Rib & Chop House

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Yup. You guessed it. More pictures of food are coming your way. This happens when I get behind on blogging. Sorry, guys. We are almost caught up, though.

One of my favorite aspects of traveling is trying restaurants that I wouldn’t find in Wichita and trying dishes that I wouldn’t normally get back home. Our friends in Saint George took us to Rib & Chop House, a restaurant conveniently located next to our hotel.

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I had the stuffed red snapper with a side of asparagus (above). The filet was stuffed with crab meat. It was almost over the top. The dish was delicious but it was so rich that I couldn’t finish it all. It’s a shame too because I want to eat it again just thinking about it. I wish I could have found it in me to eat every single morsel.

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The surf and turf was popular with several people in our group. You could get with either lobster or crab legs. As soon as I saw the surf and turf plates arrive at the table, I regretted ordering the red snapper. The surf and turf plates looked amazing.

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I didn’t order it because I didn’t want to fight crab legs which tend to be difficult to eat, but Rib & Chop House has pre-split the crab legs. They’re already cracked open so you don’t have to do any work. You just dig the meat out of the shell with your fork and chow down. It required little to no effort at all.

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The restaurant also served mutant baked potatoes as a side option. That’s not what they’re called on the menu but that’s what they looked like to me because these potatoes were ginormous.

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Speaking of ginormous, check out this ice cream sandwich.

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It’s not like any ice cream sandwich I’d ever seen. It was huge!

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Rib & Chop House on Urbanspoon

I had to get a picture of Josh’s beer. That’s something else not readily available in Wichita. LOL.

I’m not a beer drinker so I didn’t get to try it but now I wish I had. I mean, when will I ever return to Utah? Sometimes the things we regret most are the things we didn’t get to do.

Oh, well. Maybe work will let me go again next year. If so, I’m definitely having a Polygamy Porter. Bitter beer face and all.

Avenue Café

We always eat a lot on work trips. Here are a few more pictures of food.

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Avenue Café on Urbanspoon

You’ll never go hungry when you stay at the MGM Grand. The casino resort is like a small city with dozens of dining options.

Avenue Café is just one of several restaurants on site. The best part about Avenue Café, besides the great food, is that breakfast is served all day (note that they close at 2 PM).

If I had one complaint, it would be the price. $5 for a hot chocolate is a bit much. Then again, it is Vegas, so I guess that should be expected. I have no complaints about the food. I had breakfast there a couple of times and I liked what I had both times. They had several gluten free items and I even liked them.

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We all cracked up when I ordered the gluten free corned beef hash with white toast. LOL. Ginger had to explain to me that even though it’s listed as gluten free, I don’t have to order it that way. Anything that is gluten free can be made the regular way so I could have just ordered corned beef hash, period. I was like, “That’s good to know. I was just reading it straight from the menu.”

Also, it’s never too early to drink in Vegas. Even though Avenue Café is a breakfast place, they had a good cocktail selection — most notably the “manmosa” which is the manly version of a mimosa. It’s the exact same thing, except they serve it in a beer mug rather than a champagne flute.

The champagne flutes are small and skinny so you don’t get much for $8. The $20 carafe is a better value because you get several champagne flutes worth. I only know because we had some on departure day. As tempting as it was, we didn’t have any the first time we were at Avenue Café because we don’t partake on work days.

If you don’t mind paying a little bit more for breakfast, Avenue Café is a good, convenient option. It’s a straight shot from the MGM Grand lobby.

Gonzalez Y Gonzalez

Gonzalez Y Gonzalez on Urbanspoon

I’d never been inside New York New York before. It’s actually pretty cool in there. They have the fake skies that make you feel like you’re outside though you’re inside the casino. The restaurant facades are made to look like you’re walking along a city street.

We ended up at New York New York because that’s where the Mexican restaurant Gonzalez Y Gonzalez is located. Gonzalez Y Gonzalez is the restaurant they picked for our first group dinner. The food is pretty good and the prices are reasonable. Here are some pictures.

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I had carnitas (above) while Isaac had fajitas (below).

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Dinner was good. I’m not sure what everyone else did after dinner. I was exhausted from the trip so it was an early night for me.

The Grand Wok and Sushi Bar

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Ended up eating at the Grand Work and Sushi Bar a couple of times last week because (a) it was conveniently located inside the MGM Grand where we stayed a couple of nights and (b) the food wasn’t bad.

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Here are a couple of pictures… The photo above is of Amy’s crunchy. It’s like a California roll with crumbs on top. The one right below is their shrimp tempura roll. It’s a little different than the same roll at Wasabi because Grand Wok adds carrots to theirs. The roll was good but I prefer it the other way, without the carrots.

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Grand Wok & Sushi Bar on Urbanspoon

I ate there the first time with Marsha, Amy, Isaac, and Josh. Everyone decided to do their own thing the second time around, so Tammie and I ended up having dinner together at Grand Wok after our walk along the Vegas strip.

One of the best things about Grand Wok, besides sushi, is that they offer lots of vegetarian options. They also have lots of other items on the menu for those who don’t really feel like eating sushi. The only downside is that it’s a little pricy, but everything in Vegas is so that should come as no surprise.

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If you’re staying at MGM, the Grand Wok and Sushi Bar is a good option.

Three Time Zones in Three Days

I recently arrived back home from a work trip that spanned three different time zones in three days. I love traveling and wouldn’t mind it one bit if my work wanted me to travel 80% of the time, but this is the kind of traveling that make people who love to travel hate traveling. LOL. We moved to a different hotel every day so, in the three days I was away from home, I slept in three different hotel rooms. We made the best of it, though. Despite this being a work trip, we managed to have a ton of fun.

We stayed at the MGM Grand on our first night. I’d been to Las Vegas a few times but this was my first time staying at MGM. There were several conventions going on in the area so the hotel was completely booked. I know. It’s amazing considering the MGM has over 5,000 rooms. The conventions going on must have been seriously massive conventions.

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I got a room with two double beds because it was what they had available at the time. I’m not fond of having two beds in my hotel room but we were only going to be there one night. On the up side, I had a great view of New York New York and Excalibur.

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Mel and Isaac came up to admire my view and take pictures.

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We all drove to Saint George (Utah) the next morning. The drive was breathtaking.

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I found a video of the exact route we took on YouTube. Check it out.

Pictures do not do the sights justice. It just has to be experienced.

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Here’s a picture of my coworker Josh, taking a video.

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We spent the second night in Saint George. My hotel room at the Hilton Garden Inn had two double beds again. However, there was a mixup with our hotel reservation and they had it for the previous night instead of the correct night so I was just relieved that there were rooms available for us.

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This is the view from my hotel room in Saint George.

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We drove back to Las Vegas the next day. We returned to the MGM for our final night. I had a room with a king bed this time. Hurrah!

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Most people don’t mind having the two beds in their hotel room because they use the other bed to lay out all of their stuff. I just don’t like how much floor space the second bed takes up. Look at all the room I had in my king bed room. I could have had a Zumba class! King rooms are so much more conducive to in-room workouts for times when you don’t feel like going to the hotel’s gym or when the hotel doesn’t have one or when you didn’t pack workout clothes. You can workout in your underwear in the privacy of your room. Rooms with double beds do not allow for this. Not that I worked out at all during this business trip, but it’s nice to have that option. LOL.

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My room was at the other side of the hotel this time around so I had a different view. Not as good as the other night, but still good. I could see the Stratosphere from my room.

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This trip is by far the most exhausting work trip I’ve ever taken, but the experience was great. I met some of the most amazing people in Saint George and I couldn’t have asked for better travel companions. Work trips aren’t typically fun but somehow we always manage to make the best of it. I have such awesome coworkers!

P.S. In case some of you were wondering about the title of this blog post, we went from Central Time (Wichita) to Pacific Time (Las Vegas) to Mountain Time (Saint George) and then back again.

ZINCON 2014: Highlights

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Brian fit right in. All he needed was a badge.

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Brian with ZES Tony Witt, one of my Zumba idols.

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My friend Sarah at the kick-off of her very first ZINCON.

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There were a few awards given at the kick-off. Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar was our keynote speaker this year. He was great, but the highlight of the kick-off was definitely Claudia Leitte. What a treat!

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My first session was with Lindsey Taylor, another one of my idols.

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Then it was time for Reggaeton Rebellion with Loretta Bates and Marcie Benavides, two more of my Zumba idols.

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Loretta Bates is amazing!

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It wasn’t until halfway through the session that I realized Missy was in my same workshop! It was a great surprise!

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We got great pics with Loretta, Marcie, and DJ Francis.

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Lauren and Kelsi were on the same floor as me at the hotel.

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Mastering the business of fun!

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Zumba Step master class with Marcie.

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Here are some pictures from Zumba Gold training.

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I learned Zumba Gold from the best, Ann Saldi and Lars Wensink.

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Brian did some shopping for me while I was learning stuff.

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Brian also ran into Johanna and Yira from Santo Domingo.

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We met these two amazing Zumba instructors while we were at Barceló a couple of months ago. They’re like the Latin American versions of Lauren and Kelsi. These partnerships make me wish I had a ZIN BFF of my own.

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Here’s a picture of us waiting in line to enter the fitness-concert.

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While we were in line for the fitness-concert, a group of Venezuelan Zumba instructors entertained us by singing and dancing. Brian got some videos.

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We were in the line for the fitness-concert for an hour or so but the entertainment made the wait go by faster.

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It seemed like there were a lot more people at this year’s fitness-concert. I thought the fitness-concert last year was cooler though. This year people weren’t following the rules. They brought bags and water bottles even though they weren’t supposed to and people wouldn’t spread out so we could barely move to dance.

Here’s a video of the mass exodus after the fitness-concert.

Pictures really don’t do it justice. You just have to experience a ZINCON fitness-concert for yourself to truly appreciate the craziness.

The next day I had Zumba Step training with the amazing Marcie Benavides and Eric Aglia. Several other ZESes helped also.

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Here’s a picture of Marcie with all the ZESes who helped during training.

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If you think Eric Aglia (guy in the red pants) looks familiar, it’s because he’s one of the instructors featured in the Zumba World Party video game.

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I am in such awe of Marcie. I can’t believe this woman is 40. She doesn’t look like it at all. My goal is to hopefully be as healthy and fit as she is when I’m 40.

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I snapped a few photos to memorialize my Zumba Step training. I feel so blessed to have learned Zumba Step from the best.

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Here’s a picture of me with the trainers taken at the end of our training workshop.

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I had to get another pictures with Eric when I ran into him in the elevator because this guy is amazing. I was front and center for training but apparently I wasn’t memorable because he didn’t remember me from class. LOL.

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This is a photo of Francesca Maria performing at the theme party.

Dahrio Wonder and Gina Grant performed.

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Armando Salcedo and Heidy Torres performed.

Other performances included Myrto, El Chevo, and Mara. Claudia Leitte performed during the kick-off event. Wisin performed during the fitness-concert. For the theme party there were several performances. There are rising Zumba performers everywhere so each time someone came out they would say which country was represented.

It’s so amazing how Zumba brings the world together. There were 97 countries represented this year. ZIN members from all over the world traveled to Orlando to participate in this year’s ZINCON. Amazing feels like an understatement. I always say that there are no words to describe ZINCON. It just has to be experienced first hand.

This year’s theme party was not as elaborate as last year but the performances were great. People had some crazy costumes last year. It also felt like several people opted to skip the theme party this year. Last year that whole area right outside the ballroom was packed. We were shoulder to shoulder, and there were even more people inside the ballroom. I’m thinking that the $9 Bud Light bottles might have something to do with it. Yes, the drinks were crazy expensive. I think they were even more expensive this year than last year.

Brian and I were smart this year, though. The Walgreens next to the Rosen Centre sells beer and wine so we stocked our fridge and pantry. Since we were drinking every night we were there, we didn’t feel compelled to spend hundreds of dollars on drinks at the party. Plus, I didn’t really care to drink the Bud Lights because I had Angry Orchards back at our hotel room.

We didn’t stay at the theme party too late. We just stayed for all of the performers we’d never seen perform live before. After all of that, the official ZINCON house band took over and we’d watched them perform last year. They just do mostly covers anyway. They sang this year’s hits but it’s still the same guys. We didn’t really feel like we were missing much by taking off before midnight.

Besides, I had a big day the next day. I had a session with Filipino ZES Prince Paltu-Ob. He came highly recommended by my friend and fellow ZIN Gerard Patalano who I met at last year’s ZINCON. I’d heard great things about Prince from others also so I was super excited. I was actually the first one in class. I got there even before he did. We snapped this photo before our session started.

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I met other Filipino ZINs in our workshop. We snapped this photo after class.

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The session with Prince was my last one before the closing session. This was a big deal because this was the first time ever that they’d had a closing session on the schedule. Usually everything just kind of ends after your last session.

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Anyway, we finally got to see the third Alberto, Alberto Aghion. Everybody knows Alberto Perez aka Beto because he is the face of Zumba. If you’ve ever been to ZINCON, then you’ve also seen Zumba CEO Alberto Perlman. He always speaks at the kick-off event. There’s rarely ever an Alberto Aghion sighting. I guess you could say he is the “silent” partner. LOL. I always thought the guy was imaginary until now.

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This is the holy trinity of Zumba, the three Albertos, all in one place right here. It’s amazing the universe didn’t implode. You never see these three guys together. Or as Beto would say, chugether.

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Here’s something else you don’t see very often: Beto, Gina Grant, Kass Martin, Loretta Bates, Marcie Benavides, and Ann Saldi all dancing on the same stage.

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What a treat!

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Here’s a short clip. Pardon the audio quality.

After the closing session we headed to the pool to hang out. Holy cow! It was so packed. I think word got out that this was the place to be at the end of ZINCON. It was the complete reverse of the theme party. There were actually a ton more people hanging out at the pool this year than last year. There were no lounge chairs available. At all.

We were lucky that Pat and Missy decided to skip the closing session. They were already hanging out at the pool. They were leaving for the airport at three o’clock so we just ended up taking over their two lounge chairs. If it wasn’t for that, we would never have gotten lounge chairs. People actually ended up putting towels on the pavement and just setting their stuff down because there were no lounge chairs available. It wasn’t like this last year.

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I don’t really like the way I look these days because I’m way up in weight compared to a couple of years ago but I have to post this picture. I can’t believe I finally met Azuka Boutcher in real life. She’s another one of those mythical creatures.

She was one of the original faces of Zumba along with Gina Grant and Tanya Beardsley. It was the Gina, Tanya, and Azuka before it was just Gina and Tanya. And now there is only one. Just Gina.

I had met Gina and Tanya for the first time during the Gina and Tanya Rock the Stage Tour a couple of years ago. Azuka was already doing her own thing, Kazaxe, a this point. Azuka is not really one you will see unless you go to take one of her classes in Virginia. I mean, I don’t really see her traveling to Kansas so it was awesome to see her at ZINCON. I felt like such a stalker walking over to ask for a photo with her but it was totally worth it in the end. I would have regretted not getting this photo.

We had dinner at B-Line on our last night at the hotel. We didn’t really feel like venturing out because we still had to pack and at this point, I wasn’t even sure that we’d have enough room in our luggage for all the stuff that Brian bought for us. On our way back to our room, we ran into Ricardo Marmitte and his friends. All I have to say is, he is the coolest guy ever.

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Ricardo and his friends were so friendly and welcoming. If we didn’t have to pack and didn’t have an early flight the next day, I would have totally just tagged along with this group. I still kind of regret not taking advantage of the opportunity to visit and learn about everyone. I mean, how often do you get a chance to hang out with Zumba celebrities. Maybe next year.

And then, just like that, it was over. I have more pictures from ZINCON 2014 on my Flickr so be sure and check those out. I met some new people this year. Saw friends I had met previously like Charisse and Gerard. I also captured some videos. I could only send a few of them to Flickr. The rest won’t upload for some reason. I’ll probably post some of my favorites videos here — of those that I could upload anyway. Stay tuned.

ZINCON 2014: First Impressions

I really had high expectations this year after an amazing Zumba Instructor Conference in 2013. I didn’t think this year’s ZINCON was as cool as last year’s — I mean, last year was amazing, so it would be pretty hard to live up to it — but I still had a ton of fun. There were aspects of ZINCON that were better last year than this year and vice versa.

Check in was really smooth this year. I think it’s because they had the desks open for longer hours. Our bags this year were a different style than last year, which is good because I already have two of those one-shoulder backpack bags (one from the 2013 Conference and one from the 2014 Convention). We got a commemorative convention shirt, but the quality of the shirts isn’t as good as last year. Also notably missing were our ZINCON 2014 bracelets. I didn’t really miss those as much as other attendees. I thought the free luggage tag more than made up for the bracelets. I love, love, love my Zumba logo luggage tag. I actually used it on my carry on luggage on the way home.

I thought the signage was somewhat scaled down this year. The graffiti walls were a really nice touch, though. There were several throughout the convention center and Hyatt Regency. I wrote several notes. Brian wrote on them too.

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The graffiti walls were great! Totally made up for not having as many of the massive signs all over the convention area.

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Here’s a picture of me in front of the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. It is hands down the largest convention center I’ve ever been in.

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The hotels around the convention center got in on the festivities by having drink specials. Found this board at the Hilton.

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We didn’t really spend a lot of money on meals (other than our $150 anniversary dinner at The Oceanaire) because we picked up groceries. This is what the pantry and fridge of a ZINCON pro looks like. LOL.

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We were so much more prepared this year compared to last year. It helps to know what to expect. We got wine, beer, and snacks. We didn’t go hungry at all.

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I also loved all of the flash mobs this year. They were popping up everywhere. Last year the focus was the Zumba World Party video game demo. This year they added the ZIN DJ stage which was really a great area for showcasing some talented instructors. The districts really got into it. I loved watching all of their performances.

One of the reasons ZINCON 2013 is hard to top is because it was so well-conceived. This year the theme was somewhat all over the place. It wasn’t as cohesive as last year. However, there are so many great things they added this year that we didn’t have last year. For instance, we actually got to see the third Alberto. I thought he was a myth for the longest time. He’s a real person after all.

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I guess part of the reason that I still think that ZINCON 2013 was the best is because it was my first. Your first is always the most memorable, I guess. However, there were so many awesome things about ZINCON 2014 so I think it’s equally amazing in its own right. If you’ve never been to a Zumba instructor convention, you have to check it out. There really are no words to describe this event. It has to be experienced in person. Oowa! Oowa!

Poolside Massage, Anyone?

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Jocelyn worked on both Brian and me. She’s one of the friendliest and most enthusiastic massage therapists we have ever met. Super nice and friendly. I highly recommend requesting her if getting massage services at the spa.

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Our poolside massage was complimentary for booking the club premium package. We thought it was a really good deal. But it’s only a good deal if you take advantage of all the perks such as the free poolside massages, unlimited wifi for multiple devices (that is, if you want to stay connected), room service etc.

I have read reviews online from people who say that it’s not worth paying the extra for club premium but Brian and I really found it worthwhile. Club premium guests get the best rooms on the property. From a couple of people who absolutely loved the room that we were given, we think that alone was worth the difference in price.

The club premium lounge isn’t really anything spectacular but it’s less busy than the regular client services desk. The ladies are all very friendly and helpful also. You wouldn’t think that you’d need that much assistance throughout your stay but you’ll have to make dinner reservations and club premium guests supposedly get priority.

You also have access to a couple of restaurants that are not available to other guests unless they pay extra. And, you have access to the hydrotherapy section of the spa throughout your stay.

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Speaking of spas, the facilities at Barceló are top of the line.

Check out this amazing relaxation room where you get to hang out before, after, and between treatments.

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The spa has several treatment rooms just like these.

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We’ve been to many and few can compare to their treatment rooms. Almost every room had a private pool.

They also had outdoor massage beds. The downside is that these are right by the main pool at Palace Deluxe so it’s not really the most peaceful or quiet place to get a massage despite the privacy fence. You can still hear people (and their kids) yelling and screaming in the background.

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The spa is connected to an amazing fitness facility that rivals the best gyms in Wichita. Plus, you can’t beat the view.

The walls are glass so you can enjoy the view outside as you workout, which also allows lots of natural light into the workout areas. Imagine doing yoga in this studio.

The health and wellness facilities at Barceló are amazing. If I had one complaint it’s that it’s at the Palace Deluxe so you have to either walk a long ways or take the Barceló train to get there. And, Palace Deluxe always seems so crowded which can be a turn off if you want to relax. Once you are inside the spa, the noise dies down except if you’re outside in one of the private pools or in the outdoor massage area. That would be my one complaint about the spa/fitness center.

Other than that it’s a fantastic resort amenity that is not to be missed. You’ll have to check it out at least once during your stay.

Chess, Reading, and Cocktails

Chess was one of our favorite activities at the resort. Yes, we’re nerdy like that.

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It’s hard to resist a giant chess board. It just begged to be played.

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Hmmm… Decisions, decisions.

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This is the forlorn look on Brian’s face when he lost. LOL.

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This is what he looks like when he wins!

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Besides chess, Brian also did a lot of reading. Thank you, Stephen Coonts! And, yes. That guy behind Brian is smoking. Apparently, smoking is welcome everywhere. Even at the Palace Deluxe (family side) smoking was permitted everywhere. Except the casino. We thought that was a little weird or, at least, backwards. LOL.

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Here’s another photo of Brian reading.

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BTW, the coconut cocktails in the fresh coconut are not to be missed. They cost $2 but worth ten times that. They are delicious. Even Brian liked them.

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You can get these at La Piña at the West end of the resort.

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We thought they were even better than the pineapple cocktails in the fresh pineapple, also available at La Piña for $2. I kept mine and just get refilling it with frozen cocktails from the bar. I could use one of these cocktails right now.

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I have more pictures and trip recaps coming. Stay tuned!

Barceló Bávaro Beach Resort

Barceló is definitely the largest all-inclusive resort property we’ve ever experienced. We’ve now stayed at a small all-inclusive property with limited amenities, a medium-sized all-inclusive with lots of activities and nightly entertainment, and a large scale property where you actually have to take a train to get to parts of the resort.

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The Barceló trains run every 15 minutes from about 8 o’clock in the morning to 4 am the next day. There are several stops throughout the Barceló Resort complex.

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Our room is the on the leftmost tip of building 4 (upper left corner of this photo). We felt it was the best room on the property because we were ocean front, had our own private lounge chairs on our lawn, and had beach access from our patio. It was also away from all the noise and activity at the pool so it was a peaceful retreat for us at the end of the day.

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The room assigned to us was perfect in every way, including the room number. We got 4013, which is perfect because we were there to celebrate Brian’s 40th birthday and 13 is his favorite number.

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When you look at this panoramic photo below, our room is the one that is right next to the La Piña hut on the right.

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The pool on the adults only is huge but it’s actually just a fraction of the size of the pool at Palace Deluxe (the family side). It was plenty big enough for me and Brian. The only down side is that there’s not a swim-up bar. They have one at Palace Deluxe.

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The best feature of Barceló is the location. The property is on one of the best beaches in the world.

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There are ample lounge chairs. The setting is natural and beautiful. The grounds are well-maintained. The powdery, white sand feels amazing beneath your feet.

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This is view of the Palace Deluxe beach from a distance.

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That’s the biggest downside. You had to ride a train to Palace Deluxe in order to take advantage of the water sports and borrow kayaks etc. You also had to make a reservation in order to take out one of the hobie cats.

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The one thing they didn’t have at the Palace Deluxe is Zumba Week.

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Yira and Johanna, a couple of awesome Zumba instructors from Santo Domingo, led Zumba throughout the week. This is a photo of Johanna teaching Aqua Zumba.

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Here’s a video of us doing regular Zumba at the pool.

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I’m so glad I brought a pair of sneakers! They came in handy for Zumba.

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Besides Zumba Week there were actually lots of activities throughout the day. The activity coordinators (they call them “animators” at the resort) did a great job of getting people involved. My favorites were Amiley and Julio.

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Activity coordinator Amiley led yoga on the beach. That’s one activity that Brian and I enjoyed together.

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I also got to play dardos or darts. I actually won against four others and they gave me a small bottle of rum that night during the nightly award ceremony prior to the evening entertainment.

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I played beach volleyball with some Russians. I think they were Russians anyway. Some European people too. It seemed like the Americans just wanted to do their own thing and didn’t want any part of the resort activities. The Europeans seemed more social or they were interested in the games at least. There was this one guy (I can’t remember his name or where is he from) who participated in almost every resort activity available. Well, everything but Zumba. LOL.

They had dance lessons on the beach, language lessons, bocce… Lots of stuff. I recommend participating, specially in the individual sporting events, because they choose winners and then the winners get prizes at the end of the day. They’re not cheesy resort knick knacks either. You get a bottle of rum, and who wouldn’t want that? That’s how I won a bottle of rum for Brian.

Another fun activity I participated in at the resort is Zumba on the beach.

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The variety of swimsuit styles we saw made me feel severely over-dressed. Seriously. I’m buying a thong bikini and taking it on our next trip. LOL!

Speaking of swimsuits, you could actually tell where people were from based on their swimsuits styles. The Brazilian women wore the skimpiest swimsuits and tended to sunbathe topless. Anyway, the swimsuit theory was even more true for the men. The American men tended to prefer longer surf shorts. The European men preferred Speedo bikinis or tight, skimpy, little swim trunks that left nothing to the imagination. Some younger European guys did tend to wear surf shorts, but they were shorter in length and you can tell they’re not American based on the colors and pattern. Shorts worn by European men were often colorful and wild. Not the sort of prints that American guys go for usually.

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Brian’s favorite resort activity was double-fisting beers. Although, he was quite disappointed that the only beer he could get for free was the local beer El Presidente. If you want American or other foreign beers then you had to pay for it. Apparently, Barceló’s idea of all-inclusive excludes all beers except for one brand. I don’t drink beer so it didn’t really bother me. It only bothered Brian the first day. Although he wasn’t too fond of El Presidente, it didn’t really matter much after you’ve had a few. Specially if you’re double-fisting them.

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Brian turned double-fisting beverages into an olympic sport. He was even double-fisting at breakfast. This time coffee on one hand and beer on the other.

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We did a lot of laying around at the pool also.

PicMonkey Photo

This is my favorite chair at the resort. It’s so comfortable that you could sleep in it, which makes me wonder how many people have gotten drunk and passed out in it.

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They really should have added mango-picking as a resort activity. The mango trees throughout the property were overflowing with fruit. Check out this tree.

Anyway, now that we’ve stayed at a variety of all-inclusive resorts, I’d have to say that a medium-size adults-only all-inclusive resort like Couples is more my style. We loved staying at Barceló and had a lot of fun last week but the resort was just too big for us. We wanted water sports to be more accessible and we hated having to go over the crowded Palace Deluxe side.

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