What a treasured memory for you californian. Please don't think my memory is that good though, re the restaurant names. I usually keep a journal when travelling and referred to it for the restaurant names. And a Merry Christmas to you too.
Chech: Have been to Cuba twice and the food leaves a lot to be desired but the beaches and people make up for it. I don't know if anyone has told you but it is customary to bring little gifts for the maids. School supplies, socks, candy etc are always appreciated if placed on your pillow when you leave your room for the morning. Since you have to purchase Cuban Visitor money whatever change you have left is also appreciated. Have wonderful trip. Purvis
Funny you should mention that, Purvis. For the first time, I'm leaving with more baggage than I'll return with. I have a backpack full of stuff and since I'm entitled to up to 3 bags on AC because of my aeroplan status, I can take the second full bag. We'll be visiting a senior's home and maternity ward so I have a lot of stuff for them including ibuprofen which is in big demand. I'll leave the backpack itself as well for a school kid with the school supplies in it.
Pauline...if you're not able to visit very soon, the Cuba that you'll likely see will be different. Within a few months, U.S. airlines will have a deal to land in Cuba and that will open it up to a massive influx of U.S. tourism and a corporate invasion will likely follow. The old cars will come off the streets and go into museums or be picked up by U.S. collectors who'd spend millions for these old cars.
As it stands, even with all the hoops Americans have to jump through, 14 of the 16 people on my tour are Americans.
I just hope they don't stand there saying "well, in the U.S., we have better...<insert anything>"
Chech: The two times I was in Cuba was with my eldest son who took his son's baseball teams to Cuba for youth baseball we were guests of the Cuban government. My son who by the way is going later this month to Cuba for a holiday was talking to one of his contacts in Cuba and mentioned that the US had lifted travel restrictions and that up to 20 planes could land weekly in Cuba was informed that Cuba would have difficulty providing hotel space for that many more vacationers. You are right that now is the time to go to the island as when it is opened up to 300 million or so Americans it just won't be the same. We Canadians know how to accept situations not up to our home standards but as my son says the Americans aren't quite that easily pleased. Happy travels. Purvis
Enjoy your trip, Chech, it will be very interesting and I can't wait to hear about it. Still trying to catch up with your Australian adventure....Happy New Year, Chech, and many travels ahead this year.
While 2016 seems a long way off (4 months), it creeps up very quickly.
My first event for 2016 is a 16 day coach tour of New Zealand - 8 days on each island. It is scheduled for February, the very best time to travel there.
Although I have circumnavigated both islands I have never had the opportunity to do much exploring. The tour is organised by Casey Australia Tours in conjunction with Grand Pacific Tours of New Zealand - very comprehensive coverage!
Have you travelled with Grand Pacific Tours before, or used Casey Australia?. I'm looking forward to hearing about your trip. I have a travel friend who lives in Hamilton and she has been saying that the weather there is very warm at the moment and she is expecting February to be even hotter. Have a great time on your tour.
Yeah....gotta take advantage while my knees and hips are working.
Smart move as age can take a toll on one's physical abilities. I am still getting around just fine, but I can see where I am not quite as ambitious to undertake 6 hour plus hikes like I did in my youth.
Chech & plane2catch: Travel as much as you can while you can . I'm having to wait until the end of this month before I decide whether or not I'll be fit to travel to Ireland in late May or early June due to knee trouble. On my last three trips I ran into trouble Hawaii - pneumonia, London - severe foot pain and finally fall on escalator at Toronto ON after a trip to Florida. I'm surprised that my son will even consider travelling again with me after these happenings . plane2catch: glad you decided to come and visit Canada's west.
Just made plans to visit Disney World in Florida from April 1st thru the 9th. Going with my niece, Marie Louise, husband Chad and four year old son James. I will be driving from Kalamazoo, Michigan to Chicago, IL on March 31st. Really excited since I haven't visited Florida in over 30 years. I might add we are also going to visit Tarpon Springs for a few days when we are there. Looking forward to having some good Greek food at the small Greek enclave.
Purvis, It has been kinda of hard on me swallowing the arrangements. We are staying on a Disney property which means the suite is costing $400 per night for 6 nights, i.e., $2,400. I found a Radisson for $120 per night which is 1.5 miles from Disney and has free shuttle service to the park. That means my relatives are paying $1,680 more for their lodging choice. And they still have to take a shuttle bus to the park. He went to Cornell for his law degree and she went to University of Michigan for her BS in Electrical Engineering and MBA. I love them dearly but think they are idiots for spending that kind of money.
Haven't been to Epcot in years. I'm such a cheapskate I find it odd that I will be paying to see these replicas of the majority of world icons that I have already visited. I am just going along for the Epcot day to spend the time with my family.
I tried unsuccessfully, to talk them into spending a day at Bush Gardens. Found a deal for $99 dollars you could be a day admission to Busch Gardens and SeaWorld. Bush Gardens has the same animals as the Magic Kingdom's animal park. A train ride safari as well. But no my relatives instead want to spend $89 for one day of entertainment at Disney. Oh well, guess the bottom line is I am just happy to be invited to join in on the fun.
plane2catch: Unfortunately we can't understand what the younger folk are stupidly willing to pay for a vacation. It has nothing to do with one's capacity to pay believe me. I have stayed a couple of times at Disney's hotels the Contemporary the first year that Disney World was open then a few years later at the Polynesian but that was also years ago. The last two times my son and I were in Florida we stayed at Holiday Inn's Suites at Lake Buena Vista just a fifteen minute drive from Disney World and for approx. $200.00 a nite had two bedrooms, fully fitted kitchen, living room , 3 large screen TVs , 2 full bathrooms, breakfast included, swimming pool, laundry facilities and free transportation to Disney World and a very large nearby Discount Mall. I don't mind paying for good places to stay but I don't like over paying. Purvis
Sounds like you got a deal!! Yeah, I just don't get it. Like I said this is the most expensive hotel I will have stayed at my entire life. When I was younger I was tempted to stay at the beautiful national lodge at Yosemite. Think that was $395 and at the end I thought perhaps that was extravagant of me so I didn't stay but spent sometime in the lodge around the fireplace and bar.
I keep thinking it is Lent wouldn't it be nice to stay at the $120 a night Radisson and make like a $1,000 donation to some charity instead. I feel real blessed with the life the Lord has given me and sometimes I feel guilty of all the places in the world I have been. I worked hard getting my education and watched how I spent my money. But, again instead of saying "I" this and "I" that I realize that God blessed me with the aptitude to get through engineering school and obtain good paying jobs.
On another note, yesterday was Michigan's primary. And it looks like The Donald is still on top. Don't think my favorite, Ted Cruz, is going to be able to catch up.
plane2catch If Ted Cruz looses please don't send him back to Canada. I too have been blessed with my late husband being a very good man and provider. I have 2 great sons one retired at age 49 5years ago after being senior mining engineer at 2 of Canada's larges mining companies and the other son spending many years coaching kids baseball and hockey on weekends and now is planning on going as a volunteer to Greece for a few weeks in late spring to help the refugees. I have with God's help made it to my early 80's and have lived long enough to see my son's accomplishments. Purvis