Sunday, December 13, 2015

Cabo's Cabo

Some people measure the success of their vacations by the number of mountains they climb, monuments they explore, or layers of tan they acquire.  When it comes to vacationing in Cabo, we like to measure our success in the number of new taco joints we find and the amount of pool water we drink.  After all, it's Cabo.  I liken it to Las Vegas: no one who lives there is from there.  Nothing there is historical, unless you count Sammy Hagar.  The early Jesuit priests didn't even bother to hang out there, even with an El Squid Roe bar, so there's no mission to make tourists feel like they did something cultural on their vacation.  You could easily mistake Cabo for any beach resort town -- until you walk into Gardenia's restaurant and try their shrimp tacos.  That's when you know you've chosen your vacation well.

Yep.  El Arco.
When people ask how our Thanksgiving vacation was, my reply is always, "You know, Cabo's Cabo."  Even those who have never been seem to get the gist.  And that's exactly why we keep going back.  Sure, we'd love to explore the globe, but there's something deeply appealing about a vacation with zero expectations.  There's no pressure to visit museums or climb atop rickety missions or explore a jungle's canopy.  Cabo's most interesting feature is el Arco -- the rock feature on the southernmost tip of the peninsula -- and we can see it from our pool's lounge chair, just over the top of my giant banana daiquiri glass.

We love you, Cabo, but we're getting the hell out of here
For a city that boasts little history, it's a town full of statues.  Grady hates them all, except for the giant Homer Simpson, which he was indifferent about.  I blame the gold-painted panhandler dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow who stood statue-still until we walked by.  That bastard spoiled many a walk along the marina.  After that, Grady shied at real pirate statues, Virgin Mary figurines, every single Day of the Dead skeleton (sold in every single store), and taxidermied marlins.  He was one jumpy little dude.  It was best to just let him hang out in the pool and turn so beautifully brown that when we walked around together, I'm sure everyone thought I was his gringo nanny.

The beauty of low expectations is that you often find yourself surprised.  We stayed in La Paz a few days on this trip and kept seeing stores that sold Clamato.  Some exclusively.  I couldn't fathom any business turing a profit on selling solely a clam and tomato juice concoction, so we tried one.  These make your Bloody Mary Buffet drinks look piddly.  Any item you can find in the snack food aisle or your fish monger's freezer is shoved in a plastic cup, then topped off with Clamato juice.  Add seasoning and there's your drink.  They're odd and delicious.   See?  I didn't think I could drink all my meals, and was pleasantly surprised when I realized I could.

Dylan loves cactus tacos. They taste like green beans
Apparently, our expectations for ourselves also drop when we're there, too.  I'd heard about a great taco place that I wanted to try, but we never went because it would have required us getting in our car and driving nearly a mile.  The conversation went something like, "Honey, should we try Asi and Asado today?"  "Another paloma por favor." Sigh.

When your biggest decision for the day is choosing between tacos al pastor or tacos camaron, it's easy to forget the little things, like hygiene.  We came home just before hurricane Sandra touched down and on Saturday, a full two days after Thanksgiving, Dylan told me she still had Thanksgiving in her teeth.  Please don't tell her dentist that.

So yeah, Cabo's Cabo.  Sometimes that's exactly what we need.