The High’s are higher, and the Lows are lower…

Our Taxi!

So much to say about Cuba. Here comes a mind dump.

Hemingway Marina from Morpheus

This part is the worst of times…Marina Hemmingway is odd. You can tell it used to be really nice, but it is now in disrepair. The people try hard, but it doesn’t quite make it. So many people come by and talk, and talk, and talk, and talk… I had to leave and buy ice when the guy on the boat behind us started thinking I was Dear Abby… His Ex girlfriend’s fiance died the day after Valentine’s day and she needs space, and…. The boat across from us has SEVEN, count them, 7, Shitz-Shus, all of which started barking this am at 7. Customs was knocking on the boat at 7:30 because they forgot to charge us a fee… 3 different guys asked me if we wanted to buy diesel (NO), then asked Jim because I’m just a chick, not to mention all the hustlers offering Taxi’s, Money Changing, cigars. ARG!

So we were not planning on coming to Cuba. Honest. Therefore, we didn’t stock up on cash. Since the U.S. embargoes Cuba, there is NO WAY to get $ from the US to here. So we were checking under the sofa cushions to come up with the $ to pay for docking, customs, etc, not to mention all the Tips every single official asked us for very privately so none of the other officials would know.

The Best of times…

Since coming to Cuba, and staying in the Marina would be one of the most stupid things to do in the world, I decided we had to get enough cash to go out at least 1 night. Advice: If you are going to work a deal, go to the biggest boat in the harbor. I went and talked to the Captain of a really nice, big, 100+ foot motor yacht, and wrote him a check for cash! Not a lot, but enough to get out of Cuba and go out to Havana. Yes!

So yesterday afternoon we went out into Havana and had a blast! Of course we saw the best parts. Most of what we saw was from when Spain owned Cuba.

The building were gorgeous, like New Orleans. The wrought iron on the balconies, marble and tile everywhere.

Huge verandas in front of the hotels with people drinking coffee (strong and good), Mojitos (small and refreshing), and smoking huge cigars.

Live Cuban music everywhere. So cool. Plazas with fountains. Photos later. We also went to the Rum Museum and a Beer place that sold Beer by the Meter. 

I found the absolute coolest taxi, a 1958 Chevy Bel Air, light blue and white, that was totally restored, but with a Toyota engine since gas is so expensive. Photos later. Taxi driver Julio (Not Iglesia) drove us into Havana, and gave us a mini tour on the way. It sort of fried my brain having to speak Spanish, listen, translate for Jim, then translate Jim’s questions back into Spanish all day. And Julio (not Iglesia) spoke really fast! It took me 3 times to understand that he was saying “Fidel Castro”. 
We also took a “Coco Taxi”, which kind of looks like a 3 wheeled, football helmet shaped golf cart. 
And we had to take taxi’s because taking a bus is an adventure I don’t even want to think about!

There were lots of old trains and horse drawn carriages, but here’s the kicker…(get it…I crack myself up.) Out of 10 carriages, 1 was a mare, 1 was a gelding, and 8 were stallions. All together, standing in lines, no problems. Hmmm…

We spent a good hour listening to an acapella (Spelling?) singing group, we saw tons of old steam trains from the 1800’s and LOTS of painting of a young Fidel. I thought they were of Bob Marley but Jim clued me in…

Then last, we stopped at a hotel/dance club (The Mill ochociento trenta, aka 1830) and watched real live honest Cubans dancing. It was hot! Just like that movie, Havana Nights? With Nick Nolte and Vanessa Williams and a really Hot Cuban guy! I digress…

And Ita was with us the whole time, in her bag or walking with us. She was very good.

BTW, when you come to Cuba, ALWAYS bring your own toilet paper, and seat covers are a good idea since there are no seats on any of the toilets. The fancy hotels have nice ladies in the rest rooms who give you 3 squares of TP in exchange for a tip.

Well, that’s my quick summary of Cuba. Go if you can, and bring enough cash!
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