ONCE UPON A TIME IN CABO: My first trips
Actualizado: 12 de mar de 2019
My first trips to Los Cabos
by P. Fisher
June 1993 - San Jose del Cabo Airport. I remember that I got off the plane and entered a very small building, similar to the current airport of Cabo San Lucas. I was not surprised by the intense heat since I grew up in La Paz, but after a year of living in the cold weather and the mountains of Colorado, the sun mixed with the breeze and the scent of the sea made me feel at home, back home! Back to what I had always known as "Mexico".
My parents were there to pick me up: “Let’s go, they are waiting for us to have lunch”.
We arrived at a restaurant by the beach, tables on the sand, under a palapa roof. A guitarist singing “Sabor a mi” and a lot, a lot of food! I heard we were on the El Medano beach, which during that time hosted only two or three restaurants. I remember that a year before, a very large hotel opened, much larger than any hotel in La Paz, it was called: Pueblo Bonito. More restaurants and stores were breaking ground to build around it.
For the following 3 years I accompanied my father to several trips to San Jose and Cabo San Lucas. To me, Los Cabos was (and still is) very different from La Paz. The marina had larger ships than the ones I used to see in La Paz, the restaurants ‘names were in English like "The Giggling Marlin" and "Squid Roe"; There were many hotels and shops and music on the streets. I did not know how to describe where I was, whether in Mexico or on an island full of English speakers. I think it was the summer of '96 that we came to see Sylvester Stallone place the first stone of the soon to open Planet Hollywood Restaurant, at the Marina, where we know it as Plaza Bonita. We would travel back and forth to La Paz, but should we stay the night we would stay at the Finisterra, or Plaza Las Glorias Hotels or crash at my aunt and uncle's house in the Leona Vicario street where the Notary is now. My mom was not a fan of us driving at night because the road was narrow with only two lanes from Cabo San Lucas to Todos Santos and La Paz.
Cabo San Lucas was attractive and exciting to me, and San Jose del Cabo was only to pay visits to my non-related “uncles and aunts”. I was surprised how small the streets were in downtown San Jose. But I loved that everywhere you would turn to, you could see the sea, from the highway, the magisterial, Costa Azul, and all the way from San Jose to Cabo San Lucas.
We would attend the traditional "family gatherings" where the family was almost the entire town residents. There I realized that everyone is called under the pet name of "primo” (cousin). Should we run out of something at these parties we had to go and buy it at the minimart “Castro” in front of Tacos Rosy because there were no super markets. The only stop light in the entire city was on the corner of Valerio Gonzalez and the Transpeninsular highway; and at the gas station of the “Y”, according to me, that was the end of San Jose. I remember, the stadium next to the "Y", I came for a high school trip, to a football match: Santos vs Perros Negros.
My parents built a house in El Tule. My dad rented it to an American gentleman that owned a fishing boat. Rent was a thousand dollars a month. The view from the patio was spectacular, there was NOTHING in front of it, only a few meters of mountain, the highway and a little hotel that during that time it was called Maria Gaviota, which later was called Marbella Suites and now Mar del Cabo. The house is still there, for rent, but it does not have a view anymore. Now it has a view to the terraces and water tanks of other houses, and the hotel Grand Velas.
After this, my visits were exclusively for Spring Break: What happens in Cabo stays in Cabo. I can only say for now that I appreciate that in 1999 there was no Facebook nor smartphones. It was until December 2003 that I landed again at the current San Jose del Cabo airport, but this time to stay.