Tag Archives: Vacation

Havana, Cuba Square One

As I began to write this post, I realized the wealth of information (and photos) I walked away with, so I decided to break up my Cuban adventure into various blog posts. I’ll begin at square one, Plaza de San Francisco Asís, the first of four historic squares we visited on our city tour.

I still cannot believe it has already been a week since I set sail for Cuba on Empress of the Seas.

Sail Away!

It was an unforgettable experience. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when we docked in Havana at sunrise, but I was ready to explore and learn as much as I could, despite it being the crack of dawn.  I’m not a morning person.

We booked a shore excursion through Royal Caribbean, the Old Havana Walking tour. At first, I was concerned about not having a chance to explore on my own, but our guide generously gave us time to wander and take photos–even shop.

The tour began right outside of the cruise port, in Plaza de San Francisco Asís  (San Francisco Square).  The name comes from the convent built in the square during the 16th century, Basilica Menor de San Francisco de Asís.

San Francisco Square

We stepped off the ship and into a time warp. The streets were relatively quiet as we crossed from the cruise terminal to the square. Later in the day, classic cars and horse and buggies line these streets offering tours. Highly recommended experience.

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First glimpse of the classic cars which the Cubans simply call “American cars.”

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Lonja del Comercio, served as a stock exchange until 1959. It is now an office building housing various media outlets.

At the center of the square lies a beautiful white marble fountain, the Lion Fountain.

Fuente de los Leones (Lion Fountain) built in 1800’s

I was instantly amazed by the vibrant colors and stunning architecture. Part of me was expecting the city to be run-down and dirty. It was far from that. In fact, some areas of the city were so clean and well maintained, I felt as though I was on a movie set.

We’ll continue down this alleyway in my next post.

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Street Art in Deep Ellum, Texas

In my last post, I shared my off the beaten path road trip to Paris, Texas. Another spot to check out while in the Lone Star State, Deep Ellum. I’m always on the lookout for good wall art, and Deep Ellum is basically wall art heaven, and totally Instagram worthy.

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Between photo sessions, we stopped for lunch at Twisted Root Burger Co., a trendy little burger joint.

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And instead of giving your name at the counter, just for them to screw up later, they give you a name, a celebrity name to be exact.

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They also have a variety of different and unique meats to choose from, like venison, elk, lamb, ostrich, rabbit, camel, boar, beaver, kangaroo and more. I went with plain old beef because I’m boring like that.

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Unfortunately, we weren’t able to stay too long as I hear there is a pretty hopping nightlife. Oh well, next time.

Look, it’s a Dallas bull!

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Happy First Day of Summer!

It’s not summer without a trip to the beach. And for me, it’s not summer without a trip to my favorite beach: Captiva!

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While it has been a bit rainy and cloudy, I still managed to get enough sun to resemble a lobster. This is what happens when you only go to the beach once a year and try to soak up as many rays as you can in a few days. Oops.

Besides all that, it’s still the most relaxing and beautiful place to spend the first day of summer 🙂

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