Ever since taking my daughter on her senior-spring-break trip to Cabo I have debated whether or not to embark on the wild excursion again. Recently this has been a huge point of debate and discussion in my household. Enjoying a thousand-dollar vacation should be turmoil and stress-free, but this trip is anything but. The trip is considered to be a right of passage, but a passage to where/what???
I did the senior trip 2 years ago with my daughter and it was quite an experience!!! I will never forget the quiet plane ride home where none of the parents were talking to their senior, including me.
First of all, let me share with you the particulars. The hotel catering to the senior trip is the Pueblo Bonito. It is not a bad hotel but definitely photo shopped to an unrealistic perfection. The photos made it look like paradise on a Greek Island with beautiful cool blue water. In reality, it was at best a 3 star hotel, but someone very generous gave it 5 stars. I think the hotel might have done some self-rating. Continental / United must have a special calendar with an alert on all the spring break vacations because what is normally a $400-$500 ticket jets up to an $800 ticket that week. The 5-star hotel is around $250 per night and you definitely need to do “The All Inclusive”. Not because you will be eating every meal there, but because the bar bill when you go to check-out is more than the actual hotel bill.
I knew my daughter wanted to do something fun and adventurous. I was always so proud of my sweet, angelic, unknowing, naïve, and perfect daughter. These were adjectives I once believed to describe her! After Cabo I realized just how well she new how to navigate the party scene!
I imagined snorkeling and long walks up and down white-sand beaches, not long walks up and down the sleazy nightlife scene. Have you ever seen the advertisement for Girls gone Wild and thought, “where did those parents go wrong?” Well, you’ll realize you’ve become one of those parents when you visit the popular bar, El Squid Roe! I would even go as far as to say that this trip is the audition for GIRLS GONE WILD. Every value you have taught your child is long-gone out the window- I kept thinking why did we ever go to Sunday school!!! With signs all over the place like “Poke smot !” (the tricky slang version of saying “smoke pot”) The whole place was basically one big grinding-convention with glow-in-the-dark jello-shots as the tapas!!
Despite all of this craziness there was some structure. One of the more experienced parents (thank you John Walker) set up some boundaries indicating that the kids had to be at the door by 1:00 am to leave or you did not get to go out with the group the next night. I could not figure out why the parents from the previous years did not think the clubs were that bad and then I realized they did not go to El Squid Roe every night. Let this be a message for you. “Just say no to El Squid Roe!”
During the day sitting out by the pool was entertaining and enjoyable, but to my dismay there was also a wet t-shirt contest every afternoon. The Kids would race down the beach to decide the winners and sometimes participate. On the beach they sell these cute sunglasses with two cupcakes for the frames. I bought a pair for my friend’s birthday only to find out that the cupcakes were not cupcakes, but actually boobs!! I should’ve known better having bought them from a vendor right by the wet t-shirt contest. I was just relieved that my child didn’t enter and win the contest. Every year, someone knows one of the girls that wins! Does this go on their college resume under “Honors and Rewards??”
I was determined not to go back on this trip not because I did not enjoy the days by the pool but the nights almost killed me! 2 of the nights I had to take home sick girls (who’s mothers stayed back at the hotel) and the 3rd night I saw 2 teenagers having sex on the stairs at El Squid Roe. One. Word. PURELL!!!!
Now, much to my own surprise and disappointment, I have caved-in and I am letting my son have his “right of passage” to Cabo.
This time I have rules for the trip:
- Have a set time to meet at the door of the club.
- Only take your child, do not volunteer to take another’s child, even if they are staying at the same hotel. (You don’t want to end up in my situation where the child the parent sent you with, gets sick and you have to take them home and leave your own child to fend for themself and get home safely. The sick child has vomited and is sober by the time you get them back to the hotel meanwhile the mother has enjoyed a relaxing evening reading her book back at the hotel!! )
Parents-we are all in this together, there are no chosen ones who get to call this a vacation-it is work!