Cuba 2015: Day 1

Hi friends!

I’ve let a few extra days go by than I originally anticipated before getting these posts together, but I had a physics test on Wednesday morning that I studied for a total of 0 times while I was in Cuba.

C’est la vie.DSC_0018

Anyway, I had an incredible time in Cuba!  I experienced it in many of the same ways that I have in the past (seeing family, walking around, going to the beach), as well as entirely differently (going out with new friends, going to the beach with friends, being a little independent).  I was happy to come home because I missed people here (and the internet, truthfully), but I wasn’t entirely ready to leave, either.DSC_0113

It’s going to be fun writing these recaps, since it will let me relive each day and make my way through the 1,000 photos I took (yes, 1,000.  Sorry in advance.)

Soooo let’s get to it! (And Just FYI, I know I don’t necessarily need to write a post for each day, because not every day was all that interesting- like the first day, for example- but I really enjoy going back and reading these posts.  If you enjoy reading too, great!  If not, scroll through for pictures)

Day One- flying in and meeting family!

Our flight wasn’t too, too early from Miami to Cuba, which is nice for sleeping in, but also meant that we missed most of the day and spent a lot of it waiting in lines in Miami international, but that’s what Cuba is- lines, lines, lines.DSC_0002

Notice the amount of stuff that people had with them- TVs, large bags, bikes!  So many things for family members and friends.  My mom and I had almost 80 pounds of clothes (for us), coffee, oatmeal, peanut butter, garlic, beans, and more beans.

It took us almost 3 hours to get through security in Miami, because the lines are literally INSANE.  Once we got through security, it was smooth sailing.  Unfortunately, we sat on the runway for over an hour with no air conditioning and it was hot, hot, hot, but the people on the flight were hilarious.  The flight attendant went on the loudspeaker, and (in Spanish) said, “Children, behave!!!”.  Once we landed, people were up and out of their seats and one man ran to the front on the plane.  The flight attendant, once again, went on the loud speaker and said “It is a federal law.  “SIT DOWN!!!!!!”  The man that ran to the front was sitting on some lady’s lap, patiently waiting for the plane to stop.  Hahaha.

We walked down the steps, onto the tarmac, and entered the Jose Marti little tiny airport.IMG_9474  Ah, it was good to be back!

We found our heavy bags, got through customs with only mild hiccups, and walked outside to find Yolanda.DSC_0006DSC_0015 DSC_0023 I didn’t mention it before, but Pepe passed away shortly before our trip.  He had been sick for a long time, but Cuba was not the same without his smile and energy.  I feel lucky to have been able to spend as much time with him as I have in my life, but it was still hard to not see him waiting behind the gate when we arrived.  We were, however, happy to see Yolanda and we hope our visit helped lift her spirits a bit.

Yolanda arranged for a neighbor to drive us back to her place, and I happily sat in the front seat so I could snap away with my camera.  I was able to bring my DSLR and I’m so glad I did.DSC_0026DSC_0028 DSC_0035 DSC_0031 DSC_0037 DSC_0041 DSC_0049 DSC_0052

I loved seeing everything- the sights, the people, the signs, the men walking on houses, or pushing carts with children.

We also drove down Pepe’s street, with the beautiful homes that have received more love than other places in Havana and look like places that hold stories of better times.DSC_0053 DSC_0054

Pepe’s House:DSC_0056 DSC_0057

Once we got to Yolanda’s, we hung out, talked with her son Leonel and grandson Leonelito, and had some dinner!  I was so hungry and ate poor than I probably eat in a day. (This photo + flan)IMG_9475  Glorious 🙂

After dinner, I was completely wiped, but stayed up until a little after 10 before falling asleep.  I spent the night tossing and turning because it was hot, but I was excited to get up and get out!

Coming soon!DSC_0142


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