We took our first trip since Vale was born and went to Cabo San Lucas this past weekend. She fussed occasionally during the first 15 minutes of the flight, ate, then promptly fell asleep for the remainder of the 2 hour flight. We took this opportunity to use our Southwest drink coupons and each kicked off the start of a good trip with a Lagunitas 12th of Never (citrusy, hoppy, yet light, session IPA-ish). Upon arrival, Jenn delighted in the liberal use of cacti in the landscaping at the Cabo San Lucas airport. Overall a pretty good flight and a nice start to our trip.
We picked up our cheap rental car ($10 for the weekend!) and made our way to our destination. On the way, we stopped at a supermarket and bought some snacks, some healthy – apples and an avocado, and some not – maple donut, pastries, and beer. The supermarket also happened to be attached to a shoe store and Jenn half considered buying a pair of gold glitter 6-inch heels for a mere $10, but ultimately decided they were impractical for this particular trip. The second half of the drive was a beautiful cruise along the coast, with expansive ocean views framed by palms, bougainvillea, and desert flora (yes! more cacti).
We settled in and took Vale by stroller to 1 & Only Taco, which was walking distance from our hotel. Although we’ve been to Mexico numerous times, including Cabo, some lessons bear repeating: Lesson #1: Do not rely on Yelp reviews in Mexico. 1 & Only Tacos featured acceptable tacos at best with a mediocre ambiance (not that we were looking for any particular type of atmosphere), at a cost rivaling prices in San Diego. The tacos were unmemorable, and frankly, a waste of the palate, considering we were only in town for a long weekend. Shockingly, this place had a 5-star rating with 80 reviews on Yelp.
After tacos, we made our way to the beach, where Jenn fed Vale while sitting in the sand. Unbeknownst to us, while eating, Vale was grabbing fistfuls of sand the whole time and smearing it all over the side of her face. This turned into a very messy and sandy eating experience. We spent some time in the sand people watching, listening to party music, and taking in the soft, turqoise waves. Also, although we’ve been to Cabo before, this may have been the first time in our almost thirteen years together that we sat on a Mexican beach and stayed sober.
Later at night, we resolved to find excellent tacos, and happened to drive by a place called Taqueria El Zarape on our way to the bars on the beach. The place immediately looked promising from the outside (gigantic meat roasting on a spit on a counter), and delivered on its promise. We started with 5 adobada tacos (it came in an order of 5 adobada tacos for $5), with a vague intent to try other street foods throughout the night. However, after the tacos came and we finished the first plate, we decided to finish off the rest of dinner here. The meat was flavorful and tender, and the tacos were garnished with a big fat piece of roasted pineapple. Jenn went to use the bathroom and told Kyle to order another plate of whatever, and he picked “the second one down” on the menu but forgot what it was (probably some kind of pork). In any event, they were all good, and washed down nicely with two cans of Modelo Especial with lime.
Our only misfortune this day came after tacos, when we were stopped by the po for driving with our headlights off. Explaining that the car was a rental and the headlight button was in a weird place didn’t gain us any mileage, and the cop and his partner insisted we had to drive to the police station the next day to pay a headlight ticket, and that he was going to keep Kyle’s license to ensure payment. This sounded like a real pain in the ass, so we kept asking if we could pay now, and as they muttered potential amounts of fines between themselves we asked, “veinte?” and essentially paid them $20 to go away.
We finished off the night on the balcony of a beach side bar called Sandbar. The view was lovely, the waves whispered the happenings of the day, and we had the whole balcony to ourselves. Vale had fallen asleep by this time, but woke up shortly after our arrival for her own nightcap.
Jenn does not typically drink mixed drinks, but there was a shortage of exciting beers on the menu, and the server recommended a tamarind jalapeño margarita, which sounded interesting enough. It was sweet and tart, with a distinct kick of jalapeño. It was so good Jenn forgot there was alcohol in it (even though she actually rather appreciates tequila). Kyle’s mango margarita was a lovely end to the night as well. To this decadence, we added a banana and chocolate crepe with vanilla ice cream. The crepe skin tasted more like a lightly cooked tortilla than a crepe, but this is Mexico, not France, and regardless, it was delicious.