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There are a variety of options for lunch at the Grand. Las Brisa is the most popular place for lunch. It has spectacular views and it is always open for lunch. They have a buffet and an ala carte menu. Bella Vista is often open for lunch and they sometimes have outdoor grilling options. In the past years they have had both buffets and ala carte only options. There is room service and you can also order some limited food items at the pool bar, pool and beach. You can also wander over to the shopping center and eat at the taco place. It used to be a small place with just a counter to order and now they have moved it to another corner of the shopping center and it is much larger and they have both a bar and tables where you can sit. We eat at Las Brisa the vast majority of the time.
We sit by the window so we can see the weather is still not good outside.
I order a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and Zung orders Victoria beer.
I order fries (fresh, hot and crispy!) and a side of lobster, and go stroll by the buffet to see if anything catches my eye. Today, only the tomatoes do.
Zung sticks to the script and orders his usual shrimp fajitas.
Hugo and Carlos are both in Las Brisa and we say hello to them. Hugo is a manager and always asks if there is anything we need. Carlos is tending bar.
After lunch the weather has not improved at all, so we return to the room. We see Victor, who is now the head butler. He asks us how everything is and we reply that the weather could be better. He promises that it will be sunny tomorrow. Up in the room, Zung takes a nap and I go out to the balcony to read and drink a rum and coke, or two, and listen to the symphony of the ocean. I think I love the sound of an ocean front room even more than I love the view.
The Grand has one of the best balconies of any of the places I have stayed in Mexico. The sofa I am sitting on is extremely comfortable and there is a nice large coffee table next to it, in case you want to have some room service out there. There is also a nice, 2 person swing.
The weather continues to be cold, cloudy and rain off and on.
Zung wakes up from his nap. He has been predicting that the sun will come out by 2 o’clock. It barely peeks through for about 30 second, and he feels vindicated. I’ll let you be the judge.
I am disappointed that we never make it to the beach today. This is the first time I have ever come to Mexico and not been able to spend at least a little bit of time on the beach my first full day of vacation. I have to admit though, this is not such a bad place and way to spend a cool and rainy beach day.
I break out my bikini because we have decided to go to the spa, where there is a pool with warm water and a couple hot tubs. The pool temperature is perfect, as is the hot tub. The pool is bath water temperature and the hot tub is not too hot, as it sometimes can be. The jets are really, really strong.
There are a couple fresh towels on the lounge chairs but we need a couple more because we are going to go over to the Maya and check out the Star Cafe. I ask at the front desk and the attendant tells me they don’t have any. Seriously? They usually have plenty of towels and this is a surprise. As we are leaving he tells me they will have more towels in ten minutes. Unfortunately, that doesn’t help me now.
We walk over to the Maya and the Star Cafe, which is right off the lobby bar. I realize that what looked like a creamy cake or pastry from a distance is actually sandwiches made with white bread.
I get tea and a brownie and Zung gets danish and coffee.
It was, in a word, terrible. The brownie was dry, the danish was bland and the tea and coffee was weak. The idea of a cafe like this is awesome, but the execution is lacking. I hope they improve the offerings. We don’t eat much. Since the afternoon snack thing didn’t work out, we head over to the Lobby Bar for cucumber mojitos with Daniel. He said he would be in by 4:30. It’s time!
The one on the left has a rum floater. If I don’t see him do it, I always ask Daniel, “Did you give me my rum floater?” He kind of rolls his eyes at me, like, “Would I forget?”
All of a sudden, the gentleman that is sitting next to us says, in a heavy German accent, “I understand you were not happy with your hotel in San Francisco.” Uhhhhh, how do you know that?
Rock star moment! He reads my blog. He and his wife (who is back at their room, sleeping – jet lag) have just arrived yesterday. They are here for 2 weeks and will be celebrating their anniversary. Rudy will pop up during our trip several more times. However, I want to relate his plans about dining during his two weeks here. They had reservations for a handful of dinners at the ala cartes. Not because they couldn’t get reservations, but they just didn’t want to eat at an ala carte most nights. They ate at the buffet, or if they had a big lunch, they might not want dinner. I point this out because I am sure there are other people like him and this is one of the things that presents a challenge to the Grand when planning staffing for the ala carts. People from Europe often prefer dining late and the Grand can’t predict who is going to want to eat when, which is why sometimes there are only early (6:30) or late (9:00) ala carte dinner reservations. In twelve trips I personally have never had a problem getting reservations. But I don’t get worked up about where we will eat on which night.
If it is high occupancy and you absolutely must eat at certain restaurants on certain nights at specific times, you may be disappointed. If you are more flexible, you should be fine.
We chatted with Rudy for awhile.
We then return to our room. Now I am tired and ready for my nap.