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Jan
20

My Celebrity Blog: Los Cabos, Mexico

Guess who was on my last vacation? Put it this way I almost choked on my taco. There I was with my husband, pretending to be interested in what he was saying, when I heard giggling across the room. Not giggling like kids, but the giggles of a woman in new love. A great sound. I lean to my left and see the back of a man, grayish short hair, wide shoulders, he’s leaning forward to be closer to her. I lean to the other side and get a glimpse of her. “Oh my God!” 

“What’s wrong?” My husband sees the look of horror on my face. 

“It’s Elisabetta Canalis, with, with¾” 

“Who?” 

She’s staring right back at me with this kind of half smile. George turns around and waves. George Clooney and I are eating tacos in the same restaurant in  Los Cabos! 

 George Clooney in Los Cabos 

I whisper to my husband, “I wonder if they’re staying here at Los Cabos.” 

“Who?” He looks at me like I’ve finally lost my mind. 

 

Elizabetta Canalis

Elizabetta Canalis in Los Cabos

“Oh, forget it.” I say but all I can do is watch them. And the next day? I’m sitting in the breakfast room promptly at seven. I choose a seat not next to the incredible blue Sea of Cortez, or the sumptuous buffet, but smack in the middle of the room so that I can see everyone as they walk in. There’s something about people-watching on vacation that is almost as fun as site-seeing. Whether it’s the honeymooners who are so in love they see nothing and no one else but each other¾although a caveat here. Once when I was in Bora Bora there was a couple staying at the same hotel we were in, The Hotel Bora Bora, they had the most fantastic room on the island, perched in the middle of the lagoon and fought like cats and dogs day in and day out. Family vacations are also fun to watch, the way husbands and wives try to find each other again, the way children use this momentary lapse in parental supervision to try and rack up bills at the snack bar. 

But celebrity sightings are the best and I decided after a breakfast of the most beautiful fruit and perfectly cooked eggs to head out to the beach and wait to see who would pass by. In the mornings here in Los Cabos, there is the sweetest breeze and when the sun is not yet hot, it’s balmy. Here there are two oceans, with two entirely different natures and that gives Los Cabos it’s spectacular diversity. On the one side there is the wild, and often rough Pacific Ocean. This is the place to fish. In fact, people have been coming here for centuries to sports fish Marlin and other great, spectacular breeds that are measured, documented and then released. 

And then there’s the Sea of Cortez that gives you the feeling of the tropics, the smoothness of the Mediterranean. It is docile, and a great place to snorkel and swim. The waiter this morning at breakfast told me that if I wanted to see the most beautiful fish, to bring some bread, drop small pieces in behind me and they would come. And so I did. Standing in a lagoon like a pool of warm water, I dropped pieces in and soon there were trails of bright yellow, red and blue fish coming to nibble at my feet. I stood with fish winding their way through my legs watching the beach fill with lounge chairs and women in their beautiful wraps and bags of magazines or kindles and creams getting ready to enjoy a most perfect day. 

“Honey!” My husband, dressed and ready for a serious golf game on one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world, looked at me again like I had lost it. “What in the world are you doing in there?” 

“Feeding fish.” I said, smiling, “old Mexican tradition.” 

“Don’t spend your day celebrity stalking okay dear?” He said. “I don’t want to have to bail you out of some Mexican prison.” 

“Me? Stalk? Please!” I waved him away. I couldn’t wait for him to leave because according to my morning’s magazines and newspapers, George and Elisabetta were not alone. Cindy Crawford, her husband restaurant and bar magnate, Rande Gerber and even Pink were all staying here in different hotels up and down this beautiful stretch of ocean. My day was well planned. I had already studied the map, knew exactly where to go. I planned to jog the entire length of what’s known here as the tourist corridor because of the hotels that are literally on the sand. On my way back, I’d stop at the hotels that I’d read about, like the Palmilla, Las Ventanas (a major celeb hangout) and the Esperanza (very quiet for people like Gwyneth Paltrow and husband) slowing for a quick drink at each and every resort along the way.  

Palmilla Villa Resort

Palmilla Villa Resort

The Palmilla was already in full swing when I got there. Their expert beach staff was busy setting up chairs with pillows so thick you could read an entire novel on and never be uncomfortable. I walked up from the beach and saw the infinity-edge pool and swim-up bar. There was the C restaurant from famed Chicago Chef Charlie Trotter with a seafood/Mediterranean menu. I could just imagine the freshly caught fish right here off the beach, with lime juice and fresh herbs, sweet tomatoes. Oh and check this out, they even have a big name spa here, the Mandara Spa, with pampering indoor/outdoor suites. I move into check the spa out. But before I can get a good look, the curtains are closed in my face. “Who’s in there?” I ask one of the house cleaners. 

“Big Hollywood star.” She smiles. Her teeth are silver. “I watch her very much. She is beautiful Friends.” 

“Friends?” I look at her. “As in Jennifer Aniston?” Everyone knows Jennifer Aniston loves Mexico more than any other place in this world. “Is she as pretty in person?” 

“Si, si.” She looks at me like I’m nuts. And I guess I sort of am, but so what? If my husband’s idea of fun is chasing after a little white ball all day long, why is chasing after celebrities so wrong? 

Palmilla Resort Restaurant

Palmilla Resort Restaurant

A man walks in, he’s dressed in the hotel uniform, but his English is perfect when he says, “this is where Aniston stayed for her big birthday celebration, and Hugh Jackman, Celine Dion and Oprah Winfrey are also fans,” he points to the curtain. “But she’s not here now.” 

“So who’s in there?” 

“Someone else, and I will never tell.” He collects a stack of towels and is off. “Take this as our compliments,” he hands me a beautiful glass of iced tea with a long piece of mint, “but please you must stop invading the privacy of our spa guests.” 

Las Ventanas Los Cabos

Las Ventanas Los Cabos

Okay, I can take a hint. I drain my glass, hope for a rustle of the spa curtains so that I can see just who the heck is in there, but I fear that I’m beginning to draw attention. I am off. Down the beach to the stunning Las Ventanas al Paraíso, a resort with adobe-style casitas with wood-burning fireplaces and shaded patios overlooking the Sea of Cortés. I am so staying here next time. This is truly paradise, the way it snakes along over the water below, it reminds me of a Bond mansion, bold and white but surrounded in the green landscape and turquoise blue sky. I’m standing at the edge of the poolside restaurant called the Sea Grill restaurant when I hear someone clearing his throat over and over again. I turn to see a grumpy looking man in a white t-shirt, black ray-bans and a ledge of black hair. “Blocking the view, would you mind?” 

His accent is so over the top British, it has to be Simon Cowell. Plus he’s slightly rude like Simon, wears tight t-shirts like Simon and apparently loves Mexico like Simon. But I’ve never been a fan of that show so I move on. 

Esperanza Resort

Esperanza Resort - Palapa Casita

To the lovely Esperanza, an exclusive beachfront resort with 53 rooms overlooking Ballena Point (where whales are known to congregate). I’ve read about this place, very private and very exclusive. Gwyneth Paltrow and her musician husband Chris Martin honeymooned in a beachfront villa and Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith come here before award season. The stonework and the thatched roofs make you feel like you are above the world and yet this resort is small enough not to get lost. Which turned out to be precisely my problem. I kept hearing “Senora?” “Senora?” And didn’t realize they were calling me. I’m more partial to Senorita, thank you very much.  I decide that it might be time to get back to my hotel. Anyway, besides Simon Cowell, I didn’t get to see anyone. I decided to walk back through the harbor and revel in the lovely boats and the activity that surrounds them here. This after all if Baja, and Baja is a fishing Mecca. People come from far and wide and dock their boats here just to sample the fishing off these beaches. And for those who want to pick up a special something, Luxury Avenue, the high-end shopping district of Cabo has everything that Rodeo Drive has. Walking along, I am struck at just how well they’ve managed to mix the extreme wealth of some with others who come here for a small family vacation or kids on a college break. The locals still actually seem happy to see us and there appears to be no crime at all. 

Luxury Avenue Los Cabos

Luxury Avenue Shopping Center

But in the end it’s the locals and their incredible food I prefer over Luxury Avenue. I wander into the back streets of Cabo, fearing for my life a few times at the sight of a few seriously mangy looking cats sitting on top of trash cans and just as I’m about to buy a bracelet I do not need from the cutest ten-year-old kid ever I hear that laugh again. Man, I know that laugh. I drop the money, take the bracelet and I follow that laugh. 

And what do you know?  Elisabetta and George are enjoying a bowl of chips and salsa, cold Corona lights in one of the dingiest local cafes ever. There are two small off-road motorcycles parked outside from a rental agency.  I make a note of the agency, what a great way to see the place. My husband will love it. 

I walk in, hope she doesn’t remember me, and take a table. I order a cold diet coke and she delivers it to me along with a steaming basket of chips, and a bowl of salsa with lime, tomatoes, chopped onions fresh cilantro sprinkled on the top. My mouth waters, the flavors are so real, so honest, so true. There’s something so simple about all of this that it’s exotic. And then of course, staring at George’s face for an hour isn’t all that bad either. 

And that’s when I decide my travel plans for the year.  Forget Eat, Pray, Love, this year I’m making it my New Years Resolution to travel like a celebrity and tell you all about it. Every chance I get, I’m going where they go. Forget travel brochures, stuffy books with pictures from 1973, no thanks.  I’m going where they go. I’m following in their footsteps. Just take a look at the pictures of George Clooney and Elisabetta Canalis in Los Cabos Mexico. White sand, clear blue water, tanned skin?  Don’t you want to go there? You can. 

You Can Too

Did you know you can rent a 4-bedroom luxury villa in Cabo with your own private pool, Jacuzzi, swim up bar, outdoor cooking center nd a terrace overlooking the Sea of Cortez for up to 10 people from $425 per night. Just take a look at this incredible ocean-front 3,600 sq. foot villa

 

A perfect distance between the Sea of Cortez where you can rent boats, snorkeling equipment, ride horses along stunning beaches and coves for two long hours for just $60. For lunch stroll up to a restaurant like the Baja Cantina for homemade margaritas in chilled glasses dipped in rock salt, hot crisp tortilla chips made before you and a guacamole that is made at your table. Take a long swim, return to your villa for a siesta before sampling the very best restaurants like Japanese sushi at Nik-San or a Ceasar salad at Hard Rock Café or Italian from Frutopia. And then it¹s off to dance the night away at the B Club nightclub right on the sand. Cabo is the place to be for a fun, romantic weekend getaway or a long well-deserved respite.

New, an critical company adjunct scholar at the washington-based cato institute and an assistant professor at the university of alabama, wrote today in the national review online, a conservative publication

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