Salsa and a One Course Meal

By Abby Del Vecchio

I awoke panicking at four a.m. The last thing I remember was lying down to take a quick 45-minute nap at six p.m., before getting ready for dinner. “I wonder if anyone else went to dinner,” I thought. “I would have heard them try to wake me up if they did.” Shrugging, too tired to think anything else, I quickly set my alarm for 6:45 a.m., and fell back asleep.

When I awoke again, I immediately felt relaxed and refreshed– something I hadn’t felt since we arrived. I guess sleeping for 12 hours will do that to you.

Apparently, everyone did go to dinner. They knocked on my door, called our room, but Kayla and I were knocked out. We heard nothing.

The first stop that day was a walking tour of Old Havana. This part of the city was so amazing, with its busy streets filled with some of the most interesting people and places I have ever seen. I loved every minute of it. I would say Old Havana was my favorite part of the trip, but then I think of some of the places we visited later on in the week like Viñales Valley, Las Terrazas and the fishing village of Cojímar San Francisco de Paula, and I think that Cuba in general is my favorite.

A typical street in Old Havana. Photo by Abby Del Vecchio.

Some of the group atop the Hotel Inglaterra. Photo by Rick Ricioppo

We even got to visit the Hotel Inglaterra, which was where the 2012 Journalism Without Walls group stayed. The hotel was amazing. It was right in the middle of Old Havana and it truly felt like you were staying in Cuba. It was a real, authentic Cuban hotel, unlike the incredibly modern Hotel Capri where we were staying. We sat on the rooftop, met Professor Ricioppo’s friend Richard, listened to Cuban music, and finally got to salsa! (Very badly, as Chris would later tease). A dance professor salsa-ed with Kayla and Ivana who killed it. (Sorry Kayla, but Ivana wins for best salsa).

We finally went to dinner. It was my first time eating dinner in two days, and all we wanted was rice and beans. Cuba is known for having at least three courses though, so simply getting rice and beans was not an option.

And finally, to end our extremely long day (but not long enough because, I mean, we’re in Cuba) we returned to the Hotel Capri to get some sleep, because tomorrow would likely be an even longer day. We’re going to the embassy.

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One Response to Salsa and a One Course Meal

  1. Eleanor mastronardo says:

    I enjoyed the pictures and the essays about your adventure. What an experience, Abby. So glad you had that opportunity !!!

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