the wing of our plane
july 17th, 2008- my visit to international soil after more than 10 years!! my sister and i headed to the union station to catch the flyaway for $4.00 one way to the LAX. the flyaway is very convenient. our flight w/ American Airlines left late morning or so. i've finally gotten to use my passport!! :) the 2 1/2 hour flight lead us to baja sur, to los cabo, mexico. aiporte something something los cabos it reads on the building. a tiny airport. we landed on time. we shuttled w/ transcabo for about $68.00 USD roundtrip to our resort/hotel called Villa Del Arco. the resort was right off a beach called Medona Beach right by the arch and the lover's arch.
Upon arrival to the resort we were welcomed by the consigure. i can't spell it ahaha. anyhow, she was very friendly while our stay in mexico and helped us get our way around town.
somewhere in baja california
We received the gold card which was a card special for Villa Del Arco's guests. with it we received our complimentary drinks from the resort and received half off of cabos san lucas activities.
our first night we ate at the hotel where the restaurant was fine dining and right off the beach w/ the ocean view and view of the arch. magnificent view of the sunset and night sky. our waiter was friendly and attempted to speak to us in spanish but my spanish skills were poor. i can only speak "muy porquito espanol". ay. ay. ay. i drank a large glass of margarita on the rocks made of Don Julio tequilla, recommended by my waiter. GOTTA LOVE THE TEQUILLA! i ate some sort of beef and we had some sort of chocolate dessert. all for about $80.00 USD in total for two people.
jazz club at the marina
the next couple of days and nights we went sightseeing in downtown cabo. finally where i could find some locals but beware there is NO CROSSWALK LIGHTS FOR PEDESTRAINS. whoa. you can easily get run over so watch out for cars! we ate some tacos but i was very suprised that they did not have CARNE ASADA TACOS? WHAT?! waitress said "no tengo carne asada". not even HORCHATA? what in the world? was i really in mexico? sure didn't sound like it. how could they not have carne asada tacos? it's an outrage. umm no it's not an outrage, let's not get all dramatic about it. despite it all, i went ahead to order some sort of bbq pork tacos and a drink that tasted like peruvian's chica morada.
the resorts were mainly all american guests and it didn't feel as though i was in mexico.
on a boat at the marina in cabos
i wanted to see and experience the real mexico. cabos san lucas is very commercialized. it was not what i expected it to be. i wouldn't say it was a bad place to go but i would say if you want a real taste of mexico do not go there or even perhaps none of the resorts in mexico. they've completely lost and even distorted the mexican culture. i wanted the mariachi band, i wanted the taco stands w/ good carne asada tacos, i wanted a glass of horchata, i wanted to see guys in somberos. the area we stayed in- none whatsoever. my fear for mexico is the on-going construction of more resorts that may ruin mexico's natural beauty and culture. left and right i see construction of some kind. i know this brings more jobs for mexican citizens but what about keeping their culture alive?
while our stay at villa del arco we went to a timeshare meeting.
big-o cruise ship by the arch
i don't know much about timeshares but we figured we could use the discount if we attended. so we did. oh big mistake. let's just say they keep pounding their guests to get a timeshare w/ them. my sister and i passed on the offer. sounds nice but the idea of buying their timeshare and allowing them to make more money to build more resorts around mexico is not right. building more resorts means taking away more of mexico's natural beauty. and it means more of the poorer people will have to move out of their original living spaces and move more inland by the mountains to make room for the rich. no it's not right.
anyhow despite it being very commercialized, we went to spend the day at a spa which was very lovely. i had an aromatherapy massage and sat in the jacuzzi for awhile.
cotton candy clouds in mexico
so relaxing. we've also booked to go on a tour boat to get a closer view of the arches unfortunately the port was closed and they had to cancel. :( therefore i could not go on the sailboat- only briefly before they found out they had to cancel the tour. that could've been a good sightseeing activity. but we did get to see the La Marina, at least. the marina reminded me of the port of san diego but w/ more solicitors. tons mexican citizens approached us trying to sell things....such as bags, clothes, watches, bracelets, etc. i must say it gotten irritating after the first few times but i did wind up buying some sort of toy when a kid asked if i wanted to buy something from him. i couldn't resist, it was a child who asked.
i did get to talk to the locals but very briefly while dinner on our last night in cabos.
beaches in cabos
our last dinner was on the la marina where tons of bars were at. we finally had our carne asada tacos. it was not on the menu but our cute waiter said he'd ask the chef to make them for us. yay. also drank a large glass of margarita on the rocks. i love margaritas. by the time we finished our food the waiter asked me what i was doing after dinner and asked when i was leaving home. he said he likes to dance. i thought in my head if only i lived there but it is far too bad that i live in LA.
the beaches were quite alright however the sands were a bit dirty w/ tons of beer bottle caps. grrr to litters. i spent two days at the beach for a few hours each day trying to get a tan. but what i got was mostly sunburns in which i'm feeling now.
the dry lands in cabos
ouch so itchy.
we got to see san jose as well. drove by the streets of san jose which reminds me of where i'm living at now. the only difference is that the streets in mexico were mostly dirt and sandy roads whereas here at home is concrete. lots of things on the streets looked like what we have here in LA- more specifically the barrio of LA.
we left los cabos on the 21st early afternoon. i didn't want to go back to Los Angeles but i do want to go back to mexico and next time w/ a friend. i want to experience something out of the beaten path.
Things to know before going to cabos. Pesos is nearly the same as USD. $1.00 USD = .985 pesos, not much difference there. you could getaway with not exchanging your money. Get a calling card if you intend to make phone calls back home in the States and if you don't have international calling plans.
in the plane looking at cabos
You will get some hefty roaming charges. Beware of crosswalks in downtown cabo. There is no crosswalk for pedestrians to cross the street! Taxi cabs from the resorts to downtown is only $7.00 USD one way. Beware of bumpy roads. Rent a car if you want to drive away from the commercialized resort areas. In the plane while flying towards Mexico, they will give you a form to sign, one of which is important for you to keep in order to get back home to the States. Do not loose that slip if you intend to go home to the US. And finally for Los Angeles folks, I highly recommend taking the Flyaway to get to the LAX. The shuttles drive on carpool lanes so this will avoid any traffic. There is a Flyaway shuttle located conveniently at the union station in downtown (for those who live in the eastside) $4.
see the wings?
00 USD one way. There are other locations around the LA area but I can not remember where exactly. I'm sure there is one on the westsiiiiiiiide and one in the valleys.
now it's time for me to decide on where to go next. i want to go somewhere secluded. but where? and most importantly, who will want to go with me?