Sunday, February 1, 2009

Adventures in Cuba

I've recently returned from the most wonderful vacation in the south seas. Darwin and I (along with 84 other people) went down for our friends' wedding in Cuba - what a place to get married, it was absolutely beautiful!

We went from -30C (-22F) to almost +30C (86F). How's what for temperature difference?! Outta long underwear and into shorts...ah, heaven. It wasn't quite as hot as I thought it would be though. By the end of the week the weather took enough of a "chilly" spell that I wore a long sleeved shirt on the beach. I complained a bit, LOL, but reeeaaallly, anything is better than -30!
Unfortunately, the country was hit a few months ago with a rough hurricane that wiped out a lot of fruit/veggie crops, meaning a limited supply for the resorts (who get first priority for these things). Consequently, papaya (my favourite!) was only served for the first 2 days of my trip, and lettuce, which is my daily staple, was NOT served every day. I was super bummed, however, I did get plenty of fresh organic (apparently they don't spray down there)ripe fruit every day - watermelon, baby bananas, oranges, grapefruit, pineapple, cucumber, and tomatoes .

Laura and Matt's "Big Day", was perfect, complete with hot temperatures and blue skies overhead on the sunny beach. Laura arrived via horse and carriage looking absolutely gorgeous!

The groomsmen looking dapper in their shorts and ties. My hunny is second from the right :)

The bridesmaids (notice the one male bridesmaid on the far left, hehe).
Finally, the happy married couple, yay!!!

Me and Laney, waiting for the wedding to start!

The highlight of this trip (besides the wedding, of course), was the day we visited a local Cuban's home. When Darwin and I went biking with our friends Elana and Rob, I had to stop when we passed a custard apple tree. Oh how excited I was!!! As I snapped some photos, the owner came out and asked, in broken English, if I liked this fruit. Yes yes, I exclaimed - and he picked one for us to eat. Upon seeing how much I enjoyed it, he picked 2 more and explained that one was ripe for eating today, and the other would be ready in a few days. How sweet of him! Despite the language barrier, Mario and Darwin got chatting up a storm when we discovered that he's a carpenter. He showed us his little workshop (very primitive), and while I stayed outside to eat the fruit, he took Darwin into the house to see a bit of his handy work. The whole thing really touched my heart. Sure, you can travel to these countries and stay in the "bubble" (resort), but I find it so enriching to experience some of the culture.

New buddies, Mario and Darwin.

Ah what a trip - great memories! Can't wait for another adventure south...wonder where that will be?!


Sarah said...

Running into kind strangers is always so nice! The wedding was gorgeous and I'm feeling very jealous about warmth.

abby of Mia Picolli Piaceri said...

know what, Cuba looks similar with our country, Philippines. U might wanna check out here soon too ;) keep posting ;)

Mandy said...

If we weren't about to move back Stateside, I would invite you down here. We have a giant (what the locals here call) Sugar Apple tree in our back yard! Oh, how I will miss the Caribbean! The photos are beautiful!

KombuchaCHIC said...

What a gorgeous place! I bet feeling all that warm sun was a nice change.

Courtney Pool said...

Looks like SO MUCH FUN!!

jessica said...

how nice. cuba must be lovely with the old ways.

Aimee (Bitt) said...

i love that there was a male bridesmaid. i have a question, when you travel do you eat cooked or just bring food along? or just eat lots of fruit? just curious.

Marnie said...

What a wonderful story to bring back with you. Thank you for sharing. I always look forward to reading your blog!

GirlonTour said...

Hey! I was in Cuba when you were! Nice blog you have here! I might just have to start following!


bathmate said...

As always an excellent posting.The
way you write is awesome.Thanks. Adding more information will be more useful.