’t see her again.

Last omelette.


We go back to the room and I ask the concierge if we can have a late check-out and she tells me it is already in the computer for a check-out at 2 pm. We go to the room and pack. I go out to the beach for some last sunning while Zung finishes packing.

Mango Mimosa


Zung comes out and I try to take a picture showing how many days, but I don’t have enough fingers while holding my champagne flute.


We consider going into the water, but it is too cold. The day is beautiful and sunny though. Where was this sun yesterday and the day before?

I take pictures of the exclusive club area.



They have exclusive furnishings.


They have an exclusive bar.


We plan on going in at 11;45, but I get antsy and we go in at 11:30.


Shower, finish packing. We are finished before the 1 o’clock that the bellboy is supposed to come, so we call and ask them to come now.

I take a couple photos before we leave the room.

The flowers are still beautiful and fresh.


The expanded snack selection. Our room has a Nespresso machine, but these are not in all the rooms. The Havana Siete and limes are not standard either.


The bell boy takes our bags and we head to lunch.


Azael is our waiter and I am sad to be leaving.


Shrimp fajitas for Zung and grilled fish of the day for me.


And of course, french fries. Azael always remembers I want them fresh and hot.


Azael asks if I want ice cream and I say no, but Zung wants some and Azael brings me some any way. It tastes so good.


We walk the sad walk to the lobby. We have rally enjoyed the holiday decorations.


We run into Fernando. He apologizes for the experience we had at the New Year’s day lunch when I couldn’t get anyone to fill my wine or water glass. I say that all the other restaurant experiences were good.

The lobby is busy, with several people checking in.We check out when it is our turn. Our ride to the airport is early.

Terminal 2 is larger and more confusing. We buy tequila for the kids and then walk around looking for food that is not fast food. We find TGI Friday’s. We eat and look for our gate, which is FINALLY assigned. We board.

Near the end of the flight the guy behind us starts throwing a fit about something and is swearing. Someone tells him to be quiet and surprisingly he is. We land and hike the long hike to Immigration. We now have to check in at electronic kiosks, and then wait in the Immigration line to get checked by an agent. That line never seems to be very long. I’m not sure I understand the purpose of both of them. We get our bags, go through Customs and our vacation is over.

Time for the next one!


Posted in The Grand | 3 Comments

Romantic Dinner

The concierge tells us that the weather is too windy for our romantic dinner to be held outdoors. Instead it will be held in the presidential suite. I am excited about this because I have never seen the presidential suite. Either one (there are two – one in each building).

We take the elevator back up to the third floor. Saray is waiting for us and takes us in to the presidential suite and through it to the balcony.


We take some pictures of the balcony, which has several more things on it than the regular rooms.


There is a bottle of the lovely white wine that we had earlier in the day. Hugo is the man.



You can see in this picture that there is a bottle of sparkling wine and red wine. We never got to those. We just drank the white wine.

The courses were brought out, one by one.





We had a wonderful waiter who attended to our every need.


We went back to the room to drop off the wine. It had been beautifully decorated.


We, however, we headed to the Lobby Bar. It was our last night to hang with Daniel.

Victor gave us a golf cart ride.


Zung has a margarita.


I just cannot drink any more, so I have Daniel make me a water martini.



Going to miss Daniel until next time.


We met this couple, but I forgot to write down their names (Sorry!)


We took a few more pictures.



It was time to call it a night, after a great night.

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

Cloudy and Cool

Another sunrise.


Today is Azael’s day off.

I ask for Chillaquille’s, that are not too spicy. They give me them in red sauce. They are really good and they are not too spicy. They are just right.


I had some yogurt and some green juice. I’ve had this, and enjoyed it, before. This time it tasted too vegetable-ey.


Zung does not disappoint in his consistency.


It seems like it will be a nice day initially.


But it turns cloudy and cool. We try to warm up with Mimosas.



I move on to a mudslide, made by the marvelous Gabriel. He is an awesome beach waiter!


We watch the pelican.



We drink our way to lunch. I have the grilled fish of the day. It is grouper and it is SO good! How have I never tried this before? It is perfect with some fresh lime.


Guess what this is and who ate it?


Hugo has our special wine. We drink the entire bottle.



After drinking the entire bottle we go back to the room and sleep it off, until it is time to get ready for our romantic dinner.




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

Rained Out

And again…


I slept nine hours. I never sleep nine hours. I never sleep eight hours. I’m thrilled if I sleep seven hours. After nine hours I felt much better. We went to breakfast and had Mimosas to celebrate my feeling better.


I had bacon and eggs over medium.


I’m not going to pretend like you don’t know what Zung had. He was celebrating the fact that the Broncos had done well.


We took pictures of Azael, so you know who is a really awesome waiter to look for when you go.


Once I got out to the beach, I continued celebrating the fact that I was feeling good.


Day 5


Some weather came in.


It was feeling on the cool side. I think this was the day that it rained a little bit and we ran inside and then it stopped raining and so we went back outside and then it started raining again and we went back inside. This all occurred within about five minutes.


We finally decided to just stay inside. Sort of. We filled the jacuzzi on the balcony.


When we got hungry, we headed over to Las Brisa for lunch.


I had the Tournedos and it was cooked perfectly.


Zung was happy with his shrimp fajitas.


We saw Hugo and I thanked him for getting us that wonderful wine the day before. He said he would get it for us again tomorrow, and asked if we wanted some at dinner tonight. We were eating at Toni’s tonight and I didn’t think it would go well with steak, so I declined. As it turned out, we both had fish so it probably would have been great.

The coconut ice cream was served with a strawberry, which always makes it extra delicious. Those leafy looking things are white chocolate leaves.


There was more time on the beach. Then we got ready for dinner.


Zung had soup and I had a caesar salad for apps.


I had the tuna, and while it was good and cooked well, I wasn’t that hungry so I didn’t eat much of it.


Zung had the salmon, which he enjoyed.


At the end of dinner the Captain comes over and says he knows I like coconut ice cream (the word must be out) and asks me if I would like any. I decline since I am full.

We saw the always lovely Marianna. We know this would be the last trip we will see her, so we had to take some pics.


At the lobby bar a gentleman came up to us and asked me if I was Andrea from Iberostarrocks. Why yes, yes I am. Rockstar moment with Paula and Mike from Chicago. We had a nice chat with them.


We chatted with Eder. IMG_0982

Rafael came by and we have a long chat. I only drank water. I was feeling the effects of so much drinking.

If anything more happened, there was no photographical evidence. And sometimes, that is for the best.

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