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Karen and I dressed for dinner. We had a serious discussion about which dress and which shoes. I chose my turquoise dress and my bronze shoes. Karen chose her black dress and black (kick ass) shoes. As I mentioned before, Karen has really stepped up her game in terms of shoes.
Karen and I had a sort of sabbatical in our friendship where we didn’t see or talk to each other for 23 years. A few months after our long-awaited reunion I went to visit her while she was staying in Florida for a few weeks. That was the first time we spent more than a day together and the first time I saw her choices in shoes. After a couple of days I told her, “If you’re gonna hang out with me, you’re gonna have to wear better shoes.”
She has certainly risen to that challenge.
Unfortunately, I only have pictures of her shoes in her suitcase. I don’t have any pictures of my shoes. Where is Zung when I need him? He would have remembered to take shoe pictures!
Okay, back to our first dinner. We were dressed. Two hot 50-year-old babes. We walked out of our room and as soon as the door banged shut we looked at each other and said, “Did you bring your room key?”
Well, neither of us brought her room key. But as luck would have it, a maid was walking down the hall toward us. “We locked ourselves out of our room. Can you open our door?” we asked. She smiled at us, not understanding a word of English. I pointed toward the place where the key goes. Unfortunately, I had put the “Please make up room” sign in there so we would get turn down service. She looked at it and nodded yes. She thought we were asking for turn down service, which was very logical. Considering the circumstances. But it was not what we were asking.
I thought of my limited Spanish and although I was not 100% sure it was the right word, I went for it and asked, “Abierto?” Jackpot! It was the right word. For those of you who might find themselves in a similar situation, it means “open.” She opened the door for us and we grabbed a room key and were off to the Japanese restaurant, Haiku, for our first dinner.
We checked in with the hostess and as she took us into the restaurant we asked if we could sit at a “regular” table (as opposed to the hibachi table). The last few times we have eaten there and sat at the hibachi table, there was really no show cooking and I planned on getting a wok cooked dish anyway.
We were seated at a regular table and our waitress, Guadalupe, approached us right away. I have noticed that at all the other restaurants, there are waiters and it is only the Japanese where there are waitresses. I wonder what it up with that. (Guadalupe was an excellent and friendly waitress).
We ordered champagne. She brought us two glasses with cherries in them and then brought a bottle and opened it. It was all ours, to drink as much of as we wanted.
We took some pictures of each other drinking said champagne. (I love this picture because my waist looks so tiny in it and another part of my body looks a little better endowed than it really is – thank you Victoria’s Secret).
Karen looks very sexy with the hair to one side look.
Guadalupe came over to take our food order. Karen ordered the Red Tuna and Shrimp Tempura for an appetizer. I asked for the Shrimp Niguiri, which is served 3 to a plate. I, however, requested just one. I knew I wouldn’t be able to eat everything and I hate to waste food. Guadalupe was taken aback at this request. She tried hard to get me to order the full plate and she had a good laugh over it, especially when she served it. We both ordered the Lobster Stew with Pineapple and Red Curry. I’d had this in October and it was delish. Someone on Trip Advisor said it had a strong coconut flavor, and, trying it again, I had to agree. But I still thought it was yummy. The lobster is a bit chewy (they do like to overcook the proteins at the Japanese restaurant). However, overall, it was just as yummy as I remembered. I also ordered the fried rice, which is very yummy and not to be missed. Karen, however, did miss it, or rather, pass it up.
I can’t remember if she had dessert. I know I passed on it, as I was saving room for cucumber mojitos.
With dinner finished, we were off to the lobby bar. Daniel was ready for me. (Karen ordered one too. She had to see what all the fuss was about).
He muddled and mixed and pureed and then it was ready.
Karen didn’t like it enough to have more than one. She hadn’t had enough rum servings, so she ordered some Havana Siete on ice next.
We passed the time by chatting with the couple sitting next to us. I won’t mention that they had been sitting at the bar when we checked in and were still there when we arrived after dinner. She claimed they had a very late lunch and just skipped dinner. Then she said the popcorn and peanuts were their dinner. Yea. I’ll buy that. You’re on vacation honey, you can have whatever you want for dinner. (They were a very cute couple and did not behave at all like they had been at the bar for about 5 hours).
The male part of that couple had the same passion for cars that Zung does. I could tell he loved talking about his orange Camaro as much as Zung loves talking about his silver BMW.
I gave Daniel a proper hug when he came around to wipe down the bar. I asked how his son, Mathew, was doing and asked if he had a picture of him. He brought out his wallet and showed us Mathew’s picture, his pride in him obvious.
I gave Ahleli a hug when she came by. Eder (a Starfriend) came by and looked at me and pointed. I could tell he was trying to remember my name, and remember he did. “Andrea!” followed by, “Where is Zung?” He has a funny way of saying both our names, I think it is how he remembers them. It impresses me that he does remember them, given the hundreds of people he sees every week. He gave me a big hug too.
It’s a lot like coming home and seeing family when I go to the Grand. It is these (and other) people who keep me coming back.
It was late. It had been a travel day. We were a little tired and maybe a little toasted. We took one more picture together and then headed back to our room.
There was the special apple treat for Apple guests waiting for us.
There was also a note telling us to come to the Apple orientation the next day and to arrange for transportation back to the airport.
Yea. I’m pretty sure we will pass on that.
It had been a great first day. We still had three full days of adventures ahead of us. And adventures we would have.