1. No gracias. If you go to public beaches in Mexico you need to become very familiar with this phrase. There are tons of locals there trying to get you to rent skidoos from them, take their boat, use their paddleboards, buy their jewelry, bags, bowls, t-shirts etc. While it definitely can be annoying you just have to say no gracias once and they leave. To be honest most of the time I would be lying there with my music in and my hat over my face or reading a book, so they rarely bothered me. On our last day though my aunt and I both ended up buying some souvenirs from the people on the beach (bracelets and beach bags). Just be ready to barter.
2. I take eating really seriously. Like, really seriously. In Vancouver one of my best friends Emma and I regularly get comments from servers and chefs about the amount of food we can consume in one sitting. Some people can run marathons; we can eat five beef rolls in one sitting. So needless to say I was pretty excited about the food opportunities in Mexico. I wanted to try anything and I was lucky that everyone I was with felt the same. When we went out for dinner or lunch we would all order something different and then share the food amongst us. This included tacos, tostadas, enchiladas, quesadillas, rellenos, burritos, chimichangas, and empanadas. Right off the bat I want to say that if you have a sensitive stomach, take the necessary precautions before you travel. I have a pretty strong stomach but even I had moments of uncertainty. If you love flavourful food like I do you will be in flavor heaven, especially if you like spicy food. Also, randomly I had some of the most phenomenally fresh sushi, and this is coming from a Vancouverite who has grown up with only awesome fresh sushi. Although it was much more expensive than what you would find in Vancouver the tuna sashimi was off the chain.
3.Continuing on with the theme of food, some of us did a Mexican cooking class, which we all would recommend. If you are in Cabo do this class for Donna alone. She is quite the character whose enthusiasm and passion for Mexican cooking creates a fun and inviting atmosphere. We did the “Mexican Comfort Food” class and we made salsa, guacamole, a soul with meatballs and dumplings, potato cakes, and a Mexican salad with cactus. Fun fact, apparently everyone who lives in Mexico eats cactus. We did the class near the end of our trip and we all wished we had done it near the beginning so that we could have tested out our new skills throughout our trip. http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g152515-d2180486-Reviews-Casa_de_Colores_School_of_Traditional_Mexican_Cooking-Cabo_San_Lucas_Los_Cabos_Ba.html
4. Cabo San Lucas is a fairly touristy spot. If one is looking for an authentic Mexican experience this isn’t necessarily the place you would go. About an hour outside of Cabo is the town of Todos Santos. This is the home of the actual Hotel California that the Eagles sing about and a really quaint little town. Tons of art galleries and little restaurants (we had really good food in the restaurant across from Hotel California… I believe it was called Tequila Sunrise). On the way to Todos Santos there is a blanket factory that you have to check out. They have really good prices on authentic Mexican blankets and rugs. We compared how much we paid for a rug there with another store and the rug in the other store was almost triple in price! Now I’m no rug aficionado and could not tell you what a fair price for a wool rug is, but everyone else I was with seemed to know their stuff and couldn’t walk away from the awesome prices.
5. Just down the highway from our condo there was this building that we drove and walked past all the time called Artesanos. At our cooking class Donna kept raving about it so we felt we had to go, especially cause it was so close to us. Holy. Friggen. Moly. This place was outrageous. You immediately walk into this expansive room just filled to the brim with artisanal Mexican kitchenware. Then you quickly realize this place is bigger than this one room and has everything you could need for your house. It would be so easy to spend at least an hour walking through. The number one problem is it isn’t practical to bring back most of the items, but we all stocked up on a number of smaller kitchenware to take home with us. Not a place to be missed. (Also, there is a glass factory in “downtown” Cabo that shouldn’t be missed)
*I know I already wrote 5 things but I can’t go to Mexico and not mention the tequila. So many margaritas. My cousin learned quickly though to not ask you server, “bring us a shot of your favourite tequila”. It’s always the most expensive.
**I know I already wrote 5 things +1 but that antidote of my cousin reminded me of the fact that once again on my travels I was immersed in sporting events that I knew nothing about (see 5 Things I Learned Watching The World Cup In Europe). This time though it was American Football. The evening would start with watching a game in the condo, and then we would finally get to leave! … to watch another game in a bar.
***I know I already wrote 5 things +2 but I can’t believe I gave no mention to the fact that I got to spend New Years Eve in Mexico. For an evening that tends to be the worst for everyone we had an awesome night. My Aunt and Uncle took us out for an incredible dinner on the waterfront. Can’t beat that.