Cabo San Lucas: Day 1
January 22, 2004

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Tip of Baja

The front of our large, although not particularly fancy looking hotel, the Royal Solaris.  Maybe the less than awe inspiring first impression is due to the heavy gray clouds.  More likely it is the U-shaped hotel does not show its best side to the road.

The hotel is in fact not in Cabo San Lucas, but 20 miles away in San Jose del Cabo.  It's sort of a suburb of Cabo San Lucas, separated by 20 miles of sparsely populated desert and ocean bluffs and resorts and billboards in English.  San Jose is actually where the Cabo San Lucas International Airport is located.  The only thing worse than clearing customs in the airport, by the way, is clearing the time share salesmen, who are for more insistent and persistent than the customs agents.

Ah, now this is more like it: the two story lobby opens up to give a view of the tropic interior of the U shaped hotel.

After check in we have a seat in this lobby and get the orientation from our assigned hostess.  She points out all the restaurants and bars, and explains that all food and drink are included in the daily rate.   This is an "all inclusivo" resort (our broken Spanish term).  It is very much like a cruise ship, only the scenery doesn't change as much: food and drinks (yes, even alcohol) are included as part of the package, and there are lithe twenty something "cruise directors" wandering around organizing silly games, volleyball, and casino nights.

The hostess seems so nice, warning us to beware unscrupulous time share sellers.  She clearly has only our best interests in mind.  "People may claim they're from your travel company, or even from this resort, in order to get you to listen to their timeshare sales pitch." No!? Scandalous!  "Please do not listen to them." Of course not!  Thank you so very much. "Because only I am allowed to share with you the amazing benefits of buying a time share at this resort!  The presentation is about 90 minutes.  Would you like it now or shall we schedule it for later?"

The hostess/salesperson showed us our rooms and the amenities, the restaurants and the bars, the pool and the beach.  For some reason, we couldn't get rooms together or even on the same floor.  There was one room each on the first, second, and third floors.  Somehow the Sherwoods got the choice room on the third floor.  It was a lucky break that would show its dark side that evening.

When the tour was complete and the poor, put upon hostess salesperson began to describe how her cruel boss would beat her if we didn't sign up for her time share presentation, we feigned headaches and retired to our rooms until lunch time.

The hotel was not as big as a cruise ship, however, so there is only one restaurant open per meal. (Luckily most bars were open most of the time.) Here Keith, Chuck and Julie Fabijanic, Matt and Gail Bigelow, and Kristi sample the lunch restaurant.  Note "all inclusivo" wristband on Keith's right wrist.

The view from our room.  The farthest, largest palapa is the lunch restaurant. The middle one is a bar (walk up on the right; swim up on the left).  The foreground palapa is for towels and trashy paperback novels.  What a great view we have from our third floor room while the Bigelows and Fabijanics have to content themselves with rooms on the second and first floors, respectively.

Those aren't gang signs Matt and Gail are flashing, they're making 4s and 0s, reminding us that we're here to celebrate everyone's 40th birthday. Well, everyone but Gail, who has the unmitigated gall to be younger by several years and still show up for this trip.

We're just waiting around for our dinner table in this picture.  This is while we're still under the mistaken impression that reservations with an associated time count for something.  We were soon to learn you just had to be there in the hostess' face if you ever wished to be seated.

Dinner was a debacle: late seating, poor food and service, and they turned the lights on and started cleaning all around us in an attempt to shoo us out (just because we whipped out a deck of cards and started playing during coffee and desert!).

But we refused to be deterred.  Having shut down the restaurant, we moved on to the sports bar and shut it down.  Here they thought if they just shut down the bar we would get the hint and leave.  But we weren't drinking any more any way, and so played on.  Eventually we were asked to leave the foosball field.  It being sometime after midnight local time (2 a.m. San Diego time), Kristi and Keith called it a night.

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Pictures and text copyright 2004 by Keith Sherwood
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