Finding jewelry and losing cameras

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In to the jewelry store we went. “Just to take a look.” I said hello to the guy who works there. I seriously need to learn his name, I mean, with the relationship we have developed, it’s just not appropriate to keep referring to him as “the guy who works there.” I asked him if he remembered me. He thought for a minute and said, “Yes! You bought tanzanite earrings and a bracelet.” Good memory. It would get even better later.

I looked around. Almost immediately a gold bracelet caught my eye. They don’t have a lot of gold. It’s mostly silver. I asked what kind of stones were in it and he said white topaz. White topaz is diamond looking but not nearly as expensive. I looked at the rest of the store and then went back to the gold bracelet and asked what the price was, “just out of curiosity.” He took the bracelet down and put it on my wrist and then took out his calculator and came up with $220. I thought about it and said I’d like to pay $150. He thought about it and said he’d have to ask his boss, who was in the other store. He said I should take the bracelet with me and come back later and see what she said. He said, “If you don’t come back this time, I know you’ll be back to the Grand again.” I said, “No, no. I can’t do that.” But he was taking out the scissors and clipping off the tag and sending me out the door with the bracelet on.

Karen was floored. My theory is that he thought if I lived with it for a while I would pay a higher price than I’d ask when I came back. Spoiler alert! I was wrong.

This picture doesn’t really do it justice. It was taken when I got home.

Karen and I went back to the room. There was a bucket of ice waiting for us. Karen had seen our butler earlier and asked that there be ice there at 5 o’clock. He came by to make sure everything was okay and she asked for mint (she was still working on her infused vodka). Now, I bet that’s not a request they get every day. He went off to the bar and brought her back some mint. They had also brought us more down pillows. We were feeling very attended to by our butlers.

Karen and I proceeded to get dolled up for another “girls without their husbands not quite going wild” night. As I was packing my purse (it’s actually just a wristlet and does not qualify as a true bag, hence staying within the rules of not carrying a purse while on vacation) I looked for the camera.

I looked in the beach bag. Not there. I looked on the counter. Not there. I looked in my other wristlet. Not there (and would never fit, but I was getting panicky). I looked in the safe. Not there. I looked everywhere, again. “Karen, have you seen the camera?” She had not seen it since we had used it at the spa.

We stopped at the concierge desk to see if anyone had turned it in and she called the spa. They couldn’t find it, so the concierge had me fill out a report. We went over to the spa to look, but it wasn’t there. I was seriously bumming because it had all our pictures. I have a camera on my phone, but it’s an iPhone 4 and I didn’t really want to be carrying it around at the beach and everywhere.

There was nothing that could be done about it, so we went to dinner. We had reservations at the Gourmet restaurant. Karen was wearing a really beautiful silver dress with excellent complementing shoes. I was wearing a flowered skirt and black lacy top and my amazing Christian Dior black cage shoes. But there are no pictures, so you will have to take my word for how hot we looked.

We were seated by the window. Actually, they tried to seat us not by the window and Karen told the hostess we wanted to be by the window. We were given water and they tried to give us bread. The little rolls they give are not that good and not worth the calories, so I passed. Our waiter came by and asked what we wanted to drink. I believe Karen got champagne.

I was supposed to be investigating the wine situation, so I asked what kind of red wine they had. He said they had a Cabernet from somewhere (somewhere being a country), a Merlot from somewhere, another Cabernet from somewhere else. I chose the Cabernet from somewhere else. It was decent, as most of the all-inclusive wines are. I usually buy decent wines at home, so I don’t need to have really high-end wines. When I get to have a high-end wine I usually quite enjoy it, but decent is fine too.

Previously the Grand has had an extensive wine list. There had been some buzz on some of the forums that it no longer existed and they no longer had the same selection of wines. This experience seemed to confirm that. Spoiler alert – this was not the case. How many wines were offered varied by waiter. As for the wine list, I emailed the Grand about this before our trip and was told they were changing the selection and were working on a new wine list. As it turned out, we were at one point given the old wine list. But that’s for another post.

Karen got the lobster and asparagus salad and the onion soup for appetizers and I got the “Bresse Style Pheasant Turnover with port and wine cream” which was quite good and rather rich. I think Karen got the duck. I got the veal. Both were good. My veal was more like tenderloin than scallopine. But it was tender and tasty. Can’t remember if we got dessert.

Karen asked for a Mayan coffee. She got it, but it didn’t come with the totally awesome show we got in August, and she said it didn’t taste as good without the show.

We finished and headed to the Lobby bar. But first I had to settle up with the jewelry store dude. I had checked my cash, and I only had $100. I bought it with me. When we went in he said he remembered more about us. He remembered I was a nurse, my husband was a teacher for college (close, he’s a professor but strictly does research now) and that, “Your daughter is beautiful.” Well, yes, yes she is and everyone remembers her.

Here she is with me and Zung back in August.

Jewelry store dude asks if I can pay the $150 in cash. I say I only have $100 in cash. He says fine, $100 in cash and $50 on the credit card. We have a deal. I know some would say if he agreed to my price that quickly I could have gotten him to go lower, but I don’t need to do that cutthroat, about to walk out the door negotiation thing. I liked the bracelet. $150 seemed reasonable. I was happy, he was happy. My husband likes me to have sparkly things, so I was sure he’d be happy too.

On to the bar! Daniel was waiting for us. I sat down and realized I was cheating on Lounge Chair with Bar Stool. Fortunately, the two never crossed paths.

Cucumber mojitos were the drink of choice for me. I had three! Karen enjoyed her Havana Siete on ice. We chatted with Daniel, Ahleli and whoever happened to be sitting around us that evening.

We stayed pretty late, maybe close to 11. When we got back to the room Karen discovered my camera! She had put it in her bag, thinking it was her flip (a video camera). Now I could take pictures again and have some way to remember what we did on our vacation so I could write about it on my blog weeks later.

We put on our robes and went out on the balcony with some drinks.

It had been quite awhile since dinner (our reservations had been at 7), those cucumber mojitos are amazingly lo-cal (having cucumbers in them cancels out the rum) and I’d always wanted to order room service late at night. I love that room service button. I ordered the Chocolate tart with hazelnuts and Karen ordered chips and guacamole. It was there quickly and they also brought a plate of chips with neon orange cheese sauce. We did quite a job on it.

Our first full day had come to an end. Although the weather had sucked, we’d gone on a bike ride, I’d bought a beautiful bracelet, we’d had lots to eat and drink and were having a great girl’s getaway.

Tomorrow we would learn that even 50-year-old women can attract a pack of guys and we would do something I have never done before.


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