Monday, 20 February 2012

Cuba 2012 - The New Traditions

So Cuba was great.
This was our third time, so we knew to expect awesomeness. The sun, the sand, the beach. All heavenly and blissful.
But this time around I learned some new things to love about our annual Cuba vacation. Things that will become repeat experiences. Things that need to be committed to the lore of holiday traditions.
First, let’s get the sun, sand, beach part out of the way. Here are some pictures of the sun, sand and beach. These are basics. The reasons we go to this place.

our sweet little backyard

There are the people at the resort who make us feel so welcome and remember us a full year later. Having a 6’1” husband with a shaved head and a bottomless pocket of tips doesn’t hurt, either. Tamara, who books spa treatments for people, is my favourite. She is kind, friendly and is potentially the most beautiful woman in the world.

 I should not have been photographed next to her. It sullied her, somehow, and it is not right.

I love the music. It is impossible to listen to Cuban music and not waggle your bum. I look like a fool waggling my bum, but I don't care. The resort has amazing musicians every night. It's like the Buena Vista Social Club is your dinner music. It must be pretty mind numbing for the musicians though.

This trio was amazing. The woman's expression never changed. Not once. 

These are the usual delights of our Cuban vacation. 
But there were, this time around, a few new things that will bring me back, yet again, to our favourite spot in the sun. I don’t have photos of some of these new things, so forgive my feeble attempts at artistic interpretation. You always do. You are so kind.


I call the bed things around the pool “bunwiches”. They are coveted lazing around real estate. You have to get up at the crack of senior citizen to claim one. There is a bunwich that is in the middle of the pool with a path to it, but it is very central, and close to the swim up bar. My friends call this the “Celebrity Bunwich”, because it is the most desirable and visible of all bunwiches. 

However, there is another bunwich that I call “The A-List Celebrity Bunwich” because it is up high and hidden from the prying eyes of the oiled up, sagged masses. We scored this bunwich on two occasions and we were totally better than everyone else because of it. We were the David and Victoria Beckham of Bunwiches. Tucked away behind lush foliage and at the top of a little waterfall thing. We. Were. The. Shit.
Look how exclusive.

Inaccesible except via awesome coolness.

One day, while my other traveling companions were ordering ice cream after lunch, I knew, in my heart of hearts, that what I really wanted was more french fries. So I ordered french fries for dessert. No word of a lie, this doubled up french fry experience was a highlight of my trip. People are STILL talking about it.


Last year, we stayed up late. There were 27 other people to be entertained by. Some nights we wouldn’t crawl back to our room until 1:30 am! Imagine. And we’re over 40! This trip, Brian and I were asleep before 10pm on more than one occasion. We said the words “Early Bedtime?” to each other like we were whispering a poem. Nothing happens at the resort after 10pm that we have any interest in seeing. We’re too young to be interested in the stage show, and too old to go for drunken skinny dips in the pool. So after eating to the point of extreme discomfort and shame, we’d weeble and wobble back to our rooms, remove the towel art from our beds, and sleep like big, fat, overfed, over-heated, middle aged people.

                                 STAR GAZE

Attached to early bedtime is Star Gaze. This activity involves Brian getting a mojito from the bar on our way back from dinner, maybe I get a tea, and then we sit in our back yard on the loungers and stare up at the stars. It’s amazing how many more stars you see when you are out of an urban centre. We saw Venus. 

And we looked for either of the dippers, but might have been too far south. We saw the Belt of Our Ryan. Mostly we just looked. 


Cats that live at resorts keep the rodent population down. They also provide entertainment for crazy cat ladies who miss their kittens back home. These cats are usually quite thin, likely flea ridden and look like... well, not your Mensa cats, let’s say.

 One of my traveling companions, Felicity,  would take ham from the buffet and feed them. I discovered this activity late in our trip and am already planning next years trip around Ham Cat Time. 

Cruise director Felicity also initiated the new Cuba traditions of "Drink and Float", which is what you think it is:

Eyes have been blocked out to protect identities.

And "Beer Walk" which means going to get a beer when you are not near a bar. 

I think that making new traditions is a great way to plan and look forward to a holiday. It's also a good way to be drunk and to plan to be drunk and to look forward to being drunk.

We are already scheming about Cuba 2013. What will happen? How many new running routes will Brian find? How many new adorable phrases for exercise will Felicity invent to make it sound like it's a fun thing to do? How many hard boiled eggs will Roger eat? How much ham will Ellen stuff into her beach bag to feed feral cats? There's only one way to find out.

Save your pesos, friends.


  1. the first picture of the cat made me laugh out loud.... the place looks like heaven and i could live in that celebrity A bunwich thing.
    for ever.....

  2. omg, how did you make it home without a ham cat (or 10) in your bag???

    jules x

  3. Wasn't I suppose to be there with you

  4. yes... you da shit Elpoo!!! =)
    Be prepared for an army of Ham cats once the meow gets out

  5. The Iberostar? We just returned (Monday - the 27th) from Sandals and the view down the beach is the one...but tSandals doesn't have either the sweet back yards, nor the "bunwhiches".

    Totally loved Cuba on our first visit.