Cuba

Published on November 15th, 2015

6

I’m Drunk on Cuba!

First of all – I’m BAAAAACK! Back from “The Forbidden Isle”, with many tales to tell. But meanwhile…

Second of all – I’m NOT a “drinker”. Never have been. My idea of a drunken binge is a glass of wine with dinner, or – when truly reckless: a gin and tonic once a year.

Nonetheless…

I have to say – my 2 weeks in Cuba may well have changed all that. Indeed, my only excuse is that it was sooo freekin’ H.O.T. in Cuba, I was tossin’ down mohitos, piña coladas and sangrias with both fists (well o.k. – at least 2 per day which for me is some serious drinking!)

Which brings me to my compulsion to quickly peck this stray initial (for I have many more to share) post on my adventures in Cuba.

I’ve only been back a few days, but suffice that – though I’m utterly THRILLED to be back amid the cooooool temps of this lovely Cuenca mountaintop, I nonetheless keep dreaming of mojitos and sangria. So…

Tonight I made myself a nice little pitcher of sangria. The recipe? My own random concoction: red wine, Cuban rum, a trio of fruit juices (mango, strawberry and orange), a bit of sugar, and a splash of lemon-lime soda. Plus of course the requisite chopped fruit: pineapple, melon and watermelon chunks.

RememberingCuba

In short – I’m sitting here sipping a bit of Cuba while I edit the 1,000+ pics I’ll be sharing with you all soon.

P.S. Oh and the “Habana” license plate? Just one of a handful of small souvenirs that I managed to tuck into my backpack.


About the Author

Off-the-beaten-path travel is my passion,and I’ve always lived life “like-a-kid-in-a-candy-store” – eager to sample as many flavors as I can. Indeed, my life motto has long been: This ain’t a dress rehearsal, folks!



6 Responses to I’m Drunk on Cuba!

  1. Carey Mossop says:

    Love reading the posts. We are heading to Cuba in a couple of weeks. I am curious though as a holder of one of those blue US of A passports, did you get a stamp or did they stamp a separate piece of paper?

    We are excited about travelling to the Forbidden Isle, but a little nervous about how travel to Cuba is viewed by the USA State Dept.

    • Dyanne says:

      Good question Carey. Short answer? Yup, I’m now the proud owner of a spiffy little (bright, neon pink) Cuba entry stamp – in.my.OMG.u.s.passport! 😉

      Long answer? I actually was given a choice. The sweet lad at immigration asked me if I wanted the stamp in my passport, or not…. I thought for a nanosecond, and then nodded *Si!* Yessssss! Why not? 😉

      I honestly think it won’t be an issue for those re-entering their U.S. of A. native land (note: my reasoning on this is manifold based on much research, and simple practical/logistical logic, but far too much to explain it all here).

      BUT to be fully transparent, my circumstances are a bit unique. #1, I have permanent residency in Ecuador and don’t plan on visiting the States any time soon, and #2, my passport expires in little more than a year, at which time I’ll get a crisp, clean new one with no stamps whatsoever.

      In short, if you read my 2 previous posts on prepping for Cuba, you’ll note that tech.nic.ally the (didImention silly?) Cuba embargo is still in effect. What’s recently changed however, is that U.S. citizens can now visit Cuba independently (as opposed to only via a pricey “licensed” tour group). BUT even independently, one of those 12 “authorized categories” (e.g. “journalistic” “professional research”, “educational activities”, etc.) still needs to be met. i.e. tech.nic.ally you mustn’t be drinking mojitos on a beach all day, every day.

      But of course – though I can’t guarantee the immigration lad/lass you get won’t swiftly bonk a stamp in your precious navy blue – my recent experience is that I was asked, and he seemed perfectly willing to stamp a separate slip of paper instead. And even if he/she does – I’m not at all sure/have never heard of single case you’d get any grief when returning to the U.S. anyway.

      In super-short – YMMV, plus… Have a great trip and do tell me all about it!

      • Carey Mossop says:

        Hi Dyanne. Just thought I would give you an update. We did end up going on a short 5 day trip to Cuba since we were “in the neighborhood,” i.e. the Dominican Republic and caught a direct flight from Santo Domingo.

        Loved Havana. Very interesting. One thing that prompted us to go was a number of people had told us to go to Cuba before there are 30 flights a day in from the USA and it gets overrun by tourists from the USA. Most of the Cubans we talked to were surprised and delighted to see someone from the USA and almost everyone told us they had a cousin, uncle, sister, etc. in Miami, New Jersey, etc.

        My wife and I are started travelling the world full time in January and just returned to the USA briefly connecting through Houston. The whole passport stamp was a total non-issue. We do have our USA passports with a Cuba entry stamp. No one asked, no one looked when we passed through customs and immigration in the USA a couple of days ago.
        Carey Mossop kindly contributed to world literature by posting…Carnival in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic – We partied all the way to 8:00PM!!!My Profile

        • Dyanne says:

          Thanks so much for the update Carey. Glad to hear you made it to Havana (and yes, though thousands of Europeans, etc. have been flocking to Cuba all these years – I too found that the locals were delighted to bump into a stray Yank).

          And yes too – I’ve heard *110* new flights from the U.S. to Cuba soon – that’s surely GOT to change things a good bit in the future.

          Also, special thanks for the note about the easy-peasy Cuba passport stamp non-issue. Just as I suspected – I mean, like U.S. immigration has time (much less cares) to question every smudge of red stamp in re-entering natives’ passports.

          Safe travels on your exploration of the globe!

  2. Looking forward to your posts about Cuba. Do they muddle mint leaves in their mojitos?
    Suzanne Fluhr kindly contributed to world literature by posting…Passports with Purpose 2015: WorldreaderMy Profile

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