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We woke up. We were in Paradise (aka the Riviera Maya), but it was not a beautiful day. It was raining.
Sleep had not been good. The bed was as hard as a rock. The pillows were lumpy. Some people say they like a firm bed, but I have a hard time believing anyone really likes a bed this firm. Zung said he woke up multiple times because it was so uncomfortable. I didn’t think to ask for padding, but, apparently you can. If you go, unless your version of firm is rock hard, ask for one. I had found a decent pillow in the closet, so they have them, they just don’t put them on the beds. I have an awesome pillow at home and at the Grand there is a pillow menu, so this was definitely a step down.
After assessing the weather situation, we got dressed, grabbed the umbrella they provide (it’s kept in the closet) and headed out for breakfast. Breakfast is served in the Toscana restaurant as a buffet. There is also breakfast served at the Lobster House, but that doesn’t open until 9 and it was before 8 when we ate every morning.
We were always asked for our room number when we went to any restaurant. We were seated. There are two sides to the restaurant, the only division being a planter type thing and columns. interestingly, you can get internet service on the right side but not on the left side. I took my iPad so I could check my email and the news. They also had USA today and the New York Times (the resort versions).
We were brought coffee and tea and I may have ordered a Mimosa. They don’t leave the milk and I drink my tea with milk, so I usually had to flag our waiter down to get milk. Zung drinks coffee and they always asked him if he wanted milk. The tea was good quality. Zung reports the coffee as being good, equal to the Grand. They generally did a good job of refilling his coffee. At the Grand they just leave a pot of coffee and milk and the milk is heated in Mexico.
We went off to check out the offerings. It is strictly a buffet and it had the general buffet offerings. Fruit, but never any mango and the fruit was in big chunks and every time I tried it, it was kind of tasteless.
There were many different kinds of cold cereal. There was bacon and sausage. Every morning but one the bacon was nice and crispy. There were poached eggs in a warm water bath, scrambled eggs and hard boiled eggs. Pancakes, waffles and french toast. I tried the french toast at some point and I still have nightmares about it.
It was hard, burned and I didn’t even taste it when I couldn’t cut through it. At the Grand they will cook it fresh for you. The Grand tends to undercook it, but I actually like my french toast soggy. I like it with cinnamon sugar milk, which completely grosses everyone in my family out. So this hard, burned french toast was definitely not doing it for me. When I looked back on this picture, I wasn’t even sure what it was. Zung had to remind me.
I got bacon, a fried egg, which was good and they would make for me at the omelet station, and some potatoes. They also had yogurt, all kinds of juices, pastries, breads and some meats and cheeses.
But it’s really nice that they have some available.
These were the non-gluten free options.
There were always chilaquiles, which I’ve always wanted to try, but they just didn’t look very appetizing, so I passed.
They, of course made omelets. Zung really looks forward to his vacation omelets. The rest of the year, he eats oatmeal (it’s a heart healthy food). But he gets an omelet every day on vacation. He loves the omelets at the Grand. They are nice and fluffy.
He was disappointed in the omelets at ERC. I tried one, one day, and I could see why. They sauté the fillings and cook the eggs and then put them together and the eggs are flat and the fillings don’t get hot and end up like a blob in the middle of the omelet.
They have a Mimosa and Bloody Mary station, so you can make your own or they will bring it to you if you ask. I tried to have Mimosa almost every day. It’s part of my new vacation rules. Start every day with a Mimosa.
In summary, the service was generally pretty good and there was a lot of variety, but nothing was better than average tasting and quite a few things were less than average.
The boys had breakfast at the Lobster House. Patrick got crepes. I would have liked to have tried it, but it opened too late.
When we were finished with breakfast it was still raining. Bummer.
We have been really lucky in that we have only had 1 1/2 days of straight rain on all our trips to Mexico. I guess the law of averages finally caught up to us.
We were about to discover what you do on vacation in Mexico when it rains. And I was about to break one of my sacred vacation rules. Bad weather makes you do crazy things.
We hired a photographer while we were there to take pictures of the family. They turned out really well and I’ll end most of my posts with a couple pictures from that.