Oh My! The B I G 30!! When I started thinking about my 30th I wasn’t sure how I wanted to celebrate! As an event planner throwing a party was out of the question because if anyone knows me throwing a party it has to be over the top. So after much thought I decided a trip would be the perfect & no better place came to mind than CUBA.
Lots of Research & Planning went into this trip! It was at first just a girls trip! But now after the trip I wouldn’t recommend that & I truly recommend you need someone who speaks fluent Spanish. That is a must! I wanted to share my experience in CUBA to be hopefully more people will visit. We have so much to be grateful for and most of all I think CUBA put us into perspective of how thankful we are just for the little things in life. Things to know before visiting CUBA. 1. Tourism isn’t allowed so we had to check one of the 12 reasons when booking our flight – the reason was ” people to people / support the Cuban people “. 2. You will need a VISA – you can purchase online after you book your flight & it cost $75.00. I would allow plenty of time we were not able to pick it up until we got the the Fort Lauderdale Airport; which was a different counter than our gate. So allow extra time to get your VISA & get it stamped. 3. Also you will need health insurance it was included in our flight package & you must have it with you when traveling in CUBA. Nothing from US will work there. 4. There is no Credit Cards allowed there! We were told by many people to take Euros vs Canadian $ etc. I ended up just taking US dollars which was fine. I will get to that part next.
I had some custom t-shirts made! Thanks to Bob at Coastal Marketing Graphics .
We finally arrived in Cuba around 11:30. We took the Spirit flight from MYR to FLL to HAV – only took 3 1/2 hrs all together! I will say I was a little nervous when we landed wasn’t sure how we would be questioned etc. We went through 3 different areas! The first one we were stopped & they took a white form we filled out on the plane. It asked why we were there! Once again we stated ” people to people “. The next stop was kind of the scary one! haha It was the immigration one! I don’t speak any spanish obviously! Well no questions were asked! They stamped both VISA & PASSPORT & I was on my way. Shewwww I made it! The third stop the lady checked our bags & took the other blue sheet & there we were in CUBA 🙂 We had a taxi pre arranged for us when we arrived. We had to take 3 taxis to get to our house. It was 25 per taxi. There was plenty of Taxis when we arrived so don’t feel alarmed. We did convert our money when we were there! I would convert all your money when you are there! Try to gauge on how much you will need. The line at the airport on the way back was FOREVER LONG!!!! I changed out $500 to the CUC- that is what you will want to get it! There is two kinds of money they use! I was able to walk away with $435.
On to the house we go!! So Accommodations. Where to stay??? The Hotels are nice but everywhere you stay you will need a taxi. We decided to go the house route through Airbnb. Believe me that was the way to go!!! The house was $1300 a night but has 5 bedrooms. We looked into Hotels they were $400/$500 a night! For some reason lodging wasn’t the cheapest! Here is the house we stayed at https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/16633839?wl_source=list&wl_id=196640976&role=wishlist_owner&adults=1&children=0&infants=0 . I can’t even begin to tell you the 5 stars for this place. It is located in Miramar. Which is the richest in the area! It was gated & had to be buzzed in to get in- so we felt very secure the entire time. Where do I begin with this house. Daniela- ahhh if I could get you to come to the US I would. You know you just meet good people with a good heart who are just so humble & always remember where they come from. Well she was one of them! Few & far between 🙂 She was amazing! The best part about the house! They could & would get us anything & everything we needed. We wanted in house massages. Ordered! $50 for an hr. We need a taxi it was there. They cooked up breakfast everyday. They cooked us a fabulous dinner the night of my birthday. Will get back to that night. They kept the fridge stocked with waters, beers & cokes. They got us cigars to us for what we wanted to take back to the US. Honestly I have never stayed anywhere that I was treated so amazing the entire trip. Daniela you are an amazing lady & so is the hubby- he didnt speak much english- haha so I wasn’t able to talk with him as much! This would be the house we would pick if we went back for sure 🙂
1st Day in CUBA: We arrived at the house & basically lounged around the pool to soak up some rays. We enjoyed some CUBAN cigars ;). We finished the night off at this super cool place with an AMAZING view! Ahh! I think we took a million photos before dinner! Check it out!! The food was amazing as well 🙂 We ended up checking out the El Florida Bar downtown & just did a little walking around. We had the most amazing adventurous CAB ride home ;). Certainly haggle on cabs! We went from $50 for 2 cabs to get home to $25 within 1 min! LOL
2nd Day: We all wanted to go check out this amazing beach everyone talked about. It was well over 2 hrs to get there! Highly recommend going! We rented a big taxi van. It held 10 of use & it was 300 for the day. Veradao Beach was beautiful! Certainly a must see & do. There was markets right near there for souvenirs & such it was super cheap for all those things 🙂 Also be sure to bring money to use the restrooms 🙂 Also carry some tissues ladies for the bathrooms 🙂 Also the bathrooms have no LIDS?? haha!! We ended up at dinner at a place called EL Canonazo- super awesome place for dinner & finished at CLUB Sara’s 😉
Day 3 : April Fools … oh my! It was the BIG 30 … April Fools! Joke right!! ?? My must do for the whole trip was to rent the old cars 🙂 SO thats what we did. We took a tour of Havana which was super cool & it dropped us off downtown to do some shopping & sight seeing. Everyone was so kind & we had a private chef for my birthday at the house. You name it we had it! We had some amazing lobster, beef, rice, beans a whole spread as well as birthday cake. Honestly as the night was going on- it didnt even seem real! I felt celebrity status for a hotttt second!! haha jk! They even had an amazing band come play during dinner! It topped any party, wedding etc I had ever planned! It was truly epic & felt super blessed!
CUBA- Certainly would recommend to visit! Take someone who speaks Spanish 🙂 Photo Credit go to Caitlin Cunagin for basically capturing every moment there! Azure Swimwear for some of our amazing suits! You can bring CUBAN cigars back so that was a must for all of us! Also try to bring stuff for the kids here- whether it be candy, small gifts etc! In CUBA we were told by the folks at the house the government basically runs everything & for them to get something as easy as some Nikes would cost them like $1000 bucks! Crazy right! The average person there makes $15-$150 a month! WOW. Daniela- we are working on sending you a gift!! Thanks so much! My heart is in love with CUBA & well makes us truly blessed to know how good we have it here in the states!! Heres to the next 30 years!!! 🙂