Welcome back to another Marvelous in My Monday hosted by the lovely Healthy Diva Eats.
Marvelous is – Cuba. It was everything we had hoped it would be and more. We headed out Monday in some nasty weather and expected delays at the airport. Our flight was scheduled to leave Toronto at 4:30pm but due to weather and a customs issue with our plane at the Cuba end our flight did not leave until 7pm. We landed in Cuba at 10:15pm and I could feel the heat and humidity the moment I stepped off of the plane. It was 23C and after leaving -20C it felt delicious! We cleared through security (so much fun) and picked up our bags, headed outside to the bus waiting to take us to the Playa de Oro resort. The bus ride was about 30 minutes and we arrived at the hotel around midnight, settling into our room around 12:45am.
We woke up at 8am to sunshine spilling into our room. Quickly hopped out of bed, dressed and headed to the dining room for breakfast. After breakfast we went back to the room to change into our bathing suits and hit the beach. It was perfect. Calm surf, warm breeze, white sand.
We spent the morning at the beach swimming and soaking up the sun. The average water temperature was 25C! Lunch every day was a beach BBQ of local fish, chicken and pork. The fresh fruit was so good, I haven’t tasted anything like it. After lunch we headed to the pool where I spent a lazy afternoon reading and enjoying a rum punch or two. Dinner was great, so many things to choose from that even the pickiest eater could find something they would like. After dinner we headed back to our room and I couldn’t keep my eyes open. Exhausted from the long day before I was asleep by 8:30pm, so was Little.
We settled into a routine pretty quickly. Mornings at the beach, afternoon at the pool, siesta before dinner. After dinner we would head out to the lobby to listen to the house band, Son del Caiman. The entertainment staff was incredible, encouraging people to get up and dance, teaching us to Salsa, Merengue and Mambo. Later in the evening there would be a show on the big stage set up near the beach. Magic shows, dance performances, and one night an aquatic show in the pool. Little met some new friends at the beach and the pool to play with. One little girl from St. Catherine’s swept him off of his feet and they spent all of their time together … at the beach, the pool and dancing to the music in the lobby.
Thursday we headed out on an excursion. We were taken through the Cuban countryside and this is when we got to see the “real” Cuba. Squat houses made up of cinder blocks painted in beautiful colours, the Cuban people who always make you feel welcome with a warm smile and “Hola!”. We spent our morning visiting a “Party Farm” or Petting Zoo, the off to visit a Crocodile farm.
Our afternoon was spent visiting the Cave of Fish in Jaguey Grande, Matanzas and after headed down to Playa Larga to feast on a lobster lunch and snorkel in the Bahia de Cochinos (The Bay of Pigs). The water here was even warmer! The fish would swim up to you and eat bread out of your hand. The colours of these fish were amazing and I wish I had a waterproof camera with me … next time. There was coral, Mister went out to see that but Little and I hung back. The life jackets they had available were WAY too big for him and he wasn’t confidant enough in the water to venture out that far without one. Next time we will be packing his life jacket and some sand toys so beach time will be a bit more fun.
Friday I was hit with a stomach bug, most likely from ice in the juice I drank while off of the resort, so it was a quiet day for me until the Immodium kicked in. Sunday it was Little’s turn for an upset stomach along with a fever. Before we left we asked a pharmacist what we could give him in the event he ended up with Travelers Diarrhea and she suggested Pepto Bismal. Unfortunately that didn’t help poor Little and by Monday morning we cut an Immodium in half for him. We were leaving Monday night and were not looking forward to travelling with a sick boy. Lucky for us the Immoduim worked and we were able to spend our last day in Cuba at the beach enjoying some sun. There was a lady at the beach who I think has been enjoying the sun for some time now. She reminded me of the roommate, Magda, in the movie There’s Something About Mary. Sunblock is not in her vocabulary.
Our flight left Monday night at 9pm and we arrived back in Toronto at midnight to -7C. By the time we cleared customs, picked up our bags and car it was almost 1am. We headed to a hotel for some sleep before coming back to the Island Tuesday morning and just like that our week in Cuba was over and we were back to the land of Ice and Snow.
Marvelous is – Planning next year’s trip back to Cuba.
What Marvelous things have you been up to for the past two weeks?