I’m sure you’ve got our morning routine down by now. Wake up, ascertain that it is another beautiful day in paradise (does that ever get boring? Ohhhh, bummer, the sun is shining over the gorgeous ocean, the birds are singing, the air smells good – of sea and flowers. Darn. Yea, I don’t think so.) Head off to Bella Vista for breakfast with the amazing Alex. Coffee for Zung, tea for me. Omelet for Zung and croissant bacon and mango for me. The mango cancels out the bacon, right? I tried cantaloupe juice this morning. It was good. I also tried the orange juice. It didn’t taste like the fresh squeezed o.j. Iberostar is famous for. It tasted like Tang. WTH?
Back to the room to change into beach attire and participate in the sunscreen slathering on ritual. I started making daily pilgrimages to the lobby to change my $100 and $200 pesos into $20 and $50 pesos for tips. I’m sure we saw Alphonso. We did every day. he would ask what we were doing today, how things were, was there he could do for us. We walked out to the towel hut, got our huge pile of towels, headed out to the beach, and this time to a right and found chairs in front of Building #71. There were pads for the loungers here, but not for all of them. So we went around and got pads for our loungers and dragged enough chairs for our crew under and around our palapa.
We settled into said chairs. I pulled out my new book. I had gotten The Island by Elin Hildebrand. I have read every other book she has written and loved them all except The Castaways (which I didn’t dislike, just didn’t like). I opened my book and waited for a beach waiter to arrive.
Around 10 am Gabriel came by with cold bottles of water. I asked if he could bring me a drink (which particular drink escapes me now, but most likely it was either a Coco Loco or Havana rum and coke). He said, “Uhhhh. Someone didn’t show up today and I’m not ready.”
ARE YOU FREAKIN’ SERIOUS?!?!?! Was it going to be another day of bad beach drink service?
No. It was not. Gabriel returned in a completely appropriate amount of time with our drinks and provided us with excellent and attentive service all day long. I would say he came by at least once an hour. I never felt like I thought, “Where in the world is he???????!!!!!” I was much happier and relaxed today. Yes, I know. High maintenance. But it’s okay. I always say please and thank-you and most importantly, I tip. Every round of drinks.
Karen arrived after a while. She goes for a run in the morning. What is it with all these people wanting to exercise on vacation. Not me. No sir. You can bank on me NEVER exercising on vacation. I walked from our room ALLLL the way out to the beach. And I will have to walk back again at the end of the day.
Zung and I went to lunch. Karen passed on lunch. She was going to drink her lunch. Which is one of the great things about vacation. You can eat ice cream or drink “adult beverages” and call it lunch. You’re on vacation. You make the rules.
Off to Las Brisas we went to have lunch. We sat in Alex’s section. He took our picture of us and our Corona and Havana rum and coke.
You know I trust you all immensely for me to allow you to see me looking like a “before” picture here.
Zung got (drum roll please)…………….shrimp fajitas. I got the petit filet, medium rare. It came with fries. They have the beeeesssssstttttttttttt fries at the Grand. They are just perfect. Crispy and nice and soft on the inside. Yum. And the beef is delicious. Some people complain that it tastes “funny.” It tastes like beef tastes without all the flavor bred out. It’s tender too. Try it. You won’t be disappointed.
As we were eating our children strolled in. I went over and said hello to them. They were looking a tad hung over. They were in fact hung over. They had all gone out the night before and enjoyed the all-inclusive privileges. Patrick made sure no guys talked to Susie. LOL.
Zung and I returned to Karen on the beach and she and I ordered Riviera Mayas. We had ordered these last year when we stayed at the Maya (and Zung and I renewed our vows for our 30th anniversary – the trip report of which will eventually make its way onto this blog). Last year we gave them two thumbs up.
This year they were just as pretty, but horribly sweet and we ended up dumping them in the sand.
The kids came out and we all piled under our palapa.
Patrick understands the importance of hydrating. Seriously, it is really important. When you go to Mexico, drink way more water than you think. it’s really easy to get dehydrated. It happens to me almost every trip. Then you feel crummy for awhile, until you rehydrate. Some people recommend drinking a glass of water for every glass of “adult” beverage you consume. I can’t, um, exactly report if this is effective as I have never done it. But it sure sounds like a good idea.
And the view. I love this view.
We talked and drank (Gabriel was my new best friend) and Karen and I went into the water. She told me she has worried about sharks ever since we saw Jaws when we were in high school. To get to good water we would walk to the south, past the end of Building #71 and just a little ways down the beach there is clear water, no rocks or seaweed. It takes a couple minutes walk, but it is definitely worth it. There were no shark sightings.
Around 4 pm we headed to the spa so we could introduce Karen to the wonders of the spa pool. She was suitably impressed.
Our first visit to the Grand in June 2007 we just peeked in at the spa. The next year we came and checked it out and couldn’t believe we hadn’t tried it before. Now we come just about every day at the end of our day at the beach. There is a health bar that makes fruity healthy drinks. Zung has tried these. They use whole fruits and veggies.
When the three of us were totally blissed out Karen headed back to her Ocean Front room and Zung and I went to our Ocean View (NOT as good as Ocean Front) room to get ready for dinner.
We had reservations at the Italian restaurant. It would be a night to remember. Sort of. Actually, there were parts I forgot. At least I’m told I forgot. And there were pictures and large quantities of rum were consumed.