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The ride to the Grand didn’t take long. I didn’t pay attention to exactly how long, but I did notice that the new overpass over Puerto Moreles made that stretch a LOT faster.
I always get so excited as we pull into the Iberostar Paraiso complex. The road as you first come in is lined with hedges that had beautiful pink flowers that were in full bloom. We passed by the afternoon bike tour group and I commented I had always wanted to do that. I would regret making that comment the next day. But I’m getting ahead of myself again.
Our van pulled up in front of the Grand and we hopped out. They brought us the cool damp wash cloths, which didn’t feel as refreshing in the cooler weather.
Jorge, the bell boy, took us inside to the front desk. I cannot remember the name of the woman who checked us in, but she was clearly new. The last two times I checked in it was with a new employee. What is up with the front desk that they are constantly training new people? One of the clues that this chica was new was the guy standing literally right behind her the entire time. He was listening to every word she said. Truly – if he had puckered up his lips, he would have kissed her ear.
The other clue she was a newbie was what she asked us. Okay – complaint coming. She asked if it was our first time there. Excuse me. WHAT? I’m sorry. You just don’t ask someone who is there for the sixth time (and has sent an email to that effect ahead of time) if this is her first time. (Especially not when she writes a blog called Iberostarrocks and will surely write about this egregious lapse). When I told her it was my sixth time and Karen’s second time she said I probably knew the resort better than she did. Uh, yea. I probably do.
She gave us our paperwork, made us fill the standard stuff out and said our bell boy would take us to our room. We were brought our welcome drinks. Of course we both chose the champagne. (For you newbies – they bring a tray with champagne and fruity drinks so if you are a teetotaler, or just don’t like the bubbly, you have a tasty option. Me? I always go for the champagne.)
We were given room 7340, which is about as far away from everything as I have ever been. The check-in chica did not say anything about an upgrade, but there was a teeny bit of ocean to be viewed. (Teeny – it’s right between the building and the palm tree).
Karen wanted me to ask about an upgrade, but I had decided I was not going to worry about an upgrade. If we got one, terrific, if not, we were still going to have a terrific time. (I wonder if all the turnover is caused by people demanding to be upgraded?)
Before we went to our room, I had something to do. We walked over to the lobby bar. I wanted to let Daniel know I was there and I wanted a cucumber mojito that night.
Daniel was not there! Oh no! Gathering my wits about me, I asked the bartender if Daniel was not working today. He told me Daniel was working and would be back in 30 minutes. I asked if he would give him a message. He told me to wait a minute and he went in the back. When he returned he had the charming Daniel with him.
Daniel had a confused look on his face (probably was wondering who was interrupting his break). When he saw me he rolled his eyes, and his expression screamed, “The trouble-maker is back!” Then he warmly shook my hand and grinned.
I have written all over this blog and the forums about how much I love Daniel’s cucumber mojitos. It is a special drink he made for me when I was here in August 2010.
Since then, lots of people have asked him for them. It’s not a corporate approved drink and is not on the menu and therefore the bar does not stock cucumbers. If requested, Daniel is more than happy to procure a cucumber and make you said mojito. Apparently though, some people are put out that they can’t get it when they ask for it, and then when he does make it, they don’t like it.
This cucumber mojito frenzy I have caused is a bit of a pain in the rear for him.
Tough. I want everyone to know, Daniel makes an awesome cucumber mojito. And on this particular day, I wanted him to make one (or three) for me. I was only there for four nights, so I didn’t want to have to wait until the next night. He assured me he would have cucumbers ready and waiting for me.
(This all sounds slightly obscene.)
That taken care of, Karen and I were off to our room.