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There is no immigration line to speak of. Which means a wait for our bags. I go in the bathroom and remove my leggings. I have already lost my sweater. I am now dressed appropriately for Mexico in August. The wait for our bags is not long and we are through Customs quickly, with yet another green light. Which means there was no embarrassing discovery of the sex toys.
We quickly make our way through the gauntlet. I must look very unfriendly today, because almost no one talks to me. I am also wearing shades, which I have found cuts down on the idle chit-chat by the sharks trying to reel people in.
There he is! My Cancun Valet dude. He’s been waiting for me. He has a sign with my name on it. He calls for the van, which comes quickly and we are on our way to the Grand. The new overpasses make it quick and painless. We are there in a mere 25 minutes.
I have been through these gates 12 times, and I still get ridiculously excited every time. You’d think one of these times I would remember to take a picture of them.
There’s the convention center.
There’s the shopping center.
There’s the medical center.
There’s the golf club.
Finally, we are driving through the gates to the Grand. It really feels like coming home this time. Jorge opens the door and welcomes us back. We get the cold wash cloths and Jorge gets our bags. Zung tips the driver and then Jorge tells us since we are booked into oceanfront we do not need to check in at the lobby. There will be a private check-in in our room. He does send us in to the bar to have a drink and says he will come get us in a few minutes.
I booked an ocean front room this time, directly through the hotel. I wanted to wait and see if we’d get a comped upgrade, but Zung just wanted to go with a sure thing this trip. Everyone can now rest assured that my opinions and reviews are totally unbiased this time.
We go inside and sit at the bar. Perfecto is the bartender. Ohhhhh, I think I pissed Perfecto off the last time he saw me. Maybe he won’t remember.
He asks us what we want to drink. Champagne. It is the only thing fitting for a first drink.
Laura, from PR, comes out and thanks us for our loyalty and gives us a gift certificate for a couples 30 minute relaxing massage.
We chat with Perfecto. I am hoping he doesn’t remember me. Doesn’t remember that I demanded to speak with his supervisor, Moises, because I wanted Humberto to work the Lobby Bar, instead of him. They appeased me by having Humberto make our chocolate martinis, but kept him in the Music Bar.
Yea, no such luck. He remembers me. He remembers my name. He remembers the situation with Humberto. But still, he smiles and is nice to us. Class act.
Jorge comes and gets us and we take a golf cart to Building 71. Victor, the awesome butler, greets us with yet more champagne. I could get used to this!
Our room is on the third floor, which is what I had requested (2nd or 3rd). However, the elevator is out of service. Are you freaking kidding me? I am not happy about having to hike up two flights of stairs. I am even less happy thinking about Jorge having to haul our luggage up those stairs. We had weighed my bag the night before. It was 45 pounds. Actually, it started out at close to 50, and since 50 is the limit, I transferred some stuff into Zung’s snorkel bag. When you’re hauling a bag up two flights of stairs, 45# vs 50# is just freaking heavy no matter which way you look at it.
We find our room, #7144.
It has a great view.
There is a lovely flower arrangement.
They think of almost everything. There are plates, napkins and silverware to eat the fruit (if we were so civilized to eat fruit with a knife and fork), there are glasses for the wine. What there is not, is a wine opener. I know about this lapse and have one in my suitcase. We never use it though. We are usually all drinked out when we get back to the room. We end up bringing the wine back home with us.
Jorge brings our bags in and we give him an extra big tip for his extra big effort.
While waiting for Victor to arrive, I do the Ceremonial Removal of the Watch. Or the CROW, as it has come to be known. Occasionally referred to as the CROTW. If you’re a newbie to my trip reports, I do this within the first 30 minutes of arriving in my room because I don’t wear a watch when I’m on vacation. I sleep when I’m tired, I eat when I’m hungry and I drink, well, all the time.
Why, I would like a bottle of Havana Club Siete, por favor. He asks Zung if he’d like anything and I tell him I will share with Zung, if he is very, very good.
Victor tells us that Steve and Janelle are here (I knew that) and their room is on the second floor (didn’t know that). He also tells us that “Mr. Miller” will be arriving tomorrow. Mr. Miller is the Trip Advisor member known as Ragtop. He had kept his trip a secret until the last couple days where some major hints were dropped. If you read my live from posts, you know his surprise arrival turned out to be the bad kind of surprise.
But, at this point we didn’t know how that would play out.
We only knew that we were at our happy place.
We were unpacked, checked-in and banded. We had some reunions to get to!