Premium Mexico Links
~ Chapter Eleven ~
Cabo San Lucas
~ Daniel W. Josselyn
Sleeping in a real bed was like a dream come true and it was hard to justify getting up. But I knew I had a full day ahead of me so I got up and checked out of the hotel by 9:00 a.m. I needed to be at Los Cabos International Airport before noon to pick up my wife Leslie, my daughter Tracy and my friend Todd, so I knew I had a little time to take care of loose ends. I thought it might be a good idea to pick up a little cash while I had the opportunity, so I headed over to the Bancomer to try my luck with the ATM Machine. The $1,500 peso jackpot was charged to my Visa credit card, and I was now about $150 U.S. dollars richer. Even though I had no immediate plans for the money, I knew that various things would come up as the four of us enjoyed Cabo San Lucas over the next three days. Having a little more time to burn, I decided to go through the check-in procedure at our hotel for the next three days, the Melia San Lucas. There were plenty of hotels in Cabo to choose from, but this is the one I thought would work best for our stay in Paradise. After checking in I made a quick stop to buy a clean tee-shirt and shorts, then I was off to the airport.
The flight was right on time and I felt huge a sense of relief as Leslie and Tracy walked past the baggage claim area and towards me. We all shared emotional hugs and small talk as we headed towards the rental car. It was absolutely great to see my family again! And I could tell they were v-e-r-y happy to see me. Tracy, at 13 years old, thought the Volkswagon convertible was an awesome way to do Cabo! And Todd, who worships the sun as much as any Aztec citizen from the 14th century, was happy to share the back seat with Tracy under a perfectly clear and warm Cabo sky. We decided to make our first stop a bite to eat, and I knew just the place. Leslie and Tracy had been to Cabo before, but this was Todd's first trip out of the U.S. I knew of a place on the beach just outside of Cabo that would help set the mood for the next few days of fun and relaxation. La Concha Beach Club is a small and beautiful beach with a small restaurant and plunge pool, accented by lounge chairs in the sand and along the waters edge on a protected beach. The scenery was spectacular, the food was great, and the margaritas intoxicating. Soon we were off to the hotel to put on our bathing suites and head poolside.
Knowing that I would deserve a great room if I ever made it to Cabo, and wanting to provide Leslie, Tracy and Todd with a nice place to hang their hats, I had reserved a suite at the Melia. A suite was not my normal style, in my travels I was the kind of person who could just crawl into a sleeping bag on the beach and be a happy camper. But this was different...I deserved something special after surviving the first half of my adventure! For whatever reason the regular suite we were supposed to have was unavailable, so they upgraded us to the Presidential Suite. It was on the top floor closest to the ocean and was without a doubt the largest room I had ever stayed in in my life. The two bedroom, two bath layout was elegantly decorated but not over the edge. The real treat was the 500 square foot wrapping verandah which offered incomparable views of the pool, the beach, Cabo bay and of Land's End. If it wasn't for the spectacular pool calling us from down below it would have been difficult to justify ever leaving the room. But the pool area was just as awesome as the room so we headed down to catch some sun.
I knew this pool area well. I had snuck in to enjoy it many times over the years and loved the way it met my vacation priorities. Great ocean views, steps to the beach, various nooks to slip into, a waterfall and small waterslide, plus a swim up bar that became the focal point for the whole shooting match. Throw in a very efficient and friendly waitress ready to meet any culinary request and, well, it just doesn't get any better. It was almost impossible for me to believe that a little over 24 hours ago I woke up in a desolate fish camp with no clean clothes and a boat that wouldn't run. Now I was sitting poolside in paradise with family and friends, nursing a Pina Colada and eating nachos. Who'da thunk it!
We ended up spending the whole day in and around the pool. Food, drinks, music, new friends...it was a great day! Leslie was celebrating our reunion in grand style, and really loved the drink of the day at the poolside bar called the "Monkey". These stealth cocktails, in conjunction with the margaritas we had enjoyed earlier in the day, joined forces to put Leslie to sleep a bit earlier than she had expected. As Leslie caught up with her beauty sleep and Tracy watched Mexican MTV, Todd and I headed out to one of my favorite restaurants in Cabo San Lucas "Mi Casita". We enjoyed a wonderful meal, accented with live music great service and a lively setting. We decided to catch up on our rest tonight and to let the Cabo nightlife wait until tomorrow night. The suite was calling us!
The next day in Cabo was a lazy day. Sometimes on vacation it's fun to do nothing but hang out, and that's exactly what we did on Sunday. Our main goal was to completely relax and celebrate Todd's birthday all day long. Poolside was the venue of choice again, and we spent the whole day in the pool, on the beach and napping on lounge chairs. Which isn't to say we didn't get creative.
Sometimes in life things get invented out of necessity, and today was one of those inventive days. As we cruised the pool drinking our cocktails and nibbling on munchies, it became obvious that we were developing a need for some type of "floating table" in the pool to hold our drinks and snacks as we waded from group to group. Noticing an empty floating foam lounge mat a few feet away, I brought it over to our growing group of friends and placed my Pina Colada on it. Soon others placed their drinks on the mat and then someone brought plates of food. Our floating table became the hot tip as we slithered through the waist high water drinking, eating and keeping cool. It was probably the most unproductive day I can ever remember having. I had forgotten how much fun it was to do nothing!
As the day faded we grudgingly agreed that it was time to leave the pool. It was time to get cleaned up and dressed for an evening on the town!
Our plan tonight was to do it all. A big dinner, drinks and dancing, and then hitting the sack late. We chose the old Trailer Park for our dinner and the food was indeed great. The prices were horribly expensive, especially compared to my dining tabs over the last 2 weeks. But it was a special occasion and I knew the cost of dinner would be forgotten long before the memories of the evening would. After dinner we watched the 7th game of the World Series in the bar area, and then headed out to explore the Giggling Marlin.
The Marlin was on fire, and the floor show was hot! Between the crazy girls in the floor show and the wild girls in the audience there were more breasts on display than in a Foster Farms packing plant. It was quite a bit different than my normal nightly routine of counting stars and going to sleep early. Later we slipped over to El Squid Roe for more dancing, but the nightlife was taking it's toll. By midnight we had gone back to our rooms to try to catch some sleep for our last day in Cabo. Soon I would be back in the Vaka V. heading north up the Sea of Cortez.
The weekend was over and it was Monday morning. Today was going to be a busy day. I had to go through all of the port paperwork that I did not have the chance to do when I arrived on Friday afternoon. Getting up and out of the hotel before the family got up seemed like the most efficient use of my time.
I arrived at the Port Captain's office at 9:00 a.m. While in line to get my papers stamped I met a gentleman who was wearing slacks, a belt and a shirt with a collar. Although he was not dressed like most of the yachties I had met, I could think of no other reason why he would be standing in line. I figured I could get the scoop by starting up a conversation while we were both waiting.
It turned out he was one of those people you hear about who sold everything, bought a boat and decided to cruise the world with his family. I had met additional people with similar stories as my trip progressed, and they all had similar themes. Something huge had happened in each of their lives to cause them to re-evaluate their priorities and life goals. In Paul's case he had 2 close friends die with little warning, both of them in their 40's. Getting into his 50's these deaths were a wake up call he heard loud and clear.
Paul was on foot and I offered him a ride in my topless rental car to our next two stops at immigration and the bank. We got stuck in different lines and then I lost him in the crowds. I never saw him again, although I found myself looking for his boat over the next few days on the way up to La Paz. I wanted to talk with him more about his adventure and share with him more about my trip, but it never happened.
Finishing my paperwork I headed back to the hotel where my trio was on the beach shopping for souvenirs. I caught them at the top of the stairs from the beach as they prepared for another day poolside. We had more fun sunning, eating and drinking, but the cloud of our impending departure loomed over us all.
We spent several hours of playing by the pool, and then we decided to pack up and head up the coast for a final meal. I knew the perfect spot to enjoy our last rendezvous, a restaurant on the sand just outside of San Jose del Cabo called Zippers. Good food, great views and lively music set the stage for a wonderful meal. Driving from the restaurant to the airport it hit us that the party was over.
After getting boarding passes Leslie, Tracy and Todd lined up for final hugs. It was an extremely emotional moment, and an impossible time to keep dry cheeks. I felt a horrible pain in my stomach as they walked through the security check, knowing I would not see my wife and daughter again for at least 2 weeks, if all went well.