Beach Day Number 1

I wake up at 7. I don’t get up early enough to take sunrise pictures. I will take a picture of whatever time it is though.


At home Zung makes my morning tea and I linger in bed, sometimes for hours. I watch the news and sometimes HGTV if I really want to drag out my lingering. On vacation I have to get up and go to breakfast to get my tea. There is no lingering. I don’t like to watch the news when I am on vacation anyway.

So I head off to Bella Vista.

Azael is not there, and neither is Angel. My waiter was fine, but not as good as them. No Olivia either. I don’t get omelette, I just like to say hello to her and see how she and her son is doing.

I get a fried egg and bacon. Always bacon. Also a couple of croissants and tater tots and some baked pudding thing. I don’t like the baked pudding thing and only take a bite.


I always get some fresh fruit.


After breakfast I go back to room, change into my suit and go out to beach.


I never go to breakfast in my suit and cover-up. I don’t know why. I just prefer to put on shorts or capris and a shirt to go to breakfast.

Beach time in the morning means Mimosa time. I am so happy that Gabriel, my favorite beach waiter is there.


The beach is so quiet. It is a sunny and hot day. The water is calm so I go in. It is warm. Nice!

I go back and enjoy my view. This view feeds my soul.


I go back to my room. My card doesn’t work and I have to have the butler open the door. I ask for the temperature to be lowered because I was too hot last night. Usually the lower limit is fine for me, although I know that is a common complaint from most people. The butler can change that so that if you are like a lot of people and like the subzero feel.

I also tell him that I don’t need newspaper because I’m on a news vacation.

After my second mimosa I order a third. The funniest thing  happened. I had a glass of sparking water in my hand, but forgot it was there and Gabriel came by and I asked for another mimosa, but started looking for the glass that was IN MY HAND. I asked him if he’d taken it.

He asked me if I was ok when I went, oh! It’s in my hand. LOL. That’s one of those things that you have to laugh about, cause otherwise I’d have a panic attack thinking about it.


I go to my room to order room service for lunch. I love the club sandwich and I can only get it from room service. I also order a glass of Masia Ribot and they bring a whole bottle and two glasses. I have them take one glass away.

The sandwich is so good. Even though I had put it in fridge when they first brought it, the coconut ice cream gets very melty. It’s still good though.


The maid left a little decoration with some rose petals on the bed.


I Head back to the beach. When I go past the concierge desk I ask them to call room service to take away dishes because there was no number guide on my phone. I ask for a number guide and ice for the bottle of wine.

Back at the beach, I settle into my beach lounger. A woman comes up to me. Her name is Charise and she reads my blog. She said she heard I was here and wanted to find me to say hello. We end up talking for a hour.


After she leaves I sit for awhile, but then my tummy starts to feel weird and I go back to my room.

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Dinner, Wine and Chicken Dreams

I start getting dressed for dinner. I realize that I forgot my strapless bras. First world problem. But it seriously was needed for his dress.


I get a golf cart ride to Venecia. Jhony seems to be waiting for me. Wow! He’s good.

The hostess at Venezia always remembers me. The sommelier asks if I want him to suggest something or do I want the wine menu. I ask for the menu please. I know that what he suggests will probably not be on the included list.

I pick Masia Ribot red. It is so good. I ask for the rest of the bottle to be sent to my room.


They bring the Parmesan, focaccia, etc. I have the grilled baby veggies.


My entree is glazed lobster with strange white, creamy stuff. It is not pasta. I ask my waiter what it is and he brings out Karen, the chef. She tells me it is creamy leeks. She asks how it was. It was really good. Well done.


I get the hot chocolate cake, which is chocolate cake with chocolate ice cream and chocolate sauce. Cake is really good and not too sweet, but the sauce is sweet. Next time I would order cake alone. They should call it death by chocolate.


Dinner doesn’t take long when you’re dining alone. I chat briefly with a father and son who sit at table next to me. They invite me to join them. I decline because they just ordered and I am ready to leave. I’m not sure I would have anyway. I am really conservative when I am traveling alone.

It was a really good meal. Venezia has really fluctuated with their food quality over the years. Tonight it was definitely a win.

Lander and Patricio are outside of restaurant. They really don’t look alike at all. I don’t know what I was thinking. I say hello to Lander and tell him that I brought him a bottle of Zaya rum.

I go to bar. Daniel tells me he was worried because he hadn’t seen me. He called the restaurants to find out where I was. What a good son he is.  We chat for a short bit, then Mayvany comes by and we talk for awhile.


She’s so nice and interesting, and beautiful.

She leaves. I talk to Daniel about his complicated relationships. I give him advice. The bar so empty.


I go back to the room at 10. I skipped the pool party again. The butler brings the wine bottle to my room with two glasses. I don’t know why because he knows I’m here alone. I laugh and say I only need one. He must think I’m a lush. I drink two glasses. This wine is so good.

I go to sleep and don’t sleep well. I have a weird chicken dream. Must have been from all that wine I drank.

I am looking forward to a day on the beach.

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Mexico Solo Trip Number 3

I want to do a solo trip.

I really would like to do a road trip. I wish there were more good places to drive to. I think about driving to South Dakota again. I’ve done that twice though. And South Dakota has parts  that are beautiful. The parts that aren’t flat and brown. But it’s still South Dakota. It’s not really meant to be visited multiple times.

Then I hear about good rates for the Grand on Expedia or Travelocity or one of those online bookers. Which, by the way, isn’t everything an online Booker these days?

I check and have a blonde moment when I mistake the daily rate for the rate for four nights. I get very excited about this fantastic rate. Then I have that moment when I realized my blonde moment. (I hope all my blonde friends will forgive me for this reference).

I catch it before I book, but now I am Grand psyched. We have enough southwest points for a free ticket (well, $100 for taxes and fees). I check rates with the hotel  they are reasonable enough, so I go ahead and book and then book my ticket for air.

Yea! I have a countdown.


I never share my countdowns publicly because I had a stalker type once. I will often say, I have a mystery countdown.

Life is busy because I have started a professional blog. It is about breastfeeding, so if you are breastfeeding or plan to be, or know anyone who is, it’s Please do check it out.

Travel day arrives quickly. I get up at 5:30, so I actually leave on time. I have decided to use a regular sized bag and check it this time. My carry on barely holds four days worth of clothes and certainly not with four pairs of heels. Note to self, get new, larger carry-on.

Amazingly, it weighs about the same as when I pack for a week. Probably because I’m carrying my dresses when Zung usually does. I’m also taking a bottle of Zara rum for Lander, the GM.

Fortunately, Southwest let’s you check two bags for no charge. I could bring another bag and be good.


I check in, it’s all self service kiosks, but there is someone to assist. I drop my bag and go have breakfast at Root Down. It’s blood orange mimosa time.


Chillaquilles Benedict. Really yummy.


I go buy a People, which I’m enjoying less these days. The celebrity life and their first world problems doesn’t really entertain me the way it used to.

I check in at gate and then wait. Chat with couple in front of me in the boarding line. They are going to Royal Hideaway. I tell them that was my first Mexico experience and it was where I fell in love with Mexico. This is their first time and he’s is SO glad to hear that.

Board. Sit in aisle seat in Row 7. Eventually someone sits in the window seat. Middle seat stays empty.

I go through my ritual of saying. “It’s a seatbelt, just like any other seatbelt, and if you don’t know how to use it, you shouldn’t be out in public unattended.” I read it somewhere and now I HAVE to say it when they go through the safety demonstration. Even if I’m alone, I have to say it. I say it very quietly in those instances.

Although, the person sitting next to me might have thought it odd that I was taking a picture of my seatbelt, or legs. Either way, a little weird. Nobody likes to sit next to a weirdo.


They do the snack and drink service. I have fritos and vodka cranapple. I prefer rum and coke, but all they have is white Bacardi, and I just can’t anymore.


I try to nap, but just doze. I read my People. I really think I am over this magazine. Celebrities bore me.

I watch a couple of episodes of Pretty Little Liars. When I bought this series I didn’t realize it was about teenagers. It was just on list of good things to binge watch. 

The flight is a little bumpy. Finally we arrive. There is a really short immigration line. Like really short. There is an average wait for my bag and Customs.

I can’t find Canada Transfers at first. Someone helps me. The Canada guy takes me to van. I chat with driver during the drive.

And then, we arrive!

I see and say hello to Mariana. I am sent to the bar. Do they know me or what? I  see Elizabeth.


She asks what I want to drink. I say bubbles and she starts to pour me sparkling water. I say no, champagne! You can see, she gave me a generous pour.


We chat. She likes my nails. The front desk person comes to me, and registers me and exchanges my money.

Patricio, the new asst GM comes and says hello. He acts like we’ve met before and at first I think he is Lander, even though part of me thinks that is not right. He realizes it and says no, I’m confusing him with Lander. That’s embarrassing.


They take me to my room. I have drank 1/2 of a glass of champagne, and they have a fresh, full glass. I am prepared to do double fisted champagne, but she suggests we switch.

I am taken to Room 7141. I’m surprised they give me a corner suite since I am alone.


I ask the bellboy to take a picture of the ceremonial removal of the watch. It’s really hard to take that picture as a selfie.



Jony is the butler who gives me  my bracelet and orders my Havana Club and brings my pillows. I have never had him for a butler before and he is really on the ball.

There are beautiful flowers.


There are snacks there of meat and cheese, and I’m so hungry. I scarf it down while I unpack.


Jony brings me more coke and ice and promises to bring me ice each day.

The Havana arrives. The shape of the bottle has changed. It is more genetic now.


I throw out 1/3 of my champagne and make myself a rum and coke.


While I hate to waste good alcohol, or even mediocre alcohol,  I always make sure I don’t drink too much when I am here alone. I sit out on balcony with my drink and just enjoy the sight and sound of the ocean until it is time to get ready for dinner.


It feels good to be home.

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Packing Tips from a Fashionista

I was checking out someone’s else’s blog about packing tips. She’s been to Mexico all of two times. I’ve been thirty… Okay, we don’t need to get into specifics. If you’ve been to Mexico more than 30 times, saying exactly how many is just bragging, and obnoxious. So stop already. 

29654752_UnknownI’ve been to primarily adults only, luxury all inclusives. Twenty-five of those trips have been to my second home, Iberostar Paraiso Grand. And just FYI, they still haven’t put me on the payroll OR upgraded me to the Presidential suite. What is up with that???


I’m a beach rat. I don’t go to the pool. I don’t go on excursions. I go to the beach. That’s the vacation that works for me. If you’re into other vacations, go read packing tips on another blog. My packing tips are from what I have learned from my trips. And my other, errr, experiences. 


You’re going to be in the sun and sand. You need these essentials.

Bathing suits. I have a lot of them and wear a different one each day. Just like I change my outfit at home in my everyday life. Bikinis, even one piece suits,  don’t take that much room.  If that seems excessive, at least take one for every 3 days. This is humid country and things take a snails pace to dry. If you have a wet suit when coming home, you can use the plastic laundry bag they provide, or sometimes they even provide a wet bag. 


Cover ups. You don’t need as many of these. But for goodness, and fashions sale, take more than one. For a week, I’ll take three or four. You need these to eat at the indoor restaurants at breakfast and lunch. 

Sunglasses. Good ones. Not those cheap ones they sell at the mall when they are trying to convince you that they are just like Prada for $10. I take 3 or 4 different pairs of sunglasses. What can I say? I get bored easily. I also have to have good eye protection because my eyes tend to be light sensitive. 

Flip flops. Again, if you’re trying to do carry on for an unreasonable amount of time, you can take one pair. You can even wear them when your flying. 


I take 3 pairs, and then I wear a pair of sandals to the airport. And I don’t wear those rubber things. Even the overpriced brand. Mine are blingy. Are you surprised? I didn’t think so. 

Sunscreen. Don’t scrimp here. If you have to buy it in the hotel gift shop, bring the blood of a virgin. And your first born. The Grand actually has complimentary sunscreen. You have to go over to the pool hut and put some on. Or wait until they bring some around to you. But that doesn’t consistently happen to we neglected beach people. Pool people get all the perks. But I’m not bitter. Not much anyway. 

Think about bringing a hat. As I’ve gotten older, I lay out in the sun less, and in the shade I don’t really need one. In the sun I definitely need one. 

I love a good tan. That leathery skin that will come with it? Not so much. So the shade and I are becoming better friends. 

Ok, those are the beach essentials. 

A few pairs of shorts and t-shirts. This is what I wear for breakfast. I’m not into the beachwear for breakfast look. 

Evening wear – nice resorts call for nice dinner wear. No jeans please. They’re too hot in the first place. In the second place, this isn’t Colorado. I love my home state, but for goodness sake, would it kill you to wear something that’s not denim?

I wear dinner dresses. Nice ones. I enjoy it. You should too. And if you don’t, fake it. 


Shoes. I wear a different pair of shoes with each dress. Enough said. 

Season dependent – if you go in January, there’s a good chance it will rain. Most high end hotels have umbrellas in the rooms. Of course they do. But you should bring a hoodie for the day and a wrap for evenings. Or something that covers your shoulders and arms. 

Bring some wristlets for day and night to carry your phone, room key card, and tip money. Don’t pretend like you don’t check your phone.  We all know that we all check or phones. Even the people who pretend like they don’t. And tip  even if it says that tips are included. They’re not really. If you don’t tip not only will the staff talk about how cheap you are, the guests who do tip will notice and they’ll talk about you too. 

Take your watch off when you arrive. You’re on vacation, don’t worry about what time it is. Sleep until you wake up. Eat when your hungry. Set up phone alarm for your massage appointment. Look at the ocean and feed your soul.

You’re welcome. 

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Mystery Weekend Conclusion

Sunday we arranged to have brunch with Cousin Dan and his wife, Anastasia at a restaurant called the Country Club. It was in their neighborhood so we took an Uber. We sat at the bar  where the was no wait, and I drank bottomless mimosas. It was one of the best meals we had the whole weekend. Zung and I got Boudin balls for an app. That’s a NOLA sausage that had meat and rice in it. It’s probably not going to be AHA approved but it sure is delicious. We gobbled those up before we remember to take a picture.

We did remember you take pictures of everything else.


Looking at these pictures is making me hungry. My eggs were delicious, but after the Boudin balls I could only eat half.

We had a really nice visit  with them. After brunch they drove us to the WW2 museum. It was raining again so that seemed like a good way to spend the day.

We saw the movie, Beyond all Boundaries with Tom Hanks. It was one of those experiences where there seats rumble and lots noises with bombs and actual snow comes down. Then we went through an exhibit about one area of the world during the war. There were lots of movies and artifacts. It was interesting but there was so much, it was a little overwhelming. We barely scratched the surface for what the museum had to offer.

We went back to the hotel and had drinks in the lounge. Best. Hurrican. Ever. The bartenders name was Erick. Yes, he spelled it with a C and a K. He seemed kind of non friendly initially but then he handed me my drink and  said it wasn’t really fair because it would ruin out for any other hurricane I had. He was right.


It was not any kind of a pre made mix. He added all the different juices so you actually taste them. It was not too sweet like a lot of them are. It was so good that I had two, but ended up taking most of the second one in a to go cup. He chatted with us quite a bit.

I love the concept of the to-go cup.

We claimed our bags and took an Uber to the airport. We had plenty of time before our flight so we got some sandwiches to eat.


They were terribly average and disappointing after all the great food we’d had all weekend.  We had lots of time so got something to eat. Denver is definitely the best airport for food and shopping  that I’ve ever been to. It did give us a place to sit until our flight took off.

The flight was a little bumpy. Nothing terrifying though. 

It had been a fun, fun weekend. We were pleased with the destination, although it would have been fun too see what it was like to go somewhere we really knew nothing about an had to go off the itinerary suggestions and recommendations.

We loved the experience, but overall it was very expensive. We could have gone to Mexico for a week for what this cost. I would like to try them again, and may with a girlfriend.

Zung thinks we can do something along the lines of a mystery trip for each other for a much lower cost. But that will be another trip report. 

If you decide to try Pack Up and Go, please mention my name. And then let me know how your weekend went!

My next trip report will be about my solo trip to the Grand back in August. Until then, happy and safe travels!

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