To start the trip, we flew from Edmonton into Toronto. You would think by the amount of HSBC Bank signs in the Toronto airport that they actually own the place.
But the really cool part about this airport was that it had express people movers. We, on the EXPRESS people mover, zoomed right by the ordinary people standing on the regular people mover. It was awesome! I had never seen such a thing. You could actually feel a breeze through your hair.
It was a smooth, uneventful flight down. Until we got there. As I snapped some shots of the keys on the northern side of the island,
I noticed we weren't getting as close to the ground as soon as we normally would.
Then we felt a few bumps, and realized we were nearing a storm.
And it started to get increasingly turbulent. So my thoughts began to teeter between, "Dear Lord, are we going to DIE before we even get there?!"
To, "Ooooo, that's a pretty shot!"
To, (bump, bump, bumpety, BUMP) "Seriously, I think we should be making wider circles, like to that clear spot right over there!! See Mr. Pilot? Over THERE where the SUN IS SHINING??!!"
Alas, the plane landed safely after circling the Santa Clara airport for 25 minutes, to applause from the whole cabin. And it was pouring when we stepped off the plane onto the tarmac. But even though it was pouring, we were laughing as we ran for cover to the eave of the airport roof. It was warm. It was raining, and we were warm!! (That doesn't happen where we are in Canada. If it rains, you are cold. Very, very cold.)
And here we are after the sprint for cover, waiting in line to go inside and visit the customs officers. Once inside, through customs, and luggage retrieved, we were all loaded onto two or three coaches for the 1.5 hour ride to the resort in Cayo Santa Maria. It was a bit of a frustrating ride, because here I was in Cuba (CUBA!!) and I couldn't see a thing the whole ride there, save for a few street lights in a couple scattered towns along the way. But when we arrived at the resort, we were handed a tropical drink by the resort staff, and were greeted with hugs by Otto's parents who had arrived earlier in the day.
After breakfast the next morning with Abue and Abuelo, (Note Sam's chocolate mustache. Do not get the chocolate-covered doughnuts at a very warm, humid, outdoor buffet - very messy.)
we hit the beach, of course!
And then headed to the bar for some refreshments.
Andy sipping his cool drink.
Later we headed out for some evening activities.
A little socializing in the open-air lounge before dinner.
Some singing and dancing with the kids after dinner.
And the evening show. Look - it's the next Celia Cruz! Well, not quite. But she did have a lovely voice.
And I could have sworn I saw A-Rod (very Cuban), and Andy Samberg (so not Cuban) in this number, but I didn't have my glasses on.
After the show we retired to our rooms for a good night's sleep, to rest up for the beach and pool again in the morning. Rough life.