Unlocked my apartment door at 4:45 this morning thanks to a big, big delay at the airport in Varadero, Cuba last night. I went there for a week with my good friend, Debra.
This was my first all-inclusive beach trip and while I was there I had some surprise thoughts on whether or not I would do a resort trip again. Maybe for a wedding or a friend’s milestone birthday, but probably not entirely of my own volition. I went to Cuba solely for the beach and the vitamin D infusion – an effort to shake off my annoying lingering depression. I had no intention of doing some kind of real “travel” trip. I just wanted a break and, in general, I had a great time. I could not, however, shake an overall skeevy feeling I had about this bizarre colony of tourists and the culture created within it. Thankfully, we took exploratory trips off our resort, one into the town of Varadero and another into Havana.
I am captivated by Cuba: the old American cars, the revolution, the stray dogs, the people who begged me for soap (of all things, not money but soap) – all of it.
I have some stories about all of these things but I came home to find a couple of writing assignments in my email (!!) and a day job-related opportunity I need to mobilize for, so they may have to wait for a little bit. What a weird year so far. Torture, yet simultaneously amazing.
In the meantime, I leave you with these pelicans. I’d never seen a pelican except in media until our first day in Cuba when a pair flew very close to me while we were swimming. Probably a corny thing to say, but that was definitely a high point in my life. We saw the same pair over and over throughout the week. One particularly awesome day, the water was a too rough for most of the Canadians giving the pelicans reign to patrol the shallow water, diving repeatedly and emerging from the ocean with their snacks.
I saw this pretty pair on the way to Varadero. I was able to get really close because they were being fed by a couple of Cubans – a parlour trick for tourists.