Friday, January 16, 2015

Back on Track?

Home from Cuba!  A beautiful resort -- exquisite beaches, sparkling swimming pools, glorious colours of flora, fauna and architecture everywhere.  Plenty of fresh fruit and veg, delicious food, refreshing beverages...I'd never been to an "all inclusive" before and I can definitely recommend Memories Paraiso Azul resort.  The staff were friendly and the service, excellent.

We (I was with a gal pal from Montreal) were completely charmed by the restaurant servers who remembered us from day to day, down to where we liked to sit and what we liked to drink: coffee for me -- which the Cubans do particularly well (I brought some home) and tea for Peg; a mojito or cervesa in the afternoon; and which one of us liked red or white wine with dinner...)

We had a 3rd floor room (no elevator -- good for keeping one in trim when one spends a good portion of each day eating...!) with a balcony that had an ocean view.

I took photos -- over 250 which, for this "point-and-click" gal is considerable!  Flowers, birds (humming), butterflies, plant life (trees, leaves, bark), skies, the ocean (I can't easily articulate
the number of shades of blue-green-grey-white seen in one sitting)...and buildings (arches, tile roofs, tiled floors -- patterns! -- and walls in all sorts of colours.  I'll not be doing a retrospective here for you.  Simply stay tuned as they show up from time to time over the next several months, as artistic inspiration.  :-)

Peg on the beach
We walked the beach -- one day we went west for an hour and turned around and came back.

We walked around the town of Remedios off the market square (more about that another time).

We walked around the resort to the pueblo/market for souvenirs (ditto).

We danced to the live music on the steps of the Teatro after dinner...but were snug in our beds by the time the indoor shows started.
Two of our favourite kitties

We cuddled the kitties that wandered the grounds, all of which were clearly related (!) and equally clearly well cared for.

Huge tree, town square, Remedios, Cuba
We took a half-day tour to Caibarien and Remedios, visiting the sugar mill museum in the former, and the market square in the latter...

One of the 3 pool areas,
Memories Paraiso Azul resort

I swam circles in the curvy pools, and dipped into the ocean -- breezy with white caps most days but still fun -- and ran on the beach one early morning. (This is not a commercial photo -yes, I took this shot myself!)

All in all, though, I am very glad to be home, back to my own kitty, my two-days-a-week job at The Shop, my sewdio and my jogging/walking routine.  I don't do the "Sun Bunny" role well; neither do I enjoy snorkeling among sea creatures or surfing in

On the road to Remedios
Then there was the whole uncomfortable sense of being "privileged", which really goes against my core values...There is distinct poverty in Cuba...but I am conflicted about the damage that could be done to the culture by a renewed relationship with the U.S....Praying for a balance between genuine support for the people and their culture and the temptation to commercialism and 'extroverted capitalism' which would destroy the beauty and simplicity of the landscape and the culture.  It's a tricky business...

I've spent today working on my EBMC drawings, prepping for blocking my first piece (deadline is Jan. 20)...and will share that work in the next few days...

But for this evening?  A cuppa, a good book, quiet music, and zzzzzzzzz......

All for now!


California Fiber artist and composer said...

I can't wait to hear more about your trip. The contrast between resorts and the surrounding poverty is an issue in many second and third world countries. I too am concerned that change may come too fast with the opening up of US/Cuba relations.

Judy Warner said...

Hi Margaret
So glad to hear from youi. Sounds like it was a real vacation for you.
Welcome back!

els said...

We were in Cuba 25 years ago. No resorts yet.
We loved it and I share your worries about the new relationship, but.... you can't stop progress!!

Kathie Briggs said...

Margaret, welcome back to winter. Your photographs are gorgeous. What an interesting excursion. I'm glad you found artistic inspiration. I look forward to seeing new work inspired by this imagery.

elle said...

Blue, green, grey white! What a lovely colour combo! I'm no sun bunny either but could totally relate to walking down a beach with my sandals in my hand. Oh, just realised why they would be sand als! lol Still it all looks terribly interesting. Welcome home!

Susan Lenz said...

Welcome home! We likely would make great traveling companions. I'm not at all comfortable with luxury accommodations in the midst of a world in poverty ... and I've always considered that the ocean is the home to sharks. They haven't invited me. I'll not be rude by entering as lunch. LOL! Can't wait for your photos ... especially the myriad of colors of the sea. Those in Key West were unbelievably dazzling.