We have arrived at Playa Paraiso, but not yet at the Grand. We have to drive through the complex first. There is there convention center on the left and the shopping center on the right. The Maya and medical center are on the left.
Then we turn to left right and go around the circle and head up the drive to the Grand. We are welcomed warmly by the bell boys. They send us to the lobby where they have us pay for our stay. Sometimes they have us pay when we check in and sometimes they wait until we check out.
It is lovely to see everyone at the front desk. René, the new director of Public Relations, comes out and greets us. After we are checked in we go over to the Lobby Bar and have some champagne because they didn’t bring us any while we we checking in. Alex takes our picture. We are always so happy to be here.
Before we know it, we are in the golf cart, going to Building 71. Hmm, that looks like a full glass of champagne. See that leather jacket I am carrying? That is about to get put away for the week. The weather is definitely cooler in the winter months, but there is still no need for any kind of jacket. A light wrap or shawl is sometimes nice to have in the evneing.
We get to our room, 7141, corner suite on the third floor. There are the obligatory pictures from the balcony.
And of course, the CROTW (or, sometimes called the CROW) picture. If you are a newbie, that stands for the Ceremonial Removal the The Watch.
If you’re a newbie, I don’t wear a watch, or carry a purse on vacation. I do carry wristlets. They are just big enough to carry my phone, room card and a lipstick, plus some tip money. If you’re a newbie, make sure you tip. The service will warrant it.
Fernanado, one of the butlers, came by to get our pillow and liquor requests. I had made these by email already, but that’s okay. Everything arrived. Two down pillows for me, a foam pillow for Zung and a bottle of Havana Siete for us to share. There was a plate of meats and cheeses that was waiting for us. This was welcome. We were famished.
There was also a fruit basket. This is beautiful, but we rarely eat much of it. That always makes me feel guilty, because eventually they just throw out the overripe fruit away.
We unpacked and then laid down. It was time to nap. We had gotten up obscenely early and would be up ridiculously late. Zung can fall asleep on command. Me? Not so much. Even though I was tired, I was excited. I did eventually fall asleep. It seemed like it was about two minutes lated that the alarm was going off.
Zung showered. I redid my hair and make-up.
Then, I put on THE dress. When we decided to spend NYE at the Grand again this year, I wanted to get a dress that would kick ass. I got a dress a few years ago, from Nordstrom, that was simply the most amazing dress I have ever bought. I wasn’t looking for it. I was was actually buying hosiery and looked up and it was on a mannequin way up on a ledge. I took myself to the dress department and bought that dress and unlike most of my dresses, it still hangs there today. I wanted a dress that amazing. I looked and looked and looked. I get most of my dresses from Rent the Runway now. I had considered many, but hadn’t been able to get the ones I really wanted. I dd have one, but it wasn’t really amazing.
As I mentioned before, I found THE dress in Vail, during our very quick trip a few days before. I went into a store called Charm School Boutique. I looked at the cocktail style dresses, which were very nice and there were a couple that I liked a lot. However, I also looked at the price tags, and they were not cute and I didn’t like them at all. The saleswoman came by and said that all of those dresses in that section were 60% off. That made the price tags more tolerable, so I took a couple into the dressing room to try on. One was amazing. I went out to show Zung and the saleswoman came over and I asked what percentage off it was and she said, how about 70%?
It was, in a word, amazing.
I hope you’ll agree.