Marla had planned a mystery vacation for us and I hadn’t a clue of where we were going. Our kids and her co-workers knew her plans and they all kept it a secret. I finally got some clues like being told to buy a hat, pack a swimsuit and bring sun screen. Later I was... Continue Reading →
The flight from Orange County went smoothly with a layover in Dallas. We arrived by taxi around 10:30pm at the Miami Downtown Hilton. After checking in at the Hilton we were famished and were headed up to our room when out of the elevator popped two “ladies of the night”. They were wearing short tight... Continue Reading →
Welcome to Miami
Welcome to Miami day one. After going to bed hangry , hungry and angry, we awoke with the rising sun at 6:00am or 3:00am California time and went to breakfast. The Hilton had an amazing spread of fruit and berries which suited us fine with some Greek yogurt. The coffee was good and we were ready... Continue Reading →
Heat, Humidity and Jet Lag
Miami Afternoon Tour Our next tour of the day was to include Little Havana, the sea aquarium, coconut grove and city highlights. We got off our morning bus and I asked the tour representative where the 2:30pm bus would be and he said "right here". I wasn't going to fall for that again and asked... Continue Reading →
First Day at Sea! Mystery Revealed!
We took an Uber to the port terminal and dropped our luggage off before checking in. During the check in Marla handed me a form. It was a visa for Cuba! Yes! I had hoped so after finding out that we were not headed to the airport. The process went smooth taking about 20 min... Continue Reading →
Bikes and Key Lime Pie!
Thunder storms had been predicted for over a week. So when we docked in Key West I was quite relieved by the sunny sky’s! This was great since bicycles had been arranged for Allan and I to to cruise around the island. Our “Key Lime Bike Tour” was truly awesome with our knowledgeable guide... Continue Reading →
Who let the Hens out?
The chickens running loose on Key West are not chickens, but are Spanish game hens bred for cock fighting. Cock fighting thankfully went out of fashion. There are so many of these critters running loose, that in 2004 a self proclaimed “Chicken Catcher” was hired for a fee of $20 per bird. The birds though... Continue Reading →
Key West or Bone Island?
Key West got its name from the Spanish words for " Bone Island" or “Isla Osteo”, That name was derived from the Indians practice of strewing bones about the beach to scare off potential settlers.The English thought that sounded like “Key West”. It was that simple. Fact: most pirates were of color and had a... Continue Reading →
Hemingway and The Cats
In 1927 during prohibition, Ernest Hemingway visited Key West because the enforcement of drinking laws were a bit “lax”. He became so enchanted with the area that he bought a house and stayed for a number of years. He later moved to Spain where he became infatuated with a army nurse. That nurse latter married... Continue Reading →
Why so Serious?
We got a serious announcement from the Captain upon return from Key West. He started off saying that he had consulted with the Cuban government and the US officials along with the home office. We looked at each other thinking that the day in Cuba had been cancelled due to Trump screwing something up, but no,... Continue Reading →
Cuba and the Mojito
The rain held up and the weather was perfect as we pulled into Havana harbor and passed by the La Cabana fortress. There it was, Cuba. Somewhat forbidden and mysterious. We were eager to start our first tour. We quickly passed through customs and exchanged our money. The process was very organized and well signed.... Continue Reading →
Partially due to poor agriculture and past US embargo’s, grocery shopping is different in Cuba. With limited quantities of food available , a socialist food distribution system was developed after the Revolution of 1959. This is what is known as La Libreta or Libreta de Abastenciniento, the food ration book. Every Cuban household is issued this... Continue Reading →
The Best of Havana
After breakfast we got off the boat, breezed through customs and found our tour group. Our guide, Rosie, looked like a kid. She introduced herself and immediately said that she looks 17 but was 27 years old and had been a tour guide for three years. There was going to be some overlap from the... Continue Reading →