It was around 5:30pm by the time we took flight from Canada. At that moment, in that addictive rush of the charging aircraft leaping into the quiet skies, it was finally time to relax and let out a great big sigh of relief.
There were gentle flurries throughout the overcast day but as we waited those last few moments before being called to board, the sun came out to welcome us to our first trip as a couple.
Our time calmly adventuring through the magical clouds in the clouds was smooth, and the food was quite tasty having selected two different snack boxes with various selections of cheeses, crackers, and this melt in your mouth buttery fudge bar that we reluctantly shared.
The in flight movie was Wonder so it wasn’t a trip void a few tears. Cheyenne took her headphones off quite a few times because well, she cries at commercials. We took the girls out one last time before we headed off to paradise without them, to see A Wrinkle in Time. She was crying over the first preview. Love you Cheyenne. Whose kidding who here. I do too.
From the flight, we thought Havana was going to be a popular song this week with a group of 4 or five guys at the front of the plane standing most of the flight and singing the tune. Honey would later tell us it was Desposito.
It was dark and 8:30 when we touched down on this island paradise. Vacating the plane was easy but getting through those exit doors and finally into the warm, open airs of our vacation were not. Besides filling out some mandatory government forms on the plane, the next step was standing alone in a wide row of booths providing your ID, and saying cheese to the local authorities. Guests in this country are certainly well documented. We didn’t mind. It wasn’t winter here.
If that wasn’t enough, when you exit the interrogation booth (really the woman, who shared Cheyenne’s birthday! was quite kind and had a wonderful head of long, braided black and red hair), you are welcomed into the baggage claim area with one last, long, security check.
After about a half hour, with luggage and the exit in sight, we hand over one last form before being offered our first item from the locals – cold beer. Having just caught our first breath of tropical Atlantic air, we passed only to find a similar offer on the bus which was far more comfortable than the plane we would quickly find out.
“3 beers for $10 Canadian dollars”, our travel guide Honey smiled in a thick Cuban accent as we all entered the coach. Since we only had American, she gave us 4 and we were set for the half hour trip to our hotel.
Apparently Bye Felecia is not the saying in Cuba. It’s Bye Amanda. “Amanda. Amanda from Burlington?”
“Bye Amanda,” came laughs from mom’s with 14 kids between them.
15 minutes later from 14 kids between them, “What happened to Amanda?” No answer.
It was around 10:30 by the time we reached the resort. It’s nothing fancy but paradise for these wayward travellers. Cheyenne had a dream a few nights ago about a green drink. I ordered one in the dark, loud discotheque. It was straight Creme de Menthe. Oops.
After pork and egg burgers for a midnight snack and saying goodnight to our girls, we quickly fell asleep after piling on the blankets, not knowing how to turn off the well tuned air conditioner.
We made it. ‘We’ve never left this continent’ is now a term we can no longer use. Barely as it’s just a hop skip and a swim to Miami. We’ll not quite a swim. Cheyenne is petrified of the ocean although she fears sharks at our yearly summer vacationing spot on a lake in northern Ontario. Well they do have fresh water jellies. Who knew.
One last thing, we even gained back that hour we just lost last weekend. Apparently there is no time change here.