TRAVEL // Santa Maria, Cuba
Resort - VALENTIN PERLA BLANCA
So I spent the last week in Santa Maria, Cuba. I had never been to Cuba before and the last time I headed to a resort was in Jamaica with Trav 3 years ago - so I was a little hesitant because I tend to get sick with random reactions ... so without Trav with me this time, I would have to rely on my aunt (who thankfully is a physician ... oh ya plus majority of the people were nurses too! ... *** my Cuban medical scare to come***).
This trip was for my aunt's friend's daughter's wedding so it was with a group of 50 people that knew each other. I have never been on a huge group trip like that + I only knew 2 other people so I was nervous/excited at the same time. Plus, Fidel Castro had just died the day before + we would be entering right in its time of mourning.
I was also told that the food there wasn't the greatest + to be careful of the water ... so I prepared by taking a whole bunch of snacks with me + getting the Dukoral vaccine since I have such a sensitive stomach. Thankfully, I really didn't need the snacks at all!!
We arrived in Cuba around noon + was supposed to take a bus to the resort that was about 1.5 h long. We had 50 people in our party, but the busses only take 48 people! Thankfully we convinced them to let us squeeze in and was on our way. We were told we had 2 bathroom stops, one at a "nice place" + the other ... would be not so much ! ... I'll be sharing a video soon for a more in depth look at my trip :)
We finally made it to the resort, but unfortunately my room wasn't going to be ready for a couple hours ... even though everyone else's was ready! To say the least, I was not impressed. I had slept 1 hour the night before and was running low on fumes - all I wanted to do was change into my bathers + shorts + head to the beach. However, my aunt + I spent our time at the buffet that was super disappointing - but thankfully that improved significantly throughout the week.
When we finally got our room, which was amazing minus the fact there was a frosted glass window looking into the shower from the bedroom ... let's just say my aunt + I are now very comfortable around each other !
Once we got settled we had less than an hour of sun since it set around 5:30pm like it did in ON.
The next couple days were a blur of sun + fun, got on a catamaran, ate lots of guava + papaya, lots of yummy seafood, and watched people dance ... I might have a little, but it's just not my thing!
The wedding was on the Friday, on one of the hottest days of the trip. The ceremony was absolutely stunning, right on the beach. It was truly an honour to watch these two beautiful humans, Diana + Vitaliy, promise themselves to each other for the rest of their lives. They were lucky to be surrounded by loving family + friends who travelled to Cuba to experience this with them.
Now that I'm back in Toronto, I am in such cultural withdrawal - I miss all the fast/happy chatting of the locals, laughter/cheer from visitors + constant chatter with my new friends from the trip. I don't know if you all feel the same way - when you're there everything feels so natural, but it's only when you leave and come back that you feel a mini culture shock coming back to your own hometown.