Thursday, November 7, 2013

down in baja

we just got back from a family trip to cabos last week. i had always pictured los cabos as nothing more than girls gone wild and tequila poppers so was a little hesitant to go. as soon as we landed we were enveloped by beautiful fields of cactus and the hot white sun. there was ocean as far as the eye could see and it felt strangely comforting to be staring straight to antarctica. the landscape was vast and stunning. no unruly girls or watered down shots of tequila to be found where we were.

it was our first real family vacation as a family of four and, yes, there was a learning curve. i'll get right into it as the hard part of the trip began our first night. elodie woke at midnight with an earache which led to her (and francesca as well, awake out of sympathy) screaming for hours until we finally figured out she needed to go to the emergency room at 5 a.m. it was her first ear infection and, after a dose of antibiotics, saline spray, and ear drops, she drifted off to sleep at 7:30 am. thankfully, all that was on the agenda was swimming and lazing around so it worked out to rest. we had a lovely dinner in san jose del cabo and a walk in the town square before heading back to the hotel to roast marshmallows around a bonfire on the beach. the rhythmic waves quickly got in our head and lulled us to sleep.

the second full day we rented a car and headed to cabo san lucas just long enough to catch the cabo submarine. they take you out on the reef to see loads of tropical fish. on a cute yellow boat. playing the beatles. pretty amazing. i can't recommend this more for families.

we also spent a lot of time exploring the beach in front of our hotel.

and frankie started walking in earnest.
our third full day we switched hotels (long story) to cabo azul. it was a perfect bit of luxury and kind of nice to leave the place we had struggled with elodie. the food was so-so and we typically ate all of our meals in town. our room had a kitchenette so we hit the local supermarket for yogurt, cereal, and eggs to avoid sitting to long by the pool during breakfast (which drives children a little cuckoo in case you haven't experienced this). the last day we were there i did order pancakes at the swim up bar which kind of blew elodie's mind. there were tons of different pools and hot tubs. also, a bed on the water and little cocoons for taking naps. pretty fantastic!

i am so happy we rented a car. the driving was easy (only a couple of frustrating moments) and it would have been quite expensive and cumbersome to really see baja del sur by cab. we took a tiny day trip to todos santos. i wish we had more time to explore this quiet town and do a little surfing. baja beans was a life saver for my coffee snob husband. also so stylish! 

elodie loved giving directions with the map. 

elodie: "ok, so here we are. so we have to go over the moon, over a palm tree, over a cactus, and then over a huge huge rock. and then a big mountain. ok mama?"

we wanted to go to playa del amor which you can access only by boat from cabo san lucas but had heard from many locals to go to chileno bay instead. we arrived early enough to snag a palapa. there was a gentle breeze, lots of pretty white coral for elodie to collect, and quietly lapping waves. a perfect family beach without loads of tourists. i wish we had taken a few more trips here. 

as for food, if you know my family at all it's kind of the most important thing. we found a lot of great local restaurants and taco stands. the fish was ridiculously fresh and abundant. a real highlight of the trip was our dinners at flora farm. it was a few kilometers outside of town down an uneven dirt road. seriously in the middle of nowhere. as soon as you parked you entered a little paradise. we sat surrounded by rows of organic vegetables and overgrown flowers. lights were strung up everywhere and there were tiny paths that led to different gardens. the girls were so excited to explore and even found a pond of snapping turtles. 

we loved it so much we came back to celebrate francesca's first birthday. she had a little carrot cake and everyone joined in to sing her happy birthday. elodie made a wish and blew out the candle. francesca took turns feeding each one of us frosting and it was hard to not have a full heart and a tear as i looked at michael and reflected on all the good we have. i'll take the really, really rough moments to have the beyond full ones. the last night we finally pulled out our real camera and got some pretty sweet photos (and maybe even a holiday card!)

p.s. don't take your children to the beach without a bathing suit. or they end up their underwear!

where to eat//

san jose del cabo:

tropicana's (really great fish!) 
ten tu taco - i wish we had eaten here more. amazing tacos. no chips, rice or beans which ends up being great. you just get delicious, filling tacos. 
guyacamaya's  - very local, very delicious. 
flora's field kitchen - expensive and off the beaten path. call ahead for reservations. 

todos santos:

swimsuits c/o sunuva - thank you!!


  1. What a sweet trip y'all had! Totally book marking this.


  2. Oh goodness, how lovely! We adore all the beauty in these photos!


  3. Looks like a beautiful trip, despite the ear ache. Love the simple, pretty photos.

  4. Wow, the place looks really cool and you have a beautiful family nice pic.

  5. elodie is very pretty.