Late Arrival in Cabo

Published: December 1st 2017
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We'd never been to Mexico. Which is funny because we'd been so many other international places, you'd think Mexico would have crossed my mind at some point. It really hadn't. In my mind it was resorts and partying, and largely unsafe. (Ok, I was wrong). Also, we live in California and I grew up surrounded by Mexican American culture and amazing food. So I never really felt the need to explore Mexico. My parents really enjoyed their trips, though, so I finally just asked if we could use their timeshare for a long weekend.

We got up early and headed to the airport, only to discover on the way that Alaska Airlines had cancelled and rescheduled us to a later flight. It was only an hour later but it was no longer direct. Thanks. So we were going to arrive three hours later than expected which meant a wasted day. I was hoping we'd have the afternoon to lounge around. I was already less than impressed because this was the second time Alaska had rebooked our flight on this trip. A few months prior they had switched our return flights. They put all three of us in different rows. Arya's ticket is clearly marked as a child- why the heck did they put her by herself? They also gave us a short 1hr layover which had us nervous. After calling, they fixed the seating. Well, they messed it up again on the flights there- putting all three of us in different rows when they rebooked our flights without telling us. Once again, I had to have their customer service fix it. Sigh- already less than impressed with this usually fairly solid airline. (It got way worse on our flight back- stay tuned).

During our layover at LAX, which was about 30min, we practically ran to the next gate, which they had moved further away. I happened to overhear them announcing it overhead as we scrambled through the busy terminal. Once we found our gate, I ran off to snag us any available food, which ended up including chipotle chicken sandwiches, yogurt and fruit. I wasn't sure which the picky toddler would choose so I got the variety. Chris and I swapped at the gate- he ran off to pee while I watched Arya, and she and I ate fast. With a few minutes to spare once Chris returned, I ate the rest of my sandwich as I ran to the bathroom and back just in time to board. Lol one of the rare, perfectly streamlined parenting moments.

We finally arrived in Cabo around 4:30. Getting through customs was easy. They didn't need to check any of our items (we'd only brought packaged snacks for Arya for when we were on tours and planes). As soon as we left customs, we were hit by timeshare agents. It was a confusing set of desks like at a car rental area. I wasn't sure what I was looking at at first. I vaguely remembered being told to avoid the timeshare people but these guys are cleverly disguised. They don't advertise who exactly they are- they just start approaching you, asking you questions about which tour company or timeshare company is picking you up from the airport. This seemed fairly innocent considering we were being picked up by Transcabo (an airport shuttle agency) and we needed to find our driver. The company had instructed us to keep walking after customs but I really wasn't sure "how far." After talking to these guys for two minutes, I realized it was a scam. They weren't trying to help us. They were trying to sell us timeshare. I reverted to repeatedly telling him I didn't have that kind of money and I was only here to stay at my parents' timeshare. All true. I mean, I guess I could afford timeshare but then I couldn't afford to travel as extensively as I do. So in my mind, hell no, can't afford it. We finally pulled away into the next big room where we saw bathrooms. Chris needed to pee again, and I begged him to be fast before another timeshare jerk harassed me. I was getting agitated. I think I was tired, hungry and I suddenly just realized we'd flown to another country without bringing any cash, let alone pesos, or telling our bank and credit card companies. I'm usually much more savvy. I hella dropped the ball. I walked over to the nearest money exchanger and withdrew $100 worth in pesos. I figured that'd be enough for cash, and we'd just use our cards otherwise. If the bank didn't lock our accounts (which they did on a couple cards).

Right outside the airport terminal we found a few dozen Transcabo employees. THERE they are! We quickly found the right guy and we were off to San Jose del Cabo, about a 40min drive. First thing we discovered, Arya's carseat didn't work so well in the van. So, we just didn't use it after that point and prayed we'd be fine. They don't have the same locking system most American cars do, and the seatbelts weren't aligned properly to fit safely through the carseat. (We're taking Arya to Canada with us in February so I'm hoping we don't have the same problem). Anyway, the driver dropped us off at Coral Baja. First thing, they offered us drinks- would we like a Margarita, beer or water? Beer please! Then we went through the whole check-in process, which took about 20min. THEN, they wanted me to sit down with "their guy." Every timeshare has "the guy." The guy tells you all the amazing things about the timeshare you're about to stay at, tells you all the reasons the other nearby places suck and then tries to get you to go to "a meeting" where you listen to a presentation about how it all is super affordable no matter how poor you are. "But wouldn't you like to know a little more about your father's timeshare?" he asked me. I groaned because he had JUST expressed how Coral Baja was different from other WorldMark locations- they're not as pushy. Seriously, when Anna and I stayed at the timeshare in Las Vegas, those bastards called us multiple times a day and night at all hours to try and convince us to attend a meeting. I was already prepared to unplug the room phone this time. I got defensive with "the guy" and he backed off so I calmed down. After that, we were escorted to our room with our luggage.

We headed right back down to the pool area because we were starving. There's a restaurant onsite that's half Mexican but they also serve random American things like pizza. I ordered a platter of Mexican items and octopus. The guy made sure I wanted octopus ceviche. Haha, I totally thought it was cooked. He offered to grill it for us so we were like sure! I was hoping to try ceviche this trip but not on my first night in case I got sick (like I did in Fiji). We ordered Arya pizza which turned out to be a HUGE pizza (we took the majority back to our room for leftovers). We enjoyed a couple margaritas and listened to a musician and singer perform. Arya was out there dancing by herself in the lights before there was even any live music. Then she was up there again dancing with the singer. After that, she was famous at the condo. Everyone, staff and guests, knew who her as the dancing girl. Considering the demographics were retired folks bordering on elderly, and younger employees who probably missed their own kids, all the attention Arya received after that made a lot of sense. The staff particularly were so friendly and playful every chance they got.

It wasn't super late by the time we finished eating so we ran back to our room, got our swimsuits on and did a night swim at the nearly empty pool. The weather was a humid upper 70s and perfect for swimming. After that, we watched tv and headed to bed by 9pm. The one hour time change got us.

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