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We dress for dinner. I got this dress from H & M. I don’t know why Zung didn’t ask me to take his picture every night of what he was wearing. Men?!
It was a nice evening. The elevator issues had been solved pretty quickly (a day or so).
We got in the elevator and went down to the Peanut Butter floor. We were in the elevator once with Steve and he said, “I wonder what PB means? Maybe peanut butter.” So we called it the Peanut Butter floor after that.
We made our way to the Asian restaurant. I think we may have walked, but it’s been almost two months, so I can’t be expected to remember.
(Note to self – detailed notes make for a more detailed trip report).
We were seated at a teppanyaki table. This can be fun. However, it almost always means a long dinner. You have to wait for everyone to arrive – 6 couples. Then they have to take everyone’s order. People may order multiple courses. They will wait until all the soup and sushi and app courses have been served before they start the hibachi cooking.
There was minimal show cooking tonight. This shows the flaming onion volcano.
We asked to see the wine list. I tried to order a bottle of white wine, but Eli, the snooty sommelier, gives me attitude and told me they only had a couple of whites, pointing them out. I order a bottle of red. Seriously, they need to give this guy a lesson in customer service. I’d had about enough of him.
I can’t remember what kind of apps we ordered. I do remember ordering the duck. It was, in a word, terrible. It was tough as leather. The fried rice was good as always.
Zung enjoyed his bananas tempura.
I ordered the mango sashimi and rice and imperial milk. I only eat the mango and fruit garnish though.
Dinner was done and I had a chocolate martini calling me. I didn’t know it, but I also had a big surprise waiting for me.
We walked down the long hall from the Japanese restaurant (Haiku, if you’re keeping track) towards the Lobby Bar. Some members of one of the wedding parties were throwing a football in the hall. They were part of the same party that had been having sexual fun with the cucumber earlier. Just goes to show, some people have more money than class. Really? Throwing a football in the hall of a high-end hotel?
We sat at the bar in the Lobby Bar (named Mirador, if you’re keeping track). The wonderful Humberto was the bartender tonight. Yea! Humberto is THE man!
I ordered my chocolate martini, not realizing some people were WATCHING us. Humberto performed his martini dance. Isn’t he adorable? He has the best smile. Such a sweet, sweet man.
He placed his creamy, delicious work of art in front of me.
I took a sip. Yum. I took another.
And then, I heard, behind me, “Well, that doesn’t look like a cucumber mojito.”
I’m thinking, rock star moment #3. I turn around and it’s Steph! Of Steph and Dan. Originally from My Beach Board, and now my Facebook friends.
A little background info is in order. I had “met” Steph and Dan years ago on My Beach Board (my travel agent/friend, Tami’s internet board/forums). We had chatted via forums, personal messages and Facebook over the years. We felt like we had a lot in common, including a love of the Riviera Maya. They are an old married couple with two adult kids. They have three adorable grandbabies. They are retired.
We’d said it would be cool to meet up in Mexico some time. A year or so ago we missed each other by a day. This year Steph had posted on Facebook, asking me when we were coming to the Grand because she’d come across a good deal. They’d never been to the Grand, but wanted to try it. We’d both loved the Royal Hideaway, and if memory serves me correctly, it was the first place they’d stayed in the Riviera Maya as well.
Then she didn’t say anything more about coming. I asked Tami (they are best friends, and she is their travel agent as well). She had said that it didn’t work out. That sounded plausible because they had just been to Mexico in July and were planning to go again in October. (Grandbabies and Mexico – I want their life!).
But I wondered if maybe they were planning to surprise me and just show up. I even said something to Zung about it right before we left for our trip. Steph threw me off by posting that she had her twin grand babies, so I thought, maybe not.
So, when I turned around and saw her, I said, “I knew you were going to do this!” Zung is sitting there, not knowing what is going on. I introduced him to her and Dan was over on the sofa, watching all this. We went over and sat with them and it was just freaking awesome to finally get to meet them in person. Dan didn’t believe that I suspected their surprise, but I really did.
I can’t tell you how great it was to spend time with them. Turned out, we really did have a lot in common and they were exactly like I thought they would be, right down to their voices.
They had just arrived that afternoon. They had looked for us at the beach, but that was when the wind drove us away. They had eaten at the gourmet (L’Atelier, if you’re keeping track). Dan had gotten the duck and his duck had been good.
We chatted and were having a good time. At some point Eddie (aka Ragtop from Trip Advisor) came over and asked if we wanted to go over to the Maya to see Jose, the bartender of the Maya lobby bar. I explained that my friends had surprised me and I wanted to hang out with them. He went on and on about José, until I cut him off and said, “Tell José I said hi.” This may have been the start of his (Eddie’s) issues. His subsequent behavior was so irrational though, who knows?
Dan and Steph went back to their room after a while and Steve and Janelle came by and we chatted for a bit.
Janelle and I had another shoe-off. Hers were super cute. She won tonight.
Zung and I went back to our room and found a tub full of bubbles and a path of rose petals.
It was a lovely end to what had been a lovely day with a lovely surprise.
Another HUGE surprise, completely unexpected was coming tomorrow.