Monday, February 5, 2018


How Do You Spell Paradise?   CUBA!

Returned home yesterday from a weeklong stay in beautiful Cayo Coco, Cuba. Six family members, including my granddaughter Makenna and grandson Max and their parents, have enjoyed a most memorable week in sun-soaked Cuba. This was my first trip, long a contender for top spot on my personal bucket list and I can say I was not disappointed.     No jet lag, just weather lag having to return to that other “s” word – SNOW!
My first view of the beach when we arrived

My son and his wife have been before, and my daughter let us know that she had previously stayed at Memories Flamenco and gave it a very high rating compared to other Cuban destinations she’s been.

While some days were not as sunny as others, we certainly managed to spend quality time pool side and on the beautiful beach.

Accommodations were comfortable, if a little spartan, but spotlessly cleaned daily.  The buffet provided an astonishing array of tempting dishes. Learning to arrive early each morning for breakfast ensured a short wait for yummy omelettes made to order. “And some hot sauce SeƱora?”  Absolutely!
Cold cuts, pasta, salads and countless vegetable sides meant no one left hungry. As well most nights we were serenaded by singers with amazing talent.  Assorted pastries, cakes and ice cream covered any dessert requirements as well.

For those times between meals, a 24-hour snack bar provided pizza and French fries among other staples.

Drinks of all varieties were plentiful, of course rum being the mainstay for the island! In reflection, based on how busy the many bartenders and wait staff were I’m amazed that I don’t recall any unpleasant inebriated behaviour during the whole week.

Another item on my bucket list has been the wish to ride a horse along a beach. That wish came to fruition as well. For 15 pesos each, we were able to ride gentle steeds for an hour along the beach. Unfortunately for me as soon as I settled in the saddle I knew it wasn’t going to be all that pleasant. Arthritis in my hips and back meant an uncomfortable ride and the assistance of two very manly cowboys to retrieve me from my perch at the end of it.  However Max and Makenna took to the ride like ducks to water.

The kids were excited with their find of a not-so-empty coconut. It was full of teeny hermit crabs, each sporting the smallest of shells as their first 'home'.

Settling in beach chairs along either the water’s edge or pool side afforded ample opportunity for people-watching behind darkened sun glasses.  And the kids had a variety of activities to keep them interested, although the ocean and pool never seems to grow old for them!

And who doesn't go to the beach to get buried?

But really, it was the Cuban people themselves who made the trip the wonderful time it was. So warm, friendly and genuine. And so appreciative of any gratuities, whether in cash, or gifts of toiletries or gently worn clothing. We certainly take a lot for granted in North America and somehow think those in less affluent areas couldn’t possibly be happy.  These beautiful people may not have the luxuries or incomes we do, but they have a lot more sense of appreciation and humility that we are often sadly lacking.

I managed to read four whole books during that week – an unheard of feat these days when I can barely manage a page or two at bedtime before dropping into a coma!

But now that reality has reared its ugly head once again, I’ll be back to the 8-4 grind on Wednesday and striving to keep pace with Pam and get the sequel to The Silk Shroud prepped and ready to send to the publisher.



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