Back to Baja-The First Annual Baja Film Festival

My friend Jasmin invited me as a guest to the first Baja Film Festival and it was a blast and, well really well done for the first year. And it got me back to Baja for the first time in about 5 years-and now I miss it!!! Baja is so beautiful and I think the only negative, if you really had to rack your brain for one, is that there are very few places to swim in the ocean because of the undertow-so just stay at one of the great places that have taken care of that. Also while Cabo is pretty tourista, San Jaun de Cabo is really great and has developed. Now on to my journey.

Because of my late sign up, I ended up not at the One and Only or the new and hip boutique El Ganzo, but at an “all-inclusive” place (eg you don’t pay for food as you eat it) which was  quite forgettable. So the festival:

The Events: Let’s start with the important stuff:

The After Parties (and great Hotels)

It’s called networking, but its dancing, singing, hanging, meeting lots of great people and eating great food. I was able to find a partner in crime Esai Morales, the great actor who is nothing short of a fun, smart and good wing man for nights of merriment. Here we are at probably the best night..with details below:

Live at the One and Only-Limited Engagement!

We ended up with a band of merry pranksters as the guests of Managing Director Peter Bowling and his team from the One and Only Palmilla.

Bar-Pool Combo-Nice!

I have stayed at the One and Only in Nassau and it was one of the top 5 places I have stayed in the world. While we were mostly at the bar, I could see that this was on par and perhaps better than the Bahama Brother. Any input from members?

And I was able to spend some time with Peter at another event with his team and speaking to him, you know that he loves what he does with a passion that I wish all CEOs had, a great love for service, for his customers, for his team (how refreshing) and for creating a great experience for everyone.

My Friend Jasmin and I with Peter's team

I hope to get back there and maybe even interview him at some point for flyingvips.

Source: One and Only Website-A Bedroom

There has been a continual, well planned development of Cabo de San Juan, definitely more upscale than the touristy Cabo. The Marina and Marina area were great and I went to one of the after hours parties (with The Peter Bowling team and Esai in tow) to the El Ganzo, a great boutique hotel-in spite of recent mixed press from a Charlie Sheen night of craziness. Below is the lobby-obviously not when we were there dancing and drinking up a storm:

And here’s what it looks like outdoors at night:

The Festival Vibe and a Press Release- personally I loved the night at the Cactus Garden, the party night at the marina with the great band and the film noted below the best:

Movies and Cactus..Nice!

The crowd...anything for good movies and free food

A Good PR BLURB:

The star-studded Opening Night Ceremony and Gala, featuring a special presentation of Ariel Vroman’s “The Iceman,” starring Winona Ryder, Chris Evans, James Franco, David Schwimmer, Ray Liotta and Stephen Dorff, kicked off the festival on Wednesday.

On Thursday night guests were invited to the Puerto Los Cabos Wirikuta Cactus Garden, a botanical desert garden home to over 1500 varieties of desert plants from around the world, for an outdoor screening of Lynn Hershmann’s “Hecho in Mexico,” followed by dinner featuring food from many of the most popular restaurants in Cabo.

Friday evening featured an art walk showcasing pieces by celebrated Mexican artist Leonora Carrington as well a special outdoor concert by Los Angeles’ Hotel Café Performers Sara Bareilles, Cary Brothers, Harper Blynn, Holly Conlan, and Madi Diaz at the Puerto Los Cabos Marina.

 

Local Food

The food was great at the Festival, so I knew it would talk a strong recommendation to get me excited. And as the clock wound down, I couldn’t go towards Cabo for the giant local lobsters at La Gondelrina but then everyone recommended Taquieria Rossy (off highway in San Jose del Cabo) and I had my driver stop on the way to the airport

Truth? Amazing and dirt, dirt cheap-Like 4-5 USD for 2 great fish tacos and a horchata. Come one!!! And look at the food:

And the condiments:

And the vibe:

 

The Airport

Getting out was a bit of a drag-disorganized, took a long time (I was on an American flight to Dallas, anybody else have a different take?). Below was a warning I certainly adhered to:

I was told the big trick is to get a porter to take your bags and then you get walked through the lines…AS long as you have that holiday spirit the typical lines at an airport won’t bother you…

And to end on a good note, there are amazing cactus everywhere, not just at the cactus gardens-everywhere-unfortunately there are a lot in the rough of the golf courses too:

 

 

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