Yeah, so the trip was pretty spectacular.
Good friends in Michigan put this trip together, and of the nine or so couples they invited, six ended up heading to Cabo together. We knew two of the couples. One of the couples we didn’t know lives here in Indy; the other in San Francisco (half of that couple is a KU alum). What about couple #6? Well, they are newlyweds and we’ve known the bride for years, but the groom was new to us.
Anyway, our organizer, after months of looking, selected the Dreams resort, which is pretty close to halfway in-between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. It was a beautiful place: clean, very nice rooms, a great pool, excellent restaurants, and reasonably close to anything else you might want to do.
It is an all-inclusive place, and was much, much better than our previous all-inclusive experience. The drinks at the pool were watered down, but when it’s 100 you don’t really want a pina colada that’s going to knock you on your ass. The big bonus was the mini-bar was stocked each morning with Coke, Diet Coke, water, and two Coronas and two Pacificos. Everything you need to get the day started right or refuel during the day.
My sister-in-law who works in the travel industry pulled some strings and got us upgraded to a suite, which was very nice. We didn’t really need to extra room, but we were able to host all our friends for a bit before we headed to the bars one night.
We spent almost all our time on the resort. We had seafood one night, a Mexican buffet the second, and went to the Asian/sushi place the third night. With the exception of the rolls we had at the sushi place, which weren’t great, all the food was quite nice.
Our one excursion was to take a sunset catamaran cruise Friday night. We cruised out to Cabo’s most famous geographical feature, El Arco, then around the tip of the cape into the open ocean for awhile (not sure if we were technically in the Pacific at that point or still in the Gulf of California). We made it back in time to watch the sun drop behind the mountains that ring Cabo.
During the days we did what you’re supposed to do on a tropical vacation: sat our happy asses at the pool. The main pool was magnificent. It was an infinity pool that offered a great view of the ocean. There was an adult pool near our room that we never bothered to check out, other than to gaze at it from our balcony in the mornings. I did not know that along most of the coastline you can’t get into the water because the surf and undertow is so intense. The waves along our stretch of beach were massive and thundered constantly. At night, they shook the screen door on our balcony. I was just fine with the pool.
As with most tourist spots in Mexico, language is kind of a mish-mash. Most people you will deal with speak some English, and a good percentage speak fairly good English. But it’s still fun to try to use some of the Spanish I picked up in the six years I studied it. Naturally, that was mostly limited to “Mas cafe, por favor,” or “Dos Coronas, por favor,” but still I like to think my accent is a little better than most.
While English is generally fine, we did amuse ourselves with some of the strange translations in the literature the hotel passed out. I forgot to pack them to give examples, but some of the placement of words suggested the text had been written in Spanish then just plugged into Google to translate.
It’s always fun to point out the little things that are different. Diet Coke is Coca Cola Light. Frosted Flakes are Zucaritas, or little sugars. Don’t ask me what they call a Whopper. We didn’t go to Burger King.
Our travel was largely incident free, but we did have a fun moment upon arrival. We’ve been to Mexico before, so understand what to expect when you get through customs and officially become a target for people to sell things to. And apparently we faired better than some of our friends in getting through the mass of people trying to sell you time shares. But it is kind of intimidating to have 50 people suddenly charge right at you and start telling “Senors, excuse me!” and “You need taxi?” etc. Some of our friends got nabbed when a guy told them that he was their ride. That’s what they get for reserving their transportation beforehand!
We did venture out to the beach one day to deal with the vendors. It’s a very different scene than in Cancun, where people are actually on the beach and in the water. Here, the hotel has a rope that marks the end of its property. A group of vendors sets up just across the line and waits patiently for people to come down. You might be looking at a necklace and someone will come over and politely suggest you want to buy a hat or a “handcrafted” bowl* or some other item. If you shake your head and say “No thank you,” they politely walk away. It’s pretty low key. A friend went down with us while we were getting some gifts and she bought a dress. As I stood behind S. while she looked at some jewelry, the dress salesman decided to try to sell me a dress.
“Senor, I think you look good in this one. I have your size!” he said with a laugh. See, I can deal with them if they have a sense of humor.
(Friends were offered a “handcrafted” bowl made from a lemon tree. The vendor asked them to smell it to prove his claim. They said it smelled not like lemons, but like lemon-scented floor cleaner. I guess they don’t expect the Gringos to know the difference.
We had to walk for about 20 minutes along the piers to get to our catamaran Friday. The boardwalk was loaded with vendors trying to sell us jewelry, water taxi rides, hats, shirts, and even live iguanas. Friends who were in the same area earlier in the week, at night, said that in a ten minute walk to the ATM, they were offered marijuana, cocaine, a massage, and a blowjob, in that order. That’s some progression.
Apparently a lot of people go to Cabo to get married. There were at least two weddings at our hotel every day we were there. Not a bad way to do it.
Oh, and Saturday’s dinner ended with me doing some kind of strange shot that involved me chugging a foaming glass of alcohol while our waiter shook my head vigorously afterwards.
So that’s that. As I said, it was probably our favorite vacation ever. The location was fantastic. We were with friends, both old and new, and everyone was well-behaved (I remarked to S. on the way home that I couldn’t remember a disagreement over what to do for dinner, which night to leave the resort, etc.). The drinks and food were tasty. In fact, it’s the first place we’ve gone that we’ve said we would go back to. Not soon enough, no doubt.