Saturday, May 20, 2006

Ten Things I learned at Cuba Nostalgia...

After an exhausting 11 days in Miami visiting Mami, I'm now temporarily back home. Blogging will be light next 5 days, as I will be away at a conference. If the hotel has free wireless I'll be posting so do check in. For now, here are 10 Things I learned at Cuba Nostalgia.

1. Attending with your elderly Cuban parent is an exercise in patience, specially if said parent likes to complain. However, once said parent sees the El Encanto replica or hears the live music, everything changes and for the very first time you see a different glow in their face, a different spark in their eyes. (if you show them the little baby-t that says "My Grandparent is Cuban" also works)

2. Don't drink the Bacardí Mojitos, they are a sorry excuse. Drink the Hatuey beer instead. I swear, I still dream of the Mojitos of Larios at the Beach of days past. I wonder if there is still a good place in Miami for Mojitos.

3. You can get great coffee at the Café Pilón stand - ONLY at the cafe Pilón stand. 4. There is so much memorabilia, artesanías, cute things to buy that you better take some cash; it's hard to resist buying replicas of buildings in Havana, Cuban sayings, guayaberas, music, food and more. My favorite was Tiki's "Lista de Vinos Cubanos" - I'm still laughing! There is also much to learn from the El Encanto employees and from the B2506 - the veterans of the Bay of Pigs.

5. That Val from Babalú is taller and thinner than I thought, Ziva is one classy lady, Robert is a sweetheart, Henry reminds me of Dennis the Menace, Amanda is like your best friend, George is well, the Pitbull, and two of the Three Guys from Miami are a riot.

6. That my spouse would've loved to have been at Cuba Nostalgia, and I'm already planning a trip for us for next year. I'm talking back a Married to a Cuban pulover as a souvenir!

7. There is simply nothing, and I mean NOTHING, like a Rumba, Son, Danzón, Guagancó or any other Cuban rhythm. NOTHING. So bring cool clothes, your dancing shoes and a lot of energy!

8. Contrary to popular belief it is not only old guayabera clad Cubans attending; there are a lot of young guayabera clad Cubans - both female and male - in attendance, with their spouses, their partners, some with their parents, some without. Evidence that all generations long for a Cuba long gone, and for a Free Cuba for the Cubans to build.

9. This is how I want to grow old - be still with my spouse, be still dancing to Cuban rhythms with the joy and soul of a young teenager. Así da gusto llegar a viejo!

10. I am damn proud to be the daughter of Cuban parents, proud to be blogging about Cuba and I wouldn't change my heritage for all the money in the world. Viva Cuba Libre!

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