Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cabo San Lucas - January 2009

In January, we got an offer to go to the Pueblo Bonito Pacifica resort in Cabo San Lucas for $300 for the week. Of course, David cannot pass up an offer like that. We were also able to extend the offer to one other couple. So basically since we had already been to Hawaii in December, David rationalized that the Bakers needed a vacation really bad and they would need us to be their tour guides (which they sort of do because their Spanish is nada.) And also it rained the whole time we were in Hawaii so that doesn't really count as a vacation, right?

Well, the vacation got off to a bad start when our flight out of Seattle was delayed which made us miss our connection in SLC. It was looking like we might be stuck there for the night but luckily they got us out about 5 hours later and flew us to Houston where we caught a flight to Cabo. We were supposed to arrive around 2:00 and meet the Bakers who were on a different flight, but we didn't get there til 9:00. Our luggage didn't catch up to us til noon the next day but the rest of the trip was delightful.

Well, I don't know what it was about this vacation but it was soooo nice. Maybe it was the company? Maybe it was the good deal? Maybe it was the lack of rain? Maybe it was the lack of crowds? Maybe it was all the good food? I suppose it was all of those things combined that made it such a nice week. It was just wonderful and I wish that I could have taken all of my friends and family with me. (Hey - isnt' that the time share pitch?)

It was a beautiful resort. It is brand new and it is on the Pacific side. So the ocean looked beautiful but we were not supposed to swim in it. The resort was adults only and it was not very crowded. It was so quiet around the pool. Some might say it was boring but I thought it was heavenly. Nothing but peace and quiet and heated pool water. Lori and I actually did water aerobics and we were the youngest, fittest people in the group. How many times can you say that? Believe me, I hang around teenagers all day which makes me feel fat, old, slow and totally uncool, so this geriatric crowd was a real boost to my self esteem!

Here is the view of the resort from up high.

The resort is a spa resort and everything is very peaceful and zen-like. There are patterns raked in the sand daily. There are all sort of geometric patters and shapes everywhere. I'm pretty sure it was totally feng shui, but what would I know? Let's just say if there was a vacation equivalent to the temple, this would be it... peaceful, organized, quiet, no children...

As you walked in the entry, these next two pictures is what you saw on either side.

Everywhere you looked there was water running and candles burning. You can imagine why they don't allow kids! It wasn't lush and green and tropical but it was still very nice and the weather in Cabo is spectacular. You can just tell that it never rains. It is probably pretty miserable in the summer but our 78 degrees in January felt like heaven!

This was the view from our room:

You can't tell from these pictures but every bit of sand had shapes raked in them. Who wants that job? Here is another picture of the pool area which leads to the beach.

One nice thing about the Pueblo Bonito company is that they have 4 resorts in Cabo and you are welcome to hang at any of them. The Rose (pronounced rozay) was very nice and was right on the beach where all the action was. Here we are at the Rose:

The only thing standing between us and a water taxi to go snorkeling at Los Arcos are these vendors on the beach!

It's a slow day so it's going to be a challenge to avoid them. We huddle and David calls the play. Reid's job is to walk through them very slowly, looking tall and intimidating and pretend like he speaks no Spanish. We all feel extremely confident that he can pull that off! David, Lori and I take off running in different directions in a sort of serpentine fashion. Our plan works magnificently! The guy carrying the wood carvings can't possibly keep up with our speed. The man with the silver cases can't even get them open by the time we blow by him. The woman loaded down with wraps can't even decide who to chase. Touchdown! Unfortunately there are no pictures or video or our beautifully executed play so you will just have to take my word for it!

We took a water taxi out to Lover's Beach and did some snorkeling. It was very nice. It was warm and we saw lots of beautiful fish especially when we hung aroud with the people who were smart enough to smuggle bread off their cruise ship. The fish were loving them!

Here is a little video action for all of you. Way better than a post card!
I also got a video of these seals for you. Fortunately for all of you, the video did not capture the smell that accompanied this group - yuck!
This guy knows a good thing when he sees one! He is the true winner of King of the Hill. I don't know what he did to earn that position but I am guessing there was a smack down involved!
Here he is live. Don't worry, I captured all of the great moments on video so you can all feel like you were there. I got your back!
My camera is not working very well right now. It took a fall that it never quite recovered from. So sad! Here are a couple of pelican pictures I liked though.

We did not do any deep sea fishing but these lucky guys did! We just happened to be there when they came in.
We ate lots of good food. One of our favorite places was an Italian place that had the best lasagna. One thing I hate, though? Being serenaded! David knows that and I swear he calls them over just to annoy me. I never know what to do when you are being serenaded. Do you look at them and try to act impressed? That is ok for about the first 20 seconds but then it is just weird. Do you ignore them and just eat in front of them? The whole thing makes me very uncomfortable.
We also loved Las Michoacanos. It was a casual place that made fresh tortillas and pork carnitas. We sat down and they brought us cold soda pops with cups of ice and lime. That may not sound like much but most places had warm sodas. I believe we had 2 each. They they brought wonderful park with homemade tortillas and lots of fixings. They just kept bringing us food and we kept eating it and we were enjoying every bite. At the end of our meal the check came and it was about $4 each! Yes, we went back again.

David and I did a time share presentation at the Grand Mayan. You walk in a very unremarkable front door and immediately you are in a dark chamber with 2 story high mayan statues. It was like walking into a scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark. It was crazy. The place was very nice but we resisted!
This was one of their pools:

This was another one of their pools. How do you spell serenity?

There were 8 of these exact same statues guarding the spa. Anyone else find these Mayans interesting?!

So we were basically living the good life in Cabo. We felt like we were being treated like kings at our resort. That is... until we visited The One and Only Palmilla! That is the name of a very exclusive resort. Another thing that David likes to do on vacation, that I do not, is to go and see nice resorts. I always feel like everyone can tell that I cannot afford to be there. David just struts around like he owns the place and I slink around looking quickly from side to side just waiting for security to come and throw us out. Generally we tell them that we will be eating there and sometimes we do and sometimes we don't. Actually, most places are happy to let you look around but The One and Only Palmilla was not one of them. So we had to check in at the gate and we told them that we wanted to eat lunch. They said it was only 10:30 and so we said, "Ok. We'll eat breakfast." So they made a series of phone calls as we waited in our impressive rental Jeep (thank goodness they upgraded us from the compact for free!)
So they parked our car which, by the way, was full of Wal Mart bags containing both souvenirs and snacks - always the mark of sophisticated wealthy, international travelers! So we got as far away from the car as quickly as we could and then they had a golf cart which was going to drive us straight to the restaurant. The question remains, was this first class service or is this how they deal with the white trash rif-raf trying to get in and sneak a peak? I guess we'll never know.
So they drop us off at a restaurant with a very expensive menu. There is hardly a soul around. We tell the hostess that we are going to check out the menu at the bar and then walk around a bit. We are feeling totally out of place but really enjoying looking around. It is just beautiful.
Just for the record, Reid and Lori are just as uncomfortable as I am sneaking into nice resorts. So picture David wandering all around and Reid, Lori and I trying to look incognito. We decide to eat an overpriced breakfast in the restaurant so that we at least belonged there to a certain degree. The food ended up being very good actually and the service was impeccable. The first thing they did was to bring us each our own condensed version of the New York Times made just for the hotel guests. It was crazy. By the way, the rooms there start at $925.
This is a little waterslide they have for kids. Then there is an infinity pool and then the ocean is beyond that. It's gorgeous. There were very few people around, though.

We thought for sure that the golf cart would appear immediately as we finished our meal to escort us out, but it didn't. Maybe they got busy or maybe they ran a background check and found that we were poor but harmless. Who knows? We wandered back towards the entrance and found another pool that had a lot of people hanging around. There were people getting foot massages as they sunned in their lounge chairs by the pool. We could see rooms that had their own mini swimming pool on their balcony which overlooked the ocean. It was pretty sweet. Supposedly the rich and famous go there. We wanted to stay around and star gaze but we just weren't dressed for it. It would take some serious TJMaxx shopping to fit in at The One and Only Palmilla! Maybe next time...
So we got to stay a week at the Pacifica for $300 (that was for both of us). We used frequent flier miles to get there. We did one time share presentation that paid for our rental car ($217). We did another time share presentation for $200 food credit at our hotel. Basically, I think we spent about $200 while we were there. It was a wonderful week and I just wish that we could have shared it with all of you. I really do!

Friday, February 13, 2009

And the winner is...

Well, it was a night of firsts... just not the sort of firsts we were hoping for! Courtney ran for Miss Moses Lake and Kendall ran for Miss Moses Lake's Outstanding Teen. They both were first runner ups! They did so great. I was the proudest mom ever!

Courtney, David & Kendall

Courtney came home for the weekend. We had gotten $49 tickets on Southwest so it wasn't too much trouble to fly her home for the weekend. Although, unbeknownst to Courtney, we had gotten her a new car a few weeks before the pageant. We decided since she was coming home in a few weeks, we just waited and gave it to her then and she drove it back. It is a Chevy Malibu and we are hoping that it doesn't share the same fate as our two previous Chevy Malibus (both were rolled by Kristy. She managed to total both hers and Kacey's - no, not at the same time.)

Anyway, Kacey was also here for the weekend and my sister Julie was here as well. We had a great time doing total girl pageant stuff. Kendall wore Kylie's red dress that she wore when she won Outstanding Teen. Courtney wore Sara Rosborough's dress that the pageant committee owns and with a few alterations it looked fabulous on her. She also wore Danielle's back up swimsuit and interview suit from when she was MML so we didn't have to buy much of anything which is really nice.

Courtney & Kendall giving us the serious supermodel face.

Kendall sang a song called "Show Off" from the broadway musical, "The Drowsy Chaperone" and Courtney did the same dance that she did for Junior Miss with some minor changes. It is a jazz dance with some tumbling to "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend." Kendall had struggled to figure out her character and to really get into the song but when showtime came she did so awesome. She is so fun to watch. Courtney did a fabulous job on her dance. She did not really enjoy parading around on the stage in a swimsuit (as most don't) but she looked unbelievable. Honestly, you could hear a collective gasp from the audience when she took the stage. She is so tall with long legs and so much lean muscle. So many people told her they would kill for that body.
Well, Moses Lake's pageant has become an open pageant this year which means anyone in the state can come and run for our title. That means that girls who have previously run for Miss Washington and want to have another shot at it can come and run for Miss Moses Lake so that they can go to the state pageant again. So there were 8 contestants and 5 of them were from out of town. They gave away two titles, MML and Miss Columbia Basin and both of them went to out of town contestants. One girl was 23 and the other was 21. Most of us thought Courtney was a shoe in for MML and were quite surprised by the outcome, but that's the way it goes. The future of the pageant as an open pageant doesn't really look too good. In the past, there was a lot more scholarship money and a free trip to Japan which made it all worthwhile. Then going to Miss Washington was an extra added bonus. Now it will all be about going to the state pageant and there is very little scholarship money at the local level. Doesn't sound too good for local girls but we'll see...

Brittany, Kendall, McKenna & Breanna chilling at dress rehearsal

Kendall had a great bunch of girls she was running with and many of them were her friends. It was a really strong year this year and she was thrilled and honored to be 1st runner up. Breanna Haddican won the title who is one of Kylie's best friends. I wish I had some better pictures to share but I didn't take that many. I was a little busy. We should be getting some professional ones back in a short time. If any of them are good I will post them later. It was a fun weekend and it was awesome to have Kacey and Julie here to share it with. They were such a big help especially since we had to get Courtney ready in one weekend. She flew in Thursday. Practiced Friday night and competed Saturday. I wish I had a picture that captured how stunning she looked and how poised she was. No one would have ever guessed that so little preparation went into the whole thing. That's just who she is!

Kendall surprised everyone because she looked so gorgeous and so much older on stage. She usually just dresses casual and is a book worm. Even though we know all the sides to Kendall, I think she surprised a lot of people. She was voted "Miss Congeniality" which was very nice. The poor thing had all of her older sisters saying "Don't do it like that! Don't say that! Don't walk like that!" In the end, she made them all so proud.

Kendall & Breanna Haddican

What a great weekend! Glad it's over though...