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Just got back from our amazing Cuban trip. This was the first time my wife and I have been away from our kids (more than a couple of days) since they were born!

The goal of the trip was to relax and to celebrate so we stayed at the Barcelo Solymar. Fantastic beach. We arrived on Saturday morning at 0145 and left the resort at 0745 for our trip to Havana. My wife’s idea...she wanted me to see Havana and get the cigars I wanted. That trip to Havana brought a lot of amazing connections....more to come on that. We both agree next time we stay in Havana for at least 3 days.

We pre-arranged a pickup from Adiam Cabrera through info passed on by a great BOTL and SOTL. Adiam drove and Alain (an English teacher) translated and guided us around. These guys are fantastic, and as with Cuban people, very generous and giving. If you ever need a ride from Varadero to Havana or that vicinity you NEED to connect with these two!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PM me for their contact info.

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On our ride Alain informs me that Adiam’s family wants to make a special dinner for us to celebrate our 12th anniversary. My wife and I were a little taken a back by that.

The only place I wanted to go to in Havana was.......

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I was very lucky to meet Reynaldo. I asked a man in the store if I could meet him and he pops out and offers me one of his amazing cigars (Cimmaron – I think this is what it is called) and a cafe for myself and my wife. Then he took me to his custom rolls. I was in heaven! Reynaldo and his staff were VERY patient with me, I think I was a deer-in-headlights but also rushing a bit because I thought he was close to closing.

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Me with a Reynaldo masterpiece and apparently some guns.

I bought 6 boxes of Bolivar Gold Medals, a box Boli Royal Corona, 25 of Reynaldo’s Robos, 10 Cimmarons, 10 Belis, 20 Corona Gordas. Pictures to come (they are in the freezer)

During the day we also went to H Upmann, RyJ, and Partagas. Unfortunately Hamlet was not around that day. I have always wanted to meet him and try one of his customs. I had a similar encounter as Nino at Partagas, guys trying to sell me what I wanted on the street and even offering me to enter their place where all these cigars were. One guy latched onto me after I repeatedly told him I was not interested. Got in my personal space and tried to grab my shoulder. Alain was great. Told him to take a hike and that we were not interested and the guys did walk away.

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On the way home Adiam offers up his internet connection so we can let the kids and grandparents know we arrived and all is well. Met his daughter, niece, sister, and wife. The kids loved the ipad we brought and were working it like they owned it within a couple of minutes. Adiam also made us a great pina colada.

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We went back to their place in Santa Marta for our anniversary dinner and it was the best food we had during our entire trip...and the best lobster I have ever had. We joked with Adiam about changing careers and becoming a chef......... or a bartender who makes the best Pina Coladas.

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I had a great connection with Alain...pigeons. My grandfather raised them and raced them here in Canada. It brought back a flood of great memories for me when he took me to his coop and I got to met some other racers on top of their roofs. Before the next time I return or someone I know, I need to get him a pigeon racing clock.

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What a great trip!

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Fantastic! Sounds like you and your wife had a great trip. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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Hey !!

Great text and pictures and what's even better - you are with good Cuban people and sharing their table and simpathy, I love it.

Thank you for the images, I envy you and I am happy for you -

Nino

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