Some rest in Houston for the girls
Travel day to Havana, Cuba, was an uneventful day. Kirsten’s niece and her best friend flew down from Omaha in the morning. Kirsten specifically told Tracey and the girls to NOT check their bags. But what did they do? They checked their bags.
Chester and Kirsten flew in late Friday night. The girls met us at our hotel and slept for a few hours before our 1 pm flight to Havana as they had a 5:30 AM flight. Of course our shuttle to the airport is packed and we are the first ones on and the last ones off. We get to the airport and check in and get our visas for Cuba! We were pretty much the only group that did not have a woman in a one-piece romper.
Kirsten and Chester were very happy to be upgraded to first class! The girls were fine in economy plus. For some reason United is now looking over carry-on luggage like a hawk. Kirsten got nabbed twice trying to bring an expanded suitcase onto the flight. On the flight from Denver to Houston, Kirsten and Chester had to get their bags checked at the gate, but we brought them on
the flight anyway. The gate attendant was not happy when he boarded the flight and took our bags out of the overhead bin personally. We were surprised that he still put them on the plane. It doesn’t matter that when Kirsten’s bag is expanded it is still the same size as other bags that are rolling onto the plane while Kirsten’s bag is headed into the cargo hold.
We arrived in Havana and immediately started sweating and learning the new way of life that will be our next week. We now stand in lines and wait, and wait, and wait. Chester had managed to bring her bag onto the flight, so she at least had clothes for her and Kirsten if something happened to Kirsten’s bag. Customs was quick enough to get through, until the agent asked if we have been to Africa. Chester has a brand new passport with no stamps in it, so she quickly lied and said no. Kirsten’s passport is filled with visas to Angola and Nigeria, so she couldn’t lie. She was worried standing next to the 2 minors that the trip would end before it started. The agent saw the look on her
face and said in the last 30 days have you been to Africa. Phew, that would have sucked to get to Cuba and then have to turn around because she was in Africa two years ago. Now we wait for the bags, and we wait and wait. It was probably an hour before Kirsten’s and Megan’s bag surfaced. Riley was getting worried because Kirsten told her the steel luggage in Cuba, but it finally made it.
Our driver was waiting for us and we got to ride in a very cool, 1950s Ford Fairlane. It is true, we are back in the 1950s. The old cars are everywhere. We get to our Air BnB and meet Lidia. She’s a beautiful woman and a gracious host. Our accommodations are nice and better than expected. The outside of the buildings are decrepit and broken; the government owns everything so the outside looks like crap, but the inside of the homes are nice.
The first night ends with us just walking around the neighborhood, staking a stroll down by the beach and grabbing a bite to eat. We are only blocks from the ocean so the walk is nice with a
breeze to cool us down, but it is still hot! We all found something to eat and the girls tasted a real pina colada (virgin) while Chester and Kirsten enjoyed the proper version.
We had AC in our bedrooms which was our savior. The girls were getting their first dose of life without phones and internet. Kirsten’s phone and data did work but it was so slow. The minors quickly sent text messages to their friends to be sure their snapchat streaks were not broken the week they were gone. They have their priorities.
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