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  • It's still All About Travel 4:29 PM on December 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    over the hill (we almost go) to Grandmother’s house in the snow….. 

    It’s true – the memories that come first to mind are the ones that, at the time, you would rather forget.

    In about 1946 I think, at least it was after gas rationing, my father decided the family should make the trek “back east” so his folks could see the family from “out west”.

    That was fine, except for the fact; no one in Southern California ever wore, much less bought a true “winter” coat.  Well, not until they hit Sears and Roebuck in Kansas City anyway and finally concluded a lightweight Southern California sweater just didn’t do the job.  Since time was lost shopping, it was decided to stay in a REAL hotel down town.  And that was fine until my mother turned back the blankets on the bed to find bugs scattering every which way!  That did it for my mother; we packed up, got back into the car (in our new warm coats) and went on our way to Minnesota.

    Well grandma was happy to see her freezing grand daughters, loving son and ever-so miffed daughter in law.  We, my 7-year-old sister and I were invited on the toboggan by Minnesota winter toughened male cousins, who screamed “DUCK” as the vehicle was zipping under a barb-wire fence.  (That’s one way to make sure California cousins don’t come back!).  We were treated to a Christmas dinner, the likes we’d never seen before.  REAL butter (right from the cows out in the barn) and mounds of thick whipped cream on all the many pies made in the kitchen honest-to-goodness wood burning stove.

    It truly was a Christmas to remember.

    Oh yes, how could I forget when the car slid off the road outside Albuquerque and luckily hit a road sign before it continued over the hill!

    (repeat third sentence above)

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  • It's still All About Travel 8:19 AM on December 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    CUBA – again 

    "Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba"

    The trip has been on, then off, then on again.  Travel is never easy, and one must be able to make changes at a moments notice.

    Nancy and I were really excited when we booked the November trip, and then crushed when we heard they couldn’t get their legal documents in order.

    However, all is well.  And better than ever.  After having our original trip cancelled (and refunded in full by the way), National Geographic opened up several trips for 2012.   The itinerary is more complete and seems to be better organized.  And most of all, they have U.S. approval for the trips.  All the dates sold out immediately, but since we learned of it so early when I dropped by Avanti Travel, we were able to book and be confirmed immediately.

    So, all is well, we will be on our way in a few months, and you’ll be hearing lots (and seeing lots of pictures) about our Cuba adventure.  Our book club is reading several books on Cuban history and politics, so we’ll be spending one meeting sharing our books and experiences after I return.  Maybe I should bring back a bottle of Cuban Rum, and mix Cuba Libra’s for the group?  I’d bring them Cuban cigars except I wouldn’t be able to get them past customs.

    There is a new movie coming out soon “Havana Nocturne” I’m looking forward to seeing.  It’s about the mob’s (Meyer Lansky, et. all) influence in Cuba.

    If you’d like to read up on Cuba, check out “Bacardi, and the Long fight for Cuba”, “Cuba Diaries:  An American Housewife in Havana”: and many other books covering a wide spectrum of history and politics.  If you’d like a detailed information how to destroy an economy, and build a socialist country, you’ll never have a better example than Castro’s Cuba.

    Stay tuned (as they used to say on the radio in “olden days”) for “Today’s Cuba”!

     
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