Going home day

No matter how much you try to squeeze out your last few hours in paradise, it’s still tinged with sadness that you have to leave. It seems like many trips the last day has been rainy or cloudy which makes it not quite as hard to leave. No chance of that this year. Yes, it was another gorgeous day in paradise.

We got up early and went to breakfast at Bella Vista. I took my iPad so I could read the news (USA Today). I love my iPad. It is awesome. I don’t usually have to have the latest, greatest tech toy. But I had to have this as soon as I heard about it. I use it all the time. I probably don;t come remotely close to using it to its full potential. Probably not even half its potential. I do read books on it, but I don’t take it to the beach. It’s too expensive to leave unattended and I don’t want to have to worry about it when I go to lunch, in the water or for a walk. The main reason I took it on this trip was to show it to Karen. On vacation I try to stay unplugged. But it is so compact, easily fits into the safe, I will probably take it again.

We were packed up so we headed out to the beach. I brought one of my Rockstar shoes because I wanted to take a new picture for my avatar. For those of you that are new to me and my shoe avatars, here is the old picture.

My fabulous Fendis in the Grand lobby bar - note the floor pattern.

The new shoes were not nearly as expensive as my Fabulous Fendi’s, but boy do they make an impression.

Zung took a bunch of pics for me to choose from. I only wore one, because, well, I was on those rocks and two would have been dangerous!

Lotsa leg.

Straightforward and to the point, but -- boring?

A different angle, but, no, I don't think it works.

Adding some wave action.

This one makes the cut.

Okay, seriously, that’s enough.

We are so lucky to be returning in just over two months. That will just be Zung and I.

I finished my book. I think I went in the water one last time. It was Hermando’s day off. Gabriel came around with water around 10:30, but by that time we knew we had to head back to the room within 20-30 minutes so we said, No Gracias.

Head back to the room we did. We showered and made ourselves travel presentable.

Patrick was sad to be leaving.

The day before the concierge (or someone) had called to ask what time we wanted them to come get our bags. Check out time is 12 noon, so that’s what we requested. I left Zung and the kids to wait for the bell boy and I went and checked us out. Some hotels request a credit card when you check in for “incidentals” (Royal Hideaway always does). But they have never asked for one at the Iberostar hotels. However, I have heard stories of other hotels where they would not let you leave if there was any dispute about your bill. Remember, you are in Mexico and there are different rules and customs. If you have any concerns about your bill, check it early. You don’t want to stress as you are checking out. I have never had any problems, and I usually only charge spa services. I paid the bill. I then returned to the room where the bags had just been taken and we set off for lunch at Bella Vista.

Susie loved the bread and ate LOTS of it.

It was almost completely empty. They were setting up for one of their special lunches outside.

The service was pretty mediocre with the food being brought out at uneven intervals. I think Zung got his fajitas way before the rest of us got our main courses. I ordered a salad and lobster. The salad was HUGE.

Horrible picture of me but shows HUGE salad.

The lobster was not so huge. It was half of a whole lobster (which sounds oxymoronish, but I mean as opposed to a tail). I had gotten this once during a previous trip and it was pretty awful. Tough and salty. I am pleased to report it was quite good this time around.

After we were done with lunch we started to head to the lobby to await our ride.

Zung took a picture of the restroom outside Bella Vista. I know this sounds weird, but the restrooms are all beautiful and different and this one has a most unique sink. next time (in two weeks) I will take pictures of all the different restrooms so you can see what I mean.

The kids sat at the bar. It was Daniel’s day off so I sat at a sofa and looked very sad to be leaving.

I’m not sure I have a right to look so sad when I am returning in just over two months.

Right on time at 1:30 pm our ride from Cancun Valet arrived. We were back to the airport, checked in and had a slight delay as we went through security. They were really screening bags and Nicholas got busted when his too large bottle of moisturizer was discovered and confiscated.

In the Duty Free shop we took note of this rather bizarre ad.

This really makes me want to buy this perfume.

We got some perfume, liquor and vanilla. We made a stop at Margaritaville. They will make you fresh guacamole there for free (tip the guy).

My favorite flight attendant, Dave, was on our Frontier flight. Dave is a sweetheart who spoils us shamelessly. Frontier now serves chocolate chip cookies. But they are ice-cold (as I discovered on the trip down).  When he came by with them this flight I asked if they were warm and he said he would bring me some warm ones when he was done passing out the cold ones. He brought me FOUR warm cookies. I just love this guy. He takes such good care of us, I am always thrilled when I see he is on our flight.

The flight was uneventful. There was a very cranky lady at immigration who yelled at Susie and Zung because they went under the rope to stay with me. Gee, it’s always nice to be welcomed back home. Do you have to sign some sort of agreement that you won’t smile or be friendly in any way to work in Immigration or Customs? Seriously.

Some people have been known to bring Cuban products into the US, like cigars (not us) or rum. I said I didn’t think that would be a good idea. We got pulled for a random screening at Customs. Thank goodness we didn’t have anything we weren’t supposed to, being the law-abiding citizens that we are. There were people there that had Cuban cigars and they make you throw them out. They don’t just take them. They hold the trash can and say, Open the package and throw them in there.

Isn’t it about time to end this silly embargo? It’s a different world and I really don’ think buying Cuban cigars or rum are truly any threat to our national security.

This is the end of this trip report. Please check back tomorrow as I have some menus and the Grand grounds map to post.

Zung and I are off to the Grand in two weeks, so there will be more adventures to write (me) and read (you) about. I will remember to take pictures of everything this time. Bathrooms, menus, pools.

I may start writing about the trip where we learned firsthand about emergency medical care and hospital visits in Mexico. That is “not to be missed” because, although it was a traumatic experience for us (it all turned out okay), invaluable lessons were learned.

Happy vacationing!

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4 Responses to Going home day

  1. Raine says:

    Hello Andrea! Thank you so much for the fantastic trip report! I’ve been reading your blog daily since you created it and have enjoyed each installment. I was already excited about visiting the Grand for the 1st time in December, but now I can’t wait to arrive. Since this trip is a joint Christmas/Birthday gift, I am wondering what the Grand does for those celebrating a birthday (can you have a special cake made or something special done in the room?). I have not read anything about this on TA so I am looking forward to reading about your upcoming celebratory trip.

    I hope you have a fabulous 50th birthday at the Grand!!!

    All the best,
    Raine

    • shoediva50 says:

      We were at the Grand for my husband’s 60th. I requested champagne and balloons in the room when wen returned from the beach. They also put up a sign on the door. Ifnyou askedmfor a cake I expect they would arrange it. They usually put a bottlemof champagne inmour room the first night. I have also heard/read about them having a bubble bath and rose petals for special occasion and no occasion. This is a little inconsistent. Soemtimes they surprise you. But ifnyou want something for sure I would ask for it. You’ll have a great time there for sure.

  2. Raine says:

    Thank you, this is good to know. Balloons, champagne and something “chocolate” in the room (like chocolate covered strawberries) would be an ideal surprise. This isn’t a milestone birthday so I won’t require anything more than a room surprise or a nice dessert with a candle. I’m glad that I can talk to someone about this when I arrive.

    What dessert(s) was your favorite at the Grand? And can you recommend a good one that does not have ice cream or cream (for those who are lactose intolerant).

    Thanks for your help!

  3. Pingback: 2010 in review | Iberostar Rocks: An Unofficial Guide to Iberostar Paraiso

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