When I found out I was going on my very first press trip to Mexico with Sara this past April, I was determined to gain about ten pounds in authentic Mexican cuisine and acquire a tin Moravian star. Everything else that would happen would just be a bonus.

So when we were greeted at the Westin Los Cabos with margaritas and cool wet towels by manager and coordinator Juan-Pablo and Cindy, I knew we were in for a real treat beyond the culinary bounty I fully expected to enjoy in the days ahead. After our property tour, some rest, and a quick turn around the pool, we feasted at a mock wedding reception overlooking the Sea of Cortez. To say it was breathtaking doesn’t give it justice, but the moment I saw the sunset light dance across the waves and warm beach sands, I was hooked.

As a photographer, it fascinates me to no end that the one sun we have provides light in drastically different ways all over the world. And Cabo showed me light I hadn’t ever seen before.

The sun eventually set and the evening came to a close, but not before room service had been summoned. The first official order of rice and beans and quesadillas happened that night. And like I dreamed, it was glorious. That same order was ordered two more consecutive times during our stay at the Westin, and this may or may not have been how I acquired the nickname “Rice and Beans” by some of the Westin staff. No shame. I’ll own it.

With the first goal of the trip completed, we headed out the next day to the local market. Sara, Stephanie, and I were looking forward to getting some souvenirs for loved ones and where my mission to find a tin star was sure to be a success. Or so I thought. Because like all grand missions, we had limited time, few options, and the logistics of getting that huge tin star back home were ever present. But guess what is in my guest room right now? Yep. A gorgeously bronzed tin Mexican Moravian star.

(Epilogue: My star was shipped back to me on the recommendation of our hotel hosts because I probably would have dropped down crying in the Houston airport at U.S. Customs if they took it away from me due to “pointy edges.”)

For the last part of the trip, we ventured onto the Sheraton Hacienda del Mar where my old soul fell in love with every nook and cranny of the Spanish-Mexican inspired architecture. To go from the beautiful modern lines of the Westin to the old world feel of the Sheraton, it was inspiring.

Getting to know new friends and to explore new places through different eyes in Cabo was life-changing. How the wedding industry brings people together from all over the world and how one camera can help make that happen is incredible. So though my jeans were a little snug and my heart completely full staring at a hunk of welded metal, it’s just an experience I’ll never forget and will forever cherish.


Part One: Westin Resort and Spa Los Cabos
Part Two: Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Golf & Resort Spa

** Sadly, in September of this year, the Baja California region of Mexico, including Los Cabos, was badly damaged by Hurricane Odie. After repairs, the lovely Sheraton where we stayed reopened again just a few weeks ago on November 1st while the Westin is expected to reopen in March 2015. I was happy to hear friends were all right, but saddened to know how much damage happened to this beautiful destination wedding location. Keep Los Cabos in your thoughts while many places continue to rebuild!