Wednesday, March 31, 2010

And I'm back!

This is the first opportunity I've had to write since my vacation. It was only one week, but it seems to be taking me all week to catch up on work. Luckily, I have an intern to help out for a few more weeks.

How was Cuba? Great. Relaxing. Great weather. Beautiful beach. Decent food. My biggest complaint was the other tourists. It's amazing how much some people can eat, drink and smoke. I guess that's what you get when you choose a budget all-inclusive hotel. Do I sound a bit snobby? I guess I am. Second biggest complaint? No diet soft drinks at my hotel.

The Cubans were great. They were a friendly and seemingly hardworking people. We were in central Varadero and this allowed us to see many Cubans in their day-to-day lives. We also took the bus to Havana and walked many kilometers exploring the city. It's mostly beautiful, but also a bit depressing to see the condition of many of the neighbourhoods. Still, I would recommend this type of trip to anyone, whether your goal is simply to relax on the beach or by the pool, or to explore a new country.

The cars in Cuba are a strange mix: American cars from before 1960, Russian cars from the 70's and 80's, and modern Korean and Chinese cars. This was the first time I had seen Chinese cars. They look a lot like Korean cars.

I brought my running gear (except my watch) and planned to cover some decent miles. On my first day in Cuba, I planned to go running for about an hour. After 30 minutes, however, I was cooked. Although I had brought a couple of small water bottles, I was overheating, even though it was 5:30 pm. Still, I managed to go out on three other occasions for an hour each. I went out again yesterday and I felt pretty good. I'm glad I didn't take the week off!

The results are now official. My girls' basketball team finished in 9th place and missed the playoffs by one spot. Ironically, Val's team, that finished in last place as far as I know, made the playoffs in her age group, due to the number of teams in the league, I guess. I will go check out that game tomorrow. My men's team will be in its first playoff game Friday.

Cool cars spotted:
New Corvette ZR1
New Audi S4
Porsche Panamera Turbo
Cadillac XLR
Cadillac Allante

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