Mexico was amazing. This was my 3rd visit to Los Cabos. First time was in 1997, with my ex-fiancé. Second time was 3 years ago with Mars and the kids. But it was during this trip that I realized it’s my 2nd favorite place in the world (first is a tiny car-free village in the Swiss Alps).
It is magical for so many reasons. The breathtaking beauty. The clarity and intensity of the light. The colors. The energy. The people. The weather.
I am enamored by the juxtaposition of the desert with the sea.
I was sublimely happy there. On my last afternoon there, during a moment alone and while gazing out over the Sea of Cortez and watching horses walk on the white sand beach in front of me, I started crying because I was so overwhelmed by the beauty.
We stayed at a luxury all-inclusive resort. We stayed at this same resort 3 years ago but it was re-opened last December for the first time since Hurricane Odile in September 2014. It underwent massive renovation and now has a new name. And… wow, it’s gorgeous. We either got an amazing deal or they are undercharging – I can’t believe we were able to afford it.
We returned to this resort because it has literally the only swimmable beach in Los Cabos and because the pool is huge and shallow (no more than 4′ deep) so we don’t have to worry about the kids drowning if we turn our backs for a second.
We had a blast. On the last day, we went whale watching. Two words: breaching humpbacks! I’ve been whale watching several times, including in Los Cabos, and have never seen such a spectacular display.
Looking toward the resort’s swimmable beach
Kids in hanging baskets
The mesmerizing Sea of Cortez
Male humpback – unedited and uncropped, taken with my phone
I packed my running shoes with plans to continue sprint training since I couldn’t pack my weights. I figured I’d run on the beach or at the golf course next to the resort but was pleased to find the resort had a high-tech gym. I opted to use the treadmill in the nice air-con instead. I worked out 3 times. It was a nice counter-balance to the excessive food and drink.
Mars and I attended a tequila tasting class one afternoon while our daughter swam with a new friend and our son was back in room video-calling with his best friend. It was really interesting. I had no idea there were 3 distinct ages of tequila, its history, or where in Mexico it was from.
I thought of Hayden on occasion. I suppose that’s only fitting, as we’d talked last fall about traveling to Los Cabos together. It didn’t help that the resort was filled with lovey dovey couples, holding hands while walking around resort grounds or professing their love for each other during aqua-aerobics. It made me a little sad and wistful, yearning for a connection like that myself.
Less than 12 hours before our flight home, I got severely sick. It started with stomach pain. I called concierge asking them for antacids and they connected me with the resort doctor. The doctor asked to see me in his office. The pain escalated quickly – I collapsed outside my room door and vomited all over the gorgeous marble walkway.
I somehow made my way to the doctor. He said it may be a result of eating too many rich foods I don’t normally eat, which was certainly true. He gave me shot of anti-nausea medication and some antacids. I stumbled out of his office and immediately vomited all over the marble walkway once again. Thank god it was 2 in the morning and no one but resort staff saw this debacle. I was mortified.
The resort doctor urged me to see a specialist at the hospital, as he suspected I had a bacterial infection. He called the hospital and arranged ambulance transportation.
I vomited twice more, once in the ambulance and once at the hospital. Each time I thought I was going to asphyxiate because it was so violent. The ER ran a bunch of blood tests and hooked me up to IVs.
Diagnosis: Bacterial gastroenteritis. In other words: Food poisoning. What?!
I am still perplexed about this. I have traveled to Mexico 4 times, including off the beaten path of the Yucatan and Quintano Roo, and have never gotten sick until now… literally the only time I ate all meals on resort property. It makes no sense at all.
My last meal was a salad, mashed potatoes, and a beautiful tuna steak… accompanied by a pear vodka tonic and a shot of tequila. Could it have been something in the salad? The doctor said it was impossible to know.
The hospital was brand new and beautiful. The doctor and nurses were so nice. And I am pretty sure I was the only ER patient. My son came with me in the ambulance and they let him sleep in the room next to mine. That would absolutely not happen in the United States! I owe them a thank you note.
They gave me antibiotics, anti-nausea meds, pain killer, and fluids via IV. I told them I was on a strict schedule due to my flight. They were not happy and wanted to admit me to the hospital but agreed to keep me in ER so that they could release me earlier.
I asked the nurse to connect me to the hospital wifi, as it was my only lifeline to communicate with Mars back at the resort. I didn’t have cell phone service in Los Cabos.
For a period of about an hour, my eyes were not working correctly. They wouldn’t focus and reading anything on my phone was nearly impossible. I knew that Hayden had texted me earlier in the evening asking if I was returning the following day and I wanted to respond before the chaos of packing, rushing, and catching the flight home began. I texted him, with difficulty – letting him know that I was indeed returning that day (by now it was 5 am), hopefully, as I was in the ER. Only I hit the call button instead of the send button by accident.
I immediately hung up when I realized my phone was dialing Hayden. It hadn’t even rung. However, it apparently went through because Hayden called me at 7, worried he had missed my call after seeing my text about being in a Mexican hospital. Oops. I hadn’t meant to alarm him.
It was really nice to hear his voice. He was my hold on reality during misery. We chatted for about 20 minutes. He still planned on visiting us on Friday night, the night after we returned. At one point, he said, “I miss you guys.”
The doctor discharged me unhappily yet was understanding of my plight. He said, “You really need another bag of fluids. We are not discharging you in an optimal condition.”
The hospital called me a cab. I laid on the tile floor of the ER waiting room while waiting for it to arrive, alarming the front desk and the cab driver when he arrived. I felt like death warmed over.
Back at the hotel, I collapsed into bed shivering and writhing in pain from the body aches. Mars gave me some of his ibuprofen and I asked him to take the kids to get breakfast. I was going to attempt to get a few minutes of sleep before throwing my belongings into my suitcase so we could meet our ride to the airport at 10:40.
I fell into a deep sleep once the ibuprofen kicked in and was thankfully woken by a call from concierge asking about my illness. I took a quick shower to wash the vomit off myself. I thought my fellow plane passengers would appreciate that.
Mars brought me some peppermint tea from the restaurant. We caught our ride in time, and made it to the airport in plenty of time. Crisis averted.
It has always been a bucket list item of mine to fly 1st class. It actually happened on my flight back from Cabo, accidentally and quite unexpectedly! It’s a long story. All I’ll say is that my guardian angel must have been looking out for me. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to enjoy all the 1st class amenities, including the full meal nor all the provided alcohol, as I was miserable. All I could manage was to slowly sip sparkling water and try to act normal.
The good news is that I made it home in one piece. You might even be shocked to hear that I’m already planning my next trip back to Los Cabos. Maybe October. Probably solo.
Coming soon: What happens when you Tinder on holiday. Plus, what it was like to see Hayden last night (and he brought me some much-needed Gatorade).