Last year was difficult. With school and working full-time and running a business full-time, we were really looking forward to a break after Christmas. We were set to go to Trinidad, Cuba just after Christmas, and it’s safe to say all of us were eager to get on that plane.
This would be our fifth trip to Cuba as a family. We really enjoyed Varadero, adored Jibacoa, and also loved Cayo Coco and Cayo Santa Maria, although the Cayos are a little far from the mainland (and Cubans) for our liking. Honestly, our location this time – our first on the Caribbean side of the island – was perfect. Literally a ten minute drive from the beautiful and historic town of Trinidad, we adored our little beach resort - the Club Amigo Costasur.
My father died when we were away. He passed away on New Year’s Day, and we were not scheduled to return from Cuba until the 4th of January. Because we traveled as part of a package, we were not able to return home without spending a great deal of money and traveling hours away to depart from another part of Cuba. I tried to think about what my father would have wanted me to do. He would not have wanted me to spend a small fortune to return home from a well-earned vacation in order to arrange his funeral. So we stayed, and I tried to honour my dad by spending my remaining time there as I imagined he would have. Coming home from a vacation and back to reality is never easy, and this time was so difficult it was almost surreal. Almost two months later, it still is.
I’m so grateful to so many for the kindness shown to me. Levis, the lovely local Sunwing representative really tried to get me home early, and arranged for me to use the internet cafe at the Grand Hotel in downtown Trinidad, when I could not get internet access at our hotel – the person selling internet and phone cards was not working that day. The staff at the Club Amigo Costasur really tried to help me communicate with my family back home. January 1 is a huge deal in Cuba -not only is it New Year’s Day, it is also the anniversary of the Revolution. We lost cel service from about noon on December 31 until about noon on January 2, probably because the system was overloaded. It’s actually a miracle my family was able to reach me in our hotel room to deliver the bad news.
Over the next few weeks I’ll share more details about that area of Cuba and what it has to offer families. But in a nutshell, we loved it, and will probably return that part of Cuba sooner rather than later.