Thursday, October 30, 2014

Cast your vote for my blog!  Thanks for reading :)  Kelly

Here's a link to Cuban Adventures Tours:

Kelly's Top Ten Reasons To Return to Cuba:

#10.  Improve my knowledge of automotive history. 
I was too young to remember when these beauties were all the rage in the 1950s.  Talk about sexy cars (and their drivers and owners weren't bad either!)
A Studebaker near the El Presidente Hotel
Classic cars near the Capitol in Havana
This one reminded me of a daquiri
#9. Prevent caffeine withdrawal headaches by drinking some of the best coffee in the world.

Best cup of coffee in Cuba was in Plaza Vieja in Old Town Havana, drinking espresso from beans that had just been roasted.  One of the great things about taking a tour with Cuban Adventures is that there is no single supplement!  They will match you up with a roommate, and if no roommate is available you get your own room for no additional charge!
That's me on the left with my roommate and new friend from Singapore. 
Roasting the beans in the coffee shop...doesn't get any fresher than this!
Well of course, I had to buy some on my last day to take home.  I gave several half pound bags away as Christmas gifts

#8.  Eat fresh, healthy simple, and delicious Cuban food.  
Even as a vegetarian, I had no trouble finding lots of delicious food to eat.  Breakfast is included everyday on your Cuban Adventure Tour.  And the best dinners I had were prepared by our homestay families.
That is one huge avocado!
Just the side dishes from an amazing organic farm to table dinner in Vinales
I didn't know what half of these vegetables were, but I'm game to try them all!
A typical dinner prepared by a homestay host.  The perfect end after a long day of touring.

#7.  I need to sample some of the rum drinks I missed the first time around.  
Sure I had a daquiri and some Cristal Beer (see above)!  But what about Cuba Libres, mojitos, and rum punch???

Enjoying a daquiri on Havana's most beautiful square,
which you'll visit on a walking tour of Old Havana

Yet another rum drink to try = "Canchanchara".  A complimentary cocktail from our homestay
host Jesus in Trinidad

#6.  I want to meet more of the lovely Cuban families who provide lodging to tour members.
One of the great things about Cuban Adventure Tours is that you primarily stay in Casa Particulares.  Cuban families open their homes to visitors.  They were clean, comfortable, and quiet.  And they are more affordable than hotels, which helps keep the cost of your tour low!

Vinales with our private rooftop deck!

In Santa a French Chateau!

our lovely private garden in Trinidad

#5  HAVANA!  
What a city of contrasts...from crumbling beauties to vibrant new neighborhoods to the charm, decadence, and mystery of Hemingway's Old Havana.  I need to get back there on foot and wander aimlessly...

#4  There are so many parts of Cuba I still need to visit
Looking back at all this gorgeous scenery makes me want to visit the rest of this magical island, especially the eastern provinces of Baracoa, Guantanamo, beaches, and some of the islands known as "cayos"

#3 I really, really need to improve my Salsa Dance Moves

Dancing is way more fun with alot of rum on board and a friendly tour driver
who is willing to give guests a Salsa 101 lesson!

#2  Cuban Music
When people ask me why I went to Cuba in the first place, the answer was "the music".  It is everywhere, from The Tropicana in Havana to small towns like Vinales.  From the steps of the main square in Trinidad to small plazas in Santa Clara.  If you loved the Buena Vista Social Club and enjoy "Sol" music, Cuba is heaven on Earth!

Music is everywhere, even in this small plaza in Trinidad

and, The #1 Reason I Need to Return to Cuba:  

I want more travelers to know what an awesome country Cuba is.    The Cubans I met were all so lovely.  Cubans seemed to love Americans, even if they don't agree with our government. I only met two other Americans in Cuba during my 2 week stay.  What a shame!  I want to experience Cuba again with a travel partner to help build bridges and relationships between our people.  My sincere hope is that the American embargo will end in the next few years, and that Americans will once again be able to travel freely to Cuba and Cubans can do the same.  It was heartbreaking for me to see ads such as this all round Cuba. 

Translation:  "The Hall of Cretins"

I'd like to do my small part to heal these past wounds and move forward together. I had tears in my eyes and heaviness in my heart when the taxi picked me up in Havana for my return flight home.  I  had fallen in love with Cuba and her people.  If I win, I want my travel partner to experience this same fullness and joy.  
Cast your vote for my blog!  Thanks for reading :)  Kelly

Here's a link to Cuban Adventures Tours: