Yesterday we arrived in Cabo San Lucas. we have two days here. Originally, we were supposed to be in Cabo San Lucas yesterday and Mazatlan today, but the Mazatlan stop was dropped due to safety concerns, and the Cabo stop was extended. We’ve never overnighted before, and it was nice to know that if we missed something, we could come back the next day – though, most likely, we will just stay on the ship today.

We didn’t actually reach Cabo San Lucas until about noon, which was great, because then we got to watch the ship come in to port, which usually happens around 6am and so I miss it. Lis and I went up to the bow to get a better view of El Arco, the arched rock formation at the very tip of the Baja peninsula, as we passed by it. There were some other people up there, but it wasn’t crowded, and we also saw a whale and a few porpoises/dolphins (I don’t know which) swimming along the ship and crossing under the bow – once they came head on toward us and then disappeared under the ship. It was pretty awesome.

Then we moved down a deck, to get out of the sun, and were standing with some people at the railing next to the golf net. After a few minutes, we started to hear “plunk…plunk…plunk.” We turned around – a 2 or 3 year old boy was in the golf net, picking up the golf balls and putting them back in the wooden container where they belong. His mother looked a little sheepish and said, “He likes to clean.” There was another ship in port (Carnival Splendor), and as we approached it, the boy (from inside the golf net still) shouted, “Daddy! Look at the big ship!” His dad said, “Yes, it’s really neat – come look at it.” “I’m straightening up.” “OK, when you’re done, then.”

All was quiet for a bit, then I heard his mother say, “No, honey, that stays there.” I turned around and saw that the boy was trying to lift up the astroturf mat that you hit the balls off of (which was bigger than he was), in preparation for folding it and putting it…I don’t know where. I don’t know if he knew, either, but he certainly knew that it didn’t belong just lying on the ground, because he gave his mother a VERY dubious look, and was clearly unconvinced. He stood there for some time, holding the mat, while she strove to persuade him that it really was OK to leave it where it was – yet another little boy having great trouble abandoning an obviously superior plan. I want him to come to MY house for an afternoon.

Normally we like to either arrange our own tours in a port, or just get off the ship and go to a beach or attraction that we’ve read about in Frommer’s. However, this being Mexico, and the security situation in Mexico being what it is, we decided that this wasn’t wise, and so booked an excursion through the ship.

The excursion we booked was called Eco-Kayaking. The brochure described paddling through the Sea of Cortez, viewing wildlife, to a pristine beach where we would snorkel. I wasn’t sure about the kayaking part, because I am not a strong kayaker, and figured 1) I would struggle to keep up, and 2) this would make me cranky. Lis thought it would all be fine, and convinced me to try it. And so we crammed in to a van with a bunch of other people and drove to a beach where the kayaks were. I turned out to be correct about the kayaking – we both struggled to keep up, which made us both cranky. Plus the wildlife we viewed was mostly the million tourists from the 3 cruise ships in port. But, it had its moments – at one point there was a sea lion swimming along about 30 yards away, and we saw a pelican skim along the surface of the water right in front of us, which was cool to see at water level. Plus, we kayaked out to El Arco, which was pretty neat.

The beach, as expected, was full of people, and the snorkeling was a couple rocks completely surrounded by swimmers with masks – I decided I didn’t want to join them, and so just floated around and watched the pelicans and frigate birds. The water felt lovely, though, and the birds were fun. Lis had abandoned swimming – she was having trouble with her mask, and having trouble with the large-ish swell that made getting in to an out of the water difficult. After a while, I joined her on the beach, and we agreed that these ship’s tours were just never worth the trouble, and we would cancel the one we were wait-listed for in Puerto Vallarta.

Soon it was time to kayak back (I thought my arms would fall off on that last paddle) and we were done. We walked around the tourist area for a little bit, trying to find this particular beer that we had had the last time we were on a cruise to Mexico 5 years ago. The beer is called Noche Buena, and it is a specialty Christmas beer that you can only get in Mexico, and then only during the months of November and December. We tried a couple shops that sold booze, but they only had Corona and Pacifico and Negra Modelo, all of which I can get in the States. The cool thing is that we conducted all our transactions in (probably bad) Spanish – we were very pleased with ourselves.

Back on ship, we headed straight to the pool grill for burgers and fries and a beer (Samual Adams, the only dark-ish non-stout beer available). It’s amazing how good food and drink tastes after an afternoon of exertion – the beer in particular really hit the spot (at times during the kayaking when I thought I might die, I kept myself going by imagining the burger and beer I was going to have back on the ship). Then we went back to the room to watch the sunset from our balcony.

Unluckily, our neighbor decided that sunset was the perfect time to loudly conduct a business meeting via phone on HIS balcony. I get so annoyed when I find myself included in meetings – once in Chicago I was using the wifi in a hotel lobby and suddenly a job interview started right next to me. The meeting continued throughout the sunset, and it was a little hard to tune out, but we managed well enough, and the sunset was spectacular. We are at anchor with a view of the rock formations and El Arco, and the sun set behind them – gorgeous.

We stayed in this evening, and I rinsed out all our sandy clothes and did a load of laundry (we are right next to the free guest laundry for our deck – awesome!). We had been invited to a cocktail party by I’m not sure who – some travel-related something affiliated with Sandra’s agency, I think. Anyway, cocktal party = free booze, and Lis wanted a fruity drink, so she threw on a skirt and went. I was not going to get out of my jammies, and so stayed in the room.

Soon Lis was back, and it was time for bed. About this time, I noticed that my left arm was getting kind of sore. This also happens to be the arm on which I have a big ‘ol spider bite (it is about the size of a 50 cent piece). I figured that the soreness was due to the kayaking, but part of me was a little worried that the bite was more serious than I thought. We discussed calling the ship’s nurse, but decided against it and went to bed.

Around 1am I woke up with my arm really hurting – again, only the left one. I lay there, half asleep, trying to gather the energy to get up and take some Advil. Then Lis said, “What’s the matter? Are you OK?” Apparently, while the half-awake part of me was thinking about Advil, the half-asleep part of me was lying there moaning. I had pain and tingling from my shoulder to me hand. We were both a little alarmed, and Lis called the nurse. They said “It’s probably just a bite,” which doesn’t sound like a very helpful response, but actuallly helped us both to feel calmer. I took the Advil, Lis did a quick web search to rule out anything terrible, and we went back to sleep. This morning I feel absolutely fine – no pain at all. Amazing what a little freak-out can do :)