Article and Photography by Kat Aviles
Most Americans are familiar with the popular destination of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, since it is so close and yet feels so far away. Our family has been going there ever since I can remember, but going back as a teenager has made it even more special.
We recently returned from Los Cabos after celebrating my parents 20th wedding anniversary. It was actually a combination of events that included a long-overdue family reunion, my dad’s 55th birthday celebration, and the grand finale – my parent’s wedding vow renewal. We were fortunate enough to be there with 120 of our closest family and friends, so that alone was amazing!
We stayed at a beach resort called Cabo Azul in San Jose Del Cabo. You may or may not know that Cabo is broken up into two sections – the “old town” of San Jose Del Cabo, and the newer town of Cabo San
Lucas. We normally stay on Medano Beach in Cabo San Lucas because it is a swimmable beach, and you can walk to the other resorts as well as the marina – if you’re up for a long walk. I have always enjoyed
this part of town because we stayed at Villa La Estancia, which has access to a kid’s club and a whale slide that my brother and I loved to play on as kids. Plus, there was a pizza place and ice cream shop that we insisted on visiting every day! As we got older, we found that we enjoyed the walk up the beach to neighboring resorts for lunch or dinner, and we particularly enjoyed the water taxi that could take us to the marina or across the bay to Los Arcos or Lover’s Beach. A regular taxi would take us on a five-minute drive into town to go shopping and enjoy the simple yet fun town, and American-type mall. Now that we are older we love to go to the The Office, a restaurant right on the sand and frequented by movie stars!
This year, however, we got to explore San Jose Del Cabo. The first night there my parents had a welcome party on the beach, literally, on the sand! I think my mom got the idea from The Office, and recreated it in her own style. It was like an outdoor barbecue in a tented village. It was so much fun to walk around on the sand, yet sit on sofas in tented cabanas. We had a fabulous taco bar, music, bonfires, and even sparklers! It was a great way to see everyone and reconnect. The 24 teenage cousins and friends were so excited. We knew it was going to be a fun weekend.
The next day one of my uncles rented a catamaran and we went out onto the ocean to snorkel and whale watch. It was so much fun to be able to tan while watching large whales jump out of the water right in front of us. We had such a great time!
With no time to spare we had to get ready for my dad’s birthday party at Rock N’ Brews restaurant. Since this night was in his, the band played his favorite rock n roll music and the restaurant served his favorite food – burgers, pizza, fries, and carrot cake for dessert!
The next day everyone enjoyed the resort pool and beach, or they did their own thing until it was time to get ready for the vow renewal, which started at the Mission Church in the center of town. The church dated back to the 1730’s with a lot of history. My parents arrived, and while the harp was playing they took their steps together down the aisle. After the service we all exited the church to a 9-piece mariachi band. Our family, together with all the Godparents, known as padrinos in Spanish, released 7 pigeons. It was very symbolic, and such a unique experience. I have never heard of releasing pigeons as a tradition before! We then processed with the mariachi band through the cobblestone streets with our maracas, singing and dancing, while the kids blew bubbles. We finished at a rooftop restaurant called The View for appetizers, and about an hour later the busses came and took us back to the resort for the wedding reception at Javier’s restaurant – yes! -like the Javier’s we have in Newport Coast! It was right on the beach, so it was an amazing night of great food, video memories, a full bar, plus a special tequila bar, and cigar bar, and lots of dancing!
The next day brunch was just one story after the other of what a fun family reunion/birthday/anniversary event it was. Although I only got to explore the natural area for one day, I can’t wait to go back. I heard that others went shopping across the street to some great local shops, while others went fishing, golfing, ATV riding, zip lining, or gourmet dining at Flora Farms.
I think I am going to like San Jose Del Cabo just as much as Cabo town – and I can’t wait to go back!
You can read more of my globe-trotting adventures by clicking here!