Winter vacations to the beach are just the best. This year we left the boys home alone! I was nervous about it–I knew they could handle it–it just feels scary to be that far away from them. They did awesome. Blake missed the bus one morning, but he called Carlie and got it all sorted out. I was proud of them. This post will be a mix of mine and Rusty’s words.
We landed and got a “certified” taxi from the airport. And I’m glad we did. We got to our hotel, a 30 minute drive. The hotel was nice, right on the beach. We check in and our room is not quite ready of course so they can sit down with us (her name was Teresita, she was nice) and try to sell us a vacation package (not a timeshare). Rusty says he has a lifetime goal to never sit through a presentation like that. We walk down to the beach in our pants and backpacks! We looked like we stood out from miles away of course. There are more people trying to sell you things than there are people on the beach!
We walked down the street to eat our first tacos at Gardenias tacos. There were excellent. The best part is they bring out the taco bar for you with all the fixins. I had my first horchata of the trip.(Rusty) I drank a LOT of horchata on this trip.
Rusty–So here’s the story with the room. While looking for rooms I was looking for something where we could walk to the city, but was on the beach. And something unique. I saw some rooms with private hot tubs. How cool would that be? So the Corazon Cabo had “ocean view infinity rooms (glass panels on the balcony, and your room doors accordian out to the balcony) that had a private hot tub on your balcony. What? It had to be a gimmick right?
Well not only was it not a gimmick, but it was even better than I could have imagined. Our room was on the 6th floor out of 8. It looked out on the rocks of Lands End. And it was one of the few private hot tubs where you do actually have total privacy.
Anyways. We hit up the rooftop pool. It was nice and cute. But then we were COLD. So we ran down and hit up our own hot tub. This was much more fun. We chatted for a long time and then decided to go to dinner. We walked through town and went to Mission something for dinner. The town is pretty crazy. Wild. Pharmacies that sell everything. Massage places everywhere, some less reputable. It was dinner in a cute garden area. A cat came wandering by. We talked about if tara wanted to go back to school. The answer was no. We came home and were tired so basically, we watched the most amazing movie ever. FOOTLOOSE the new movie. So good. Being sarcastic. It was so bad that it was good.
We woke up and snuggled and then ordered room service and then went for a long walk on the beach. It was nice to be there before the hawkers were out in full force. No, I don’t need a hat. Or sunglasses. Or a swimsuit cover up. Or Weed. Or a painted bowl. Or a sash that says “Birthday Bitch.” Or a spiderman mask. Or a water taxi, jet ski, paddle board.
It was time for our scuba adventure. We walked to the marina and met our crew. Andreas and this tall venezualean man with perfect hair who I thought was super handsome ;)(That was Rusty saying that). Our scuba trip was just out in the main bay. Which was kind of weird because there were boats everywhere. Our first dive was “Pelican Rock” right there in the bay. We just swam through the ropes and descended and started following our guide. The water was pretty chilly! The dive was neat. Lots of fish everywhere you look. We saw a couple eels. Eels are cool looking. Rockfish. Rays. Cute little smiling puffer fish everywhere, Then we turned and saw one of the coolest looking things so far – an entire school of rays just swimming gracefully through the water. There were hundreds of them. That was amazing. Coolest thing we saw. There were these little jellyfish ropes that kept stinging everyone. We came up and one of the women was NOT going again because she had gotten stung so bad. I was pretty jazzed after this dive. It was the first time I was like okay, this was really cool. I’m glad that I did this.
The 2nd dive was right off the Lands End. It’s called that because if you go south of that rock you won’t hit any other land until Antarctica. It’s also the place where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez. We were promised a cave and a “sandfall” but we saw none of these things. The visibility wasn’t great. The water was getting rough, and there was lots of cloud cover. No sun. Not a lot of sealife in this one. It was very mysterious and very deep (I think we went to 60 ft) but it wasn’t as amazing as the first dive. (oh yeah, also saw a sea lion swimming around on the first dive which was really cool to see them swimming under water! Very cool. I got stung pretty bad at the end of the second dive. My entire hand was swelled up huge and yeah it was not awesome. We were cold. Luckily it’s a short boat ride back. Our guides dumped vinegar on the sting and that did help quite a bit.
At the dive shop had a neat technology moment. He opens up the GoPro on his mac. And then he said “who has an iphone”? And then he airdrops over 1GB of files to MULTIPLE people simultaneously and it took less than 30 seconds!!! What is that? A day or two later I tried to do the same thing with nearby share and it said it was going to take over 2 hours. WHATTT??? Why is airdrop so much faster? Proprietary technology I’m sure – whereas nearby share is just using plain old bluetooth. Sigh.
We walked home past the taco stand and got us some yummy tacos to eat back at the hotel in the hot tub. And that’s what we did next. Tacos in the hot tub. It was epic.
We came in and Tara introduced me to “Never Have I Ever” then went and got a late night bite to eat just at the Baja Brewing Company, which is part of our hotel. The food was just ok, but the live music was really fun!
Halle sent us a picture of her and Josh in Ft. Collins at Comet Chicken. Josh had driven up and they went to dinner and a movie. Josh had taken the Leaf, and it’s battery isn’t awesome in the cold. So, they had to find somewhere to charge it for a bit. Of course it started snowing and then Josh was afraid the Leaf battery would die and strand him on the highway. He made it home fine–but it took him forever. I couldn’t sleep until I knew he was home safe. So Rusty was snoring away and I stayed up reading until he texted me that he was home. Parenting never stops.
The next morning we were going on a rental car beach adventure. We grabbed some smoothies from the shop downstairs at the hotel for breakfast and then we headed to the rental car place which of course took forever. I think it was my fault because I decided to get the insurance even though it doubled the price of the car for the day. Oh well, it’s Mexico, there is always something right? And I was right come to find out.
We drove to our first beach, Santa Maria beach. It was a walk from the parking lot but was beautiful. Kind of rocky. Tara said I was her snorkling sherpa. I would dive in and check it out and then she would come in if it was good. Spoiler alert–she never came in. This was the only really sunny day and she soaked it all up on the beach. Someone said there were jellyfish in the water so was not excited about that. The snorkeling was just fine. I snorkeled across the bay without much to report.
On to the second beach. This one was facing east so we hoped it would be different. And it was. The “one and only Playa Palmilla.” This was my favorite. There were active coral structures of orange and red and blue that were really nice. This was the most fun. Tara found a big rock right where the waves were crashing, and she hung out there.
Then into the downtown San Jose Del Cabo for some lunch and exploring. It was a cute downtown area. We explored some shops (not much open because it was Sunday) and then hit up La Lupita. This was one of our favorite meals of the trip. We had a feast full of guac and tacos. Their specialty was an Al Pastor taco with a fried cheese shell. Fantastic. Dessert was fresh, hot, homemade churros with chocolate dipping sauce and ice cream for Tara and arroz y leche for Rusty. We were stuffed. Yummm. Come to find out, there is another outpost of this restaurant right around the corner from our hotel. We took a short walk around town then on to the next beach.
East cape beach had some Capoeira dance fighters. Tara reminisced about how she was in a Capoeira club at BYUH. They were fun to watch. This beach the waves were massive. You couldn’t swim or snorkel, but there were some cool tide pools around that we explored and so that was fun. And we found lots of seashells. The sand had such a cool pattern from the waves. It was like this up and down the beach. I’ve never seen anything like it.
Last beach was Playa Bonita or something like that. It was inside a gated community. We had to leave our ID at the gate. It was getting late. We were debating whether we should make this stop but I’m sure glad we did. The water was perfect. The lighting was amazing. The snorkeling was just okay but while I snorkeled Tara climbed some rocks and explored. It was just a really cool experience. We had to speedwalk back to the car to get back to the rental car by 7PM.
Returning the rental car was frustrating. First, all the power was out. We passed power lines exploding on our way back into town. The agent had to search through stacks and stacks of papers in the dark to find our handwritten paperwork. Next, she tried to charge me $50 because the seat was damp. I was like, uh no? We let her have our hotel towel and then she charged us $25 because she said if she didn’t then they would charge her. So dumb. We stopped at the store on the way home and got some groceries for breakfast tomorrow. And some yummy sourdough bread and cheese for dinner. We were still pretty full from our tacos at lunch. We saw the greatest thing when we were walking home. A guy had 5 dogs tied to a shopping cart like it was a dog sled and he was flying down the sidewalk. It was so funny. When we got back to the hotel we jumped in the hot tub–this was at least a once daily occurrence.
The next morning we woke up and had to be ready by 850 for the shuttle to the whale sharks. This day was kind of strange. We loaded into the van and then had to drive 20 minutes to pick up another couple. Then 20 minutes back to be on our way. And then we drove 2.5 hours to La Paz to snorkel with the whale sharks. So we get into a TINY boat and I think we are going out to the ocean but basically we stay in this bay. And then our guide jumps in and we have to jump after this whale shark and swim like crazy to keep up with it. Everybody was getting water in their mouth etc. I was able to settle into a rhythm and just swim with it. But anyways. We swam with one and he was like “did you have a good time”? and everyone was like “yeah” and i was like “ha ha very funny” but then I was confused because he was serious! We were only swimming with one shark and everyone else was pretty okay with this! What the !#$? The whole thing lasted like 45 minutes and 5 of those were in the water! We drove 3 hours for 5 minutes in the water and then we were just going to drive home???? What/????? Excuse me??? LAME!!! I was pretty disappointed. I wanted more whale sharks! They were so cool!
We ate lunch/dinner of cold tacos and talked as an awkward little tour group. And then we sat in the car back. We did stop in Todos Los Santos on the way home. The city was so cool and just beachy and artsy. I had the BEST popsicle, it was a chocolate-covered cookies and cream with all these huge cookie bites. So good. Tara got Mango. We saw the hotel California. Meh, I was expecting more weed. Where was the “Sweet smell of colitas rising up in the air?”(Tara interjecting here–Don’t we get enough of that in Denver? I was perfectly happy with zero colitas.)
The drive home felt looooong.
We get home and then do what? Jump in the hot tub. This time we turned the TV and watched Never Have I Ever from the hot tub! That was cool. For dinner we walked across the street to Isabells which is just right by the hotel and we had the place to ourselves because it was like 830. IT was just a nice romantic evening. I had the best Arrancheras steak or something like that. Tara had the catch of the day done with garlic and white wine sauce. Excellent. Probably our favorite dinner of the trip.
Tuesday was a series of failures and miscommunications. I woke up and watched the sunrise and thought that was nice but I wasn’t thinking and didn’t shut the patio door and that woke Tara up. This is the day Blake missed the bus. He doesn’t have a phone, so it took us a bit to figure out how her could call Carlie. He had his iPod, but Carlie has an Andriod phone. We finally got the Google Home to work and he was able to call her and get a ride to school. It was -2 in Erie or I would have probably made him ride his bike.
We decided to go paddle boarding and snorkeling in the bay. We got these funky clear (heavy) paddle boards and started making our way over. Tara was doing awesome and fell in right at the end as we were making our way over there. I would snorkel around and then pull tara to where the fish were where she would look at them through her paddle board. It was all going well until we went into the beach. We landed the paddle boards but tried to flip them over they were SO heavy because they sucked perfectly into the water. They were ridiculous. Well I hear a snap and the fin on Tara’s board has snapped the plastic mount. At first we thought it came like that but then we saw the piece of plastic in the sand. Tara was bummed. We paddled back in pretty much silence. We told them. They were cool about it. While waiting to find out how much it was going to cost us I thought it might be easier for her if I wasn’t there to “hear the damage” and make her feel bad. Well I ordered a pina colada and didn’t think tara would want one because we hadn’t eaten anything all day. But instead of all this just “thinking” and “assuming” I should have ASKED her. Do you want me to be here? Do you want a pina colada? Are you okay? (I did ask that a lot). Anyway, it was frustrating and so that part of Tara who sometimes has to deal with these sticky situations came up and that’s okay. We can love this part. In fact when we went into the lobby the song “All of me, loves all of you” was playing. How perfect is that? “All your perfect imperfections”. Right? We bring all of us on vacation. It’s not a vacation from our parts and our entire personalities. So it makes sense that when you are on a 6 day vacation that these parts are going to come up. It was okay.
Tara wanted to go on a taco food tour, but it was sold out for the evening. There was one available at noon, but by the time we dealt with the paddle board situation, it was too late.
I sat and read for awhile while Tara took a nap. We went down to the pool and read some more. Then went and got a massage. That was awesome. $30 for an hour massage on the beach. Tara wasn’t quite sure how far to undress because we were in a room full of people. So, she asked, but the translation wasn’t great. They told her to leave her swimsuit on, while miming to take it off. She left it on and then her massage therapist basically ripped it down which was interesting and funny. The massage felt great.
We walked to dinner at Maria Corona. We got table side Queso Fundito that was out of this world. The rest of the food gets a solid “meh.”
One last “Never Have I Ever” in the hot tub before bed.
Wednesday morning we had the coolest walk on the beach! We saw a mama and baby whale playing in the waves. The baby would jump and splash his tail. They came in so close to the shore! We followed them up and down the beach until they decided to swim back out. SO FUN.
We came back up and got all packed up and ready to go. We stored our luggage and then went and ate at Jarro Cafe. I wish we would have found this place sooner! It was fantastic. Cheap, fresh, wonderful food. We had a plate of fruit with yogurt and coconut and nuts sprinkled on top. Also a breakfast burrito, enchiladas, a smoothie, and chips and guac. And it was like $24.
Our Taxi ride to the airport was quite interesting. Our driver told us how he was kicked out of the USA, was working construction in Cabo and traded some work for a car. A few months later the car exploded and left him badly burned. He was in the hospital and it was right at the height of Covid. He couldn’t get the care he needed and had to have both his feet amputated at the toes. He said he was in a coma for about a month and the drs dropped him on his head in an attempt to kill him. The story got crazier and crazier. If even a quarter of it was true, then this guy has had the worst two years a human can have. I couldn’t quite decide if he was trying to make us feel bad for him and give him a bigger tip.
All in all, I’d say it was a great trip. It had its highs and lows, but I’m really glad we came.