Sunday, October 28, 2018


Full moon over Miami

Avoiding the red-eye the night before, we decided to fly into Miami a day early. How wonderful to be completely engulfed in Spanish as soon as we landed. I felt right at home. Gramma and Grampa were definitely with us in spirit. Tim and I gobbled down a couple of empanadas on our way to baggage claim.

View from our hotel room

Sunset over the bay

In Miami, we had just enough time to ride the free Metromover monorail to touristy Bayside Marketplace (don't waste your time) before hitting the hay. Breakfast at 7AM the next morning, followed by a 2-hour lecture about Cuba. We then boarded a Go Next tour bus to see the local sights en route to the ship.

Mango daiquiri at Bayside Marketplace

The highlight was Calle Ocho (8th Street) in Little Havana—very lively and colorful. Would love to spend an entire day there. We grabbed a snack—amazing homemade key lime ice cream for me, a Cubano sandwich for Tim—and watched retired ex-pat Cubans play dominos. We also made a quick stop at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Charity (Ermita de la Caridad) sanctuary, an American Cuban landmark on Biscayne Bay. From there we headed to the port of Miami, where we boarded our ship.

Freedom Tower, former Miami News HQ that, in the 1960s,
became the processing center for Cubans fleeing Castro's regime.
Today it's an art museum.

Calle Ocho: rooster is Cuba's national bird

Coca Cola museum was closed,
so we peaked in through the window

Domino Park: the sign warns that players
must wear shirts and are not allowed to throw
trash on the ground, yell, or spit 

Beatles as street art--note the dominos under foot

National Shrine of Our Lady of Charity mural, 
depicting several historical figures including
Columbus and various Cuban heroes

Ready for Cuba!

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