Well I'm back from Cuba, so sad to say. Our vacation was amazing! I've been to Cuba before but it was such a long time ago that I had forgotten how wonderful it really is.
We arrived on Sunday morning, April 10th, immediately met 3 friends on the bus on the way to the resort who we hung out with until they returned on Wednesday. They were hilarious! I was so happy to have them to keep Jamie and I company.
First thing I did when I arrived in Cuba? I went to the lobby bar and ordered myself a "Mojito", the drink made famous by Ernest Hemingway. I love that drink! Mmmmm...
Here's how they made it at our resort:
2 tbsp sugar
3 -4 leaves fresh mint
1 shot lime juice (or the juice or one fresh lime)
crush using a pestle or spoon or other utensil in the bottom of a high-ball glass
add lots of crushed ice
2 shots light rum
top up with soda
stir and enjoy!
Jamie and I brought back some rum from Cuba so I can enjoy one of these every now and then from home but it's just not the same as having someone else make it for you.
Speaking of having someone else make things for you, I could really get used to having my meals cooked for me all of the time. Even tho' the food wasn't great in Cuba, I still managed to put back on the 3 lbs I had lost the week before :( Oh well, it's not every week I get to vacation in Cuba, not even every year. I expect our future vacations will be "kid-friendly" trips within Canada and home to Newfoundland.
I was a little disappointed that I didn't get to visit the city of Havana. I was really looking forward to that but Jamie didn't want to go. Oh well, we did get to do lots of other things, relax lots on the beach, see shows every night at the resort, etc. On Tuesday the 5 of us (Jamie and I and the 3 new friends mentioned above) rented mopeds for the afternoon and toured the countryside. That was awesome fun, loved that so much! We also went into the town of Varadero on a couple of different occasions to do some touring and a bit of shopping at the flea market. We rented a little Coco-Cab (these are hilarious!) once and then took horse and buggy two other times. I must admit, I felt really bad for the horses. It's so hot there and they're working so hard to pull the cart. The driver let me give the horse my bottle on water, I kept pouring it into my hand and she was lapping it up like crazy, poor thing!
At the market, I found some pretty neat souvenirs. The last time I was in Cuba, I bought some really interesting art so I was determined to get more. This time, I found paintings on canvas, 2 8x10's, really super colourful and fun (one of a cat and one of a dog) and they came in bamboo frames. Can't wait to find a good place to hang them in our house. Otherwise, I got neat little hand-sewn linen embroidered dresses for the 4 youngest nieces. For the older nieces, we got necklace and bracelet sets, bought from a vendor who set up his cart on the beach at the resort. From the same guy, Jamie and I also bought bead (made from shell or bone) necklaces. I really love how Jamie looks in his necklace with the tanned skin and all (sexy sexy..he he).
And let me tell how that tanned skin didn't come without a price for Jamie. Dumbass decided to stop re-applying the sunscreen and fell asleep in the sun while I was off playing volleyball. And then he burned his shoulders and his back SO bad, he was DONE for 2 days! Seriously, he had blisters ALL over, it's so nasty now that they're driving up and peeling and stuff. Ick! But otherwise, his tan looks really nice. I'm so upset when people tan easily. I have a "tan" but I'm so pale that I now just look like I'm normal skin colour rather than porcelein white. lol :)
Our hotel room was quite nice. Can't say that I spent any time there besides sleeping but it was nice, nothing fancy but it did the job just fine for us.
And then on Friday Jamie and I were so excited waiting for Jen and Chris, Christa and Kristen, to arrive. All day Jamie's like "Well they're on their way to airport now", "Yup, they're on the plane now", "Ok, they must be touching down in Cuba now" lol. They got to the resort around 11:30pm or so, Jamie and I were waiting in the lobby for them, sipping back on mojitos and "Miami-Vice" (a strawberry/pineapple slushy drink Jamie loved). We really enjoyed their company the last couple of days of our vacation, Christa and Jen LOVED the beach. Kristen was going nuts over the snorkelling, and Chris (another dummy...sorry Chris) but he refused to learn from Jamie's mistake and then brutally burnt his chest. Stubborn boys!
Everyone keeps asking me about the Cuban night-life and the clubs and all that. And let me tell you that we had every intention of going out at least one night. Everyday we were like "Ok, tonight. Let's meet at 11:20 and take the bus to La Mambo Club" (or wherever the happening spot was that night). And then after being up all day since 8am, being lazy on the beach, getting lots of sun, etc. by the time the evening show was over at 11pm, we were COOKED, DONE, and totally ready to go to bed. I know we sound like a bunch of old fogies, but com'on, we're not 19 anymore!! he he!
And as an added bonus, we got to stay an extra day in CUBA. YES! Isn't that great?! Here's what happened - we were supposed to flight out around 10:30 Sunday night and arrive in Toronto 2am Monday morning. Well, we're all checked out and packed and waiting for the bus to arrive and pick us up when one of the hotel staff come out and tell us "We just got a call, your flight has been cancelled". They told us there was a snowstorm in St. John's, NL. and the plane couldn't fly in. (Dad told me later that he didn't think there was snow but he heard there was crazy fog and they had a lot of problems getting planes in and out of St John's over a couple of days on the weekend). So there we were, Newfies stuck in Cuba....and all because of Newfoundland weather. How awesome is that? I tell ya, Jamie was a little bit in panic mode but then we got another room in our resort and got to spend another day of sunshine and beach with our friends. I was a little late for work (oops!) but oh well.
And now this week is almost done and before ya know it, Jen and Christa and the guys will be back to this craziness too! Wish I was still there enjoying the ocean air, that's what I miss the most.
Will have some pics to share soon.