Monday, April 10, 2017

Cuba - The Shortest Flight I Never Took

Harbor in Havana

It's no surprise one of my most requested travel presentations this year is my trip to Cuba. I've flown several million miles, but never once flown the short 90 miles from Key West to Havana. The travel ban had already been in force when I started with TWA in 1964. Fortunately, the travel restrictions were lifted, so my wife and I took a week-long cruise from Miami to three ports in Cuba last October. Cruising is not my favorite way to travel, but given the complexity of traveling in Cuba this was a great way to see the island without all the hassles.

It was a pleasure for me to disembark the cruise liner, Adonis, at the Havana harbor this past October. Back in 1961, while in Marine Corps boot camp in Parris Island, our DIs told us we may be "disembarking" navy landing crafts for an invasion of a Cuban beach. This, of course, was during the time of heightened tension between the U.S. and Castro's Cuba. Some 50 years later I feel very fortunate to visit Cuba as a tourist and not an active Marine.

Santiago de Cuba

55 Chevy
Cuba is like stepping back in time. It's a beautiful landscape that has not been cluttered with billboards, skyscrapers, neon signs, fast food, and all the trappings of modern day living. The people are very friendly and anxious to learn all they can about Americans. My travel audiences love the photos of old cars, and the sneak peek into a world forbidden for so long. My presentations are to retirement communities, so I imagine most of them will only see Cuba through pictures. For the rest of us I hope many will get to see the island in person. My next Cuba presentation is May 10th 7:00pm at the Evergreen community on Galbraith Rd.
Maple Knoll Presentation