Dec 30, 2018

Finding Fusterlandia

Every traveler, commoners included, occasionally comes upon a place that defies easy description.  During our daylong tour of Havana, Cuba, our stop in Fusterlandia was that kind of place.    

Dec 16, 2018

A backseat tour of Havana, Cuba

More specifically, from a 1955 Cadillac El Dorado convertible

The first reaction Punky and I had upon booking a cruise to Havana, Cuba over Thanksgiving weekend was of slight disbelief.  After all, it still hasn’t been that long since travel restrictions had been loosened allowing Americans to visit more freely.  The second reaction was probably of slight uncertainty.  So, Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas will be docked in Havana for a day and a half.  What do we do once we get there?

Fortunately, after significant research on our guided tour options, Punky suggested we get in touch with Old Car Tours, one of the government-authorized private travel companies, to book a day-long “educational people to people” tour of Havana.  

Dec 9, 2018

Cruising through Key West

I’d be lying if I said we booked our cruise last month aboard Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas for any other reason than the day and a half it spent docked in Havana, Cuba.  After all, until recently Havana had been effectively off limits to most Americans for so long, it’s still a little hard to fathom that we can now travel there (with a “valid reason,” of course).

That said, one of my favorite things about the cruise was that it finally allowed me to show Punky a little slice of Key West, which was also on the itinerary.  I had been to the Conch Republic before, but it had been more than 15 years ago, so I was eager to get reacquainted with some of my favorite places on the island, too.  We only had roughly eight hours to explore, but I think we made the most of it. 

The boat docked just off Mallory Square, the perfect jumping off point, so to speak, for a long crawl into old Key West and back.  Once we were off the boat, it took almost no time for us to be greeted by some of the more colorful locals.  Most Key West residents live on what they call island time, but the chickens must be an exception.   

Dec 2, 2018

Part Three: Havana daydreamin’ on the Majesty of the Seas

Havana and homeward bound

Imagine dreaming of going someplace special most of your adult life, a place which you had previously thought to be unattainable. Then, one morning, you wake up and Voila!  There you are …   

That pretty much describes the feeling Punky had on Thursday morning, Thanksgiving Day, as our cruise ship docked in Havana, Cuba. 

A commoner dines at Baumgartner’s Cheese Store and Tavern, Monroe, Wis.

I wasn’t sure a place existed that could be the perfect representation of Wisconsin life, but then I traveled through Monroe, Wis., one week...