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Thursday morning brought a pretty good headache and another beautiful sunny day.
We had requested breakfast be delivered between 7:30 and 8 am. As in the past when we have done the card on the door for breakfast it was delivered closer to the earlier time. I wasn’t very hungry but Zung gobbled up his omelet.
Then it was off to the beach. We saw Alphonso on our way. He asked if there was anything we needed and when we said no he said we made his job too easy. We stopped and chatted with him for a while. It was the last day we would see him since he was going to have several days off to go to a wedding. Most of the employees work six days a week and long shifts.
We got our towels and headed out to the same spot on the beach and wondered if we would have a new beach waiter since Gabriel the day before indicated that he was filling in for someone who hadn’t shown up. I was a little nervous about this. Gabriel had been so great the day before. Then Hermando showed up nice and early with cold waters. I asked for a coke. I really didn’t feel horribly hung over but wasn’t ready for alcohol yet. He brought the coke which tasted fabulous. It was just what I needed.
Hermando turned out to be an awesome beach waiter. He probably came around every half hour. He was nice and pleasant. So, if you want great beach waiter service, sit in front of Building #71. Tell him I said hello.
We took his picture and he asked if he was going to be on Facebook and I told him no, but he would be on some travel sites.
Zung took some pictures of the tide pools. There are a lot of rocks in front of the Grand, and while it doesn’t make for great swimming it makes for interesting fish viewing.
Karen came out after a bit and she even went with us to have lunch today. She ordered the huge shrimp that have all their parts attached. I can’t even watch someone eat these. I ordered the fish of the day, which was sea bass. Alex brought my fish and there were no fries so I asked him to bring me some fries and he brought a huge plate. Those fries are soooo good. Zung, of course, got the shrimp fajitas. Alex said thought Zung needed a double order next time.
When we went back to our chairs the kids came out shortly after. Susie informed me that she was mad at me because I had slapped her brothers the night before. I said.”What? I don’t know what you are talking about.” Karen didn’t remember me doing this, but then it came out that I didn’t remember the pictures with Daniel and Zung had proof of that on his camera. It was hard to argue about the slapping. The reason I did it was because Patrick smelled like smoke and I asked if he’d been smoking and when he admitted he had I slapped him and then Nicholas slapped him and I said, don’t slap him and I slapped Nicholas. Definitely justified but tipsy behavior. Okay, maybe a little beyond tipsy.
Want to know the secret to not feeling hung over? It’s a homeopathic remedy called Nux Vomica. I take it when I have drank too much before I go to sleep and in the morning if I still feel the effects. It works for feeling overfull from eating as well. It works really good if you take it with some Motrin, but I hardly ever take Motrin because of stomach issues I’ve had. So now you know the secret to avoiding or getting rid of a hangover.
It was a pretty low-key afternoon. Napping, Karen and I went in the water (no sharks today either), drinking and just enjoying being together.
We usually end our afternoon at the spa pool, but Karen wanted to go to the Lazy River at the Maya/Lindo. We walked over there. OMG! There are so many people over there, and so many of them are the small version, and it’s noisy! We did the lazy river, but it was really lazy and we had to work to get around. Karen was happy to do it and anything for my BFF. We walked back to the Grand. On our way we passed one of those carts that has ceramics you can paint. Before you paint them they are black and white and Karen wondered why anyone would want them because she didn’t know you painted them It was pretty funny because I said I’d always wanted to do that and she was surprised. Then I realized she thought you bought them like that, unpainted. I have no desire to sit in the heat long enough to do it though. They have several vendors around the Maya/Lindo pool. There are also jewelry carts and a little shopping area that sells beachy/pool type stuff.
At night the other hotels have vendors that come in and set up their stands every few nights. I think between the other four hotels there is probably something set up most nights. They sell all kinds of stuff, jewelry, clothing, paintings. They often have someone doing spray-paint art which is very entertaining to watch and the results are impressive. If you check these vendors out know that they expect to bargain on the price. Never pay the first price they quote you. I have never seen these vendors set up at the Grand.
Karen and I parted to get ready for dinner.
Dinner was at the Gourmet restaurant. I had made our first three nights reservations by email. Today Karen and I had gone to the concierge to make reservations for the rest of the week. The only times available for most of the remaining nights were 6:30 or 9. I prefer 7, so we took the 6:30 times.
The Gourmet is named L’Atelier and is on the ground floor of the main building on the side that is across from the spa pool. We got there a few minutes early and they were not opened yet so we went outside and took some pictures.
We went back inside a couple of minutes past 6:30 and we were seated. The kids joined us soon after. Raul was our excellent waiter. We ordered a bottle of champagne and a bottle of the same red wine we had the previous night at Venecia. The champagne was reportedly fine, but when Raul brought the red wine and poured it for me I didn’t like the way it smelled. I gave it to Zung and Patrick to smell and they thought it smelled off too. I gave it to Raul and said it didn’t smell right. I have never before sent back a bottle of wine. Raul took it away and came back with a new bottle. He said he’s tasted the other bottle and it didn’t taste quite right. The new bottle was cold and it still smelled a little off, but it was a Shiraz and they had a bit of a peculiar smell. It tasted like it might be better when it got to room temperature so we told Raul to go ahead and pour it. It really didn’t taste as good as it did the previous night and it didn’t get better as it warmed up. Raul noticed I wasn’t drinking it and asked if I didn’t like it. I said I didn’t love it and he offered to bring me a bottle of something else. This was towards the end of the dinner so I just asked for some of the champagne.
Karen had brought me a couple early birthday presents. This was a countdown clock so I would know exactly how many days until I turn 50. But that’s okay cause she turned 50 before me.
Then she went around and said nice things about everyone. When she got to me, we just looked at each other and hugged and cried. Karen and I had lost touch for 23 years, so having her with us on our family vacations is a really special treat. She’s kind of the kid’s adopted eccentric aunt.
The dinner got mixed reviews. A couple of us got the lobster salad. We thought it was good.
Two of the kids and Karen got the onion soup. The kids liked it but Karen thought it was terrible. It definitely wasn’t traditional onion soup. I got the Lobster Thermidore, which has gotten rave reviews, but I wasn’t impressed with it and wouldn’t order it again.
I asked Raul if he could make Mayan coffee. Could he ever. A special treat was in store for us.