Andrea’s Liquid/Liquor Adventure – a trip down memory lane

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With my most recent trip blogged and my next trip a couple of months or so away, I must reach into my bag of unblogged trips. I have chosen my second trip to the Grand. It was in 2008. We arrived April 30, so I never know if I should say it was in April or April and May or just May? Arriving on April 30th does allow me to say I’ve been there in April, however small part of April it was.

You are probably wondering  how I can remember the details to a trip I took five years ago. I cheat. I wrote a trip report right afterwards for a couple travel forums, and I have just looked that trip report up to refresh my memory.

This trip was my husband, Zung’s and my 8th trip to Playa. We were having an early celebration of our 29th anniversary, which is in June. This was before I started going to Mexico without Zung, so our trip count was equal at this point. As I mentioned above, this was our second trip to the Grand.

This is what I wrote in the weeks before the trip. It is eerily similar to what I am experiencing today. Except today my countdown does not end in 13 days.

“45 days to go – It snowed here today. Although not as much as they predicted. Ready for some Mexican sun, sand and relaxation.

41 days to go – I love my job, but my staff is making me crazy. It was in the 60’s today. Better than snow, but still not Playa.

21 days to go, BIG snow storm predicted. But they are hedging, 3-10 inches expected. Geez, 10 is more than 3 times 3. WTH? 

20 days to go. Snow was kind of a bust. Enough to make it miserable and messy, but I never saw anywhere close to 10”.

18 days to go – I feel soooo tired from all the gray, gloomy weather. Think I’ll go check the boards for a trip report. That’ll cheer me up.


I am currently on day three of a storm that has brought winter cold and over a foot of snow. April(!), Mother Nature, April?! It’s as if she was sitting there and all of a sudden got a panicked look on her face and said, “Snow in Colorado! That’s what I forgot this winter! Oh well, better late than never.”

Oops! I’m digressing again.

Back to April, 2008, it’s time for…


It was finally our day of departure. We arrived at the Frontier Airlines counter and checked in.



I’m not quite sure WHY I thought that denim jacket looked good with that outfit. I always want to have a jacket or sweater on the plane, because sometimes it gets cold, but surely I could have picked something a little more flattering?

Uh oh, digressing again.

April 30, Day 1 – It’s here! Today’s the day. We are so excited. And ready. We get up and say good-bye to our 15-year-old (Patrick), who will be looked after by his two older sibs (Nicholas and Susie) while we are gone. We hop in the car and the day is one of Colorado’s best. Sunny and warm. However, I am not fooled. I know more “weather” (as it is euphemistically called) is coming in tomorrow. But I don’t care, because I won’t be here – lalalalala.

Zung’s Frontier Summit status allows us to go in the special, shorter line. The lady (and I use that term loosely in this case) who takes our bags, lifts mine and comments on how heavy it is, and then, weighs it again. I get in right under the wire at 50#. She wants to know what is in there. When I say 6 pairs of shoes (these were the days when I restrained myself) she says to Zung, “She’ll just pick the most comfortable pair and wear them the whole time, won’t she?”

What planet is this woman from? Not Venus, that’s for sure. And she sure doesn’t know me. I almost demand her woman card, but decide that annoying her may cause my bag and 6 pairs of shoes to end up in Iceland.

With our bags checked and our boarding passes in hand, we are ready to tackle the security line. We are, in fact, happy to. We are going to Mexico, lalalalalala.



We go through security. We get “puffed.” Fortunately the TSA guy warns me to hold down my skirt or have a “Marilyn Monroe moment.”

We have loads of time so we get some breakfast.We have no pictures, but I think this breakfast was at Chef Jimmy’s. I’m pretty sure there was no Mimosa, of any kind. I must have gotten a breakfast panini because I noted that Zung took my leftovers for a snack on the plane. I’m pretty sure he would not have scooped up my eggs, over medium.

Before we know it, we are boarding, and after a short delay, taking off. It’s a smooth flight and then we are landing. Immigration (I don’t think the agent looked directly at us once) was quick and we had a brief wait for our bags, then through Customs. Damn! Got the red light. I guess we were about due. This is the only time we have gotten the red light, in all our 20 trips. The inspection was pretty cursory. I turned to Zung and said, “See! We COULD have brought the sex toys.”

Just kidding!

We made our way through the gauntlet and went to get our ride. This was the one time we did not use Cancun Valet. Our travel agent threw in private transfers through Apple. It was not as quick as Cancun Valet is and I got a little antsy. We had to check in at the Apple podium, and then we had to wait for a van, and then we had to wait IN the van while our driver checked in at the apple podium. After what seemed like forever, we were finally on the road and I vowed next time we would just use Cancun Valet, which we have.

And then, the moment we had been waiting for arrived and we were pulling into the Iberostar Paraiso entrance……..and then into the Grand entrance!

Let the vacation begin!


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