Travel / A Cabo Thanksgiving

The following video is from last Wednesday at 4:30 a.m. when John and I surprised our two sons with a trip to Cabo Mexico. Seems exciting, right?

Well watch for yourself….

The only reason I decided to share this heartbreaking video is because there was a happy ending. If there weren’t…you better believe the video would hide in the deep depth of my phone’s memory only to emerge when my son was old enough that we could laugh about it. 

In hindsight, this was a terrible idea. I know my son isn’t great with surprises, but guess I thought Mexico would be an exception. It’s true when they say follow your gut because it was dead on.

However, once we got to the airport and he was fully aware of the plans for the trip and that YES he was going to still get to see Ralph Breaks the Internet, all was good with the world. And once we arrived in beautiful and warm Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, to meet up with a huge crew of our family…he was beyond thankful. It was particullary special for John and me as we honeymooned here nearly eight years ago.

Check out all of our CABO photos:

This trip was discussed at Thanksgiving last year, but wasn’t officially finalized and put into reality until earlier this fall. We decided why not get the family together for a vacation while we are all healthy and able. John’s uncle Mike and aunt Eileen graciously offered to host at their vacation home in La Ribera, Mexico, about 45 minutes from Cabo in a very remote and beautiful beachfront getaway. 

The home slept 18 of us with lots to do and room to move. If you are looking for a great family reunion spot, their house is available on VRBO and other various rental sites under the property’s name, Casa el Rincon del Sol. It comes HIGHLY recommended!

My favorite spot on the whole property

We never had to leave the property to get a full relaxing and adventurous vacation. It is 6 acres and 200 meters of private beach front, a private tennis court, playground, a heated swimming pool with swim up bar, and hot tub. They rented ATVs for us to explore the beach and surrounding areas and they also had paddleboards for us to go out and enjoy the Sea of Cortez (it was beautiful and so peaceful). One day we drove into La Ribera to check out the local market and pick up some souvenirs. The boys loved the little toys and Mexican candies.

Eileen is a certified yoga instructor so she led some of the ladies in a private class, Sawyer even joined in. We were pampered when they also arranged for a masseuse to come in for massages. In addition, one day a group went out deep-sea fishing and brought home a 150-pound marlin for dinner that evening. 

One of my favorite activities was a 5-mile hike along an area near Cabo Pulmo, Baja California Sur, Mexico (link: The views were spectacular and Sawyer really enjoyed it. He was such a trooper and only complained when his shoes were slipping on the rocks overlooking a fairly large drop-off (yikes).  

One evening we had a bonfire on the beach with s’mores. While we ate we played Charades and it is truly one of the best memories from the trip!

We were forced to unplug, as cell service was virtually impossible! It really allowed us quality family time together, something our boys will have for their whole lives. 

We played a lot card games, took morning swims, hiked on the beach for sea shells (even met some new little crab friends), played tennis, and ate some fantastic authentic food. 

Speaking of food, this trip wouldn’t be as special without the incredible Manuel and Lulu and their crew of helpers. In addition to all they did while we visited, they take care of the property when Mike and Eileen are away. They are like part of the family, having lived there since it opened 16 years ago. My boys were obsessed with Manuel and were so sad to leave him. Scout called him “my new best friend.” He even taught them some Spanish to bring back. 

I have learned in my short 36 years, opportunities like this are always worth saying yes to. While traveling on Thanksgiving can be a bear and expensive, John and I knew, no matter what we needed to do we would make sure our boys were able to go on this trip. From that video I shared of our heartbroken son, it started off looking like we might be the worst parents alive for surprising them. But, we now know we made the best decision because as we boarded the plane to head home, Sawyer whispered to me… “Mom, I want to stay forever.” 

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