Journey-Man’s Journal by John Cooper
My family and I, consisting of my wife, teenage son and daughter plus two of their friends just returned from a week at Cabo San Lucas of sun, fun and relaxation. It came from a fundraiser months ago where I was the lucky winner, or to be more precise, the highest bidder. “Cabo” as the city is commonly known, is located on the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula.
Everyone was excited. Even my son said, “Dad, this is going to be the best family vacation ever”, and I could not agree more. I’ve tried before, but this time I had done it – I was providing “the bestfamily vacation… ever!”
Now, when entering any unfamiliar place, I like to take in the local press so to see what’s what before I make any plans. So I picked up a copy of Gringo Gazette to help blend in and see what the locals like to do. When in Rome. Within minutes of hitting the tarmac, we were exploring all the activities we wanted to do for the week.
Our first group activity on the list was zip-lining. We found the perfect place tucked away deep in the desert and high above the canyons. We’ve been on zip-lines before, but were excited just the same as we flew through the air with each line increasing in height and extending further than the last. Then we finished the first day’s excursion with a tequila tasting (as I said when in Rome). Together, the whole family, it was as fun as I had imagined it could be. I couldn’t wait for Day 2.
The most common excursion in Cabo is fishing for Marlin, and the boys all wanted to try their luck at landing “the big one”! The girls, not so much…they preferred to go snorkeling for the day and spend some time on the beautiful “Lover’s Beach”. We had before us a family vacation conflict, and rather than compromise, we agreed to go our separate ways. (cue audio: loud record scratching). And just like that, our “perfect family vacation” – its wheels had started to off.
As for the boys, we rented a boat early the following morning and headed toward the open ocean in search of a blue marlin. The sun slowly rose and cast its light on one of Cabo’s most famous landmarks, the Arch, or El Arco de Cabo San Lucas. We fished for many hours and didn’t land “the big one”. However, we did manage to catch a Mahi-Mahi, which made the trip worthwhile.
Meanwhile, the girls enjoyed their time in the water and at Lover’s Beach. Coincidentally, there is a beach adjacent to Lover’s that is aptly named Divorce Beach.
The night life in Cabo really starts to jump just before midnight and the kids couldn’t wait to participate. I’m sure there is an “official” drinking age, but as a practical matter it did not exist. Our first stop on the nightlife tour was the Cabo Wabo Cantina, made famous by the rock musician Sammy Hagar. As we step foot into the bar, my kids recoiled and sneered, “Everyone in here is old, they’re all like…thirty.” Treading on the backside of fifty, I laughed to myself. I was thinking “the crowd looks a little young.” Clearly my children had other ideas on what night life should be like in Cabo.
Down the street was the real deal, El Squid Roe, a 3-story, open-air bar and dance floor where dancing on the tables is enthusiastically applauded and the party rages long through the night, or as long as you can hang on. My daughter and her friend, both clad in bikini tops and shorts, headed straight there while a countless number of men whistled and catcalled. The girls loved every minute of the attention, but I was unamused (as I suppose any father would be). Once inside, the girls were an instant hit as they danced for hours. El Squid Roe is not for the soft or faint of heart types, and as you might expect, it is “the” destination for spring break college students looking to unwind. The girls couldn’t wait to go again, which they did, while I thought “never again” would be too soon.
There are a lot of reasons why people are drawn to Cabo. The weather is awesome and the sunsets are beautiful. We found the locals to be very helpful, pleasant, courteous and respectful. The food
is great, there are countless activities to participate, and the night life is second to none. Best of all, you can eat by the side of the road from a cart or dine in the finest restaurants, and the only difference is whether or not you need to wear shoes and a shirt while doing so.
We split off throughout the week enjoying varying activities in different groupings, only to meet up later each day to share the stories. It really did become one of the “best family vacations ever.” If you’ve not yet traveled to Cabo, I’ll suggest you put it on your list. It’s a city full of excitement and fun.