Cabo San Lucas

This is a SUPER overdue post from our Cabo trip back in May! Sadly, many of the details have since slipped my mind, but I’ll do my best with the recap.

On Friday night after work, Brian and I drove down to San Diego to spend the night at Shwetha’s apartment before catching our flight early next morning. We had originally planned on partying a bit there, but Brian and I didn’t end up getting to SD until past 11pm, which put the kibosh on our plans. It ended up not mattering anyways, as we spent much of the night weighing our luggage on Shwetha’s bathroom scale and redistributing our possessions between everyone’s packs, in order to meet Spirit Airlines’s ridiculous 40lb maximum weight limit.

Saturday

Our flight was at 10:40am Saturday morning, so at 6am, we all woke to the clamoring of our alarms and blearily started getting ready. After a quick stop at a nearby bagel shop, we were on our way, surprisingly on time!

Skipping the boring part where we slept and read and chatted away the 4ish hour flight to Cabo – we arrived in Cabo at 1:45pm local time. After passing through customs, we stopped at Costco to stock up on Cabo essentials – tequila, chips, beer, more tequila, and a giant bag of limes.

Coming into Cabo was a bit of a culture shock for me. I’m not sure what I had expected, but the conditions in Cabo outside of the resorts were absolutely squalid. Having never really been exposed to true poverty in my life, I couldn’t believe that such a wildly popular vacation destination didn’t generate enough revenue to keep itself spruced up. But I suppose that’s the ignorant American in me talking.

After arriving at the hotel, Vince and Shwetha spent a considerable amount of time debating with the concierge at the front desk while the Jons, Brian, and I meandered around the lobby and marveled at its luxuriousness. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures that quite captured the grandness of our hotel, so the following view from our room will have to do.

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As soon as Shwetha and Vince finally came to an agreement with the concierge as to our room agreement ( I think it was about some sort of an upgrade? ), we changed and hit the pool. Each of us were given a ‘free drink’ voucher, which we immediately redeemed for margaritas at the swim-up bar. The rest of the day was spent lounging by the pool, waiting for the rest of our group to arrive.

Some time later ( I don’t think we even ended up eating dinner on Friday ) we drank a bit of tequila, and then headed to Cabo’s downtown to explore. I believe our only stop on Friday was Squid Roe, which was a highly recommended ( and therefore also quite touristy ) bar.

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The inside of Squid Roe was very uniquely decorated, although I wasn’t really sure what the general theme was. However, our entire group was extremely jetlagged, so after a short period of speculating and no drinking whatsoever, we left to go back to the hotel and rest.

Squid Roe

Sunday

Saturday was the big exciting day of the trip, as we had booked a ziplining and ATV tour! Early in the morning, two van taxis picked us up at the hotel and drove us to the middle of nowhere, where Wild Canyons Adventures had their zip-lines set up. ( Sidebar – it seemed as though all the taxis in Cabo were giant vans.. which in retrospect makes sense: all the tourist groups must be fairly big, and thus an ordinary taxi would be much less efficient – there are fewer cars on the streets, which decreases the amount of traffic, AND costs less for the taxi companies to hire drivers and maintain cars. BRILLIANT!)

After some extremely confusing talk about refundable insurance deposits (more on this later) and after filling out a bunch of forms, we were finally ready to zipline! I was scared shitless (but you can’t tell in this picture!).

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Heights and I have never played well, so when it came time to step off the platform and let my life dangle literally by a wire… I almost couldn’t do it. Luckily the first few ziplines were fairly short and slow, which helped build my confidence. That and ziplining is completely devoid of the stomach-turning feeling that rollercoasters induce, which also helped assuage my fears.

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By the time we got to some of the longer runs, I found myself more excited than scared, and even willing to try some of the crazy formations that the instructor suggested for us!

After a bit of lunch at the cafe (where we were super pedestrian, and for the most part, got burgers), it was time for ATVing!

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I definitely found riding on an ATV much more enjoyable than ziplining. It felt more exciting than conventional driving, but probably a bit more tame (and a lot more bumpy) than how I’d imagine a motorcycle feels. The instructor guided us around the trails in the surrounding area, and then towards the beach, and finally onto a hill that overlooked the coast.

On the way back from the beach, the ATV that Brian and I were driving started spluttering a bit. At first, it was inconspicuous enough that I just chalked it up to the ATV’s normal noise. Then, when my legs started feeling small and occasional pricks of pain, I figured that I probably should have worn longer leggings to protect my bare calves from the heat of the engine. When the cap of the oil tank exploded off and showered Brian and me with boiling oil, I finally realized that something was wrong. Luckily it wasn’t a very big explosion, and for the most part the oil only got our legs, so I escaped the accident with only a few angry red welts.

One of the guides traded ATVs with us so we could wrap up the tour – which was driving across and back this incredibly long and rickety wooden bridge that was suspended very precariously over a canyon gorge.

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Brian and I each drove one leg, and it was definitely not as scary as I had expected!

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Guess which one is the driver!

We had a bit of downtime after we finished all of the activities we had booked, so Brian and I walked around the butterfly display, prairie dog habitat, and alligator exhibit that, very randomly, were also on the premises. We have this habit where we examine exhibits in excruciating detail and forget everything else including the passage of time, so imagine our surprise when we exited the exhibits, and realized that all of our friends were gone! Apparently they took 2 separate taxis, and each taxi had assumed that we had gone with the other one. With no way to contact our friends (the FB kids were the only ones with international data), I immediately started panicking.

By some stroke of terrible luck, we had wandered around until after Wild Canyons had closed, but not so long that all the workers had gone home for the night. Luckily, when we explained to the front desk what had happened, they were able to call the taxi and tell them to come back. Our friends were extremely apologetic (AS THEY SHOULD BE 😦 ), and we got back to the resort without any further issues.

girls

I don’t remember exactly where we went that night, but there was definitely a weird club that played ‘Selfie’ a million times. There was a lot of bad tequila – the bartenders were letting the girls handle pull for free so why not? And then there was a fat lady with a whistle that groped all the guys while blowing her whistle in time to the music. At some later time, we were dancing on stage, and then a bunch of random guys started trying to scale the stripper pole, so Allen and Jon tried too (they were not quite so successful as some of the other guys). Then Muller almost fell off the stage because he was so drunk, and Brian and I pretty much propped him up for the next 30 minutes so he wouldn’t fall 3 feet to his death.

And then we got shitty tacos.

Tacos

Monday

Monday was to be our snorkeling day, so we woke up at the crack of dawn (11am) and made our way out of the resort. As we made our way to the lifejacket rental store, we were accosted by people offering to pilot us to the snorkeling area at Playa Chileno. Half of our group was extremely interested (since the pilots all promised equipment rentals, and shouted over one another to undercut their prices), while Brian and I were extremely suspicious – how would we know that they wouldn’t refuse to take us back to shore unless we handed over our money?? In the end, Angelim (Max + Angela), Shwince (Shwetha + Vince), and Brangie decided to taxi to the beach, while the rest of the group risked their lives with a stranger.

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This was the view from our cabana. The beaches in Cabo are GORGEOUS! It took a while to figure out the snorkel equipment, since it was the first time snorkeling for most of us. We decided to forego using the flippers since we didn’t need to swim much to see all the fish anyways. Once we figured out how not to let water into our goggles / snorkels and who got the life jackets when, we took turns sunbathing and snorkeling.

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After 3ish hours, the group that went on the boat FINALLY showed up. I had been freaking out that they had gotten kidnapped and killed, but seeing them swim to shore was such a relief. They snorkeled with us for a few more hours (while those of us who had gotten to the beach first napped and lazed around ) before getting back on their sketch boat and sailing back into the sunset (jk it wasn’t actually sun-down yet).

Those of us who got to Chileno via taxi ended up walking around in downtown Cabo looking for a restaurant where the entire group could eat together. The first restaurant we went to had the wrong hours on both Yelp and their website, which led us to walk all the way from the docks to a shady corner of un-gentrified Cabo, and then all the way back after realizing that the restaurant would not be open for another unspecified amount of time. No less than 2 hours later, the group that had gone on the boat called us, and told us that they were sitting down to eat. So much for our effort spent trying to accommodate the entire group 😦

The food was quite delicious though! We were able to try a few things that we couldn’t normally find in LA, which was a nice break from all of the disappointing street tacos. ( Sidebar – all the guac served at the street taco stores were super runny fake-looking guac. And the street tacos were not as good as the ones you could get in downtown LA, which was SUPER disappointing. The one upside – The salsa was amazing!)

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Since it was our last full day in Cabo (everyone else was leaving on Wednesday), Shwetha, Vince, Brian and I decided to do a bit of souvenir shopping while the rest of the group hit the pool. Which of course meant plenty of photo-ops!

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After wandering around on the streets for a few hours, we basically came to the conclusion that all the souvenir shops sell pretty much the same thing at slightly different prices. I ended up getting a sandstone shot glass (shot sandstone? do you still call it ‘glass’ if it’s not made out of glass?) to add to my destination-themed shot glass collection.

We eventually found ourselves at a bar/restaurant in downtown Cabo, where Brian proceeded to drink his weight’s worth in pina coladas and Shwince kept it classy by trying some of the local wines. I never really found out what the rest of the group was doing for the entire 5 hours we were out, but I really enjoyed the double-date, as well as the reprieve from trying to accommodate what 15 different people wanted to do.

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Tuesday

Before we left Cabo, we had one more tourist destination on our must-see list: Land’s End. Vince booked Shwetha, Brian and me four tickets on a small tour boat to Lover’s Beach and Land’s End.

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Our first stop was grabbing a quick-ish brunch (and margaritas!) at a restaurant that overlooked the dock. This is when I learned of the deliciousness that are Huevos Rancheros.

The tour boat that we went on looked very similar to the boat pictured above, with the exception that it had a red awning and did not have ‘Taxi’ painted on it. While cruising around picking up more passengers, we drove by a pirate ship! The pilot explained that the owners of the ship were pretty much just waiting for it to sink so they could collect the insurance money on it… which if you ask me, is a terrible waste of a good lookin’ ship.

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Lover’s Beach is actually another popular snorkel destination due to the abundance of fish, so we were actually able to see a ton of fish through the glass bottom of the boat! The pilot even tore up some tortillas and threw them into the water so we could get better pictures of the swarming creatures.

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Lovers’ Beach is named so because the beach actually connects the Pacific and Atlantic oceans! We were on the Pacific side, where the waves were much calmer – hence Lovers. The other side of the beach, which sees choppier and much more aggressive waves, is called Divorce!

After seeing Lovers’ Beach, we cruised around the coast a bit more while the guide pointed out interesting rock formations which resembled pelicans, large women, and the like. He had funny reasons for each rock’s name, but sadly I don’t remember any of them 😦

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Obligatory photo at Land’s End!

After our tour, it was sadly time to head to the airport for the flight home. The flight was mostly uneventful, but Vince was taken aside to be interrogated when we were trying to pass customs to get back into the US! I always took for granted my US Citizenship, but seeing as how much extra hassle it was for the non-Americans in my group to enter and exit the country, I really appreciated the effort my parents put in to get me naturalized.

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To end the trip on a sweet note, we FINALLY went to Extraordinary Desserts in San Diego!

Just kidding, we also went to a Boiling Crab type place and then boba afterwards, but I just really wanted to say ‘end the trip on a sweet note.’ Haha, get it?

Blame Brian for the terrible puns.

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