Booking Another Trip

I ended my last post with a picture of the front door of what would become our new house.

But something happened the day before that.

My bestie, Erika, had told me that she wanted to go with me to the Grand. We had decided that early November would be a good time.

She had been to Mexico once, a couple of years ago. She went with her family to Excellence Playa Mujeres and loved it.

Zung and I got home on July 4th (flights are really cheap on holidays!). Of course, I was immediately thrown into post-vacation depression.

The cure for that is to plan another vacation. So, I started looking right away. Long story short, on July 7th I booked a 4-night stay for early November.

The next day we walked into our dream home. I have said that if I hadn’t already booked (and paid for) the trip, we probably wouldn’t have gone.

Not so fun fact about the booking…

I used Southwest Vacations. I had left the window open on my computer and the next day went back to it and booked it.

Fast forward to early October. I was talking to Zung about the trip and I checked my calendar to see the exact date we were leaving. My calendar talks with my email and it had automatically added the booking, including the hotel.

For the very first time, I realized I had not booked the Grand. Apparently, when I went back to the open window it had reset to the hotel that comes up first in the search I did. Which was some Rui in Cancun.

O. M. G!

This was a Sunday evening and we were in a restaurant, so I had to wait until the next day to call Southwest. Great thing about them is I was able to change things with the only charge being the difference in hotel rates. That came to $150.

My trip to my favorite place with my bestie was back on track.

I cannot even imagine what would have happened if I had shown up at the Grand and they had no reservation for me. They just happened to be at 100% capacity that weekend, so we would have been out of luck.

Although it probably would have been discovered when I tried to make dinner reservations. Even so, it was stressful.

Back to the house story.

We walked in and it took my breath away.

We walked through the house and it became more and more perfect with each room.

We got back to the beginning and I told Zung that I would give up my jewelry to have this house. And then I said, “I would give up my shoes to have this house.”

Now y’all who know how much I love my shoes knew that this meant I was serious.

We contacted our realtor, sold us house, went through a horrific mortgage approval process. Seriously, worst mortgage company I have ever dealt with. So unprofessional and incompetent.

Moving was exhausting.

But it was all worth it. We love, love, love this house.

It is an open floor plan. This is the kitchen.

I sit on my porch swing a lot in the nice weather. It was on our front porch in the old house. It’s new home is the upstairs deck.

The basement is finished and this is the bar area.

This is the mantle decorated for spring.

We had a closet system put in and now all my shoes are beautifully displayed.

The front and the back. It has a finished walkout basement.

One of the very best things are the spectacular sunrises and sunsets.

This beautiful house undoubtedly will mean less trips to the Grand. I will just have to get more creative with the material I have.

But there is still one more trip to report on!

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Last Day Before Going Home And So On

We have had awesome weather this trip. No complaints there.

We have our usual breakfast at Bella Vista. Zung reads the paper, the Cancun edition of USA Today. I used to read it. Then I started reading USA Today on the app on my iPad. Now I take a total vacation from the news when I’m in Mexico.

It was a pretty typical day. There were Mimosas on the beach.

Salin came by to chat. She is one of the most delightful members of the Star Friends team.

There were long stretches of just blissing out on the view.

There was lunch with wine, or was it wine with lunch?

Cecilia had been taking care of us since Azael was on vacation. She was awesome. She’d set up the ice bucket and a full bottle of the Masia Ribot white right next to me. She kept my glass filled!

Is that not one of the best lunch views you have ever seen?

We took a picture with Brian and Melissa from Texas. He was one of my rock star moments of this trip. He reads my blog. Hi Brian!

There was more beach time after lunch.

When we got back to the room we saw that the maid had recycled the towel sculpture that had been made for Zung on his birthday.

Our last vacation dinner was at the gourmet. We were going to try the five-course tasting menu.

The tasting menus didn’t last long. Zung really liked them a lot. I liked the eight-course. The five-course didn’t work well for me. It is mushroom heavy. I absolutely hate mushrooms. They taste like dirt to me. They accommodated me really well though, bringing me different things from the eight-course menu.

This was a pea soup. It didn’t have mushrooms, but I didn’t like it either. Zung did though.

This will be the last picture I’m able to post of Olivia. I saw her when I was there in November but didn’t get a pic. She has left the Grand to be home with her little boy, Benjamin.

We went to the Lobby Bar for our last evening here.

We actually went to the show tonight. I had heard rave reviews about their Riverdance type show. It was very well performed. They have such talented dancers. It’s one of the things that sets the Grand apart.

But I’m going to admit, it wasn’t our jam and we didn’t stay for the whole show.

We went to the Lobby Bar for a short time and then headed back to the room.

We really enjoyed getting to stay for ten days. This is the longest we have ever stayed at the Grand. But it was wearing us out! We are not party people and being out late (and I know Daniel would laugh at my definition of late) was taking it’s toll.

It’s always hard to leave. I had been particularly sad the last few days thinking about leaving. I won’t lie, tears were shed. But I was also looking forward to resting from my vacation nights! LOL!

I kept all the roses the maids had been leaving us.

Our going home day was a wonderful, beautiful day.

One last lunch with some treats.

Victor, one of our very favorite people at that Grand, had been in the main building and off for several days, so we had not been able to see him. We asked every time we came through. We decided to ask one last time and this time he was there!

This had been a really wonderful trip.

When we got home we had a few lazy days.

We had Happy Hour at a new local restaurant.

We had wine on the porch swing.

Dinner out back.

We got home on Wednesday. On Sunday morning I was reading the news on my app, checking my email.

We decided to look at an open house for a fun thing to do on a Sunday afternoon.

We did that every so often if something looked interesting. We’d been casually looking for a new house for about ten years.

And then this happened.

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Monday – Just Pictures

Monday is just pictures. I just don’t remember anything from today.

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Long Time, No Write

Hello readers! My regulars have probably noticed I haven’t posted in a while, and I was right in the middle of a trip report!!!

The reason is that I ran out of storage on my plan with my blog host. That means I can’t post any more pictures.

The cost to increase to the next level would be triple what I am paying now.

I have been thinking for a while about maybe starting to try to monetize this blog. I would probably do that with ads and affiliate links. The links are where I talk about a certain product and it has a link and if you follow that link and make a purchase I earn a commission. It does not increase the cost to you.

I am not sure if I’m up to the task of managing two blogs, as I have a breastfeeding blog as well. In this blog I just write and post so it doesn’t take a lot of time. On my professional blog I work on it full time. There can be so much more to blogging than just writing.

What I’m trying to say is this decision is not a done deal.

I did want to know what you all think of me monetizing this blog. Would you hate seeing ads or me having affiliate links? Or would that be okay in exchange for the information I provide and the awesome stories I tell?

If I can’t post any pictures I will stop writing anything new.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

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Not Your Usual Sunday

Today started like normal, with breakfast at Bella Vista.

This guy was strolling around. We saw a lot of iguanas on this trip.

We went to the beach. I ordered a drink, and that’s when things started getting unusual.

It is election day in Mexico and they are required to serve food with any alcohol, so they brought some nuts.

We were laying there and I noticed some of the workers who were clearing the seaweed gathering around the ocean’s edge and pointing at something in the ocean.

Then some lifeguards and a supervisor-looking guy joined in.

Then they started walking down the beach towards the south and there was more gathering and pointing. They walked to the other end again.

My curiosity got the best of me and I went down where some of the other guests were standing.

Turns out there is a crocodile in the ocean! Actually, it was a Cayman, which is kind of like a mini-crocodile.

One of the worker guys went in and tried to grab it and it bit him. They may be small but their teeth are very sharp.

I was able to get some pictures but it is hard to make him out because he blended in with the ocean stuff.

He’s there right in the middle. He was about two feet long.

He was trying to get out of the ocean. He knew he didn’t belong there.

Lander, the GM and the asst GMs were there eventually and they finally caught him and he was taken to a fresh-water lagoon, where he belonged.

At noon Daniel picked us up and we went to Puerto Morelos for lunch. His son Mathew is with him. He is getting so big!

We had lunch at Pelicanos, which is where Daniel and I had lunch the last time we were here. It is right by the ocean.

Daniel is such a good dad.

I had fish.

Zung had shrimp (does this man have no imagination?).

We walked around and took pictures.

We headed back to the car and passed one of the polling places. There was a HUGE line to vote. And don’t forget, it is July and HOT and they were in the sun. People clearly wanted to vote.

I told Daniel to make sure that he voted. He later send me a picture proving that he did.

He took us back to the Grand and we asked at the security gate for them to call the Grand and send us a golf cart. The grounds of the property are so pretty.

We went back to the beach and decided to order a bottle of sparkling wine.

Lorenzo is an awesome beach waiter. He even took our picture.

This is the life.

We drank the entire bottle!

Even so, I had some wine when we got back to the room, after my shower.

Since it was Daniel’s night off, and we were getting exhausted from the nightly routine of dinner and going to the bar, so we decided to stay in tonight and order room service.

I got a club sandwich and Zung got pasta with, you guessed it, shrimp. We also got salads. My sandwich and his pasta were really good, as we the salads. The desserts were meh.

One thing I was super excited about in the presidential suite is that they replaced the flowers when they started to look tired. I love flowers and it was so nice having such lovely flowers all over the whole suite for the entire stay.

It had been an enjoyable day.

Posted in Awesome Staff, Excursions, Food/Menu Items, The Grand | 2 Comments