You’re never too old to go on spring break with the girls.
But this time, it wasn’t about downing cocktails and waking up on the beach hungover with no recollection of the night before (not that I’ve ever done that, no sir).
The first time I went to Mexico with my girlfriends was in 2004. We were young, single (mostly), and carefree. Back then, the only place to be was Cabo San Lucas where the nightlife extended into the early mornings and tequila was consumed like water. Since then, we’ve been to Puerto Vallarta but it wasn’t until this year that we decided we were due for a return visit to Cabo.
My last visit to Cabo was 2 years ago. It was a romantic trip organized by my now-hubby who surprised me with my family showing up a few days after we were there. We stayed in Los Cabos (otherwise known as the “tourist corridor”) which is a sign of growing up as it sits between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. When you stay closer to San Jose del Cabo, it means you’re over the partying and gradually reaching senior citizen status.
I’m only kidding, of course. San Jose is the more laid back and artsier sister to Cabo San Lucas so naturally, I’ve been dying to see it.
The streets are lined with tourist shops and farmicias with the typical salesman luring unsuspecting tourists into their store traps, but it’s much more mellow than the experience in Cabo San Lucas….
…..and wayyyyyy more charming. I gasped when I approached this store.
Well, hello there beautiful textiles. Mama’s heeeeere!
The store is called Silvermoon Folk Art Gallery. If you’re ever in San Jose, GO. Do not collect $200; go straight there.
I was greeted by these lovelies upon entering.
And then my body elevated off the ground and I saw my feet dangle beneath me.
Like a supernatural experience, I feasted my eyes on the most intricate pieces of Otomi embroidery. These are hand embroidered by the Otomi Indians in the Hidalgo region of Mexico (a little more east) and the patterns are inspired by cave drawings in the town of Tenango.
When I regained consciousness, I picked up a couple of pillow cases and started to speak to the salesperson. She said to me “$80 for 2.” Pretty decent deal, I thought to myself. “How about $60 for 2?” (I’m my mother’s daughter and can’t resist a bargain battle.) “You want $30? We have a smaller pillow for $30.” Sigh, here we go. “Oh, but these are perfect, so how about $60 for 2? I’m also buying that little dress for my sweet little bambina niece, so….”
Long story short, I walked away paying $70 for my 2 throw pillow cases. I continue my reign as Bargainista Senorita.
Feeling satisfied with my bargaining prowess, we moved further into town and arrived in the main square where the Misión de San José del Cabo Anuiti appeared before us.
Founded by the Jesuits in 1730, it was reconstructed in 1918 after a hurricane. Most of the original structure is still in place, and its simplicity exudes a quiet beauty that is perfect for the town.
There was also a wedding in session, and we stood by as a few guests arrived on “Mexican time” to the ceremony.
I know, my timing couldn’t have been more off with the last shot.
Needless to say, I fell in love with the quaint town of San Jose. Here’s a view of the main square from the church.
Soul fed. Thirst for artsy fulfilled. Back to doing more touristy things, which meant a boat, a snorkel, and a paddle board.
I’m on a boat!! Well, I was….
I’m always a little careful when it comes to booking tours, especially anything involving a boat because of a) too many people and b) too many people. I don’t like crowds and since this was spring break, AKA College Palooza, I felt even more leery. To my surprise, Cabo Adventures pulled through with a 4.5 hour cruise that included a snorkeling and stand-up paddle boarding excursion (a couple of my favorite things). So off we we went on an almost private charter (it was us girls and one other couple) to set sail in over-chartered waters to Santa Maria beach. We saw the usual suspects along the way….
…including Lover’s Beach and Divorce Beach. Never been fond of those names because of the over oozing cheese factor.
We even caught sight of a few whales migrating from the north. Of course, I wasn’t quick enough to capture the majestic moments, but I did manage to sneak one passing by. See the little black spot?
The tour included a morning snack, open bar, and lunch. It wasn’t cheap at $109 per person, but it was well worth it. The protected cove at Santa Maria beach delivered schools of puffer fish, Tang fish, and little yellow finned guys that I couldn’t identify. We paddle boarded after snorkeling until the obnoxious jet skis showed up. I happily crawled back on the boat and enjoyed getting away from the noise and air pollution. Those things should be banned (said in curmudgeon tone).
Although it was a short get-away, I feel revived. It’s amazing what a hot holiday can do for the soul, especially when spent with five of the most inspiring women I know.