Back from vacation, back to reality, but yay it’s Friday!
I met my girlfriend last Friday at the Portland International Airport at 4:00 a.m. because our flight to Cabo left at 6. It seemed a cruel and unusual way to start a vacation, but once I hugged her at the airport I was in vacation mode!
I packed pretty light for me, but I still intended to check my one bag. I hate lugging bags through the airport so I was willing to put out the $20. When we approached the counter, however, my traveling partner asked about first class availability. When the lady behind the counter said it was available for both flights, my girlfriend said “alright then, we’ll take them.” I began to say something like “um, I can’t do that,” but before I could get it out of my mouth she said “my treat, happy vacation!” The lady behind the counter laughed.
We found our gate and sat catching up. We hadn’t seen each other since October and even though we communicate pretty regularly by email, we had lots to talk about. She changed her shoes to something more apropos for travel to Mexico and I had to take a picture.
We boarded the flight first and sat down in row 2. While I’ve flown first class before, I hadn’t flown first class post 9/11 so I really didn’t know what to expect. It was a pleasure, however, to drink from real glasses and eat from real dishes.
When we arrived in San Jose, California we had roughly 90 minutes before our flight took off so we went to a restaurant and had breakfast. We lingered over breakfast, chatting, giggling, talking about the fun we would have in Mexico. We paid for our meal and then casually left the restaurant. When we got to the entrance of the restaurant my girlfriend said “I think they’re paging us over the loud speaker” – I was like “what?” But as I listened I heard both of our names, followed by “the doors are closing, this is the final boarding call for Cabo!” Luckily we were only two gates away, so I ran to the gate to stop them from leaving us. They were literally closing the door to the walkway when I reached them and were none too pleased to see me. We gave them our tickets and ran down the walkway to the plane. I quietly thanked God for our fortunate ability to sit in first class because it certainly would have been a death march, with daggers shot from every set of eyes, had we been sitting any further back than row 2.
We arrived in Cabo without issue, went through customs without issue, got sucked into a time share conversation with some fast talking Mexicans, and finally made it to our shuttle for the hotel. It seemed like about an hour drive to the hotel, but it was pleasant all the same.
The Bahia is a boutique hotel about a block away from the beach. I kind of fell in love with it on arrival, but by the end of the visit I was certain that given another opportunity to come back to Cabo, I would, without question, stay there again.
We had a two bedroom suite and there were three of us. Our last friend would not arrive for a couple more hours, so I asked my girlfriend which room she wanted. She declared she would be sleeping on the couch, so I took the only bedroom that was private. Here is a picture of my bedroom in Cabo, complete with its own private bathroom.
We got to the hotel at 2:15. This is a picture of me at 2:30. No lie.
It was pretty heavenly. Apparently it’s happy hour all freaking day in Mexico. Two drinks for the price of one. And one costs something like 80 pesos, which I think is like $8. But to be honest, after 5 days in Cabo, I never did figure out the peso thing. I even found a 500 peso bill by the pool on the first night. I picked it up, there was no one around to offer it too, so I asked the bartender how much that was, she said “I think about $50 – another drink?” Why, yes. Thank you very much.
Our friend arrived by 5 and made her way out to the pool where we alternated between being in the pool, laying in the sun, sitting at the swim up bar and laughing. It was spectacular. We met two other women that were on their final night there who were just fun. They were from Los Angeles and came to Cabo frequently to get away. We must have talked for a couple hours and in the end realized we’d all made new friends.
The next morning my body woke me up at 4:30 a.m. my time, which was 5:30 a.m. Mexico time. I lay in bed for a while, and then decided I would get up and run. I put my clothes on, grabbed my Garmin and then went out to the lobby, and stopped. It was pitch black outside. Pitch black in Mexico. I spoke no Spanish and my phone had no international service so if I was kidnapped, or picked up and thrown in a Mexican jail I would have no way to contact anyone. So I went back through the lobby and lay in the hammock above the pool for a while checking email and Facebook. Then I went back to my room and went back to sleep for a couple of hours.
(This is me in the hammock before we went to dinner that night)
The second night we went out to dinner at a restaurant right on the beach. It was the first time I’d ever eaten with my shoes off, in sand, on a beach. Nothing to complain about. Again, beer was two for one, so they brought me a bucket.
The view was pretty spectacular and the food was yummy!
Third day my body knew it was on vacation and did not wake me. We had a nice breakfast in a spot that offered some pretty spectacular ocean views.
And then I found my perfect spot to just lay for a while. Heaven.
On the fourth day two of us went kayaking in the Sea of Cortez. We sailed out to the arches, got our pictures taken and then went out to an inlet and kayaked. It was my first time kayaking, and I would say it was a success. I didn’t fall into the water and I didn’t drown. That equals success.
That evening we had the best dinner at the most fun place called Tequila Shark! It was wonderful food, great service, and a prime location for watching the sunset!
On the last morning I actually set my alarm and got up at 6:30 to go for a run. I was out of the hotel by 6:45 and ran down to the marina – at 7:00 a.m. the humidity was HIGH and the sun was freaking HOT. I am from Oregon, people. Not used to these types of conditions, but I ran the length of the marina and back again. Not much more than two miles, but considering this vacation was full of alcohol I was pretty pleased about eeking out 2 miles.
We had our last meal of breakfast together and then we headed to the airport. By the time the shuttle picked us up I was ready to go home. When we got the airport, however, EVERYONE was on Mexican time. I totally wanted to slap the man behind the counter who was moving at a snail’s pace.
We flew into San Diego and went through customs. That was pretty painless and everything seemed to be moving along perfectly. Then we got to our gate and found that the flight to Portland was delayed two hours. Within a half an hour of that information, they updated again and it was delayed 3 ½ hours. Ugh. Would have been fine, if I hadn’t been ready to be home. But what can you do? Pretty much nothing. So I took pictures of me and my girlfriend giggling in the airport.
Finally got home a little after 1 a.m. and I was thrilled – until I found that my luggage hadn’t been so fortunate. Alaska assured me the bag would likely be on the next flight from San Diego and that they would deliver it to me. The next morning American Airlines called me to tell me that they had my bag and would get it to Alaska as soon as possible so they could ship it to Portland.
I got my bag Thursday night at 11:00 p.m. Everything was in it EXCEPT my toothbrush, toothpaste, and deodorant. Considering the two bottles of Tequila I had in there, I count myself pretty damn lucky.
I enjoyed Mexico and would likely return at some point in the future, but I’ll be honest — I’m more a Hawaii girl. Can’t explain exactly what it was, but I knew almost instantly that Hawaii is more me than Mexico.
Sigh. . .
I love Hawaii. . .