Havana has a rum and Pepsi. She is such a lush! Zung has a beer, Fat Tire.
As I mentioned previously, we are in the first row. People hang out there waiting for the rest room. A dude comes up to wait and turns and looks at me and says, You’re not the woman from that Iberostarrocks blog are you?” I laugh and confess, yes, yes I am THE woman from the Iberostarrocks blog. He then tells me we have met before. He was actually my very first rock star moment ever. October 2010, Zung and I were walking through the Beach and Del Mar and we passed a family and I hear, “Andrea and Zung.” I stopped. I turned and looked at them and he said, “I read your blog.”
Small world. It is a different time of year and he is headed to a different resort, Barcelo. I didn’t know he was from the Denver area. He asks if I still write the blog.
Yes. Yes I do.
We wish each other good vacations. I think, how cool was that?
I ask the flight attendant for more ice and another tiny bottle of rum. She brings the ice and spills it. All over. It goes on the floor, on my table, in my purse. I tell her it’s okay. Hey, I’m headed for my happy place. Everything is okay.
We land. Immigration is quick. It seems that it is either super quick or super long. I am grateful for super quick today. Our immigration agent does not smile. She doesn’t even make eye contact. This is the norm.
We get our bags. Customs is quick. We get the green light. The people before us got the red light. It does happen. We have gotten the red light twice in our over 20 trips. I stopped counting after twenty.
We cruise throughout the gauntlet and go outside. It is humid. I look at all the dudes holding signs with names and can’t find mine.
And then Carlos is there. He found me. And then our van is there.
Carlos rides with us to the Grand. He shows us pictures of his girlfriend (cute) and his dog, a chihuahua puppy (cute) and his lunch in Tulum. Shrimp ceviche (yum). We chat with the driver.
It is wet. It is very wet.
It is really raining.
We arrive at the Grand. And then it really starts to rain hard. It is like the heavens have opened up.
Jorge greets us. We go inside and check in and pay and get banded. We are brought a rose sparkling wine. It is nice, but a little sweet.
We exchange money for tips. We check the bar, but Daniel is not there. We are waiting for a ride to our room when the front desk clerk comes over and says we have been upgraded from a standard room to an oceanfront room and she needs us to sign for it. I sign for it and think, well that’s a good thing, since I asked for an ocean front room when I booked it.
Fanny from PR comes out and gives us a certificate for a couples 50 minute massage. This is an upgrade from previous visits when they have given us 30 minute massages.
We take a rainy ride to our room. It is so wet. The concierge says welcome back and the butler says someone will be up to our room soon. The bellboy takes us to our room.
There are beautiful flowers. I do the ceremonial removal of the watch (aka CROW).
There is a fruit basket and a cheese and meat platter with crackers. We are always happy to see this because it has always been awhile since we have eaten. There is wine also. We wait to drink this at dinner later in the week.
The butler arrives and we ask for foam pillows, down pillows and a bottle of Siete. This is not a complaint, just an observation: I am surprised that they don’t know these requests because they are the same EVERY time. We ask for Wifi passwords and we ask them to lower the temperature in the room.
Zung takes a nap. We unpack. We eat some meat and cheese. The Siete arrives and I make rum and Cokes. They brought us limes this time, which is a nice touch.
To make a proper rum and coke, start out with quality ingredients.
Be generous with the rum.
A splash of Coke.
And enjoy! Ahhhhh!