Saturday, February 3, 2018


Just when I'd begun to wonder if I'd ever see her again, she appeared on my doorstep. Six long months ago, I sent my precious baby off to California, to see if she could make her way in the world of publishing. I'm ever so happy that she was able to have her day in the sun -- her fifteen minutes of fame -- but even more thrilled that she finally made her way back home again, none the worse for wear.

Friday, February 2, 2018


 This is the building that housed the "Luxury B&B" we stayed at in Havana.

It has what realtors might call a "rough walk-up". The lobby wasn't much better, and the elevator was positively scary, having been there since the 50s or before. However, once you step out onto the 4th floor, you get a whole different picture.

And, the view from that balcony overlooking the Malacón boardwalk along the harbor, well, that alone was worth a fortune!

One of five forts built to protect the Havana harbor from pirates, back in the day. Now a night club!

This is where my tour-mates and I began each of our days with coffee or tea in hand, and ended them, rehashing the days events, before heading off to bed.

When asked why there was such disparity between the interiors and the crumbling facades of most buildings we saw, our guide Mandy explained that , although every person in Cuba owns a home, more often than not it's a unit in a large building full of those units -- what we would call a condo. Individuals may own the units, but the government owns the buildings themselves, and all the land as well. So, while the individuals might fix up their own little space, it's up to the government to fix up the exteriors, and it just doesn't have the money to repair thousands of disintegrating buildings. So, it uses what funds it has on the buildings downtown, where all the tourists alight from their luxury cruise ships, while the rest end up like this crumbling beauty next door to our Bed and Breakfast.

Speaking of books and their covers, one of my tour mates asked what I was planning to do with the gorgeous cigar box I stole from my hubby.

My first thought was just to store art supplies in it, but this morning I had a sudden brain fart. Now I'm thinking it would make an awesome case for a Cuban travel journal -- an altered book journal made from the "Cuban Foodie Novel" I ordered and read when I first heard where we were going.

Whadya think?

Thursday, February 1, 2018


We had to leave the house before dawn to catch our American Airlines flight in Austin, and our second plane was there waiting for us when we reached our Miami gate. But, just as we were patting ourselves on the back for how smoothly the day had gone, they announced that there was something wrong with the plane, and they would have to find us another one. When we finally arrived in Cuba, two hours late, we were escorted to their VIP lounge.

There we relaxed, enjoying free beverages, while someone else gathered all our luggage and took it through customs for us. The only way to travel! Once we had our bags, we were met by the ever humorous Armando, our Cuban tour guide, and his expert driver/mechanic, in the 14 seat chariot that was to be ours for the duration. The original plan was for us to go straight to our hotel to relax a bit, unpack, clean up, and dress for the evening. But, because we were so late getting in, they had no choice but to rush us straight to the evening's entertainment, bedraggled as we were. So what is the one place everyone thinks of first, when you say Havana?

Yep, we were on our way to the infamous Tropicana Club, for dinner and a show!

The facility itself was pretty impressive, but the costumes? Oh my!

On the downside, you had about a thousand people packed into that space, and when you try to feed a thousand people all at once? Well, it was edible. Barely.

Funny, when Hubby and I went to see the Folies Bergeres in Paris about 40 years ago, it was all about breasts and legs. Here it was all about bare derrieres. And, the show was long. Really, really long. One hour of staring at fanny floss would probably have been enough for me. Three hours was a bit much.

Of course, if you ask my hubby, he might feel differently.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018


Just stopping by to let you know that we had a wonderful time in Cuba, and made it back safe and sound.

Lots more to come about these warm, intelligent, resourceful people. But, let me just say this right now, in case you have ever considered visiting this country and let fear hold you back. I never once felt threatened in any way while we were there. In fact, the only truly stressful parts of the trip occurred right here in the Miami airport, when they tried to part my hubby from a bottle of rum he purchased fair and square in the Duty Free Shop, and almost made him miss his flight home!