Friday, June 10, 2011

Life at the Grand

The Grand Hotel’s claim is to return to a time of “gracious living.”  I like gracious living.  Take a look around at the graciousness…

The Veranda.    Loved the flags across the front of the hotel! One evening at dinner we watched as they lowered and folded the flags.  I was looking forward to sitting on the porch and reading.  But it was a little chilly on our visit.  We went out for our quiet time, unfortunately it was more like quick time!  Another lovely place to sit was the parlor…

Geraniums are the official “in-house” flower.   They are in all the décor.

Every afternoon from 3:00 until 5:00, tea is served in the parlor.

Here is one side of the dining room.  It seats about 1300 people.  Breakfast and dinner were included in our stay.  Dinner was a five course event.  And it was quite an event to watch.  The wait staff was largely Jamaican.  Their name tags gave their name and and number.  At first I thought the number related to their task.  There was someone to offer the wine list, someone to pour and refill the coffee and some one who took your order and served.  Then we had a waiter who who had a 17 after his name. So I asked, and the number refers to years of service.  Last night Henry the 8th served us.  Everyone seemed to think that was pretty funny!  After 6:30 at night, gentlemen had to be in a suit and tie and ladies in a skirt or pantsuit.    One night we had our dinner brought to our room so Wally only had to wear a tie twice.  (Though he did look very nice in his suit and tie)

After a group vacated their table, there was quite a process as the tablecloth was changed, the napkins folded, the silver wiped and placed, (and there was a lot of silverware on the table at each meal!)  The wait staff worked as if they could do it in their sleep!  It was even a bit entertaining!

These guys played at dinner each night and then afterwards as part of the hotel’s nightly entertainment.  They were called an orchestra but the only stringed instrument they played was the bass.  They sounded more like q “big band era” band.  One night we went down to dinner late and as their last musical piece they played a patriotic medley that ended with “God bless America!”  They received a big round of applause!

After dinner they served demitasse in the parlor.  Demi tasse means a very small, very strong cup of coffee!  SmileI did actually enjoy it, it reminded me of the coffee we had when we lived in England.  A harpist played each evening and also during tea time.  Very nice!

I took this picture between tea time and demitasse time.  The flower arrangement was beautiful.  All purple flowers, all real, not artificial!  I love gracious living!

Me sitting on one of those cool round chairs in the parlor!

The hotel provided all kinds of entertainment each night, from a wine bar to a museum.  The bottom floor had several different stores to shop at and a spa.  They showed two movies, rotating them every other night.  Somewhere In Time  and This time for Keeps.   Both movies were filmed at the Grand.  We went to hear the orchestra one night.  It was more of a dance for the kids.  Just like in the movies, little girls dancing with their bff’s.  At the very top of the hotel was a cupola.  It housed a bar but they let you just come in for the view.  There was a piano player and it was very nice and romantic.  And we enjoyed just being in our room too.  After all we are celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary!  Wink, wink!

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