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Our Man In Havana

Without forethought, Cuban cigars become puppy playtoys

It was a busy evening around here. The first canine incident of the night unfolded when an Amazon package was found shredded, nearly beyond recognition, in the upstairs hallway. It seems “Woodrow,” our newest pooch, had somehow gotten to the front porch, then going undetected, transported his booty out of obvious sight where he thoroughly[…]

Home is where the family is in Cuba

Long before Airbnb, I’d heard people say that when traveling, especially to Cuba, it’s best to stay in a private home to get the real feel of a place. But being the paranoid type, it took me about 15 trips before I would even consider it. My foolish theory was that the moment I fell[…]

You don’t always have to get up early for Cuban sunrise

Ever since my first trip to Cuba with author David Sloan in 1999, a trip out to Vinales in the westernmost province of Pinar Del Rio is a must. Even if I didn’t have so many longtime friends in this little town, I’d still happily make the fairly boring, three-hour drive. And while it’s most[…]

Cuba’s Isle of Youth provided backdrop for literary classics

One of my Cuba tour clients, who will be joining us in March, forwarded me a recent New York Times article about La Isla de Juventud (Isle of Youth), an island about 60 miles south of mainland Cuba. And while there are 15 provinces that divide the 750-mile long country, “La Isla,” as the Cubans[…]

‘Buffalo Soldiers’ a key part of history of San Juan Hill

Considering the phrase “history is written by the victors,” it seems you need to take a lot of the stories about the battle of San Juan Hill, near the city of Santiago de Cuba, with more than a grain of salt, whatever that means. One thing is certain, future vice, then President Theodore Roosevelt rose[…]

Cubans fishers find novel way to catch ‘the big one’

Once again, my weekly responsibility to include a few paragraphs to accompany my Cuba photos has yielded another Cuban gem. I found the photo above that I made while whizzing down the Malec√≥n in Havana in 2008, but that isn’t the gem; we’ll get to that shortly. Seen here, three fishermen wheel their — ahem[…]