Our first week in Cuba was amazing. More on getting there, being there and visiting Elena’s uncle in Havana is all coming soon.
I just wanted to share a couple scenes from week one.
First, the iconic classic cars that greeted us walking out of the airport.
They reminded me of visiting Yellowstone National Park and gawking at the first bison I saw entering the park. I was simply in awe, until a week later the novelty started to fade and they became just another part of the scenery. Similarly tourists reactions to them are also a metric by which you could tell how long someone had been in Cuba. Day 1, exuberant photo snapping. Day 7, only taking note of the most exceptionally preserved. Day 14, only taking note of the most exceptionally decrepit and being aware that the brakes could fail or a tire come loose at any moment… More of the beautiful ones coming soon.
Then there are “animal trucks” as one of our drivers later referred to them.
After which a conversation ensued where I tried to explain the difference, at least in American usage, between a truck that carries animals like pigs and cows, and a truck drawn by an animal. I say “at least to Americans” because I long ago learned that “our” use of terms is far from the only one. Maybe Brits, Austrians, Hong Kongers or South Africans do call these “animals trucks”. Regardless, they’re common outside Havana and fun to see.
This is not to say there aren’t any new cars in Cuba. I was actually surprised by how many newer and more expensive cars there were, including some rather expensive Mercedes and Audis, but most new small sub-compacts.
Oh and yes… there are pro-Cuba/Fidel/Che billboards and graffiti all over the place, again more of that later.
Out of the airport we spent our first week in proper honeymoon style completely unplugged at an all inclusive resort in Veradero. Which I still can not for the life of me pronounce properly.
It was the first time in a long long time that we were sincerely “on vacation” rather than working and traveling. We were just relaxing, every day, all day and it was glorious. I never really understood the purpose of taking a “honeymoon” after getting married. It always seemed to me just a convenient excuse to take a vacation, when one should just do that from time to time anyway. Being completely unplugged for a week however really allowed Elena and I some time to connect and to express our love for one another without any of the usual disruptions and distractions of day to day life. Perfect. More on traveling as a digital nomad couple coming soon to JonAndElena.com.
…and Caribbean beaches aren’t bad either:
The best part of the resort though was this pool directly outside the front door of our suite with a swim up bar. We pretty much spent 75% of our time in that pool reading, lounging, sipping on Cubatas. It was in and around that pool that I read both of the Cuba themed books that author Eduardo Santiago gifted us, Midnight Rhumba and Tomorrow They Will Kiss. The first two books printed on actual paper I’ve read in years, and both a delightful reads.
More on Cuba is coming soon!