Time is the least thing we have of.
My impressions of Havana Cuba January 2017
Arriving and exchange of money is pretty standard – they will x-ray your bags on arrival. TIPS: if there is a line (and there will be a line,) in Terminal 1, go upstairs, a fraction of the line and time spent! Also, make sure you know your Terminal – getting dropped off at Terminal 3 will result in trying to wrestle-up a way to Terminal 1 that won’t eat into your Exit Tax* and your wait to Check-in* 😉
I hitched a ride from the airport to my first of 3 Airbnbs, with two American teacher gals, who arranged to meet later in the week.
My first Havana Airbnb was up 60 steps on the 3rd floor of an ancient but only slightly decrepit building, near Avenue 23 – a main road into the old town. The ‘hostess’ was a gal in her 20’s, who was not really there or helpful but her 87 year old grandmother was so loving and sweet, kissing me and hugging me every time we met with a gleeful exuberance and a swiftly flowing river of Spanish, where only a few familiar words surfaced.
General hint: All beds in Havana are hard and slightly lumpy and all your hosts will tell you they are new, and by new, they mean within the last few years. Some will have a plastic mattress cover, all will have painfully thin sheets but apparently newer than new and a Janka Hardness scale rivaling Macassar Ebony…
*Exit Tax: Save 25 CUC to pay upon departure, OR confirm your Exit Tax is included in your ticket – mine was, but saved extra money Just In Case.
*Check-in: You will have to check-in, you will have to wait in line, there is no ‘elite’ line, you will not be able to change your ticket in a way that will take money (upgrade, early boarding.)
I left work in LA to go to home to Silicon Valley. Fast forward and I’m in France at the 50th Cannes Film Festival representing Sun Microsystems Video Server group. Weekend-ing in Paris before returning home, I ran into man in his mid-fifties in the lobby of my little ** hotel. Turns out he lived 30 minutes from me in California and couldn’t get online via an antiquated switchboard/dial up to check email. While helping him to get on line, he told me he and his wife had ‘downsized’ and were in Paris for two weeks before renting an apartment for a month near Nice before heading to Russia for a consulting job interspersed with several months of vacation before heading back to the bay area for holidays with their family. They didn’t want to wait until retirement age to travel.
Yeah, that sounds good.
It was this chance encounter that made me focus on quality not quantity; it made me think differently about what success means to me. I may not have oodles of cash but have a great deal of personal freedom and my time is my own.
It took time, effort, and a lot of throwing the proverbial darts to see if they would stick, but here I am, 20 years later heading back to Paris for dinner with friends before traveling on to Portugal and Morocco.
Yeah, that sounds good 😉
Took advantage of the One World sale on Business Class tickets to Europe. One to Portugal for my bday; one to Italy for – who cares – it’s Italy!! (Italy with a friend,) and the last one in March – don’t know where I’m going yet but it will be to places anew!
Since I’m in the City Limits of Santa Fe, I can have chickens – hen’s only! Time to start building the coop. Woop, woop!
Today I realized I’m 34-38K over budget on a budget that was already 31K over budget (not including attorney’s fees – 25-30K, and the money I have in it ~410k).
So, I’m putting together a list of shit I can sell. Quite frankly, the list is pathetic. IPad Air 2 maybe $350. Then I start getting into 24 bottles of port/wine – 2K, and the junk silver 1K, consignment furniture/rugs. Mom’s ring, my bling. A rental property…
I need an attitude adjustment and some good brainstorming.
The French West Indes! And, even better, I won the flight on an Inside Flyer contest. And, even better am able to take a couple of good friends with me! Stay tuned.