cuba tourism

Cuba for a Sacramento Realtor Winter Vacation

HAVANA,CUBA-MAY 04.2013 Old retro classic american car and Capitol building in Havana,Cuba Photo taken on: May 4, 2014

Cuba in 2014

The first thing I learned in third grade was where to find Cuba on a world map. Surprisingly, I did not learn this from my mother, a former president of the Minnesota chapter of the League of Women Voters, a parental figure who had hung a huge world map on my bedroom wall and always watched the news with the volume turned way up, just in case she had to run to the bathroom. This was way before CNN, and the TV news was shown only thrice a day, at lunch for 10 minutes, and then dinnertime and bedtime — unless something really horrible happened like JFK being shot, and then it was on all day long.

This was also after the Bay of Pigs invasion which, as children, was just another funny name to us. But we completely understood the ramifications of the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was on TV constantly in 1960. And my third-grade teacher made sure we knew where Cuba was located, while impressing upon us that it was completely possible, meaning within the realm of all possibilities we were all gonna die, very likely blown to smithereens by the Russians.

And then, just like that, Cuba was off limits for American visitors for 55 years.

We were always all gonna die when I was a kid, which was the basis for the silly duck-and-cover exercises in school, designed to save us from a nuclear holocaust. I don’t know about you, but I’d have a hard time ducking and covering to escape a bear attack, but at least that strategy makes sense if a bear attacks. If it wasn’t Goldwater blowing up the world in scary television commercials, it was one of those tornadoes that could swoop down and suck up all the water in Lino Lakes, Minnesota, and then dump it back before moving on. Maybe that’s why 9/11 was perhaps more frightening, seemed far more familiar than it had any right to feel, an echo. Today’s kids haven’t grown up feeling terror. Terror to them is when the cell tower goes down.

Now that Cuba is coming available for travel for U.S. citizens, legally, that is, my husband and I are planning a Christmas trip over the holidays to tour the country, interact with Cubans. It’s a world that seems to be enveloped in time, although, like with most places, there is a disconnect between the poor and the wealthy, and an obvious economic disparity. The main issue I’m struggling with at the moment is how much internet or WiFi I will have access to while in Cuba because I still need to oversee my Sacramento real estate.

I’m just not one of those Sacramento REALTORS who can hand off my business to another real estate agent. I still need to keep my fingers in it, even on vacation. I’ve tried it in the past and it didn’t resolve fretting. But this trip to Cuba, well, it seems like a place we really ought to go to before it changes. Perhaps for just a few minutes a day I can pretend it’s 1960 again, without all the terror of that year.

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