Saturday, February 24, 2018

Cuba Trip - Day 2

Day 2 in Havana began with a walking tour of the Old Havana city where we went to several squares and visited some small shops. After a delicious Cuban lunch where we were serenaded by a local band, Medera Buena, we visited a women's art cooperative and then we did the Havana Club Rum tour.

 We get off the bus and pass through the entry gate into Old Havana.

Here is our wonderful Cuban tour guide Osmell
 telling us about the history of Old Havana.
He called us "Family", so we called him "Papi" (Cuban for Daddy) .

 Susan loves old doors...

...and John loves Susan.

Let's all take pictures of the peacock now. 

Roberta  admiring a cloak from Kuwait.

A small state-owned store.

Here is what they sold there. 

Do you want to buy a Cuban Guiro?

 Now where is that BIG bottle of wine!

In a local monastery, the skylight collects water...

...that flows down this pipe...

...behind this iron priest...

...and fills this underground water storage area.

A library of very old books fill this cross. 

Outside we were treated to a spontaneous parade of people in costumes.

 Then, a parade of stilt-walkers danced down the street... the beat of the drums. 

The parade ended with a group of high-spirited girls and boys dancing like crazy!

This street, with the Cuban Capital at the end, was used to film several movies. 

Here is the original location of the famous Buena Vista Social Club.

A typical side street in Havana. 

Another lunch with music had Papi, Marlys, , Darlene, Roberta and others up dancing.

 Next was the Havana Club Rum tour. Oh boy!

 The colorful stained-glass windows...

...added color to the exhibits.

 A large model train layout showing the original Havana Club rum factory.

Everyone talks about Cuban cigars. Did you know they were this big? 

The Basilica y Convento de San Francisco.

Here is a few shots of some of the taxis we saw today.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Cuba Trip - Day 1

We're off on our second trip to Cuba. This time, we will be traveling across Cuba by bus with my sister, Pat, from Sacramento, California, our tour organizer, Paul, from Texas and fifteen others from the Sacramento area. We flew to Havana (a long 1 hour and 10 minute flight 😜) and waited at the airport for the California gang to arrive.

This was the Oversize Luggage claim area at the Havana airport. People (mainly Cubans) were bringing in large bundles of clothes, flat-screen TVs and other supplies that are not available in Cuba. I've never seen such large bags of stuff like this before.

We were picked up by our bus and our wonderful driver, German. The bus was new and very comfortable. This was our main means of transportation for the whole week.

On our way to the Hotel Vedado, where we stayed for 
the first four nights of our trip, was a nicely decorated wall.

We all went to dinner at the Hotel Presidente.

While waiting for our dinner, we had time to meet and get to know some of the group. Other than my sister, Pat, at the far left, and Darlene in the white blouse two seats down from Pat, we didn't know any one else there. They were all very nice people and we had a lot of fun with them. BTW, we just  had to include the beautiful chandeliers in this picture.

A large urn decorated the lobby outside of 
the restaurant in the Hotel Presidente.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Oklahoma City - DD-748 Memorial Service

At our reunion each year, we hold a Memorial Service to honor our newly departed shipmates. This year it was held at an outdoor park with a raised reflection pool that had small waves flowing across the pool every few minutes. At the end of the pool was an art structure under which the service was performed. Seated all around the pool were my dear friends and shipmates from the USS Harry E Hubbard, DD-748, listening to the service.