L’Atelier, New Sparkly Things, and a Married Man Traveling Solo

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We dressed for dinner at L’Atelier, the gourmet restaurant. It feels like the fanciest restaurant (with Venecia, the Italian a close second), so I wore my fanciest dress.

Zung dressed to coordinate with me. Let’s face it, as far as clothes go, I am the lead dancer and he falls in line. He’s my arm candy.

The dress was a score at a sale at Dillard’s. A little bit over the top, but too good a deal to pass up. My general attitude about clothes tends to be, I’ll wear whatever the hell I want to. People certainly do in the other direction (dressing waaaaay down). I’m just providing balance. Plus, it made my waist look really small. Who can pass that up?

Dinner was good, but not great. Zung had the onion soup. They pour the soups table side.

He liked it.

I had the pheasant patty pastry. It was quite delicious. It was the highlight of my dinner.

For mains, Zung had the salmon, which he enjoyed.

I had the lamb. I ordered it medium rare and it was served well done. Not good at all. The potatoes were quite tasty though.

I am sure I could have sent it back. However, that would have interrupted the flow of the meal. One mediocre meal is not going to make or break my evening and certainly not my vacation.

Zung had the Saint Honore for dessert and a Mayan Coffee (which was not prepared table side – boo!). I passed on dessert because I knew Humberto had an awesome Chocolate Martini or two waiting for me at the Lobby Bar.

We finished and went up to the first floor, where we saw Alvaro, a most awesome dancer in the shows who has shown an appreciation for my shoes.

There were hugs and he checked out my shoes and he encouraged us to go to the show.

We continued on towards the lobby.

I had worn my sapphire necklace so that we could stop at the jewelry store and maybe find some earrings that matched well with it. Abraham was there. They didn’t have a huge selection of sapphire earrings and I didn’t like anything that was there. He asked me what I was looking for and I said something dangly. He got on the phone to one of the other jewelry stores in the complex. I assumed he was asking if they had what I was looking for (he spoke in Spanish, so I can’t be certain). He hung up and told me he would be back in ten minutes.

We went to the Lobby to exchange some money, but I had forgotten my passport, so they couldn’t do it. They require a passport for all money exchanges.

We proceeded to the bar where Humberto made my now standard after-dinner drink (or two), a chocolate martini.

They were delicious and went down easy. I must have shown restraint though, because I never had a, “Oh no, I just didn’t” moment. Creamy, smooth, not too sweet. Perfecto!

We were joined by the married dude, traveling solo, Duffy, whom we had met two nights before. He made me a little uncomfortable as the evening progressed. At first he was what could be considered charming, commenting repeatedly that I was beautiful. What woman doesn’t want to hear that? But when I said something about my necklace he said to Zung, “Well that gives me a good excuse to look at your wife’s breasts.” Okay, crossed the line there. Zung decided he was drunk and ignored the inappropriate comment.

I left after about a half an hour to go buy some jewelry. Abraham had two pairs of dangly sapphire earrings for me. There were small sapphires and large sapphires. Can you guess which one I chose? Well, what girl wouldn’t go with the bigger rocks?

We quickly agreed on a price. For those who haven’t read my jewelry buying philosophy before – I look at a piece of jewelry I want, decide how much I think it’s worth to me and ask for the opening bid. I then make my offer and Abraham usually contorts his face a little and then generally agrees to it. I know that probably means I could get him to go lower, but I’m not a cutthroat negotiator. I just want to pay what I think it’s worth. I don’t have to leave him battered and beaten to feel like I’ve gotten a good deal.

I opened my wristlet to pull out my credit card. Well, it must have been left back in the safe with my passport. I looked at him and said, “Uh oh!” He waved me away and said he knew I would come back to pay him. I love this guy!

I went back out to the bar, where Zung and Duffy were still chatting. I showed them my purchase and approving, male noises were made.

Happy Birthday to me!

We chatted a bit more. I asked Zung to go back to the room to get the credit card and my passport so I could exchange some money so we could tip Humberto. I had USD, but I think I had a $50 0r $100, and while Humberto was awesome, no bartender is that good.

Well, maybe Daniel is.

Zung went back to the room, got the CC and paid Abraham and then rejoined us.

Before he’d left, Duffy asked how much I wanted to tip Humberto and I said $5 and he took out a $5 and gave it to me. (We paid him back the next day, but he acted like it was not necessary).  That was a very nice thing he did. But he was making me uncomfortable with his comments and he totally lost me when he pulled out a cigarette and asked if I minded if he smoked.

Did I mind if he smoked? Are you freaking kidding me?

“You can’t smoke in here,” I said, pointing at the quite large no-smoking sign that was RIGHT IN FRONT OF US! He waved his hand at it and made a, “That doesn’t mean anything” noise. He said, “Do YOU care if I smoke?”

I was completely flabbergasted.

I shook my head. “No, you CAN’T smoke in here,” I said.

He shrugged and put his cigs away, but not too long after that he bid us a good evening and left.

Allrighty then. That was, interesting.

When I had consumed my limit of chocolate martinis we went back to our room, passing Las Brisa, where the wedding reception was still in full swing.

It had been another great day, and we still had two full days left!

Tomorrow would bring my first rock star moment of the trip.




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