When you fly into the Los Cabos airport, you don't see the ocean. Like, anywhere. What you do see as the plane approaches the tarmac are the barren, crumbly hills that make up the majority of Baja's bony peninsula. Cactuses dot the parched landscape, as do other scrubby flora and the holes of burrowing animals. First thoughts for first-timers may include, "Where the hell am I?", "Where's the ocean?", or "When did we make a wrong turn for the moon?" But once you've scurried, eyes down and pace swift, through SJD's shark tank and sidled up to the buzzing outdoor bar, you'll realize you're in the right place.
This trip—a well-orchestrated, highly anticipated girls trip to Cabo San Lucas—was nine months in the making between seven close friends (and two sorely missed absentees). From location scouting to arrival times, we wove our intention into every stitch of planning: to relax and reconnect with ease. No packed itineraries, no mega resorts, no conga lines. Just us, a house, a pool, a stereo, and a fridge stocked with rosé and croissants.
Because of our intention, our days were filled with just that: ease. In the mornings, we'd shuffle into the kitchen to make coffee and assemble our own breakfast—some opting for savory ham and egg melts, others satisfied with bread and strawberry jam. We'd sit poolside, discussing the things that longtime friends tend to discuss: kids, husbands, parents, in-laws, other friends, estranged couples, and pretty much anyone else who wasn't sharing the same oxygen. And because we're an aging group, add to that moles, wrinkles, botox, skin cancer, 401(k)s, menopause, politics, nursing homes, and the '90s music we're still listening to because we just can't let it go.
As Bestie Bev and Sweet Sarah expertly documented, our group left the house exactly...twice. On our first outing we ventured into the city, where we shopped for the sweetest little Mexican dresses you'll ever see in your life, drank margaritas resembling toilet bowl cleaner at Sammy Hagar's (in?)famous Cabo Wabo Cantina, and said a tired "no gracias" to the four thousand men who assured us we'd enter their shop and find exactly what we're looking for. That night, we dined with our toes in the sand at The Office, a popular gringo spot featuring live music, deliciously fresh seafood, and a bandeliered tequilero who pours tequila directly into your drunk face. (My drunk face chose to sip tequila from a champagne glass, instead.)
The second outing was for our swanky dinner, where we dined overlooking the cactus garden at Toro, a pottery-lined Latin kitchen founded by chef and restaurateur, Richard Sandoval. Our table was seamlessly waited on by a small army of attentive servers wearing maroon button-up shirts and eager smiles. Toro's food was incredible: fresh, inventive, perfectly seasoned. We left with several to-go boxes, falling prey to the eyes-bigger-than-the-stomach effect that often plagues vacationers in fancy restaurants. The shining moment of the evening was at the end: on our way out, Jill stopped by a large table of older couples—seemingly in their 60s and 70s—to tell a gorgeous, silver-haired woman in a perfectly tailored dress that she looked radiant, and that we'd been admiring her all night. Her husband, an oxygen cannula strapped to his nose, smiled and agreed.
On day four, we took the morning to explore our own neighborhood, Pedregal. A searingly insistent sun spotlighted the way to our beach, where hot sand led to a surf so intense and powerful, we were warned to stay away from the water. Like, don't go anywhere near the water. The warning wasn't for naught; while absentmindedly chatting with a fellow beach-walker, a rogue wave nearly knocked the two of us over, soaking my jorts and coming within a hair of drowning my camera lens. (Insert ninety seconds of muttered expletives and flared-nostril breathing while I double-checked that my camera hadn't succumbed to salt water.) After twenty minutes of full sun exposure, we were ready to head back up the hill to our pool and our umbrella. That night, our last in the house, we toasted over catered tacos and margaritas to friendship, self-expression, and a long weekend very, very well spent.
And that, in essence, was the entirety of our trip: talking, listening, laughing, reading, eating, drinking, napping, sitting together just as easily in deep conversation as in shared silence. These are the things that make longtime, long-distance friendships easy, as well as meaningful. And these are the things we love about each other most. Hasta el próximo año, mis amigas. Los quiero mucho.