My husband Mike and I recently escaped for a week in Los Cabos, Mexico. There was no particular event to celebrate, but rather many things for us to celebrate: I was pregnant last year when we hit our 5th wedding anniversary and therefore not into traveling internationally, this year marked 6 years married and nearly 8 years (in December) together, 2 kids under the age of 3 and in desperate need of uninterrupted sleep, and the fact that we haven't taken a REAL vacation longer than 3 days with just the two of us in 4 years.
Every time we've talked about where our next vacation is going to be, we've always moved right past any Mexico options. We just never really had a desire to visit there, when there are so many other beautiful options in the Caribbean. But, we kept hearing great things about Cabo San Lucas and it happened to be one of the best Hilton resorts (and staying at a Hilton was a must so that we could use points) on the list so.....we settled on it!
DAY 1 (Saturday)
Grammy (Mike's mom) came to spend the first half of the week with the kids, while we got up bright and early and were out the door by 5:15am. We had a connecting flight in Salt Lake City, where Delta was kind enough to allow me into the Sky Club without a membership. We were able to get a much needed drink, some snacks, and sit in some comfortable chairs for a few hours while our phones/Kindle charged. When we FINALLY arrived at Los Cabos International Airport, so did EVERYONE ELSE and we were wound like cattle up and down the aisles of the terminal for over an hour before we cleared with our bags and found our Hilton shuttle. After a half hour ride with 2 other couples staying at our hotel, we had FINALLY made it to Hilton Los Cabos!
After checking in, we walked into our upgraded junior suite to find chips and guacamole and two Coronas thanks to my thoughtful hubby! We also couldn't help noticing that it was incredibly hot and humid (high of 95 that day).
After changing into more vacation-appropriate clothes, we decided to hit the grocery store and stock up on drinks and snacks for the room. The Hilton was right off the highway in between San Jose Del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas, and about 10-15 min away from any shopping/groceries! It's a bit more secluded than we had realized, so if you like to be IN the hustle and bustle of things, the Hilton may not be your top choice when visiting Los Cabos. We opted to take the bus into San Jose Del Cabo since someone had said that it was only about $2.00 per person and they took dollars and not just pesos. We quickly learned that the bus driver was going to try to stiff us on our change. Every. Single. Time. Note to others: have EXACT change! After grabbing a cooler for our room, cervezas, and other snacks, we climbed into a taxi and soon learned that a 10 minute ride was going to cost us $25. Yikes!
We got ready for dinner and took the bus to downtown Cabo San Lucas. Our first observation was that probably 70% of the people riding the bus at 8pm were sleeping, and I had no idea how they knew if their stop had been passed or not! They don't announce the stops or anything, so someone passed out could just ride the bus for hours! I assumed that some were probably doing just that :) We didn't know what stop to get off at for Cabo Wabo, and we were trying not to use a lot of data on our phones so we choose a stop when we knew we had hit downtown but ended up walking a good mile in the damn humidity, sweating profusely by the time we got to Cabo Wabo.
We fully expected Cabo Wabo to be HAPPENIN' but boy were we wrong! For 9pm on a Saturday night, it was hauntingly DEAD! We were the only ones in the restaurant portion upstairs, there was a low key band downstairs playing to about 8 patrons, and the ambiance was just disappointing. The food was mediocre, and we were tired from traveling all day so we decided to head back home on the bus and get a good night's sleep.
DAY 2 (Sunday)
We kept it super chill. We ate breakfast at the hotel's restaurant El Meson; the continental breakfast which was included in our stay allowed you fruit, bagels, pastries, yummy juices, and I may or may not have snuck a piece of bacon or two ;). Upgrading your breakfast will cost you $9.99 and you have access to omelets, sausage, bacon, salads, cheeses, deli meats, and waffles but Mike and I opted for the continental. Side note: The green juice was delicious - it's orange, pineapple, spinach and cactus
Second side note: Papaya juice tastes like vomit. Sorry. But it does.
The rest of the day we simply relaxed pool side. You guys, this POOL is pretty damn amazing.
There's not many things I enjoy more than baking in the sun until I can't stand it any more, then just literally slipping off my chair and into the water inches away. No walking. Just dropping right in that pool. Heaven. And if you get down to the pool area and lay a magazine and towel down on the chairs, maybe on your way to or from breakfast, you were still able to grab a great spot. We got there around 10:30-11:00am and enjoyed the infinity pool, swim up bar, tanning decks under a couple of inches of water, some tunes, and adult drinks.
George comes around daily with popsicles, cool towels that smell of lemon and lavender to put on your face, and complimentary sunglass cleaning (I declined at first, but then someone told me it was the best job that's ever been done on their glasses and so I said "what the hell".....and they were right.) If you see George, don't decline the sunglass cleaning and then tell him he's famous, because well, he really is. He's on the Hilton website and in the commercials.
Drinks weren't incredibly expensive but unless you were drinking a Pacifico or Corona, the mixed drinks were light on the alcohol. The Bloody Mary was delicious!
For dinner, Mike told me he had something special planned so all I knew was that we were taking the bus back down to Cabo San Lucas.
We walked from one of the bus stops down towards the beach. As you get further away from the main road that goes into downtown, Cabo gets waaaaaayyy cooler. Then, you walk up a hill and as soon as you get to the top, you are rewarded with a beautiful view of the Sea of Cortez. Up and over that hill is The Office, where Mike had reserved a table literally IN THE SAND. I've never eaten at a table sitting in the sand, no shoes on, toes digging into the coolness while I watch the waves just feet from me. But I got to do that on this vacation, and if there's anywhere you need to visit in Cabo, it's The Office. Just be prepared for A LOT of visitors at your table trying to sell you anything and everything that you don't want or need. That's the thing that we didn't like about Cabo....it felt like we were constantly telling someone "No" when we had been firm and clear that we were not interested in a t shirt, or a silver bracelet, or an excursion, or a Fuck Trump wrap (though that may have been my favorite hehe) or anything else except our dinner that we ordered.
We ended the night by falling asleep on our patio, where the temperature was PERFECT, there were no bugs, and we could actually hear the waves!
DAY 3 (Monday)
Another pool day after breakfast. When we needed a little adventure, we played donkey balls over at the 2nd pool (quieter area) and ordered a drink at the bar to celebrate a Wisconsin win.
For dinner, we decided to try El Meson and we weren't disappointed. We sat outside overlooking the pool and ocean. After dinner we went for a late night swim in the hot tub and infinity pool.
DAY 4 (Tuesday)
Tuesday was our excursion day. After breakfast we decided to work out and get our blood flowing for the the day. We then headed down to the Marina Cabo San Lucas, where Cabo Adventures was going to take us out for a Sea and Snorkel Adventure. While we waited for our guides, we were able to watch a group meet and swim with the dolphins. I could only keep hoping that these dolphins were somewhat happy and were taken care of.....while I enjoy watching the dolphins, it makes me sad to think about them in captivity.
We took an APEX speed boat out into the Sea of Cortez, to Neptune's Finger area. Normally, they told us that the snorkeling is wonderful at Playa Santa Maria, but because of a hurricane there were high swells and for our safety, we would be staying closer to the marina this time. We snorkeled for about 45 minutes, which was cool but not the best area to snorkel I'll admit, and then we moved a bit south and took up paddle boarding and kayaking for another half hour or so. After that, we took the APEX around Neptune's Finger to the Arco de Cabo San Lucas, Lover's Beach, Divorce Beach, and the rocks that the sea lion's tanned along.
After our excursion, Cabo Adventures provided fish ceviche, chips, nacho cheese, and watered down margaritas before we headed out into the Marina on our own to do some shopping. We picked up ponchos for the kids and stopped at Fat Tuesday's outdoor hut for a yard stick to share.
For dinner, we wanted to try Vela, the other restaurant at the hotel that usually allows you to sit poolside for your dinner, but we found out that Tuesday's were their night to shut down and give everyone a day off. Bummer. El Meson it was again, but this time we had a bad-ass Mexican trio to entertain us. When they played CCR's "Have You Ever Seen The Rain", the whole restaurant was singing along!
For a night cap, we laid in the pitch black on the beach, as we normally do on vacation, listening to the waves and maybe some music, watching the shooting stars and talking about how we wish we could solve the world's problems.
DAY 5 (Wednesday)
Another pool day. Hey, neither of us were complaining. It was so hot and humid that it was difficult to do anything else but lay around. At night, we decided to venture down to San Jose Del Cabo, east of our hotel and the opposite way from Cabo San Lucas. We were ill prepared for where we were going, what bus stop to choose, which street was safe to take south towards the beach, but I knew I was looking for Don Sanchez, a fine dining restaurant with rave reviews on Trip Advisor. The downtown area was dead, and all the shops were closing their doors as we made our way to the restaurant. From the outside, it doesn't look like anything special, but after taking a quick look at the menu we decided to follow them past the wine room under construction. The restaurant opens up to the most beautiful garden looking patio area, with cool decorations and lovely music playing. Only 1 other table was occupied in the whole place. The food was INCREDIBLE! Small portions, but packed full of flavor and quite affordable for the presentation and thought that went into every dish. We were in love! The watermelon mojito and jalapeño margarita were delicious as well. I highly recommend this restaurant if you want to be adventurous and enjoy fine cuisine! Get anything tuna!
We ended our night watching fireworks from the hotel next door from our patio.
DAY 6 (Thursday)
For our last full day, we started out by swimming in the ocean. Finally. Don't ask me why it took 6 days....probably because the pool was so refreshing and any time we stepped foot near the "sand" (which was not sandy, but basically rocks) we could feel the heat just radiating off the beach. We climbed the rocks and searched for crabs. We searched for sea shells (and found 1 to bring back for Veda), and floated/played in the waves, which are STRONG mind you. Ladies, expect your swimsuit bottoms to nearly be torn off playing in these waves! Be smart and wear a one piece, but take a shower immediately after because you WILL have collected a swimsuit full of rocks/sand :)
When we got sick of the salt water we headed back up to the pool, where we met some people from San Diego, Long Beach, and San Francisco Bay area. We chatted, drank, and ate the day away with cervezas, bloody mary's, quesadillas and guacamole.
For dinner on our last night, we took the bus down to Cabo San Lucas and decided to try the restaurant next to The Office, called Billygan's. We had another amazing view, were equally as annoyed with the constant visitors and peddlers at our table, but enjoyed each other's company despite all of the interruptions. We even had some Nacho Libre-type of entertainment from The Office next door!
When we returned to the hotel, we were surprised with fireworks from The Hilton, to the tune of Katy Perry's "Firework" (can you say CHEESY?), which we enjoyed from our patio yet again. It was the perfect ending to a wonderful vacation with my hubs!
DAY 7 (Friday)
Before leaving for the airport on Friday, we took another dip into the ocean to say goodbye. We had 3 flights (Cabo to San Fran, San Fran to Seattle, and Seattle to Minneapolis) and wouldn't be getting home until 6am on Saturday. Needless to say, we crashed HARD when we got home before my mother dropped the kids off. But boy were we happy to see our munchkins! All in all, it was a wonderful vacation doing a lot of nothing but relaxing, catching up on sleep, eating, drinking, and reconnecting with each other. Huge thanks to our mom's and sisters for their help in loving and taking care of our kiddos and dogs so that we could go ANYWHERE, let alone to this great getaway.
Now excuse me while I turn on the fireplace in my home in Wisconsin and hibernate for the winter.