The rest of our last full day

Nicholas arrived and shortly after, Patrick. Susie went for her massage. Patrick ordered a hamburger from Hermando. We laid around, the way you are supposed to do on a beach vacation. We had this laying around down to an art.

If you visit the Grand and don’t want to just lay around, there is plenty to do. The Star Friends constantly have activities going on. There is beach volleyball, there is the slip and slide ON the pool, darts, dance lessons, silly games, aerobics in the water, yoga, spinning classes in the spa, bike rides. It’s a very comprehensive schedule. There are cooking lessons and special lunches outside (paella, tacos). These are set up by the towel hut or outside of Bella Vista. Jessica, the PR chef would walk around the restaurants and stop and visit with the guests, asking how things were, saying let her know if you want anything special and at breakfast tell you if there was a special lunch. There is a wine tasting and I think cocktail class and tequila tasting. If you wander over to the Maya/Lindo there is beach soccer and archery and air rifles and ceramics painting (ceramics painting is a paid activity). Most of the activities go on in the big activity pool or near the towel hut.

The Star Friends sometimes will bring games around to those of us that laze on the beach. One year I played a rind toss game and did horribly. I won no prize, but there are often prizes to win. We didn’t do any of this stuff. We just lazed and read and drank and enjoyed doing nothing. The Star Friends will also sometimes come around and just chat with you. They always remember your name.

Nicholas went to visit his new female friend at the Maya and missed his massage at 4, so Susie took his spot. Yes, she got two massages in two hours.

My crew.

You may think I posted that last picture to show off my gorgeous kids. Actually, it’s to show off the gorgeous colors of the ocean.

Zung and I finished the day at the spa pool. It would be our last time there until our next trip (which we are leaving for in 15 days).

Zung took some pictures from our balcony.

Dinner was at Toni’s Surf and Turf. (Check out the menu page to see their menu.)

Nicholas was a little sleepy. Don’t know why.

Our waiter was Karim. Karim has worked here since the first year we visited. That first year we had him twice at the Italian restaurant, and although we have asked for him several times we never seem to be eating at the restaurant he is working at. Tonight we lucked out. He is an awesome waiter. Friendly, but very professional. He always checks how you like things.

We had champagne, just like we did our first night.

I got the same appetizer I had the first night – Spider crab terrine over lobster and it’s Court-bouillon Gazpacho mayonnaise. I must have forgotten I ordered this because I didn’t like it the first night and I didn’t like it any better tonight. Karim noticed and offered to bring me something different, but I knew I wouldn’t go hungry.

For my main course I ordered the Surf and Turf.

I also had the caesar salad, which they bring our with your main course as a side dish.

Nicholas asked if he could just have surf and surf and they brought him two lobster tails.

I’m pretty sure Zung and Patrick got the Surf and Turf as well. Susie got the salmon and said it was very good.

Desserts:

Apple custard with pecans and sweet rosemary.

Forest fruits cheesecake and bitter chocolate sauce.

Insider tip: The “Bacon from Heaven” dessert has no bacon. It is a heavy custard. However the dessert at the Japanese restaurant that is vanilla ice cream over sweet beans actually has beans.

When we were getting toward the end of our dinner a couple came over and said hello. They knew me from some of the Playa del Carmen forums I frequent. I had warned my kids that I am a bit of a rock star and people may be coming up to me. Thank goodness for my credibility someone did!

After dinner Zung and I went to the Lobby Bar. I ordered Havana rum and Aleli brought the bottle and a glass and asked me if I wanted two short fingers or two long fingers. I went with short fingers. I then asked her if Daniel could make a cucumber mojito. She looked thoughtful and said no because they didn’t have any “pepitas” (cucumbers) at the bar. I told her I didn’t really like regular mojitos, but back home there was a restaurant that made cucumber mojitos and I liked them.

A little while later she came back and said she was going to one of the restaurants to get a pepita so Daniel could make my cucumber mojito. When she came back Daniel came over to ask how I wanted him to make it. Uh, I dunno? We talked about a couple of options and I told him he should just do what he thought best since he was the expert. Aleli brought it out and it was very good. I gave her a tip and also one for Daniel. Now that seems like exceptional service, doesn’t it? After I had drunk about half of it she came out with another one and said they had made it a little differently and she thought the new one tasted better. She was right. It was really delicious. It was a great way to end our last day, getting such special service. When I was finished I went to Daniel and told him he should put it on the menu. If you go, ask for one so they’ll add it to the menu and have the cucumbers at the bar all the time. Daniel told us the next day was his day off so we said goodbye until October.

It was fairly early but we wanted to get up early the next morning and get a few hours in at the beach.

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