Updated: Jan 14
In a bold statement I'll say: My generation is a bunch of globetrotters.
How do I know?
Years of online dating.
Almost every man’s dating profile has pictures of backpacking around the globe, hiking up tall peaks, and jumping out of airplanes.
The exact opposite of me.
I’m ashamed to admit I have a fear of flying, and I haven’t flown since 2013.
I’m also an anxious traveler.
If adventurous millennial's knew this, I’d probably be shunned.
Don’t get me wrong, I traveled in my ‘hay-day’ i.e. college years. I backpacked through Europe and Costa Rica.
These days, I embody more the spirit of an overfed and lounge-y house cat.
I love the comfort of my Sonoma County small-town.
Everything was going great in my ‘no fly’ and ‘anti travel’ bubble UNTIL…
I met a guy on Bumble.
A wonderful man. We hit it off.
Enter Dilemma: His favorite place on earth is Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Getting to Cabo requires a PLANE FLIGHT!
Before we even went on our first date, I swear he was already planning our Cabo trip.
The more serious our relationship became, the more in denial I was about flying to Cabo.
Then, on Black Friday, he booked our plane tickets.
For months I questioned if I should back-out of the trip.
Alarmist news sources had me questioning everything:
-Is Mexico safe?
-Won’t the food make me sick?
-What if someone slips something in my drink?
Begrudgingly, I packed my bags despite my fears.
On March 4th I headed to the airport on my first tropical vacation since I was 8 years old.
How did I get on the plane?
I kept things REAL simple. Put one foot in front of the other.
Then, I had tremendous faith that my boyfriend would keep me safe.
He’s a Cabo pro and has been there well over 6 times.
Also, my Alanon program. For the last 4 years I have immersed myself in the world of Alanon recovery.
I have a support network of Alanon friends.
Friends who empower me to face my fears.
Friends who encourage me to let go of control and trust that miracles happen.
Flying to Cabo and enjoying my vacation was truly a MIRACLE.
So, what were my favorite parts of the trip?
A ‘Welcome Home’ sign greeted us as we stepped out of our little rental car.
My first impression was how much it looked like a combo of Vegas meets Greece.
A grand lobby with massive pillars, a central fountain, and everything big and luxurious. Totally Vegas.
Then, as we walked to our room, I thought of Santorini. How the architecture in Greece is bright white buildings with blue domes on top. Very similar to our resort which had bright orange buildings and blue domes. This color contrast, in combination with the cobalt blue sky and aqua ocean, was picturesque.
I’m also a view person.
Spectacular views are my nature therapy.
Around every corner of the resort was a breathtaking view.
Out our third story balcony was a perfect view of Cabo’s bustling bay.
The infinity pool had a view of the ocean speckled with whale watching boats and fishing boats.
On our second night, we attended the resort’s Mexican Fiesta.
Definitely Cabo’s version of a Hawaiian Luau. I had a blast.
I loved being out near the resort’s private beach at sunset time.
The seafood buffet, taco bar and churro stand were drool worthy. There were even HOT PINK tortillas.
I thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment.
Resort guests were brought up on stage to do silly dances and take shots of tequila. There was also traditional folklorico dancing, a mariachi band, costumed men walking around on stilts, and even a fireworks show!
Lastly, our resort had this calming white tea fragrance that permeated the air.
My boyfriend is convinced they pump this relaxing scent through the air vents.
He even bought a room spray of the exact resort scent to spray at his house.
2. The Pool
Every day, regardless if we were out on an adventure, I had to be back at the pool by 3:00 at the latest.
The pool water was a perfect spa temp.
We’d float around. Swim up to the bar and order drinks.
Chat with resort guests from Virginia to Michigan, to Illinois.
Lots of interesting talk about what brought people to Cabo.
I can’t believe we didn’t get a sunburn the entire time. We were so good about doing our morning sunscreen spray routine out on the balcony and then layering up with additional coconut sunscreen throughout the afternoon.
Sometimes, I would swim up to the infinity pool ledge and just zone out.
Staring out at the ocean and breathing deeply.
Soaking in the feeling of pure relaxation.
Soaking in the vastness of mother nature’s beauty.
3. Eating and Drinking
Our vacation drink of choice, ESPECIALLY during 2 for 1 Happy Hour at the pool, were Dirty Monkeys.
What is in a Dirty Monkey?
Banana, chocolate sauce, rum blended up and then poured into a plastic-palm tree adult sippy cup.
I can’t drink loads of sugary drinks so I’d alternate between Dirty Monkeys and Coronas.
My MOST FAVORITE food spot of the trip was a place I had to eat at twice!
Perfectly named, right?
Who wouldn’t want to have an office right on the beach.
Tables setup a few feet from the ocean.
Nothing better than eating with your toes in the sand.
We took a water taxi straight from the marina (just outside our resort) to The Office.
I was a little concerned, after eating loads of coconut shrimp and freshly caught sea bass tacos, that I’d be woozy on the taxi boat ride back.
No boat sickness thank goodness.
Unfortunately, I don’t have pics of my next favorite meal.
On our second day at the resort, we jumped in our rental car and sped over to Walmart.
We picked up corn tortillas, chorizo, potatoes, and salsa.
Bam! My boyfriend whipped up breakfast tacos and we ate them out on the balcony.
Our morning entertainment consisted of watching the docked massive cruise ship and the pirate booze cruise blasting hip-hop music at 9:00 in the morning.
By the third day my food poisoning worries were gone.
I was on a mission to find Cabo’s best Ceviche.
I was on a mission to eat ALL the tacos and seafood.
Let me just say, I’m SO GLAD we ventured outside of our resort for food.
I was craving a whole in the wall and AUTHENTIC downtown Cabo taco experience.
I really loved the gigantic condiment and salsa options.
I doctored each taco with fresh toppings and green and red salsa varieties.
Romeo y Julieta:
I wasn’t sure about going to an authentic Italian food restaurant while we were in Mexico.
My boyfriend convinced me, and I was glad he did.
The best part was the Caesar Salad. They bring all the ingredients to your table and make it in front of you like a cooking show.
Traditional Mexican cuisine.
I was all about ordering the tableside menu options.
Here they make guacamole right at your table AND this cheese fondue dish.
Darn, one restaurant, I can’t remember the name, but it was right by Cabo Wabo…had the best seafood soup.
It was a STONE SOUP!
An actual hot stone was in my soup with the most mouthwatering broth and loaded with seafood.
Dining in Cabo is a magical experience.
Most restaurants seat you under the stars.
The March weather at night is perfectly warm. I wore dresses to dinner and didn’t even need a cover up.
Perfect weather to eat slowly and sip on WINE.
Oh, and I can't forget about the GLORIOUS MEXICAN WINE!
I wasn’t sure whether drinking wine was even going to be an option in Cabo.
I thought maybe cocktails would be my only choice. Wrong.
Every night I ordered different Mexican, Chilean, and Argentinian wines.
4. Day Trips
I’m so glad we had our own little white rental car that could zip us around.
One day we headed off to San Jose Del Cabo and took the scenic route along the coast.
About 45 minutes north east of our resort.
Windows down. My boyfriend looking super sexy and navigating our stick shift car. Tan skinned.
Sunscreen smells and ocean views for miles.
I found a Pinterest post where Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop publication listed their favorite spots in Cabo.
Flora’s Farm and Acre were on the list. Located right next to each other in San Jose Del Cabo.
Getting to these spots was just the craziest thing.
I remember we drove on this dirt road for miles.
I was highly doubtful that we’d run into anything cool.
Then, like a desert mirage, we dropped into this tropical valley and these farm/wedding destination/premier eating spots appeared.
Both Flora’s Farm and Acre reminded me of Sonoma County.
Farm to table. Premier ingredients. A trendy vibe.
Jennifer Aniston apparently has a house at Flora’s Farm and Adam Lavine got married there.
A snapshot look at Flora’s Farm. I LOVE THIS PLACE:
A snapshot look at Acre:
(Yes, that’s a DONKEY. The cutest little guy. We were walking a long the path and he suddenly appeared. I may have screeched at first in shock…WHAT IS THIS WEIRD CREATURE? Then, I screeched with joy when I realized this baby donkey wagged it’s tail just like a dog!)
On our way back from Acre we stopped at San Jose Del Cabo’s neat little art district.
Cobblestone streets and brightly colored Mexican party flags blowing in the wind.
Another little day trip was to Todos Santos.
A quaint little surf town about 45 minutes north of our resort.
The New York Times named Todos Santos one of its top 50 travel destinations.
Honestly, I was a little nervous to drive far distances away from our resort.
I was shocked at how new, smooth and nice the roads were.
My man took me to the perfect little breakfast café called Caffe Todos Santos.
We had Huevos Rancheros and Chilaquiles. A traditional Mexican breakfast.
We walked around the cute little Todos Santos downtown.
A lot of boutique shops run by expats.
We couldn’t get over how almost every car we walked by had a South Dakota license plate! So bizarre!
Why are South Dakotans flocking to Todos Santos?
One thing I learned about Cabo is that driving on dirt roads leads you to unexpected surprises.
If you see a little sign and a dirt road…take it!
A dirt road lead us to a little beach club and spa called El Faro.
We payed for a day pass and lounged by the pool all day drinking margaritas.
We had private access to a beach. There were even beach swing beds.
We relaxed on the bed and took in the surround-sound ocean waves crashing. Super romantic.
For dinner we drove up another long and dusty dirt road to El Mirador.
The structure of this building reminded me of something out of Disney’s Pirates Of The Caribbean.
A large hut like gazebo structure.
We made it just in time for sunset.
Dare I say this restaurant has the best view in all of Baja!
5. Water Taxi
On our last full day we took a water taxi tour of the bay.
Everyone described the water taxis as having a glass bottom boat.
I was envisioning something out of Pinterest. A boat where the entire bottom was glass.
I climbed onto the boat.
Where was the glass bottom?
My boyfriend pointed to the small slit in the middle of the boat where all the life vests were stacked.
I slid them to the side and there was the supposed ‘glass bottom’.
A cloudy, dirty, slit in the middle of the boat.
It would be impossible to see anything through that!
We sped off in the taxi and saw Cabo’s Arch.
My favorite part was when our taxi driver threw bread crumbs out the side of the boat and all these tropical fish came to the surface.
6. Cabo Colors
I decided early on in our trip that I wasn’t going to spend money on souvenirs.
On the way to Cabo my bag weighed EXACTLY 49.9 lbs!!!! No room for knick-knacks.
My gift to myself was taking pictures.
Taking pictures of all the colorful happiness I spotted around me.
I made it a treasure hunt of sorts.
Everyday I tried to out picture myself from the day before.
Looking for the perfect photo op helped with my travel anxiety.
I was so focused on spotting Cabo colors that I had no time to whip up in an anxious frenzy.
5. Growing Deeper In My Relationship
Traveling with a partner, especially in a relatively new relationship, is eye opening.
There’s no hiding neurosis, idiosyncrasies and quirks when you spend 7 straight days together in a foreign country.
A deeper love starts to emerge.
Like when I was on the plane and flying to Cabo freaking out!
I noticed the stewardess didn’t say ‘hi’ to me as we boarded the plane.
I noticed there were no babies on the plane.
I turned to my boyfriend crying hysterically,
“THERE ARE NO BABIES ON THIS PLANE! THE STEWARDESS DIDN’T EVEN LOOK AT ME!!!!”
True love is finding someone who, in moments of your irrationality, looks at you adoringly, comforts you, and then helps you laugh at yourself.
We also learned on this trip how to communicate even better.
When you spend all day together, and you get to a dinner…what do you talk about?
There was no wifi to distract us and no looking at our phones.
I like how we decided that dinners will be the time we ask each other questions about our past, our families, politics, and philosophies on life.
My favorite convo was learning about all the jobs my boyfriend had before he became a firefighter.
He was a lifeguard??? A plumber??? I had no idea!
I love that I’m growing deeper in love with my best friend.
Of course my boyfriend was already planning our next trip before the current trip was even over.
One step at a time.
I AM convinced that Cabo is the perfect getaway from Sonoma County.
It’s only a three hour plane ride from SFO.
There’s no changing of time zones or jet lag.
The weather is gorgeous. Sunny skies and no humidity or rain.
Vibrant colors and delicious foods awaken the senses.
Total relaxation and Vitamin D therapy is what everyone needs!!!