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I took Erika on a tour of the grounds and facilities. Well, some of them. I think there are probably still corners of this resort that I haven’t discovered yet.
There are the most gorgeous flower arrangements all over the resort. Most of them are orchids. I love orchids. These were in the lobby of Building 71.
Erika wanted to get her toes in the sand, so that was our first stop.
We walked down and put our feet in the water, which made them all sandy so we had to rinse them off before we proceeded with our tour.
We walked over by the main pool and by La Brisa, which is where we would be having dinner that night.. We walked over to the spa. I took her in there so she could see the pool, big faucets and hot tubs.
Spoiler alert! We never actually came back to the spa to use the pool and those awesome faucets. I feel like I really failed her as a friend by allowing this to happen.
Outside of the spa there is a swing, which I am pretty sure is fairly new. I can’t remember ever seeing it before. If I’ve just been oblivious leave a comment.
We went inside and walked through the long hall to the lobby bar. Elizabeth was there, who I was not surprised to see. She is one of my very favorite people at the Grand.
But also there was Stephanie and Greg, who I was surprised to see. They had been here when Zung and I were here in June/July and we’d met them another time before that when we were there at the same time.
They are a super nice couple and we actually ended up spending a lot of time with them by the end of our trip.
Unlike the Daniel working nights surprise, this was a good surprise.
We got a ride back to our building and there was our requested bottles of liquor, so we made drinks and enjoyed sitting out on the balcony.
You can see a tall, frosted bottle behind them. That is a bottle of filtered water. That is what they provide now instead of the plastic water bottles. It is an effort to decrease the vast amount of plastic trash that is generated from those bottles.
This change is corporate wide. The water is filtered and the bottles are supposed to be sanitized when they are emptied.
This has generated a huge amount of discussion over in the Grand Facebook group that I am an administrator for. Some complaints are absolutely valid. There have been reports of the lids being dirty, so they were obviously not sanitized properly. People have also claimed they got sick from the water.
I think unless most people at the resort are sick that is pretty difficult to say that it is water. There are so many things that can make you sick, food, pool water, ocean water, norovirus. I did drink the water in the bottles and I did not get sick.
I should clarify that. My GI system gets put through the wringer when I go to Mexico. I drink like a fish. I eat waaaay more beef than I do at home and there’s lots of rich lobster too. Probably most insulting to my system of all is the coconut ice cream I love. I have actually had to cut back because that type of dairy does not play well with me at all.
So my system is often a little upset. I have found that taking probiotics helps.
Anyway, there is a lot of controversy over this water change. I wanted to give all my readers a head’s up about it. I know there have been reports that if requested they will give you the plastic bottles, but from what I am hearing they are cutting back on this too.
I applaud their efforts to be kinder to the environment. But they definitely need to nail down the system so people have confidence in it.
Probably next time I go I will take an insulated cup like I use at home to keep my water cold when I am out on the beach. I have several of the Bubba insulated stainless cups, that come with a straw. I have one with me all the time at home. I’ll just have to get in the habit of filling it up before I go to the beach.
I have never taken one of these for drinks because the drink service is so good that I can get another fresh and cold drink as soon as I am finished with the one that I have. And I do. Regularly.
Back to your regularly scheduled blog.
Erika and I had dinner reservations at La Brisa at 8 o’clock. I made them for later thinking about the time difference. It ended up being not late enough and too late.
We were still kind of full from our room service snack. But we were also really tired since we’d been up for so long.
We were seated and ordered some wine. Red for me and white for her.
Felix is the captain at La Brisa and he is really nice and he was here tonight. It’s always nice to see familiar faces.
She asked to talk to the chef about her dietary restrictions. Olivia came out and she didn’t even recognize me. She literally did a double take. I got a lot of that with my shorter hair on this trip.
I decided to keep my dinner on the lighter side.
I ordered the lobster app, which comes cold with cocktail sauce.
They told Erika that the chef was preparing her a special menu.
First they brought her a salad.
The next course I got another app and they made something very similar for Erika, but the vegan version. There is no meat in it so I’m not sure what about it is not vegan, but they said it was the vegan version.
That was it for me. Erika was actually pretty full too, but the chef had made something special for her.
She said it was delicious but she was so full she could barely eat much of it.
We were both bone tired and ready to go back to the room.
Erika and I have gone on a couple bestie trips before and we were good travel companions. Neither one of us were hard partiers, or late night partiers.
We had the concierge take a picture before we went up to our room.
It was election night back home so I did check the election results. I had some of the rum they had brought and we just read and talked until we fell asleep.
It had been a long day, but we were definitely off to a good start on this bestie trip.