As many of you know, my husband and I just traveled to Cabo San Lucas to film one of his friends getting married. This trip marks my first time outside of Canada and the US. We were only gone for a few days, but it was an experience of a lifetime.
After a very short sleep, we left our home at 3:40 am Thursday, arrived at YVR Airport just shortly after 4am. We waited patiently in the massive lines for United Airlines to learn to check a bag you must pay with credit card, this would have been helpful to know before we arrived at the airport! Off we ran to grab a prepaid credit card from the currency exchange booth, this man was not so helpful. Rather than tell us what amounts we could get, he proceeded to ask us how much we wanted. After much eye rolling, we found ourselves back in the massive line up to check our bag! I was not nearly as caffeinated for this part as I should have been!
It doesn’t make sense why we put in automated machines to “simplify” the process, but then half the time requires someone there to assist you. I cannot even count on two hands how many people required assistance thus slowing down the lines as there are minimal staff on at 4am but a trillion people trying to check in!
A cup of coffee and Burger King breakfast later, we were on our first flight to San Francisco with a female pilot Kim Noakes manning the aircraft! How cool is that?! We had a bit of a rocky landing, which automatically prompted several ” lady driver jokes” from my husband the comedian, but had alas, we arrived in San Fran and relaxed for an hour before our next flight.
Our next flight to San Jose Del Cabo was with Captain Bob, who definitely got ourselves and the other passengers a little bit more excited to land in Cabo on Cinco De Mayo. This flight was a little longer in length but we got some good shut eye, had a few grown up bevvies, Jim Beam 40 proof, wowee let me tell you, as my dad would say, “will put hair on your chest!”
Once we got closer to landing, we were given customs forms which were mandatory to be filled out but, no they don’t have pens for you to fill these out. Thankfully, our awesome neighbour lent us his after completing his own! Finally landed Viva la Mexico. . we were running off the airplane to make our way through Customs. This is where culture shock kicks in for me, as my husband has made his way around the globe in his younger years!
We enter a large room and assemble single file to stand in front of one of several official who examines passports, asks a few questions and then sends you on your merry way. We had forgotten to fill out the bottom.part of one of the forms and so about half way through the huge line, we get pulled aside tocomplete the form and then get placed in a much smaller line. This got us through much quicker than those who filled out their form properly. The only time not doing something properly works in your favour.
From there you walk through another room, where 10 men eye you up on your way to collect your checked baggage. This was a bit nerving but when you have nothing to hide, you’re good to go! But it’s still scary having these men stare at you trying to decide if they think you have something to hide.
We made it through, grabbed our bags and then the real culture shock began! Being from Saskatchewan and never having really traveled, I feel like it doesn’t take much to shock me! After the bartering and bargaining, we hop on a 30+ minute shuttle to Cabo San Lucas. With so much to see, I wanted to ask the driver to slow down.
Cactus out every window.. real cactus and in all shapes and sizes just like you see on TV, I’m in awe! The buildings are run down and falling apart, most look empty, it’s hard to decipher if they are a new building going up or an old one abandoned and coming down. There is so much destruction, abandon and beauty.
Best part of the shuttle was it allowed us to see a few other resorts, and visually drink up a little bit more of Cabo. I’m in love! The architecture, the vegetation, the love affair Mexico seems to have with everyone all at the same time is captivating and we haven’t even made it to the resort just yet….
After a few check stops along the highway, we start letting people out at different resorts, each time stopping to identify the vehicle and then letting the passengers out. It was interesting to learn that the resort we were staying at was a Spain Riu, rather than the Mexican Riu, apparently these two resorts are in somewhat of a competition with each other! We were next up to get off the shuttle, greeted by lovely hotel staff, we were escorted up to the front desk for the real fun to begin!
Stay tuned for part 2.. The Riu Santa Fe, the resort, the all inclusive, the wedding!