Thanks to Grand Solmar for sponsoring this post and providing me and my daughter with discounted accommodations, meals, and entertainment.
Our first adventure: a camel desert ride organized by Cabo Adventures!
En route to the camel expedition, our guide, Palo, explained the terrain and the cactus types. It was somewhat bizarre to be on the ocean in the middle of the dessert; you don’t normally equate those two things together. Above: Just a few of the creatures you may encounter on your hike!
Here we are, riding camels along the beach — that’s Andrea and I leading the pack! Check this experience off my life bucket list. The camels were gentle and very well-trained. They actually came to Cabo Adventures from a camel farm in Texas of all places! Our guides were funny, knowledgeable of the area, and most of all, extremely loving to the camels — you could tell they were just like children to them.
After our camel ride, we were treated to an authentic Mexican buffet, a lesson in how to make your own flour tortillas from scratch, and a demo of how to properly take tequila shots. Can you tell this was my first tequila shot ever? (Don’t tell my daughter, but I actually kind of liked it!)
The next day was truly my favorite and represents one of the things that makes the people of Grand Solmar so special. Andrea and I took a tour with Dinorah Deharo, head of the Solmar Foundation, which was founded by the late Don Luis, one of the original owners of the Solmar Resorts. Their mission is to provide financial and community support to non-profit organizations that are making a difference in their community. Every timeshare owner has the option to contribute a percentage of their owner fees to the foundation and every week, tours are given from the resort so that members can witness first-hand the good work that’s being accomplished. Our first stop was a daycare center that provides a safe, stable environment for children seven days a week, twelve hours a day, so that their parents can go to work (some are children of the employees at Grand Solmar).
Another place we visited was a drop-in center for single moms and their children, where they’re offered a meal and bed for seven days. There’s a long waiting list for this chance, and the scene you see in the photo above is the backyard of the center. Contractors drop off excess supplies and families are allowed one — just one — opportunity to take as much as they can to try and build themselves a makeshift home.
The kitchen is at the drop-in center and was donated and built by the Solmar Foundation. The employees and staff at Grand Solmar take pride in knowing they are making an effort to hire people who have come through this program. They provide opportunities to learn English and provide housekeeping skills in the summer. These are just a few of the many ways that the Solmar Foundation is making a difference one life at a time and giving back hope to people who otherwise would find themselves in seemingly hopeless situations.
The next day, we had a dolphin encounter through Cabo Adventures — our chance to cuddle, kiss, pet, and swim with Pacific bottle nose dolphins. I think the photos mostly speak for themselves, but I do want to mention just how extensive the experience was. It was quite lengthy (around an hour), which allowed for plenty of time for belly-rubs, asking the trainer questions about the dolphins (ours was named Ande and had a boyfriend in the same tank!), and time for two dolphin swims. One of the swims is underwater — you’re actually holding onto the dolphin’s tail as it laps around the pool. Very cool perspective.
My daughter surprised me the very next day with an oceanfront massage and facial. It was meant for couples, but hey, mother/daughter duo works, too! The area is entirely secluded — it’s situated in the adults-only area — and the gazebo (pictured to the right) is where we went afterwards to relax, look at the waves, and just…be. I’m not exaggerating when I say it might have been the most relaxing moment of my life.
Of course, no spa experience would be complete without chocolate-covered strawberries and a little champagne. We were so relaxed and comfortable they finally had to ask us to leave (ever so graciously), because they were closing up for the evening.
After the massages, we were ready to wind down for the day, and, well, this photo simply needs no comment. The sunsets are so wildly stunning, it actually feels as though the sky split open and painted the shadowed mountains. Jaws agape.
This picture was taken from my beach chair on our final day. I did not want to leave. I wanted to capture this moment and let time stand still, cliche as that might sound. This is indeed my vision of “living the dream”, and I plan to return as often as I can. Many thanks to the incredible staff at Grand Solmar for making our trip so special.
— Debbie Byers
Catch part 1 of the ultimate Cabo experience HERE!