I enjoyed my first hour on the beach. I am a beach rat and that is where I park my butt for most of the time. While on the beach I drink vast quantities of adult beverages because it is important to stay hydrated. It was about 11:30 when I went off in search of a bathroom. The maid’s cart was in front of our room, so I wandered over to the restrooms by the pool. I glanced over at the swim up pool bar and was fairly certain I saw Daniel.
Where Daniel was, a cucumber mojito was close behind! I made my own cucumber mojitos at home, but like most vacation type things, they were always better when someone else made them. And that someone was Daniel.
Daniel used to be the Lobby Bar bartender. The first time I met him I sat down and asked to taste every rum he had. He looked at me like I had grown a third eye. He ended up giving me the four best rums they had. I ended up giving him a $20 tip. He proceeded to keep my glass from getting empty (I was drinking Cuba Libre’s), even after I said, “No mas.” He earned a special place in my heart when I asked him to make a cucumber mojito and he said although he’d never done it before and he didn’t have any cucumbers, he would get some and learn how. His cucumber mojitos have become famous and a huge pain in his butt.
I look forward to them every time I come to the Grand. He probably would not be as miffed as lounge chair about my vacation infidelities. I had taught another bartender (or two) at ERC how to make cucumber mojitos.
Or, maybe he would. I would have to find out.
I walked over to the pool bar and sat down. He was in the middle of making someone else a drink. He didn’t notice me, so I said, “Daniel?” He looked at me. Truth be told, he didn’t look all that excited to see me. He asked when I got in and I replied, “Yesterday.” He asked if the reservation was under my husband’s name because he had checked and hadn’t seen it. I confirmed it was under Zung’s name. He told me somebody had told him I was coming (I think that was Mary aka whiskeykat).
Then he said, “You look really different during the day.”
That is guy code for, “You sure wear a lot of make-up at night” (and possibly, “I didn’t recognize you at first because you wear a lot of make-up at night and that is the only time I’ve seen you before.”)
I laughed and confirmed that I do wear more make-up at night. He said, “You also wear glasses.”
This is true. Who knew this young man was so observant of the details?
I asked him, “Are you ready for me?” He said he would be in a bit. That’s our code for “do you have cucumbers?–No, but I will get them.”
He came out from behind the bar and gave me a nice big, warm hug. I told him it was my birthday, so I expected an extra special cucumber mojito. He said, “It’s your birthday?” And then he gave me another big warm hug. I wondered how long I could keep this going for.
But I had a husband waiting for me at the beach, so I told him I’d be back in a bit.
Zung and I hung out for another hour on the beach. There was a cooking class and wine tasting at 1 o’clock that I wanted to go to. However, I wanted a cucumber mojito first. We made our way to the pool bar and sat down.
Daniel got started. Ahhhh, there’s nothing like the sound of the blender at noon.
I love how he tastes the drink before he hands it over and makes adjustments (He puts a straw in and then removes it to taste it, it’s completely sanitary). He always gives mine a rum float and he always makes them with Havana Siete.
There were four other people sitting at the bar. We would learn they were two couples traveling together. Steve and Stacey and Katie and Gene. They will make regular appearances in my blog. It’s always fun to meet nice people while drinking. Because, let’s face it, that’s where we meet most of the people we meet at the Grand.
There was finally the ceremonial handing over of the first cucumber mojito.
Big sip. Yes, now I have reached vacation perfection.
Next up, Cooking class with Olivia and her two goofy assistants, and another reunion.