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We were making that left hand turn off of 307 into the Iberostar Paraiso complex. Stop at the security gate, drive past the convention center on the left, shopping center on the right, medical center on the left, golf center on the right, turn left to the drive to the Grand.
We are there! We drive up under the porte cochere. The driver opens our door and we are greeted by Antonio.”Welcome home!”
We tip the driver, get our bags and Antonio gives us cool wash cloths to wipe away the travel. He says, “This is your 7th time back?” No, it’s my 8th time, and Karen’s 3rd time. He walks us in to the lobby to check in and at least 3 more times makes reference to my 7th time back. I correct him every time and become more insistent each time. I want credit for every time, thank you very much. We are laughing about it by the time we get to the check in desk. (This picture was taken in our room).
Nicolas checks us in. Since that is the name (although a different spelling) of my oldest child, I consider it a good omen.
It is. We are upgraded to an Ocean Front room. Woohoo! We are two happy chicas.
As you can see, we have received our welcome drinks. They offer a fruity drink as an alternative. Phhhttttt. I’ll take the champagne every time, si?
Jessica, from Public Relations comes out to greet us and says she knows I have been there “many” times (I laughed at that – she must have heard me correcting Antonio) and thanked us for our loyalty. That was nice. I was definitely feeling like the Iberoqueen. (Someone gave me that name on one of the forums a few years ago. Iberofanatic would work too.)
I exchanged some money and then we were getting into a golf cart and Antonio was driving us to Building 70. I ask about occupancy and he says it is 88%.
There it was…the most awesome site in the world, Heaven’s Gate.
I was sooooo happy. I took a moment to drink in the view.
We were greeted by Luis, the butler and the concierge (whose name escapes me). They give us another glass of champagne. Well, I don’t mind if I do.
Antonio takes us up to our room, which is on the 3rd floor. 7048. I loooove the 3rd floor. The views are to die for. We talk about the fact that they are glassing in the archways. They have done it over in Building 71 (I am very thankful I got Building 70, because it makes me want to cry that they are doing this). I ask if it because of the wind and he says no, it is because of the rain. It is bad for the concierge desk when it rains. Well, get them a damn umbrella or something, because this whole glassing in of the archways is tragic (pictures to come at a later blog posting).
Antonio brings our bags in and we take the picture, tip him, go out to the balcony and I do a little happy dance.
Do you see that view behind me? Is that not the most gorgeous, beautiful, awesome site, evvverrrr?
Yes. Yes it is.
There is the Ceremonial Removal of the Watch (CROTW).
…cause I don’t wear a watch on vacation. I eat when I’m hungry, I sleep when I’m tired, and I drink alllll day long.
There was a lovely flower arrangement…
…a fruit basket (that I confess, we never ate one piece of), and a bottle of red wine (we never drank that either), and a couple t-shirts (the husbands would get those because they were Large and XL).
We unpacked. Calls home we made. I told Zung about the upgrade. He is my husband and usual travel partner. He doesn’t love it that I go without him, but he races his BMW, so I’d say we are even. At least we are after I buy a couple pairs of really, really nice shoes. That doesn’t count the racing tires though. That’s a really, really, really nice pair of shoes. The tires only last one racing season, the shoes last…well, I don’t know how long they last because I still have all the designer shoes I have ever bought.
Having a lovely time. Wish you were here. Although, you would probably be bored to tears listening to Karen and I yak.
There is the very comfortable sofa I am sitting on and there is also a swing.
Trinidad, the butler, comes by. We confirm that we don’t need a tour of the room, but we do need down pillows and a bottle of Havana Siete. He said, “That’s a very good Cuban rum.”
Yes. Yes it is.
“No problem.” Well, that was a first. I’ve always gotten some push back when I asked for Havana rum. I was somewhat amazed that he acquiesced on the best Havana they have without so much as a bat of the eye. I asked if he was going to have Room Service bring it and he said yes. I asked that he also ask them to bring chips, guacamole and salsa. No problem. Did we want cheese? No, no cheese. We’re eating healthy. (I crack myself up.)
Even when the sun goes down, the sound of the ocean makes Ocean Front the best.
When Room Service brings our order, they bring the lowest level of Havana Club. I take one look at it and say, “That is NOT Havana Siete. I asked for a bottle of Havana Siete. You take that back and bring me a bottle of Havana Siete.”
He does. (It is my first hell raising of the trip).
Karen has put on the robe. She loves the robe.
Karen and I sit on the balcony, eating chips with guac and salsa. I am drinking a rum and coke and she drinks Havana Siete on ice.
Dinner and the Lobby bar are still yet to come.
The trip had gotten off to a rockin’ good start. It would only get better. I would have my first Rock Star moment tonight.
Life is good. It is very, very good.