Author Topic: A Short Trip to Cabo  (Read 944 times)

Offline Yehoshua

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A Short Trip to Cabo
« on: January 28, 2018, 01:15:06 AM »
A Trip to Cabo

Trip planning:
This trip was one of the most last minute trips I planned. I planned it so late mainly because I wasnít sure Iíd be able to go until about 3 weeks before. The good news was Iíd been monitoring the flights and they were still very cheap. The trip was planned for Sun-Thu.

I ended up booking the flights with Southwest at around $230 each using Chase UR.  I went with SW because they offer free bags and changes, something that ended up being rather helpful, plus they werenít any more expensive than any other airline that flies there non-stop from LAX. The reason I used Chase instead of SW points is simply because I didnít have any SW points, since I forgot to apply for their very generous credit card offer this past November. Once I wasnít using SW points, I just booked with UR because it was just a few hundred points more than booking with SW points that I would transfer from Chase, but Iíd be able to earn miles on the flight and not have to pay the ~$130 in taxes that go along with a RR award ticket.

For the hotel, I booked the Sheraton Hacienda del Mar (the best value with SPG) for 6k+$110 per night.

I also rented a car for the grand total price of $9 for the time weíd be there from Europcar through Advantage. There was a National there, but they wanted a lot more, even with the corporate codes. Oh, and for that price I got a Mercedes SUV or similar. I figured renting a car was easier than trying to take 2 kids in a taxi with car seats. What they didnít tell you, but I knew anyway, is that the price doesnít include the mandatory insurance you must get to drive in Mexico. Itís not CDW, that was taken care of by my credit card, but rather liability insurance that all drivers in Mexico must have. It ended up costing around $180 for the 4 days, but thatís not too bad for a Mercedes SUV IMO.




The car

For activities, we didnít really plan much. Since this was our first trip as a family of 4, taking our 2 daughters along with us, we wanted to see what it would be like, and as such didnít plan anything. Sure, I wanted to see the famous sea arch, but besides for that, nothing besides relaxing by the pool.

So, after Iíd booked everything and gotten all packed to go, Motzei Shabbos before we were to leave my youngest daughter was dehydrated and the Dr. didnít recommend going with her like that. Sheíd had a small cold, but the Dr. had told us that some time in the sun and warm weather would be helpful for that, but not for dehydration.

Thatís where booking with Southwest comes in handy. I called Southwest right away and asked them how much itíd cost to change the flights to Monday. Their answer: $2 total. Awesome! I changed the flight to Monday morning, switched the hotel and called and notified the car rental agency.

Sunday turned out to be a better day for our youngest, so we decided to go for it and leave on Monday morning. After all, 4 days are better than no days in Cabo.

Monday, January 22, 2018
Our flight Monday morning was at 8:10am. Itís funny how SW works with international flights right now at LAX. SW operates out of T-1, but because of construction, their international flights leave from TBIT, but check-in and security are still in T-1.


Southwest international check-in

There was a bit of a wait to check in due to many computers not printing bag tags, but it took less than 15 minutes anyway. Security was a breeze, and we found the area to wait for the shuttle bus to the international terminal pretty easily. It was there that we were informed that our flight only had 15 passengers on it, so it would be a fairly empty flight. Score!


Our empty flight

We took the bus to the international terminal where we boarded our flight in less than 2 minutes. We took 2 rows: my wife and our youngest in one row and me and our oldest in the other.

The flight was uneventful and was shorter than planned by a good half an hour. We landed in Cabo, got through customs and immigration (we were lucky enough to get the green light), and rented our car in no time at all. We then drove the 45 minutes to the Sheraton.


Landing in Cabo

The hotel was beautiful, if not more so on the outside and from a distance. Up close and personal, the guest room we stayed in was on the tired side. There was nothing wrong with it directly: there were no stains on the sheets or towels, the furniture was new and not fraying/chipping, etc. and the room was well maintained for the most part, but there were some things that just seemed old and worn. Maybe it was the old hooks in the closet where an iron and ironing board once were, maybe it was that one of the hangers (you know, the fancy ones with the satin and foam around them) had the foam coming through, or maybe it was just the slightly cloudy glass on the shower door that was clear once upon a time but was no longer, but it was just a bit tired feeling.

Iíll let the pictures speak for themselves:
































View from our balcony

While this was only a minor complaint, the rest of the hotel was gorgeous. After we arrived and settled in to our room for a few minutes, we had some lunch and headed down to the pools. We spent the rest of the afternoon at the pool before heading back to the room at around 5:00 to get ready for dinner.

We showered, bathed and I davened mincha before leaving for the restaurant around 6:15pm. It was a bit tricky to find the correct parking lot, as Google said to turn into a space with two parking garages (the correct one is the one on the right). As an aside, I found our later that thereís a parking garage in the mall next door that is only 20 pesos for 4 hours. The restaurantís lot is 5 pesos the first hour with validation, but a lot more than 20 pesos after that.

The kosher restaurant, Baja Kosher, which just opened in December 2017, was the only kosher place in town, but it was quite good. The food was all made from scratch (minus the hamburger buns it seems), and was quite tasty. The portions were generous while not being too big, and the staff was friendly. The owner, Benny, was nice and made sure to talk to all the guests. Sure, there were some things that either got lost in translation or were just not worked out 100% because itís so new, but overall, a great place to eat.




The restaurant

Our food:

Catch of the day


Schnitzel


A burger, I forgot the name


Churros with chocolate and raspberry sauces

We left the restaurant around 1:20 after we arrived and headed back to the hotel for the night with a quick stop at Walmart on the way. Benny had recommended that we stop there for fruits and vegetables (as well as other food), since they were quite cheap (which they were). Theyíre right off Highway 1 a short 5-minute drive from the restaurant. We got what we needed and continued back to the hotel.

Since there is only a 1 hour time difference between Cabo and LA, it made sense just to keep everyone on an LA schedule as opposed to trying to change it for just 4 days. Even so, by this time it was well past their bedtimes even in LA, so everyone slept quite well (once we got to the hotel).

Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Tuesday started out slowly. By the time we finished eating breakfast it was almost 11:00am (late by my standards). I decided to take a walk around the property with my older daughter while my wife stayed back while the younger one slept.

We went to the kids club area and saw the kids pool. We also went to the kids play area and the room that has babysitters who will watch your kid for you (not ours, they were too young). My daughter played with many of the toys in the room and just outside of it for about hour.

We headed back to the hotel room where we had lunch before heading to the beach and pool for the afternoon. We first went to the beach to relax. We let our oldest play in the sand and put her feet in the water. After a few minutes, it was time to go to the pool up above.

It was there that we had a quite uncomfortable experience with some very drunk women in their mid to late 50s.

Somehow one of them, who was not at all drunk, asked where we were visiting from and I said LA. One thing led to another, and before I knew it, the drunkest of all of them was a huge Eagles fan (a Philly football team) and was at an important game for them before she came to Cabo. When she found out my wife was from PHL, she spent the next 20 minutes talking to her (mostly without cursing) and making me quite uncomfortable.

We left as soon as we could, got ready to go to eat dinner at the restaurant again, and did just that. We were done a bit quicker this evening, and were back at the hotel by 7:45pm. The kids went straight to bed, and we were not far behind them.

More food at the restaurant:

Schnitzel again


Salad with grilled pineapple


Green salad

Random: Mexican night was happening at the hotel this night, so they set up the whole courtyard accordingly

Wednesday, January 24, 2018
I didnít really want to just sit at the pool for another day, so on Wednesday we went on a short, 45-minute glass-bottom boat ride to the famous sea arch.

We left the hotel at around 11:00am, and headed back to the same marina the restaurant is located near. We parked in the mallís parking lot which costs just 20 pesos for 4 hours. We walked to Dock A where weíd catch the boat. We ended up getting to the dock a minute or so before noon, so we caught the 12:20 boat (they leave every 20 minutes).

The boat ride was fun. My older daughter slept the whole way, while the younger one just drank a bottle in her car seat. I am normally one to avoid boat rides as I get sea sick quite easily, but I was determined to see the sea arch. As it turns out, I was totally fine on the whole ride. It was DW that fed the fish more than just the bread the guide gave us. While she didnít feel good for part of the ride, after throwing up she felt a lot better and enjoyed the rest of the ride.

Pictures from the boat ride:

Pelican on a rock


Some fish we were feeding


Loverís Beach


Cool rock formation that is supposed to be like an upside-down Baja California


An opening in the rocks: weíre on the Sea of Cortes side, looking out to the Pacific Ocean on the other side


El Arco, The Arch


Divorce Beach


Southern-most land in Baja, next land due south: Antarctica


An old pirate ship replica

By 1:00pm we were done and decided to head over to the restaurant for lunch instead of dinner. We had a nice lunch once again, and were quite full by the time we left. Since weíd parked right next door in the mall, we just headed back to our car and went back to the hotel.

Lunch:

Grilled Tuna, just caught and filleted


Burger, again I forgot which one


Home-made fish nuggets


Pelican eating a fish, as seen near on the marina

For the rest of the afternoon we headed back to the pool for one last time. We thankfully didnít run into the rowdy women the day before at the pool. DD wasnít too interested in being at the pool yet again, so after an hour or so we were done and headed back to our room for a quick dinner.

After dinner and when the kids were asleep, DW went out for a few hours with some of her friends who were also in Cabo, while I stayed back at the hotel with the sleeping little ones. It was a relatively boring time, as the girls slept most of the time, and I turned in a few hours later.

Thursday, January 25, 2018
As this was our last day in Cabo, we had to head to the airport at around 9:15 for our 12:30 pm flight. We woke up earlier than we had previously, got packed up, ate breakfast and were out of the hotel by 9:15am.

We headed back to the airport where we filled up the rental car at a gas station along the way (no one said anything to me or asked to see a receipt of where I filled up, unlike in South Africa). The one thing I will mention is the fact that they double charged me. While the entire conversation happened in Spanish, he basically told me the Visa card I gave him originally didnít work. I then gave him an AmEx, which worked fine. I got charged on both and disputed the Chase Visa one because it was more. We took a shuttle back to the airport, check in with no line, and headed up to security (again no line).

We were surprised how lax security was though. I had a fill 1.18L Hydroflask with me, as well as a 1L bottle of almond milk. They let all the liquids though no questions asked, but had to scan my wallet again because there were bobby pins in it. Go figure.

We waited at the Priority Pass lounge, which was a nice place to wait. While the first floor was quite crowded and unappealing, the majority of the lounge was upstairs and was basically empty.

The VIP Lounge:





















The crowded downstairs part of the lounge

Before long it was time to head to our flight home (it had 40 people on it, so quite full by comparison). We had the same 2 rows just a few rows back as we did on the way to Cabo, and landed in LAX a good half an hour early. We were through customs in a matter of minutes.

While short and a lot less action-packed than some of our other winter break trips, it was still a lot of fun and definitely doable with 2 little kids.

Offline mmgfarb

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Re: A Short Trip to Cabo
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2018, 01:50:56 AM »
Nice TR, thanks for sharing!
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Offline Yammer

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Re: A Short Trip to Cabo
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2018, 03:05:04 AM »
Nice.

Got a free Timeshare a few years back but never made it there...

Offline smart man

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Re: A Short Trip to Cabo
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2018, 07:06:54 AM »
Nice TR!
(The problem with the hotel probably had more to do with the colors of the floor tiles, walls, and bathroom...)
Need a good price on a hotel stay? Pm me.

Offline Ergel

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Re: A Short Trip to Cabo
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2018, 07:27:12 AM »
I thought you were a vegetarian?
Nice TR!
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Offline @Yehuda

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Re: A Short Trip to Cabo
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2018, 07:29:21 AM »
Sounds like a good time! Glad it went well travelling with 2 kids. Your speed of trip to TR is remarkable.

Offline mochjas

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Re: A Short Trip to Cabo
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2018, 09:23:29 AM »
Since when did you start eating meat? Never saw meat in your TRs

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: A Short Trip to Cabo
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2018, 10:15:28 AM »
Nice TR, thanks for sharing!
Yw
Nice.

Got a free Timeshare a few years back but never made it there...
Too bad, it's quite nice.
Nice TR!
(The problem with the hotel probably had more to do with the colors of the floor tiles, walls, and bathroom...)
What does the floor  color have to do with it?
I thought you were a vegetarian?
Nice TR!
I am, why did you think otherwise? I just didn't want to post the same pic of the same fish dish each night.
Sounds like a good time! Glad it went well travelling with 2 kids. Your speed of trip to TR is remarkable.
Why thanks.
Since when did you start eating meat? Never saw meat in your TRs
I haven't. See above.

Offline smart man

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Re: A Short Trip to Cabo
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2018, 10:21:36 AM »
What does the floor  color have to do with it?
Looks quite ugly and that could have given the tired look...
Need a good price on a hotel stay? Pm me.

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: A Short Trip to Cabo
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2018, 10:22:41 AM »
Looks quite ugly and that could have given the tired look...
The floor was just terracotta tiles. Looked normal to me.

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: A Short Trip to Cabo
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2018, 10:40:45 AM »
The floor was just terracotta tiles. Looked normal to me.
I think the idea is that it's an older style and not sleek/modern.

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: A Short Trip to Cabo
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2018, 11:52:30 AM »
I think the idea is that it's an older style and not sleek/modern.
Could be, but Terra cotta is perfectly modern in Spanish design.

Offline sam28

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Re: A Short Trip to Cabo
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2018, 11:57:01 AM »
Nice TR short and to the point .

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: A Short Trip to Cabo
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2018, 03:01:56 PM »
Nice TR short and to the point .
Thanks

Offline ludmila

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Re: A Short Trip to Cabo
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2018, 01:14:01 AM »
Could be, but Terra cotta is perfectly modern in Spanish design.
You are correct, typical Spanish design.
Also now I found that I am not the only vegetarian here.
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