Another Update From Away

Happy New Year!

This conversation is going to be a little funny and one-sided, since one of the things it’s hard to get in Cuba is Internet access.  (Actually, that’s not true, it was pretty easy once we established that we really, actually wanted it, and not the idea of it, whenever it was possible for someone to give it to us when the feeling came over them, and then it happened in about 10 minutes.  It’s a card you buy and it gives you one hour of access. Me being me, I decided I would be thrifty, and I entered my code, slammed up a blog post, downloaded my email and then shut it off, pleased as punch with myself that I’d used less than 10 minutes of my allotted hour.  It would be easy, I thought, to make that hour last all week. Then Carlos asked if he could use my computer to check his email, and I said yes, and we re-entered the code, and couldn’t get on – thus learning that either you use all of your hour at once, or you forfeit the rest. I blame the mistake on what I can tell is my appallingly beginner level Spanish.)  The upshot of the nature of this access is that I’ll read your comments on yesterday’s post after I put up today’s post and I hope that it works.  Forgive me ignoring blatant questions, will you?

Cuba is, as expected, completely wonderful, and we haven’t even made it to Havana yet.  Things here are as they were in the Dominican. Slower, less concerned… desks scheduled to open at 9am open at 9:30, or 10 – or in the case of today, not at all, without notice or any sort of concern at all.  The whole system is loose, and nobody here can understand why loose isn’t the way we do things in Canada. (I think the answer is the heat, but I have to think on it.)  There’s a general sense of economy here that I like.  There is air conditioning, but it is only on to a comfortable level, rather than blasting – and lights are dimmed in the daytime heat. The food is different, the trees and wild things are very wild, and little anoles (like a gecko) run everywhere that you look.  The sea is warm, the people are kind, and just about everything is beautiful. We take turns with Lou in the daytime, playing, walking, rocking and digging holes, and he does his fait bit by spending most of his afternoon like this:

While Sam and I play in the waves,

Joe and Carlos talk about buying a boat, and if if would fit in the driveway, and where they would sail it, and generally dream about all the things they could never have…

We’re making a move for Havana soon, and I can’t wait to show you all of it.

For now…Happy New Year, from a table in Cuba where we rang in the New Year with Champagne, 12 grapes

(Carlos is Spanish – Tradition says he eats 12 grapes at midnight, and there were none to be found.  Samantha scavenged 12 off of cakes, garnishes and side plates in the restaurant.  She was on a mission.)

We had each other, good fun, and a wonderful game of cards.
Feliz Año Nuevo!

41 thoughts on “Another Update From Away

  1. It’s freezing here in Ontario. Good for you and your family heading for warmth. Enjoy!
    I can’t believe how big Lou is getting. Time sure does fly.

  2. I have dreamed of going to the North or South Poles, even outer space, but Cuba has never been in the realm of possibility. Just mind expanding boggling!! Wow!

  3. This is fascinating – Cuba! I love the people in the waves and that boat at the shore, behind the long shot of Joe. It is just so casual and natural. Have a most refreshing time. p.s. You and your daughter look silly-happy. :)

  4. Happy new year. Looks like you’re having a wonderful time. And you’re going to miss this weekend’s snow storm. Shucky darn. Lol

  5. As an American (of the USA variety) Cuba isn’t even on my radar as a travel destination. Mainly because in my lifetime the only way to travel there would be to be arrested for VERY BAD AND EVIL THINGS or join the military. Neither of which are an option for me.
    So Cuba is kind of this Atlantis type thing in my head. A place I’ve heard of but will probably never see so it doesn’t really exist and it never occurs to me people actually TRAVEL there. LOL.
    I hope you’re having a wonderful time. May everyone hate you because of your tan when you return.

  6. Happy new year! Has January start-itis hit you yet? Big time here – my personal theory is that it’s as soon as Christmas is out of the way you suddenly have time and thinking space for new projects. Bam bam bam, they arrive in your head and what can you do but cast on?

  7. I’m heading there feb 5, can’t wait. There was just a Modern Family rerun about New Years and th 12 grapes. Too funny.

  8. I guess as an American, I never expected anybody could just up and visit Cuba… Happy New Year and now I have to google this whole 12 grapes thing. Enjoy!!

  9. So good to hear your reports – I too have wanted to visit Cuba for years now. It saddened me to read yesterday’s *repressive regime* comments, so uncharitable and uninformed. Watching snow swirl in the wind here, in hazy pre-dawn streetlight and glacial temperatures, I am soooo envious… I might even drink a Cuba Libre or two in honour of your lovely holiday and the warmth of Cuba!

  10. Thanks for sharing a bit about your trip. It looks fabulous, and as an American, is probably a place I will never be able to visit with the travel restrictions and all. We love the Carribean and have heard that Cuba is as beautiful as the other islands we have visited. Enjoy and soak up some warmth to bring back north!

  11. Thanks for sharing the warmth. It’s colder than Whitehorse!!! this morning, so you might want to stay until this deep freeze is over.

  12. WOWIE ZOWIE – YOU ARE IN CUBA!!! How absolutely exciting and wonderful. My Dad and his brothers were born in Cuba – to American parents. Before WWII my grandfather managed some Hershey sugar cane plantations. He was back in Florida during WWII and after the WWII most of the sugar in this country was made by raising sugar beets in the midwest, except for sugar cane from Hawaii. I grew up dreaming of CUBA and how beautiful it was, and of the lively cultural. My family lived in Oriente providence and in Santiago. Eat some Mangos for me and please send me some of you sun tan. I really need some sun here in Atlanta, GA this winter.
    You never know what kind of adventures a reader will read about in your blog.

  13. Though not for New Years’ , my family has been to Cuba 3 times. Lovely country, wonderful people! You will be wowed by Havana! Happy and Healthy 2014!!!

  14. OH!!!! CUBA!!!!! I am sooooo jealous, and I don’t like warm weather even the tiniest little bit!!! Good for you!!! Massively enjoy everything!! You are so lucky not to be a citizen of a state that sticks its head in the sand – Cuban sand, no less – and leaves it there …. For over 50 years!!!
    I repeat: I am soooooooo jealous!!!

  15. ah, I remember Cuba! An ocean as blue and clear as a swimming pool and as warm as a bathtub. Mmmmm Enjoy it all cos it’s in the minus 20s back here at home today.

  16. OH!!!! CUBA!!!!! I am sooooo jealous, and I don’t like warm weather even the tiniest little bit!!! Good for you!!! Massively enjoy everything!! You are so lucky not to be a citizen of a state that sticks its head in the sand – Cuban sand, no less – and leaves it there …. For over 50 years!!!
    I repeat: I am soooooooo jealous!!!

  17. I had forgotten all about the 12 grapes (I used to know that long ago, when I wandered around Europe one winter)! Such a neat tradition… I want to adopt it to replace my family’s tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day (a food I absolutely detest). I am so bored with/sick of cooking black-eyed peas that I skipped it this year – much to the horror of my children (who also refuse to eat more than one bite). If I can remember the 12-grapes idea for 364 days, I will try it for 2015. Being in my 50s makes that challenging…

  18. Mmmmm…Warm weather!
    We just had a chinook blow through Calgary, so at least we’re above zero…but nothing compared to what you’re in, I’m sure!
    Have fun! And enjoy the internet while you can. haha
    Katie =^..^=

  19. Happy New Year!! Cuba looks beautiful! did you bring knitting? Is there yarn shops down there??? one suggestion, COTTON! its cooler then wool. Hope you had a great time!

  20. I love the loose sense of maybe opening desks, shops or banks on time, later than usual or not at all. It makes the rest of the world look so uptight and uncool.

  21. Ditto Lynda the Guppy. I know in a very abstract way that tourists from around the world visit Cuba. I can only dream… Enjoy! Where I live it’s -10 F (-34 F with wind chill) that’s -29 C w/o wind chill (I looked it up). Sometimes it’s best to make a spur of the moment decision. Clearly so in your case. Send more photos, please?

  22. Is there a better way to welcome in a new year than on a warm sandy beach? I hope you and your family have a wonderful time! I have to agree with what a few others have said – as an American, Cuba is pretty much off limits, and so the concept of just picking up and going there is strange. But seeing pics from there is great – it’s like getting pictures from Never Neverland! Happy New Year!

  23. Yay for Cuba! Enjoy your holiday, Happy New Year :) spent my 40th in Havana, wanted to salsa dance there, my kids still talk about Christmas and New Year in Cuba. The people were so lovely to my family and our memories will stay with us always, my son bought me Cuban coffee for my birthday, Love it X

  24. Thanks for the bit of warmth and have a lovely time in Havana. We need that warmth up here in the north. Even in CT, the wind is blowing a chill and the snow is swirling around. Light fluffy stuff but we are forecasted to get 10″ or more. I am praying that you are not coming home until Sunday and let’s not talk about next week.

  25. I had to laugh when I read Scknttr’s comment, which is EXACTLY what I was going to write. So I’ll add that I thought the picture of Lou was Henry sort of scrunched up. It’s hard to imagine Lou has grown that much! He doesn’t look like a baby any more. Enjoy Havana, we’ll be eager to see your pix and read your report.

  26. Feliz Año Nuevo para ti tambien!!! You have a wonderful family! Enjoy Cuba and the sun. Luis is a beautiful baby!! God bless your family! (From Buenos Aires – Argentina)

  27. HI:
    Actually you do get to use the whole hour on your card, but you have to do it where you bought it. Either at the hotel where you bought it, or at the government office Etecsa. I just came back, and we were able to use ours all up.
    Cheers, Paula

  28. I’m truly glad you are enjoying such a beautiful vacation. But that “sense of economy” you refer to is called communism and oppression. But I’m sure they’re glad to have you visit since they are not allowed to leave.

  29. No fair–as a Detroiter I spent a “Canadian” evening with the CBC & George Strombo, & the Canadian athletes counting down the seconds to 2014!

  30. Wonderful blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thank you

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