Mrs. Jake and I just returned from a long weekend in Havana with some friends. It was amazing. If you've never been to Cuba, I recommend making the trip. The people are great and the experience is surreal. From the 1950's era American cars, to the amazing Spanish-colonial architecture to the salsa music streaming from restaurants, rum bars and cigar shops. Oh and let's not forget the fact that Cuba is still a Communist country. That fact was made very clear to us as we learned about the people, the culture and their day to day lives.
We brought a big bag of stuff with us to give away to the locals. It included shoe laces, pens, pencils, bars of soap, combs, reading glasses, sun glasses, chocolates, etc. The gratitude for what we consider to be such basic items was unbelievable.
The food was also interesting. We found it difficult to find green vegetables. Not once did we see broccoli or spinach or even lettuce. Salads were generally shredded carrots, shredded cabbage and tomatoes.
Ernest Hemingway is one of my favorite writers and we had a chance to visit Finca Vigía (his home from 1939 to 1960) which was awesome. It's still filled with his personal belongings including an authentic Picaso hanging on the wall and the actual typewriter that he used to write For Whom The Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea!
All in all it was a great trip. We will return with the kids at some point but probably not for a while. With so many place to go to and so little time, its tough to justify too many repeats. Finally, we were able to relieve them of several bottles of rum and a shit load of cigars. That should keep Cuba in our mind and close to our hearts for a good while.
Our next trip is in May. Paris, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Prague and Munich!
Here are a few photos from our trip.