December 2011 – January 2012

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Intro

Celebrating New Year’s Eve in any big city is always a lot of fun — for me, it’s always been San Francisco, or maybe Los Angeles… even Las Vegas.  But for my first New Year’s Eve outside of the good ol’ U.S. of A. — how about Havana?!

This was a small trip — really almost an extended weekend — but it was a trip I’ve been dreaming of for a long time.  After a couple of days in Miami and the beautiful Cayman Islands, it was finally time for Cuba.  How I have always wanted to see this place first-hand.  But more than see it, I wanted to experience it.  As it turns out, the only way to legally see it as a U.S. Citizen, is to experience it.  You’re not allowed to just hop on a plane, check into your resort hotel, and enjoy the beaches while drinking the essential daiquiri — you are forced to experience Cuba, understand the history, the culture, the lives of its citizens.  Perfect.

While most people I know who have been to Cuba do so ‘under-the-radar’, and from a different country, taking care to leave no trace behind, I didn’t want to have to hide it — I wanted to bring back meaningful art, and music, and souvenirs (no cigars though, unfortunately!).  

Journey Map

    LocationArrivalDeparture
    1Tampa, United StatesDecember 26, 2011December 26, 2011
    2Fort Lauderdale, United StatesDecember 26, 2011December 26, 2011
    3Miami, United StatesDecember 26, 2011December 27, 2011
    4George Town, Cayman IslandsDecember 27, 2011December 28, 2011
    5Miami, United StatesDecember 28, 2011December 29, 2011
    6Havana, CubaDecember 29, 2011December 30, 2011
    7Santa Maria del Mar, CubaDecember 30, 2011December 30, 2011
    8Havana, CubaDecember 30, 2011January 1, 2012
    9Miami, United StatesJanuary 1, 2012January 2, 2012
    10Homestead, United StatesJanuary 1, 2012January 1, 2012
    11Everglades, United StatesJanuary 1, 2012January 1, 2012
    12Miami, United StatesJanuary 1, 2012January 2, 2012
    13Fort Myers, United StatesJanuary 2, 2012January 2, 2012
    14St. Petersburg, United StatesJanuary 2, 2012January 2, 2012
    15Tampa, United StatesJanuary 2, 2012January 2, 2012

    Featured Image

    Santa María del Mar, Cuba

    This idyllic beach just 12 miles east of Havana is absolutely perfect. Swaying palms, crystal blue water, plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas but few people; bartenders in beach-side huts crafting fresh Cuban daiquiris or piña coladas on demand. But nothing compares to walking along the beach enjoying fresh coconut water out of a freshly opened coconut — of course, with loads of rum poured in first!

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    Sketches

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