Our day starts the usual way. Pictures.


There is a cruise ship making its way to Cozumel. We have never gone to Cozumel. We considered it once, but people we asked said it really wasn’t that different from Playa. For us, it didn’t seem worth the effort.


We go to breakfast at Bella Vista. I have some chillaquilles. Sorry, I started eating before I took the picture. Actually, I was close to being finished by the time Zung got back from getting his omelette and asks me if I remembered to take a picture. Guess I was hungry.


I did a run through the buffet for some fruit, and well, uhhh, I guess I picked up some other things.


Zung’s oh so predictable omelette.


After breakfast we walk back to our room. It is a beautiful sunny day. And it stays that way all day long.

It is day 5.


We decide to walk down the beach. Lots of trash and stinky seaweed. There are also interesting sculptures with the trash.


I don’t have a clue what this is supposed to be. Well, I don’t really have a clue what any of them are supposed to be.


We walk to the deserted resort next door and explore it. I wanted to do this before, but didn’t have any shoes and we know that would be dangerous. This time we remember to bring them with us.

The whole thing is so weird. I heard they ran out of money. It’s really deteriorated over the years. But before it looked like someone just came in one day and told everyone to leave. Ladders were still up. Someone once posted pictures of what they thought was a model unit. It was supposed to be a luxury residence and resort with a golf course. It was being developed by Capella and it you look on their site they still list it as opening in the future.

We go through some bushes where there is sort of a path. (This is always the part in the movie where you say to the screen, “Don’t go back there!”)


We can see the buildings, and have brought water.


There is lots of concrete. I suspect these were going to be fountains.


A bar or restaurant?


So far, nothing scary has jumped out at us.


This looked like possibly a kitchen, except…


…the bathtub in the corner doesn’t go with that theme.


And no, we do not go up these stairs, as tempted as I am to see what is up there.


The whole thing has a definite creepy vibe.



We don’t go through here either.


The curtains are still hanging.


They forgot to take the scaffolding.


We make it out alive.


We walk back to the Grand.


Zung is fascinated by the little tide pools in the rock formations.


I am fascinated by birds.


We go to lunch. It is our last day with Azael. His day off is tomorrow.

After that long walk, I am thirsty. Azalea gives me a big glass of wine.


Zung’s oh so predictable shrimp fajitas.


My oh so predictable French fries.


I have lobster quesadillas. These are serious yum.


Before we go back to the beach we go back the still under construction beach bar.

I’m not sure beach bar is a good name for what this is going to be. It’s in the same building as Las Brisa and it looks like one door will open to a grill.


And the other door will open to a bar.


There will be tables outside. I personally think grill is a more appropriate name for what this is going to be.


It’s not like a beach bar is really needed at the Grand. If you are on the beach then your waiter comes by about every 30 minutes, asking what you want. They do bring food, but the options are really limited. I really wish they would open the bar here at night, maybe have some music.

Note to self, bring this up with the new GM the next time I am at the Grand.


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Had to share

Hello readers! I don’t usually do this, but I want you to read my daughter’s blog. Her most recent post about “Filing your bucket” is truly inspirational. Please read it.


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Good-bye to the Brown’s

I ask for a ride back to the Grand at the front of the shopping center and a golf cart arrives quickly. I join Zung on the beach. I do a bit of tanning before we go to lunch. We sit next to Dave and Tessa and she gives me some stuff for my hair.

There are the usual suspects for lunch.


I actually get some things from the buffet. Sometimes I just want a salad and then, usually a few other things catch my eye.


After lunch we go back to the beach for a bit. I have noticed a lot of security around this trip, especially on the beach.

At three we go to the lobby to say good-bye to Tessa and Dave. We settle up on the champagne bill. We wait with them until their ride comes. Tessa looks sad. She smiles for the picture we take.


It feels too soon before we have to say goodbye. We had such a good time with them. I hope to be at the Grand with them again, soon. They are good people. We have been keeping in close touch since this trip. That is one thing I love about the internet, how it helps these long distance friendships thrive.

We go back to the beach and stay there until it is time to go get ready for dinner.


This dress is a rental and would have been my New Year’s Eve dress had I not found the amazing dress I found in Vail. These are Prada shoes that I got A screaming good  deal on. They have crystals on the heels. They are amazing to look at, but to wear? Not so much. I made the mistake of wearing them to an outdoor fundraiser. The surface was concrete, but there was lots of walking around and standing, and not a lot of places to sit. By the end of the night my feet and I were no longer friends. I didn’t plan on doing that much walking tonight. Honestly? Only the most comfortable of my heels love the marble floors here.

We get a ride to the Italian restaurant.

Zung has the calamari for his appetizer. He usually gets that. It’s his favorite.


I have the mussels. I love mussels and these are made well.


Zung has the Shrimp Spiedina. He is happy with it.


Nothing on the menu is what I want, so I ask them to combine some ingredients from a couple of different dishes. I end up with shrimp and pasta in a pesto. I can’t really taste the pesto, but overall it’s very good and hits the spot.


For dessert I ask for mixed berries, which is part of another dessert, just not the main event. I am definitely being “that person” (my son’s words, Patrick the waiter, usually preceded by “don’t be”).


Zung has this, which the name of didn’t make it into my notes.


We take our wine to the Lobby Bar. I am very tired after our very late night last night. I can barely keep my eyes open when I am talking to Daniel. I give it up at nine (Nine!) . We go back to the room and it is lights out at 10. I sleep until 1:30 and then can’t fall back to sleep. Damn insomnia. At 2:30 I take an Ambien. Then I sleep until my alarm goes off at 8.




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Day 4 – Spa Time

My alarm goes off every day at 8 am for my meds, so that’s when we get up. I’m so tired. That was not enough sleep. I start planning my naps before I even get out of bed. That is when you know you’re old and your late night partying days are over. It’s too bad I didn’t start trying to party late until I was already a woman of a certain age.

It is long past sunrise.


Like most other mornings, we are off to Bella Vista.

I am a bit hungover (again), so I keep my breakfast simple. Some carbs, and of course, bacon.


Zung never drinks enough to get that bad of a hangover. He has an iron stomach anyway.


I see Diane B. and her hubs. We’ve been here at the same time before and never been able to sit down and talk. We make plans to meet at the bar for a drink later on.

I stop at the concierge’s desk and ask Maile (pronounced like Miley) to change our dinner reservations for tonight and tomorrow. We want to eat at Venecia tonight and La Brisa tomorrow.  She is able to make the change for us. I know this is not easy at a time of higher occupancy, like now. Later on I give her a tip for taking care of it.

It is a cloudy day. I am not going to spend the day, huddled under towels, like I did on New Year’s Day. I also talk to Maile about a massage at the spa. I want a hot stone massage. They have a special, a 50 minute hot stone massage and a 30 minute relaxation massage. I have her book it. It is very soon, so I head over to the spa at the shopping center.

My therapist’s name is Erika, which I consider a good omen, since that is my bestie’s name. As we walk to the massage room she asks if it would be okay to combine the two massages. Why yes. Yes you can!. They are also offering a special on foot wraps. My feet tend to get really rough from walking in the sand. You would think it would be the opposite. Since it is not, I go with a foot wrap as well.

The massage is 80 minutes of hot stone wonderfulness.

I get hungry during the massage because I didn’t have much at breakfast. After the massage she takes me to the juice bar. I get a cucumber and pineapple juice. They juice them right there and I slam it down.

There are people walking around with very small kids. WTF? I thought the spa was adults only.

It’s time for me to blow this pop stand. I go outside and it has turned into a beautiful, sunny day.

Perfect for the beach.

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My Shoes Find a Good Home


Dinner is at L’Atelier, also known as the Gourmet or French. It is a good dinner.

Zung starts out with the fried Brie. It is good but it is very rich.


I have the Tuna Tartare. It is what I always get because it is really good. It is served in a puddle of strawberry soup. Yum.


I can’t remember what Zung’s entree was. I get the lamb. It is really good, but I’m no longer used to eating a large piece of red meat like this and feel a little queasy afterwards.


I say no dessert for me. Our waiter thinks neither of us do, and when this becomes apparent, we tell him that Zung still wants his.


After we are finished with dinner we go to the Lobby Bar. We chat with Kathy, from my Facebook board, and her hubs, Brian, for a bit. I’m not sure where Brian is during this pic.


Dave an Tessa arrive.


There are drinks.


Lots of drinks.


Those are fancy berry mojito and margarita drinks.


At end of evening I complain that my shoes hurt, and  they are just not comfy and going in the give away pile when I get home. Tessa says if I’m going to give them away, throw them her way. They fit and I say they are hers. She offers me her NYE shoes and other things in trade but I say no, I’m just glad they are going to a good home where they will be loved.

We say good night to them, but stay in the bar until after one. We watch Daniel work hard.


I love coming back to a nice turn down. I always feel bad thinking, that’s so nice. And then sweeping the petals into the trash.


You would think staying up so late would wear me out. However, it is hard for me to fall asleep and I don’t until 2:30. Good thing tomorrow is not going to be a taxing day. Although, they rarely are here. Possible that is one of the reasons I love it so much.

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