New Year’s Eve Trip to the Grand (Again)

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New Year’s Eve in Mexico. At the Grand. Again. I can’t quite remember when we got the idea to do this. I remember after last year, we said that while it had been fun, we weren’t really sure it justified the much higher cost it involved. The Brown’s, Dave and Tessa from the UK, who I spent time with when I was here on my solo trip back in May, were going to be there. I really wanted Zung to meet them. We knew that we’d have to find a money tree first. We talked about it for several months.

Then we found the money tree! We also talked about going to Napa, instead. Right after New Year’s is actually a very inexpensive time to go there. But Dave and Tessa wouldn’t be there, and that was really the deciding factor. We threw caution about the high rates to the wind, and booked it.

The holidays were very stressful for me, with all the decorating and dinners and entertaining. Probably one of the most stressful I have ever experienced. However, I was a happy mama for Christmas because I had all my kiddos home. Nicholas has been able to come home from Italy both last year and this year, and his girlfriend, Tizzy, arrived Christmas day. Patrick’s girlfriend, Cat was here this year and her brother, also Patrick, joined us.


That’s Cat on the end, with our Patrick, Tizzy with Nicholas. Patrick K and then Zung. In front is Susie, holding my sweet Sophie and me holding Sohpie’s ear.

Sitting down to Christmas dinner is always great, because then I’m done for the day with nothing left to do but eat and drink.

A couple of days later there was a quick, cold trip to Vail with all the kids again. While there, I found the AMAZING dress I had been looking for, for New Year’s Eve. It was a screaming good deal too. We came home to pack bikinis and sunscreen instead of the scarves and turtlenecks we’d needed in Vail. Well, I was packing bikinis. If Zung had packed a bikini that would have been just weird.

I’d been tanning for a couple of weeks. I know that is so bad for my skin, but burning is worse and I do unless I pre-tan. I decided this year to get a Mystic tan, which is a spray on tan. I was happy with the results. This way I would have some color for New Year’s Eve. For Christmas Susie had given me a gift certificate to the nail salon we go to, so we booked mani’s and pedi’s together.


I make the always important, but difficult choice about shoes.


We were flying out on New Year’s Eve Day, and our flight left at 8 am, which meant a       4 am wake up call. Somehow, that always feels earlier and is certainly colder in the winter. It also does not leave any time for vacation mimosas. Boo!

I always wear a down jacket and snow boots to the airport. We park in the garage. I do a quick change into a leather jacket and sandals and make a fast dash inside the terminal. We check in and head for the terminal where our airline is located. We have time to quickly get some fast-food breakfast sandwiches. They were not the tastiest thing I’ve ever eaten. Definitely a eat to live moment.

We board the plane and settle into our seats. It is too early for rum and cokes. So I have  a rum and o.j. Or two. Don’t judge Plus, the Oreos as my snack of choice that Southwest so thoughtfully provides at no additional charge.


We doze for a bit. It was an occasionally bumpy flight, but in 3 1/2 hours we are landing. The immigration line is almost non-existant. We only have to wait for a few minutes for our bags. Even the Customs line is quick. We get the green light.

We go outside. I look for a sign with my name for our transfer. I can’t find it. I remember I was supposed to get a text with a code to exchange with the driver. I have not received said text. Then I remember that I have to turn on my Data Roaming for this to be able to happen. As soon as I do this, I get the text. I find our driver, or rather the guy who takes us to our driver. We load up our bags and head for the Grand.

You know, this is my 23rd trip to the Grand, and I still get excited when we see this sign.


We have almost arrived at our second home.

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