Considering I recently got back into my passion of travel and recreation, let’s go back in time and re-visit one of my favorite travel experiences, beautiful Cabo San Lucas. I am a big Van Halen and Sammy Hagar fan. For my 16th birthday my brother bought me Van Halen’s OU812 album. As I listened, track four, titled Cabo Wabo, started my soul on fire. For me, this was not just another song by my favorite band. Cabo Wabo screamed travel, beaches, water, music, fun, laughs, and every good time you can possibly imagine.
For years I was feverishly seeking the ultimate destination, Cabo! In 2003, my opportunity arrived. A friend accompanied me to a Sammy Hagar convention hosted by other fans in Chicago. One of the charity items up for auction was dinner for two and first access to the stage for Sammy’s birthday bash concert in the Cabo Wabo Cantina. Nothing was going to stop me! I kept outbidding this lady sitting at the table with me and ended up paying $350.00 for this auction prize. I was well on my way!
Anyone can experience Cabo inexpensively. This all depends on what your goals are for the trip. One of my goals was to never be in my hotel room so why pay for an expensive stay. I booked a flight, reserved a cheap room, packed my clothes and I was on my way. Although I was going alone, I knew people from the convention were heading down there at the same time for the same reasons. With experienced Cabo travelers with me, this was going to be a trip of a lifetime.
I remember when the plane landed I was told by a girl I met at the convention, ‘when we get off and get our bags, we are going to be swarmed with people trying to get us to listen to a timeshare opportunities. Keep walking and follow me!’ She was right. If you do not want to get involved in the spiel of timeshares coming off the plane in Cabo, keep walking.
We flew into Los Cabos which was about an hour drive to our hotels. You can easily get a shuttle to take you and yours and/or share the shuttle with others very cheap. Based on my goals for this trip, I was seeing first hand that a trip to Cabo can be relatively inexpensive. Once in Cabo San Lucas, local cab and shuttle services can transport you or you can walk to any location as this once tiny little fishing village is easily accessible by foot.
My first mission after checking into the hotel was to exchange my charity prize and reserve my seats for dinner and the concert. Once complete I was able to mingle with the locals and meet fellow vacationers. The people of Cabo are very friendly and willing to share their local culture. When you take pride in your community and get the local people talking, endless conversations, laughs, great food and drinks are in abundance. Take advantage of talking with the locals, they love their community and are willing to share what Cabo has to offer.
There is plenty to do while staying in ‘Land’s End.’ Cabo is very popular for its Marlin fishing, surfing, kayaking, horseback riding, parasailing, lounging around a pool with a drink in your hand and of course the Cabo Wabo Cantina made famous by Sammy Hagar. The choices are plenty and boredom is not a factor. For you couples in love, you can enjoy a romantic day at Playa del Amor (Lover’s Beach) located on the Sea of Cortez side of Land’s End, and soak in the beauty of blue skies and clear water. Don’t forget to check out El Arco.
After my 6 hour flight, with a two hour layover in Phoenix, I headed over to the Cantina and saw some friends from the convention and was introduced to the “lifestyle.” We ate great food, drank cocktails and talked for hours telling our stories. At 6pm that evening, the line started outside the doors for tickets for the concert on the 11th. This was a show two nights before the birthday bash. My friend and I were the first in line for tickets that went on sale at 9am. We had to sit/stand/sleep on the sidewalk to get tickets for the show. She said for me to go explore Cabo at night while she and others held my place in line. Giving her money in return for a smile held my place in line and I went off exploring.
I checked out local bars, listened to live bands, met more people and had a permanent smile on my face. After I was satisfied, I headed back to the Cantina and my first position in line was secure. My money was given back to me and we hung out all night under the warm weather of the Cabo stars. As time wore on, all of us started coming down from our natural high, a long day of travel and excitement and we laid down on the sidewalk to get some shut eye. After an hour nap, I woke, waited some more, the doors opened and we got our wristbands for the concert that night. I dragged myself to my room and slept for 4 hours and started the fun all over again.
The excitement of the first concert was reaching a boiling point inside me. Fans packed the walls shoulder to shoulder, waiters were making their way through the crowd with trays of drinks, sweat is dripping all over you, and you are looking at the stage in anticipation. Then, the band makes their way to the stage with glorious thunder from the crowd. For those who have been to a concert, you know the excitement and awe of musicians playing your favorite songs and getting the crowd involved with every aspect of the show. Sammy goes all out for his shows as he appreciates the loyalty of his fans.
After that show ended, we had a break the next day to relax and recover for the big birthday bash the following evening. Let’s skip the down time and go right into the birthday concert. Here I am standing in the front row. The only thing separating me from the stage was a row of security. This was cool by me. I understand security is needed and respect for protection of the musicians is always warranted. I was here to watch a concert not be a crazed fan to get on stage and be thrown out.
I’m not an entertainment junkie. I don’t idolize and place anyone on a throne. However, everyone has their favorite actor/artist/band/musician that they go the extra mile to see and be part of an experience. Sammy Hagar and Van Halen are mine. I’ve seen Van Halen 15 times and Sammy with and without Van Halen 22 times as of this writing. Knowing this, being in the front row was my dream, come true. I was positioned right in front of his microphone and ready to rock!
With Sammy and the Wabos in the house along with Michael Anthony of Van Halen, this was going to be a sweet mixture of Sammy’s entire career. As the concert went on, I looked at friends, exchanged smiles, thumbs up and watched people sing long. At one point during the show, I was singing and had my hands in the air, Sammy leaned forward and grasped my hand looking me straight in face with his signature sunglasses on and we shared a moment…singer and fan! It’s not about glory or bragging. As I said, everyone has their one “thing” that gets into their soul that they love to share in the magic of the moment. This was mine. As long as you are respectful and kind, magical moments like these do occur. Embrace them and enjoy. Live in the moment and truly appreciate it!
After the show was over, I was on cloud nine knowing I saw two concerts in Cabo with my favorite singer. As I said, I have seen him many times, but Cabo was the epitome of experiences alongside the first time I saw Van Halen with Sammy as lead singer when I was fresh out of high school. The next day I was headed home and let me tell you, I had the most peaceful and relaxing flight ever. I was numb with joy and felt the smile in my mind that refused to go away.
Go out of your way once and a while so you can experience what makes your soul come alive. Feel the passion and pleasure of your mind and body coming awake with all of your senses fully operating, soaking in every second of your experience and screaming YES!! We are all human and we have our desires. Without over indulging, go with the flow but live in those magical moments and share your experiences as you never know who might get inspired to do the same. Thank you for letting me share my experience with music, Sammy Hagar and Cabo San Lucas. I love music and I remember reading this saying when I was a kid and I still share it to this day.
‘Music is food for the soul’
Enjoy your travels wherever they may be and live in the moment of your experience!