What a surprise! Three days in Cabo San Lucas at the JW Marriott resort unrelated to business—a romantic getaway for just the two of us (sans poodle) in late November. Is it romance, or just escaping to a warmer climate? After 46 years of marriage, I will take it either way.
Cabo is a short, affordable plane ride less than three hours from San Francisco. The Baja California Peninsula is quite different than I expected. My window seat’s 30,000 ft. vantage point offered a baron landscape bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California. There were no signs of life, or even roads, until the plane started its descent into Los Cabo's international airport, surrounded by mountains and gorgeous beaches.The airport is modern, but maneuvering through customs took nearly an hour, with several flights arriving at the same time, and then finding a taxi, which became a bidding war of pesos. Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del
Cabos are the anchor cities for tourism, culture and civilization, at the tip of the Peninsula. The Marriott is located in a remote area near the city of San Jose. Gardens and infinity pools that visually meet the blue waters of the Gulf surround its stark, Zen-like architecture. Since our stay was only a few days, we decided to forgo shopping and sightseeing, settling into the pool scene: lounge chairs, sunscreen and umbrella drinks. Relax!
Our Benicia friends who are regulars to the area made a list of "must eat" restaurants. Trends in Cabo dining are much more than fish tacos. The one night we ventured out of the hotel was to have dinner at Acre, a farm-to-table dining experience. The 20-minute cab ride along a dark, winding dirt road brought us to a lit walkway that guided us to the outdoor restaurant and bar. A live band playing the best of the Beatles greeted us. Perfect!
Acre is a 25-acre piece of farmland that houses a restaurant, cocktail bar, event space and tree house hotel accommodations. Authenticity is the goal, from the walls of compressed earth to the shade structures made with branches from local Palo de Arco trees. Furniture, dishes, lighting and accessories are made in Baja or from the Mexican mainland. The food comes from the Acre farm and local growers.
Acre was able to persuade two talented chefs to leave large-city markets and relocate to this tourist destination, by giving them the opportunity to set up and run their very own farm. They are obsessed with mixing an urban experience with local Baja ingredients. With guidance from the server, we ordered the house specialty—Fried Tomatoes laced with sherry and honey syrup—then we were presented with chicken liver mousse made of Strawberry Compote, Chicken Chicharron and pickled turnip (compliments of the chef), and for an entree we selected the Whole Roasted Hen served on a table-sized wood platter, surrounded by roasted vegetables and Za'atar Flatbread. We also tried the catch of the day: Blackened Sea Bass, complimented by broccoli, peanuts and soy glaze, paired with a Napa Valley Cabernet, to the dismay of the servers). It was a memorable dinner of delicious food, a cool atmosphere and an air of romance.
As Scott and I listened to the band play Nowhere Man, it was decided that three days in Cabo is not quite enough time for romance, escaping the cold and discovering the Peninsula. It may very well become our go-to place to rejuvenate, and celebrate our amazing lives together.