Cuba Travel Guide for an American

Cuba is a wild place with friendly people, classic cars everywhere, and tons of drinks! We share our Cuba travel guide for Americans looking to visit and curious on the best things to do in Cuba and the best places to see in Cuba. This beautiful, cultural country should be on everyone’s bucket list.

In this episode we talk about our one week in Cuba where we visited Havana and Trinidad with our very first special guest that went on this trip with us too! We cover:

  • Cuba money, taxis, and rules
  • Vedado neighborhood of Havana
  • Exploring Havana by bus and by bar!
  • The journey to Trinidad in an old classic car
  • Disco Ayala in Trinidad – a nightclub in a cave!
  • Playa Ancon, a beautiful beach in Trinidad
  • The Tropicana Show
  • Barrio Chino in Havana and making friends with the locals

Cuba – Episode Transcript

3 (55s):
Welcome to this weeks episode of the Travel Squad podcast. Today, we are traveling to Cuba today.

1 (1m 0s):
These are really special day. We have our first special guest on our podcast, Jordan,

3 (1m 6s):

2 (1m 7s):

3 (1m 7s):
Yay. Thank you so much for being on our podcast. You’re welcome.

2 (1m 14s):
You guys. This is the first time I’ve seen Jordan since the trip and this is, oh my

3 (1m 17s):
God. Seriously?

2 (1m 18s):
Yeah, I haven’t seen him since the trip.

8 (1m 20s):
I guess I can. Cuba is easy to get cleared. Right?

2 (1m 24s):
Welcome back.

3 (1m 25s):
So we took this trip a little over two years ago in March of 2017. When the borders were still open to us citizens. I don’t know if they are anymore. Yeah, they are. They are not.

4 (1m 36s):
Well, I know with the new administration taking place in Washington right now that they have made it more restrictive than it was when you guys had gone, they ease the requirements for visas, but now they’ve made it a little bit more restrictive, but with anything there’s always some wiggle room and ways around it. I mean, cruise ships are still going to Cuba,

3 (1m 57s):
So you can still go through Mexico or Canada.

2 (2m 1s):
We first looked at getting tickets from Tijuana to fly into Havana, but Kim found some super cheap flights from San Diego red eye flight from San Diego to Fort Lauderdale. And then from Fort Lauderdale, it’s like what? A 45 minute flight into Havana. Yeah.

3 (2m 17s):
And then right there in Fort Lauderdale, you can purchase your visa. So you get off the plane, buy your visa from some guys standing there, not even in a booth, just with a clipboard,

4 (2m 28s):
Real simple

3 (2m 29s):
For you. And then you jump right on the next plane, the same area,

4 (2m 31s):
Just so our listeners have a little bit of preface and context, Brittany, and I didn’t go on this one with you guys.

3 (2m 39s):
You didn’t, well,

4 (2m 40s):
You guys had scheduled it right around the time Brittany and I had another vacation. And so we just couldn’t do two big ones that close in succession, but I’ve heard so much about this trip that I’m kind of jealous that it didn’t make it, but I’m really excited to hear more in depth with kind of everyone who was there.

2 (2m 56s):
Yes. Yeah. I know. Just even chit chatting right now, Jordan’s bringing back memories that I didn’t even know I had.

3 (3m 2s):
Yes. And we all had like did different things. We weren’t always all together because we went and the two other girls that were Zena’s friends

1 (3m 8s):
Before we get into the trip. Can you guys tell us a little bit about what are the absolute must knows before you go to Cuba?

3 (3m 15s):
Number one is, do not count on having internet

8 (3m 19s):
Orienting phone service in that matter. Not just internet, no service at all,

3 (3m 23s):
No service. Basically your phone has a camera and that’s it. They do sell internet cards, but they’re really hard to find and they charge you. They’re not expensive. A couple of dollars,

8 (3m 33s):
$10, but for what? 30 minutes?

3 (3m 36s):
Yeah, only for 30 minutes.

8 (3m 38s):
Like lobbies or the park when we were in Havana, you go to that one part.

3 (3m 42s):
Yeah. The whole week we were there, we only got internet, maybe two or three times for 30 minutes. Did you

4 (3m 48s):
Guys buy cards then?

3 (3m 49s):
Yes. In some places in a bar you can get a drink and they’ll give you a card too.

4 (3m 55s):
Yeah. The internet cafes,

3 (3m 57s):

8 (3m 58s):
Hotels or

3 (3m 60s):
A little store, you buy it in and go to a park where they have it,

8 (4m 2s):
Certain wifi hotspots. But they weren’t that hot. The wifi wasn’t.

2 (4m 7s):
And you know what, when you’re near a hotspot, because everyone has their phone out. Yes.

1 (4m 13s):
Speaking of buying things, how do you purchase things in Cuba?

2 (4m 16s):
The ATM’s do not work

3 (4m 18s):
For Americans.

2 (4m 19s):
Exactly. Your American debit card will not work

8 (4m 22s):
Credit cards, anything linked to America.

3 (4m 24s):
They don’t even really like American cash. They charge you like a 10% feed to

8 (4m 28s):
Conversion rate.

2 (4m 29s):
We had to go to hotels to get our money exchanged, but all other countries, debit cards do work. Just not Americans.

8 (4m 37s):
That is the one thing too. Like my view of it was going to be like, you expect it to be so like cut off from everybody. And then like, right, when you get there, every other country is in there. It’s like hustle and bustle. There’s all these like tall hotels. And it’s just like, it’s really just them in America that like don’t have any kind of working relationship.

1 (4m 54s):
So before you go on your trip, do you have to have all of your money converted in Cuban currency before you enter the country?

2 (5m 2s):
I took American dollars. And then just when we went into the hotel, the places where you could convert, that’s where I converted the American dollar. So you cannot go into Cuba without money. Don’t rely on your debit cards. You need to take cash with you and you can get it exchanged once you’re there, no ATM, no

3 (5m 20s):

2 (5m 23s):
And less. You have an ATM card from another country. And then also just to touch base on what Brittany was saying, what should you know about Cuba? The Cuban people are so friendly. They

3 (5m 34s):
Love Americans,

2 (5m 36s):
Which is, it’s just so interesting, you know? Cause it is a communist country and they are some of the happiest people that I’ve ever met. And no one speaks English.

3 (5m 43s):
Yeah. They’re all really friendly. Yeah.

8 (5m 46s):
The only people that don’t like you talking to Americans is the cops.

3 (5m 48s):
Yeah. The cops are weird and we have a few stories about run ins with police. And the other thing you should know about Cuba, that’s also a little weird is the food situation, the restaurants,

8 (5m 58s):

3 (5m 59s):
They have okay. Food in some places, but the convenience stores, you can’t rely on a convenience store to go in and grab like a granola bar or something like you would here. They’re not stocked like that. There’d be like shelves of Manet’s and nothing else. I remember we went in once trying to find something and it was impossible.

2 (6m 17s):
They did have really stale ass Graham crackers,

8 (6m 22s):
Like a yellow package.

2 (6m 24s):
I think. So I probably still have some of my cupboard cause they were really gross. But when you get hungry and there’s no food to buy, they’re really handy. And I think I paid like two cooks for it, but it was funny because one of the girls that was with us, she doesn’t speak any Spanish. So I think she paid like five cooks for it. And when she asked me how much I paid and I said to, she got like super mad, but I spoke Spanish and she didn’t. So they hustled her.

8 (6m 50s):
But that’s Cuba for sure. Like the prices. That’s what I was talking about before we started. But like getting the cabs, like every time we got in a cab, unless we negotiated the fair upfront, like there was no baseline for what the cost is going to be.

1 (7m 2s):
And doesn’t Cuba have two different types of currencies.

8 (7m 5s):
I mean, they really do have two different kinds of currency, but the only one you’re ever going to see is to see, see the cup is like a local currency and the dominations are way smaller. Like one C you see as equivalent to like $1 and 33 cents American and one cup, which is the local currency is equivalent to like a peso. So like 20 to one on American dollars. But you’re, you’re never going to get that money to spend as a tourist. But what I did read before we went there, I never saw it happen was that they said people will exchange the cup dollar bills versa. You see? So they’ll basically give you worthless money and take your expensive money. If you’re a tourist and you’re not paying attention when converted money with people,

2 (7m 46s):
They do have different prices for the locals.

3 (7m 48s):
Before we kick it off onto the trip. I wanted to say how we ended up on this trip together. And just to show you that you can really travel with anybody. It doesn’t have to be just your best friends or whoever else that you’ve planning a trip with. So Zayna said that, how did you end up on this trip?

2 (8m 4s):
I was planning a trip with I sell, I sell and I go way back Reese to live overseas, not together, but together at the same time. And we were planning this trip to Cuba and I made the comment that we’re going to Cuba when you and I were in the backseat of Jamal and Brittany’s car. When we were driving back from the grand canyon and Kim said, I want to go. And I said,

3 (8m 27s):
Jump in there. Cool.

2 (8m 28s):
You should go. So then Kim invited Jordan and all of a sudden it became a group

8 (8m 34s):

3 (8m 37s):
He was just like up talking after everyone went to bed. Yes. And it was like going to Cuba. There’s going to be a bunch of classic cars and he’s like, I want to go. And we’re like, all right, now, Jordan’s coming

2 (8m 49s):
Now Jordan’s on our podcast talking about Cuba,

3 (8m 52s):
First guest.

2 (8m 55s):
So when we landed in Cuba, we already had an Airbnb. That’s one of the things maybe that you should know is at the time that we went hotels, weren’t really prevalent. It was really Airbnbs. So it was Jordan, Kim and I, that landed in Havana. And I sell and her sister were already there at the Airbnb. And the lady sent me a message saying that she has a friend who’s going to pick us up from the airports. So he picked us up, but he would, we couldn’t get into the car with him because they’re not allowed to pick people up from the airport. You have to take a taxi.

8 (9m 34s):
He wasn’t like a registered.

3 (9m 35s):

2 (9m 36s):
Exactly. And so since he’s not a registered taxi, he cannot pick us up. So we had to walk outside of the airport so he could pick us up on the side of the road. And when he picked us up on the side of the road, I guess the cops were nearby and they solace,

8 (9m 51s):
It’s all like a scam together. You could tell for sure, like he pulled over that little separation where that driver was. And they said, you know, there was a couple cops that pulled up and he’s like, he’s like asking us if we

3 (9m 60s):
Knew him.

2 (10m 1s):
Yes. And I felt so uncomfortable because they were asking me in Spanish and I knew what they were saying, but I don’t want to lie because this is Cuba. I’m not looking to go to jail. And I don’t know this guy, but I also don’t want him to go to jail or have anything happen. So they’re asking me in Spanish, do you know this guy? Did he just pick you up? And I just looked at them and I said, I don’t, I don’t speak Spanish. I don’t understand. You know, but I know that that guy knew that I spoke Spanish because I had already spoken Spanish with him. And I think he was looking at me to save him, but it was so uncomfortable. And we didn’t even know right off the bat that anything was going on because we were so excited to be around the old classic cars that Kim and I are having a photo shoot.

2 (10m 48s):
This guy.

3 (10m 49s):
I actually, we have pictures of us posing in front of his classic car and the guy and the cop are arguing in the background.

2 (10m 57s):
We had no idea what was going on. And someone finally pointed out the fact that like, oh, I think this guy’s getting in trouble. And that’s when we kind of calmed down on our photos.

3 (11m 6s):
And that was our first 20 minutes in the country.

2 (11m 9s):
So they ended up not letting us go with that guy. And then they called a taxi and they made sure that we got into the taxi that they called. And so we got in the, to the taxi and then Jordan asked the cab driver, where can we get beer? So

4 (11m 28s):
Most important thing, it

2 (11m 29s):
Really is. And

3 (11m 31s):
This beer 30,

2 (11m 32s):
Then we asked him, can we drink the beer in the car? And he said, oh, absolutely. And then Jordan offered him a beer. He said, no, I’m driving. So they do stay safe.

3 (11m 44s):
We need to be responsible driver.

2 (11m 46s):
Right. So he took us to the Airbnb and like legit. This is like the first hour in Cuba. We’re already partying in the car after watching our initial driver get in trouble with the cops for picking us up.

4 (11m 60s):
So whatever happened to him because he was your Airbnb hosts, friend of friend or family member. Yeah. So did you ever figure out what happened to him?

2 (12m 9s):
I don’t know what happened, but when we got there, I told the lady and I told her what happened and she looked sad, but she told me, don’t worry about it. Like, it’s unfortunate that that happened, but don’t worry. And I apologized and she said, no, please don’t worry. And I have no idea what happened.

4 (12m 26s):
You just don’t

2 (12m 27s):
Ask. I know, right. We’re in Cuba

3 (12m 29s):
That really set our Cuba trip up. It really followed that same path throughout the whole week. We were there in many different ways.

2 (12m 37s):
Just for the record. This episode is a big party episode.

3 (12m 43s):
So after we get it to the Airbnb, we chill for a minute and then we’re like, let’s go explore the area. And so what the area, what was the area called that we were seeing in

2 (12m 51s):
Vedado and this was like the rich area

3 (12m 53s):
And it’s along the Malecon so you can walk and it’s on the water and it’s really pretty this classic cars driving by. We’re just like starry-eyed from all these beautiful, like old American cars that are literally everywhere.

4 (13m 5s):
What’s the Malecon

3 (13m 6s):
It’s the walk along the water, like a boardwalk?

4 (13m 10s):
Yes. Oh, okay. Very nice. Yeah. They have pigs right there.

3 (13m 14s):
Yeah. That’s

4 (13m 16s):
A little history lesson.

3 (13m 19s):
Now we have a new Mr. Historian in town, our first guest

8 (13m 24s):

3 (13m 24s):
So we’re walking along the Malecon. We find a little bar restaurant where they’re playing music and it’s all outdoors. So we’re like, Hey, let’s get some beer.

4 (13m 34s):
And this point, I know you said you went to the Airbnb, but you have met up with ICL and her sister.

2 (13m 39s):
Yeah. So when we got there, we did what we knew how to do best. We drank.

3 (13m 43s):
We sat there for a while talking to the Cubans, we met this couple that was there with their kids and it was the guy’s birthday.

2 (13m 50s):
Sorry. Before we met them, Jordan was talking with a group of dudes and one of the girlfriends of the dudes started to hit on Jordan hardcore.

4 (14m 1s):
Oh my God.

2 (14m 3s):
So Jordan is getting hit on by a girl right in front of her boyfriend. And we’re drinking, drinking, drinking. And Jordan is just talking with everyone

3 (14m 14s):
Ropes in this couple that was there with their kids. And the guy was really cool. Was chill, whatever we’re drinking. His wife was really cool. She said she was some kind of like

4 (14m 24s):
Engineer. Right?

3 (14m 25s):
Well that, but then like intrinsically, she was like a fortune teller energy reader kind of, I don’t know. Some of it was on, some of it was a little scary.

2 (14m 36s):
Yeah. So for Kim, she said that I will be introducing Kim to the love of her life. And it’s going to be an older guy, but it is me who will introduce Kim. So at this point in time, I have not introduced him to an older, if

3 (14m 52s):
You’re out there and you know, Zena, and you’re older,

2 (14m 55s):
Please let me know. And then for ISL, she kept looking at Isola and telling her to be careful, really in specifically to like,

3 (15m 6s):
Not get pregnant.

2 (15m 7s):
Exactly. And I said, I was just like, what the hell dude? And then for me, she said that I already know the love of my life, but give it time and he’ll come around. And I told her, but he’s getting married. And she said, don’t worry, give it time. And he’ll come around because ultimately he’s the one that you’re going to be with. And so I think that she was able to pick up on all the things that we were talking about and make some kind of prophecy based on the inner she, she was picking

3 (15m 36s):
Up on.

2 (15m 37s):
Yeah. But anyway, we’re all really drunk and that’s him. Yeah.

3 (15m 43s):
Yeah. You got a photo with him because it was his birthday. So we’re like, Hey, we’re going to go to dinner. We just got here, we’re hungry. Do you want to go to dinner with us? And then we’re like, oh crap. We didn’t mean to actually like accidentally say, we’re going to pay for your dinner. And we had no idea how much things were costing at that point. We still were like, oh, and

2 (15m 58s):
Tear to pay for dinner.

8 (15m 60s):
What was that misconception of? Like, we’re, we’re generally just used to being like, Hey,

3 (16m 3s):
Do you want to go to

8 (16m 4s):
Dinner with us? And assuming that everybody’s going to pay their own way. And then not thinking about that, we’re like, Hey, you want to go to dinner? And we’ll, we’re going to spend on dinner is like what? He said, his wife made in a month because, Well, he said his wife made 20 or $30 a month.

2 (16m 19s):
She had a really great job, but she

8 (16m 22s):
Like the cab drivers we met, they were sitting there making like $200 a week. And that’s what they were saying. Like, nobody wants to be engineers or doctors or anything like that because you’re making a 10th of what the cab drivers are making and you’re going to school and all this to do everything like that.

2 (16m 35s):
Well, I just remember when, when we had said, Hey, you should come to dinner with us. He looked at us and he was just so touched that we asked him to dinner and he’s like, really? And so for us, like, yeah, come to dinner with us. It was cool. And then the fact that he was so touched, queued us on to the fact that holy shit, we just invited this guy to dinner and we have no idea what kind of a, we don’t know what food is out there. We don’t know what food prices are like. This is the first day, how much money are we about to spend? They came up with an excuse that we weren’t going to go to dinner. And the funny thing was the restaurant that we ate at everything costs $2, But not before Jordan gave him $20 because he felt super bad.

3 (17m 24s):
Well, it was also his birthday and it was a touching moment. I think he was crying. He did.

2 (17m 29s):
And he cried $20 was a lot of money for the guy. So we went to dinner and I remember that everything was pretty much like two or $3. I sell ordered spaghetti. Well, first off, there’s not that much on the menu. This is

3 (17m 45s):
Where we realize this is the food in Cuba.

2 (17m 48s):
Yeah. It’s pretty much Hamalanin CAISO cheese and ham.

3 (17m 53s):
Everything is a moaning case of

2 (17m 55s):
Pizza spaghetti. And you’re like, whoa, where’s the Cuban food. So none of the food was good until I said, yeah. And then I fell and gets her food. And she paid a dollar 50 for spaghetti. And the spaghetti that she paid a dollar 54 could have fed eight people. It was the biggest plate of spaghetti that you’ve ever seen. And then she also got a pizza to take home for her sister because her sister didn’t come with us. She paid what, $2 for the pizza. And it was the biggest fucking pizza that you’ve ever seen in your life. But it wasn’t good. No,

8 (18m 27s):
I had so many pizzas there and they were all frozen pizzas that weren’t defrosted.

3 (18m 32s):
Yeah. They like weren’t cooked. Right. There’s something in the dough that was like sketchy.

2 (18m 37s):
The next day, when we had lunch, we went to someone’s home and they open up their home. And like, you pay about $10 for a meal.

3 (18m 47s):
We did do that.

2 (18m 47s):
And it was the best meal that we’ve ever had. So you can find a lot of Cubans who opened their home to make meals for tourists. And that food is really, really good. So obviously they’re getting rationalized food from the government, but you aren’t going to buy this food in the store. You have to either go to someone’s house or get not that great food at restaurants.

3 (19m 8s):
So that night after dinner, when we went back to the hotel or the Airbnb, what did you tell me, Jordan, do you remember?

8 (19m 14s):
Probably not.

3 (19m 15s):
It was the first night. And we wanted to go back to that cannon place

8 (19m 19s):
The first night.

3 (19m 19s):
Yes you did. Yes, you did. It’s exactly what you said.

8 (19m 23s):
Also not always recommended on a vacation. I mean, for me it is, but sometimes going hard that first night really put a damper on the rest of your vacation.

3 (19m 30s):
I think it was good. I think it was good for us. Yeah. So we, earlier in the day we had saw this like big stone building on the Malecon we’re like, what is this? It looks like medieval. And we didn’t really know. We were like, they were starting to set up a tent outside and we were like, oh, that’s weird. Well, later that night we go back to that place. I don’t even know how, why we went back there, but oh. And maybe we asked someone

8 (19m 51s):
To go back there at night. And he

3 (19m 53s):
Said, he told us this a nightclub.

8 (19m 54s):
Yeah. And he was like, got hit by a candidate. It was back in the bay of pigs. They’re like, they really did fire cannons at it. So that’s why it looks like it did get hit by. I can’t involve because it did. And then a nightclub at night though, I sold.

3 (20m 6s):
So we went back and it was pretty crazy in there you go up these like concrete stairs and you’re in there, there’s cannons in there and it’s just one side is the bar. The other side is the dance floor and they’re playing American music and they have lights going everywhere. It’s like, Hawk is on.

10 (20m 23s):

2 (20m 27s):
But this is just Jordan and Kim. Right? So me, I Sal and her sister are in bed asleep. So the next morning when we wake up, Kim and Jordan are like, dude, we went out partying at this club that has cannons in it. And Kim pulls out her phone and she basically had a photo shoot with all these cannons in the club.

3 (20m 45s):
And what else did we have a photo shoot with? Yes, because we were like, we haven’t seen payphones in 10 years. What is this thing? So we just sat there and had a little photo shoot. And now it’s funny. It’s like an inside joke. Whenever we travel, we text each other pictures of us in payphones. You sent me one when you were in Italy.

2 (21m 4s):

11 (21m 5s):
You guys are still in a bad thing.

2 (21m 6s):
We still aren’t Havana. And that is day one, day two is going to have to Kim’s pictures with her cannons. Right.

12 (21m 14s):
Did you guys do anything touristy

3 (21m 16s):
Or we’re really going

12 (21m 19s):

3 (21m 19s):
Partying? Nope.

2 (21m 20s):
Why don’t we partied day two, we were tourists

3 (21m 24s):
From where we are in Vedado. It was like a little bit of a dry, maybe 15 minutes to old town Havana. And so we took a classic car taxi, our first one moving along the Malecon we get there. And then we get the hop on, hop off bus tour that takes you around the city. You can hop on and hop off. And so we hopped off at this place that was like the tallest building in Havana and had 360 degree rooftop bar vibes. But it was a museum.

2 (21m 54s):
It was the monument to Jose Marti. And it’s the best view of the entire area.

3 (21m 58s):
It was a really great view. You can see the whole city and the ocean behind it. There

13 (22m 2s):
Are a lot of skyscrapers in Havana,

3 (22m 4s):
Definitely more historic vibe skyscrapers than like modern New York. City’s

8 (22m 9s):
I would say maybe in the design of the sense of, they were just, yeah, not so perplexed with the architectural, but definitely newer buildings and also extremely expensive. Cause I remember, remember we tried to go on the one, we were getting the taxi. I had to buy this shirt because I couldn’t go in without the shirt.

2 (22m 24s):
Jordan likes to not wear a t-shirt

8 (22m 26s):
It was hot.

2 (22m 27s):
It was really hot.

8 (22m 29s):
But I mean, the rooms were like for like a three bedroom room, I mean, which obviously is a large hotel room, but I think it was like a thousand CVC. So $1,300 American tonight would have been the cost even one room though was $300 American. But that’s what I was saying, like with the cars and like downhill all around all those hotels, there was a lot more, I guess, just economy than like waste. I mean, me personally, I expected that there would be like I expected the whole thing would just be kind of like this third world

3 (22m 54s):
Situation. That’s what I thought too.

8 (22m 57s):
Obviously the old cars were there, but then there was also a lot of newer cars, but they were made in like Switzerland or like India, things like

2 (23m 3s):
The big thing is that when you are downtown and you’re looking at these monuments again, everything is in Spanish. You know, like when you go to touristy places, they have a translation of English underneath to explain to you what’s going on with this monument. And they just don’t have anything in English.

8 (23m 19s):
And they do talk a lot faster there to remember them. It’s like, if you didn’t understand something or you asked them what? Like they would just either not even like ask them something or they would just reiterate it, but even faster. And it’s like, I didn’t get it the first time I need help.

2 (23m 35s):
Jordan’s really good with his numbers in Spanish, by the way.

3 (23m 38s):
Yeah. Jordan’s good with the numbers. Zane is good with the word. So what you guys made a good what

2 (23m 43s):
Occupy. Hey, so we did. So

3 (23m 46s):
I’m going to

2 (23m 46s):
Keep the Spanish. I’m good with understanding. I’m good with speaking, but when numbers came up, like, especially for taxis or negotiations or anything like that, I freeze, I am not good with numbers, but Jordan gets it. So Jordan and I were like always side by side, figuring out this whole negotiation thing. And I remember telling someone that we are in and in Spanish, I’m thinking occupy, Hey is team. And so the entire trip we’re telling everyone that we are in and it’s not until we got on the flight home that I hear the airplane announcement, letting you know, to put your luggage in the overhead bin. And she says the EKI pod in the overhead bin.

2 (24m 29s):
And it dawns on me that is luggage. And he KIBO his team. So we make a very good KIBO and no one told us that we were not in acupuncture.

3 (24m 41s):
Okay. All right. You guys are good luggage. Do your thing

8 (24m 45s):

4 (24m 46s):
Now they probably just thought you were baggage.

3 (24m 48s):
Oh, but good baggage.

2 (24m 53s):
The hop on hop off tour bus really surprised me that they had something like that, but it was really cool. And it was an awesome way to see the city. I remember at one point we were driving and there’s trees around and there’s a low hanging branch and we had to die Because it came out of nowhere and it was pretty much ready to decapitate anyone and it’s path. So some guy lost his hat because he didn’t duck fast. And I remember I Sal was sitting next to this guy and she kept talking to him and this is the night after she got her fortune.

2 (25m 34s):
Right. Like be careful, be careful. And I sell, keeps talking with this guy and this guy is flirting with her. So I look over it. I salad. I’m like, girl, be careful, be careful, man.

4 (25m 45s):
At random question on the hop on, hop off. Did you get a sense of, a lot of the tourists were Americans or from a lot of other countries more

3 (25m 53s):
Specific? Definitely Europe.

8 (25m 55s):
Like a lot of people seemed like they were from my Sweden,

3 (25m 58s):

8 (25m 59s):
Yeah. A lot of like definitely fair skin. I mean, obviously they were tourists, but it seemed like they were like people from their countries were there a lot more often than

3 (26m 8s):
There was a lot of Europeans. It

8 (26m 10s):
Wasn’t like a such a foreign thing. It was just another place to go.

2 (26m 13s):
The other thing too is, you know, when someone first got to Cuba, because they are all over taking pictures of the classic cars after a few days, you kind of get used to it and you get over it. But when you first get there, all you want to do is take that.

3 (26m 26s):
That was my favorite part of Cuba is all those cars. Yeah. They’re so cool. They had ones that were really nice and ones, they were still working on

8 (26m 34s):
For a long time,

3 (26m 35s):
50, 50 ish years. So you, you would see people working on cars all over the street too. Yeah.

8 (26m 41s):
And that was the other thing too though, is you never knew some of the cars that looked really nice on the outside. Like where the cars they broke down or were broken down when you went to take them also.

2 (26m 50s):
So day two later that evening, we went to the best station and it is the V Azule station. It’s located at Vanita 26 and avenue, Nita, zoological. And you need to book your tickets to go someplace one or two days in advance. And we wanted to go to Trinidad the next day. But because we waited until the last minute they sold out. So if you wait until the last minute they will sell out. So we had to negotiate for a taxi to take us down to Trinidad. And Trinidad is a colonial town, about 315 kilometers from Havana. And it is in the center of Cuba.

1 (27m 30s):
You didn’t have mom and dad with,

2 (27m 31s):
You know,

1 (27m 32s):
Out that bus ticket.

2 (27m 33s):
Oh, you would have been so disappointed in us. You guys,

3 (27m 36s):
He would have bought the ticket online. We would have had to do it several weeks before actually. So it’s very hard to get a bus ticket. We couldn’t get it from any of our routes. And so keep that in mind when you’re in Cuba, don’t always rely on the bus.

14 (27m 49s):
How long did it take by taxi?

2 (27m 51s):
I think it took us about five

8 (27m 53s):
Hours at one time on the way there.

3 (27m 55s):
Yeah. So the night before Jordan went out there and sourced a cab for us and arrange for them to come in the morning and pick us up, like at 6:00 AM, after Zena, I sell her sister and myself back to the same nightclub.

2 (28m 12s):
This is St. Patty’s day 2017. We partied like crazy at the Canon club. I got my pictures with that cannon and it was

3 (28m 21s):
A pimp that was there

2 (28m 22s):
That we met a pimp there. He walked us home. He was, he kept saying, I know, thank you. He kept saying, he was like in love with Kim. And he kept telling me she needs to learn Spanish.

3 (28m 35s):
Yeah. So we ended up going back home very late and then getting up for the cab at six in the morning when it comes to get us only, it’s not the cab we ordered. Cause we have five people and five pieces of and the cab that shows up is a much smaller cab.

2 (28m 56s):
That’s the thing. We’re up to five people. You guys, we are five people and we have five luggages. So when Jordan did the negotiations for our taxi, he made it clear that we need a big taxi and they’re like, oh Nope, no problem, no problem. This is the car that we’re going to pick you up in. The thing about the Cuban people is they are very honest. They are very friendly and they want to help you. And although I’ve stressed that they don’t speak English and that nothing’s in English, communicating with them is not a problem because they’re so friendly. So even though we ordered the big taxi, their taxi broke down that night. And so they showed up with a tiny little cab at the exact same time that they assured us that they would pick us up at.

2 (29m 36s):
And at the address, like they’re reliable.

3 (29m 38s):
It’s pretty funny too. You’re like, okay. Yeah. Pick me up at address at six in the morning. Like you wouldn’t do that at many other countries, but then like they did show up. It was crazy. Yeah. That’s how it was the whole trip.

1 (29m 50s):
You tell us a little bit about the taxi ride from Havana to Trinidad.

2 (29m 55s):
It was the worst. It was so bad. Okay. So I

3 (29m 60s):
Slept for the whole time. Well,

2 (30m 2s):
We partied all night and we lost a set of keys. So as we were trying to leave the Airbnb, the host comes out to let us know that there is a set missing. So Jordan and I go inside to try to find the keys, which eventually we found under a comforter. I don’t know. But by the time we get out Kim I Sal and her sister in the backseat, Jordan and I are the biggest people there. And I’m talking like, you know, we’ve got some hype on us and girth. So I sit in the middle in the front and Jordan sits in the passenger seat and this,

3 (30m 37s):
The three of us are in the backseat with a huge piece of luggage on top of us,

8 (30m 42s):
We carry on, Well, we couldn’t even fit in the trunk. Remember he tried to put it in the trunk and they had to tie the trunk open with our luggage minus Kim’s luggage, which they had to put on their lap in the back because this car was much smaller than the car we had negotiated the day before.

2 (31m 1s):
It’s a stick car. Yeah, it was

8 (31m 2s):

2 (31m 3s):
So every time the driver moved the stick, it was up against my leg. So I kept scooting onto Jordan and Jordan and I are sitting on top of each other.

8 (31m 15s):
We’re literally like, you know, when you’re on an airplane and you sit next to somebody and the is full and your legs are touching the whole time and it’s disgusting. I mean, luckily I know Zaina but it was driving through the rainforest. It was extremely hot. It was like 90% humidity, like 90 degrees outside. Our legs are touching my legs, pressed up against this door. Like we’re getting no air flow. The girls are in the back, like with their legs spread, open, complaining that they have a suitcase on their legs.

3 (31m 44s):
The window is hitting right on me. And I was under a sweater

8 (31m 47s):

2 (31m 49s):
Right. And so Jordan and I are literally sweating on top of each other. I don’t know what is my sweat? And I don’t know what is Jordan sweat?

8 (31m 58s):
You got beers for that cab ride for

2 (31m 59s):
Sure. Oh my gosh. The other thing too is that Jordan and I were very respectful because you know, like when you’re sitting up against someone and your arms are kind of squished in between each other, so Jordan would take a moment to put his left hand or his left arm, stretch it out on the seat and then he would go back and squinch himself up so I can put my right arm over the sea and stretch out. And it was just

3 (32m 23s):
Rotating. It was uncomfortable. It was

2 (32m 26s):
So Bad. Yeah. But Hey, we got to Trinidad

3 (32m 30s):
Up there.

8 (32m 31s):
Well, and then when we got there, the guy couldn’t find the address. He had the, I just remember,

3 (32m 35s):
And Trinidad is, it’s a very colonial town. It’s very, very pretty. The buildings are cute, but they’re cobblestone streets. So we’re in this fifties classic car in a tiny car squished in there, trekking down these cobblestone streets, searching for the place. Cause it’s not that big, but it’s somewhere around. So we finally find it. And the guy’s not there. It’s an Airbnb. So we’re trying to figure out a way to call him. We get the taxi driver to call him. And that’s when Zayna has a freak out.

2 (33m 4s):
So guys, I get terrified of speaking Spanish on the phone. I don’t know what it is, but I clam up and I just can’t do it. So everyone kind of looks at me to call the Airbnb host and I’m ready to burst into tears and cry. And Jordan’s like, I’ll do it. And he

3 (33m 21s):
Totally good with his numbers. Yes.

2 (33m 22s):

8 (33m 24s):
I don’t know how many numbers are set on my call, but most of the story, he definitely found out that we were there BNB guests and came down and let us in.

2 (33m 32s):
And then he had some drinks requests

8 (33m 34s):
And he did have some

3 (33m 34s):
Drinks. It was very cool.

8 (33m 36s):
Then after that, right after we dropped our stuff off, we went and walked around like right after it. So we all more terrible pizza. And then we came back like an hour later and were like, I remember like, has somebody been in the house? And then we like found like all the juice in the fridge were like, I think they were.

2 (33m 53s):
And then they gave us the option of buying breakfast the next morning, because they go out and to buy the food. Exactly. Yeah. The night before. And then we paid $5 and we ate like Kings and Queensland

3 (34m 5s):
And he would wake us up in the two mornings that we were there. He let himself into the house and would come in and say good morning and start cooking us breakfast. Yeah. And it was the best thing we ate the whole time. It’s no breakfast buffet, but it’ll do.

2 (34m 18s):
It was really good. And they also, he had coffee. We were able to buy coffee from them at a

3 (34m 24s):
Really cheap, I bought coffee and it was so good.

2 (34m 27s):
I didn’t drink coffee at the time. Now I do. And I feel like, wow, some major FOMO action going on

8 (34m 32s):
At the time either. And kind of a little FOMO action. Also, you

3 (34m 35s):
Guys missed out

4 (34m 37s):
What made you guys decide to go to Trinidad? What was there that you specifically saw that said we need to go to Trinidad.

2 (34m 42s):
I’m so glad you asked Jamal.

3 (34m 44s):
Yeah. There was only one thing in Trinidad in our research beforehand that made us really want to go to Trinidad. And I think it might’ve been my idea, but it’s called Disco Ayala and it’s a fucking party in a cave in a real cave.

2 (35m 0s):
It was amazing. You get a F it’s five cooks cover charge, and it includes one drink. It opens around 11:00 PM. People usually show up around midnight though. And they have five dance floors inside this cave and three bars. But to get there, you have to hike up a hill for 30 minutes.

3 (35m 22s):
There’s bars along the hill though. So you can get a $1 Mohito and then keep going along the mountain.

2 (35m 28s):
Yeah. So the mojitos are one cook. The closer you get to the club, they start to charge you two or three

3 (35m 33s):
Pro tip. Be

2 (35m 34s):

3 (35m 35s):
Up on your way up the mountain.

2 (35m 37s):
Exactly. But if you speak Spanish and negotiate,

3 (35m 40s):
Pretty much,

2 (35m 41s):
These aren’t like real bars, right? These are like

3 (35m 43s):
Lemonade stands. Yes.

4 (35m 46s):

2 (35m 46s):
So then you go into the club, you go down some stairs. And like I said, there’s like five dance floors, three bars. You get your free drink. You

3 (35m 54s):
Can smoke cigarettes in there. And it is hot as fuck.

2 (35m 57s):
It’s so hot. Oh my goodness. And Jordan was like drinking vodka straight out of the vodka bottle. The entire way up.

8 (36m 4s):
I was drinking a bucket of the whole day. And then I think I might’ve walked to the CLA God. No, but we got there together. Maybe it was on the way back down.

3 (36m 11s):
Yeah. I think you left.

8 (36m 13s):
I did leave. Cause I was overheating. I thought I was going to die. I can only bring my shirt, my hair out so many times at that point.

2 (36m 18s):
Yeah. I remember you saying, you thought you were going to die and you’re going to go back to the Airbnb because I was outside with ICL getting air because

8 (36m 26s):
Oh yeah. I remember when I walked out, you guys were like doing this move, fanning yourself. If you can’t, obviously you can’t see

2 (36m 32s):
When you drink that much alcohol and you are in that hot of a place because remember you are in a cave, there’s no capacity. So people just keep coming in and keep coming

8 (36m 41s):

2 (36m 42s):
So you have to keep stepping outside. And so Jordan made the comment that he’s leaving because he just can’t handle the heat anymore. So we took a selfie with Jordan in case he disappeared. So we can have a last picture with Jordan.

8 (36m 53s):
So funny that he’s hit it though. Cause I actually did almost disappeared that night. I thought I was going to because it’s a long walk back to the house. And then how we, like we’re saying earlier that when our cab got to Trinidad, he was having a hard time find our address because it was like a half address or some, I don’t know, some weird tubing thing. I’m not very fluent with, but I tried to find it. I’m walking up and down these streets, this drunk, like pasty white person, like who knows what time? After a while these cops pull up to me and they asked me what I’m doing. I keep telling them the address that we’re trying to go to. Not sure if it was the right address or not. Well, then they ended up putting me in the car and I’m like, so drunk. I’m like, oh, this can’t be that bad idea. Or like an hour goes by it.

8 (37m 34s):
They drive me around the streets and we can’t find it. And it’s like getting to the end of these cops patients. And we literally just drive down the street and the place is like right on the right-hand side. I tell these cops, I go to get out. They don’t believe me. I unlocked the door. And then I go inside and not thinking about it, come back outside to smoke a cigarette. And these cops are waiting. They’re still because I didn’t give them any money. So luckily though I gave them like $20. I had my sock and they went on their Merry way. And then I think I passed out on the couch in the living room.

2 (38m 3s):
We came home probably around four or five in the morning. And yes, I can confirm you were passed out on the couch.

4 (38m 9s):
So you were telling that story and you said earlier about the cops being weird. And I was thinking to myself, look at these nice cops having patients take.

8 (38m 17s):
And Trinidad, the cops were a lot different though than they were in Havana. Yeah.

4 (38m 20s):
And then they, I don’t want to say hustled, but they expected something. Oh yeah.

3 (38m 25s):
We’ll get you out of a lot in Cuba.

8 (38m 27s):
I mean, that’s like we said, that engineer’s salary for the month. Yeah.

3 (38m 30s):
Yeah. The other things we ran into with cops were just the way they interact with Americans is strange and the Cuban. So they don’t

8 (38m 37s):
Like Cuban people talking to Americans for sure. Because for whatever reason, if they don’t want them to express their discontent and, or try and get some kind of insight from you about how America is. Yeah.

3 (38m 47s):
Yeah. So that’s why they probably gave him the ride. They didn’t want anyone else to, we would have them stop our cabs. Often they would pull the calves over to make sure they were legit cabs and not just a Cuban person giving us a ride. And then one time in Havana, we were talking to these people who were trying to get us to go into a backroom and buy cigars. The cops rolled up and told them to stop talking to us and shoot them away.

2 (39m 9s):
I think even when we walked home from the cave that night, we were, our Airbnb host was really cool. He came out with his wife to the club with us. And so we all walked back home and I feel like cops came and asked us where we were going. And they said that like we were headed home. And so they kind of made sure that like we got home,

1 (39m 26s):
But before you went home from the club, my favorite part that I remember hearing about was didn’t you dance with like a father and son duo?

2 (39m 35s):
Absolutely did. So let me tell you, this guy, this older guy comes up and he starts to dance with, I sell and I sell was just like, no, not having it. So then he comes to me and I’m drunk and I’m having a good time. And just, I don’t care who you are. I’m going to dance with you. So I start to get down with this guy. Next thing I know there’s a young guy on the other side of me and I’m sandwiched between this older gentleman and this younger gentleman and the older gentleman looks at me and he says me II ho, which in Spanish is my son. And I was like, wow.

2 (40m 15s):
So I look at ISL and I tell her, this is this man son and her jaw drops. And I know that that guy knows that what I just told ISL because he starts to nod enthusiastically. And I am just being sandwiched by this father and son duo. This is after I was dancing with a younger gentlemen. I was very Cougar in that moment. He came to me and I don’t say no, I’m dancing, I’m dancing, I’m dancing. He was getting a little bit more frisky. So I told him, Hey man, you’re a little bit young for me. So he goes in to kiss my cheek and say, that’s fine. Okay, fine.

2 (40m 55s):
But when he goes into kiss my cheek, he licks my cheek from the bottom of my jaw to the top of my sideburn line. Not that I have sideburns though. And to be clear and I was like, oh my goodness, this guy just licked me and I’m too drunk to care. So later that night I see Kim dancing with a guy and I’m thinking to myself, huh? That looks like the guy that licked my cheek. But I just don’t know. So the next day to sober up, which we’ll get to, we went to a beach and I made the comment to Kim that it seemed like that guy was into you. And Kim said, yeah, he was cool until he lik, she was like, oh my God, Kim, we got licked by this same.

3 (41m 45s):
Oh my God. And that’s actually the second time my cheeks been licked at a nightclub.

2 (41m 51s):
So that was Disco. I all, I mean, like it just goes on for ever. It was the best night. In fact, on the front page of our website, it asks for our favorite travel memory and mine is listed as Disco Ayala. It was just, it’s amazing. Yeah.

4 (42m 7s):
And that was the only reason you guys went to Trinidad was to go to this cave bar.

2 (42m 13s):

4 (42m 14s):
No judgments sounds fun. But totally when Kim said it was her idea, it was clearly obvious. That was her. That’s something that you would want to do

8 (42m 23s):
Told me that we were going to turn it at two. I was like, wait, so we’re going to go to Cuba. And then I thought we were going to like Trinidad and Tobago and then coming back to Cuba and she’s like, oh no, it’s a city in Cuba. I was like, oh, that makes a lot more sense how we were going to take a bus there. Like,

3 (42m 36s):
But once, once we knew we were going there for this epic cave party, then I started doing some research and we found a really cool beach called Playa and con. And it was really, really beautiful the way the natural rocks formed out in the ocean may kind of like a swimming hole area.

8 (42m 53s):
It was like a kind of like when you’re like down in the bay, basically how they have the wall to block like the waves, like a buoyed off area. Basically. Like if you’re in the ocean, they have like where kids can go out to kind of things like

3 (43m 3s):
That makes it really calm. And he’s like swim

4 (43m 6s):
Like a natural beach break,

2 (43m 8s):

8 (43m 8s):
Probably like a couple hundred feet out.

3 (43m 10s):
So we worked with our Airbnb hosts to get us a cab. And this one was actually very roomy and comfortable.

2 (43m 17s):
Yes, it was. And it was only a 15 minute ride.

3 (43m 20s):
And we arranged for him to take us there. And we were going to be there for like five hours and pick us up at this time.

2 (43m 25s):
The Cuban people are so honest and trustworthy because I think we in a negotiated at four, let’s say 20 cooks. And when we got to the beach, he didn’t take our money. Even though we tried to give it to us, he said, no, no. When I come back to pick you up, you can pay me then. And he comes back exactly five hours later. Cause he asks you, what time do you want me to pick you up? And we tell him, and he will show up exactly on the dot. And that’s when he takes the money only when he picks you up and drops you off at your location. So very, very honest. We were out in the manmade pool, Kim and I were having a good time out there. And Kim looks at me and she says, Hey, Zayna look at that couple over there.

2 (44m 5s):
I think they’re having sex in the water. And I look over at the couple and you can totally tell that they are making their own waves

8 (44m 16s):
In a pool. So there should be no worse

15 (44m 18s):
That day.

2 (44m 21s):
He’s certainly rocking her boat. But I tell Kim, Kim, let’s go swim by them. Let’s make things really awkward. Of course, like I’m joking around and we didn’t do that. But like we did in Cuba man. And one of my favorite things about that day was Kim bought a coconut to drink out of four or five cooks. And I asked Kim, Hey, can I take a sip of the coconut? I really want to try it. And she’s like, oh, Zayna you can have the coconut. I only bought it for a picture. I love it. It’s a

3 (44m 52s):
Good picture.

2 (44m 53s):
So that was pretty much Trinidad, Playa and John and Disco Ayala. And if there’s anything I can say is that if you ever go to Cuba, go to Trinidad, go to Disco, Ayala. It does not disappoint.

3 (45m 5s):
And if you are going, hit us up and we will give you contact info for the Airbnb hosts that we stayed at highly recommend him. He was, he really made our trip in Trinidad. Really good.

4 (45m 17s):
Oh, I thought you were going to give the number of the young buck who looked both of you.

2 (45m 21s):
That’s only if you give us a five-star review. No, but it was just really cool. Cause like I said, him and his wife took us out to the club and they didn’t leave until we wanted to leave. They were totally protective of us all night. And in fact, the guy that licked Kim’s space wanted to walk her home. And Kim was telling me that she’s telling him no, but he wouldn’t leave her alone. So I told our Airbnb hosts the situation and he nodded at me knowingly. He had a chitchat with that young lad and he said, good night to Kim and he disappeared. So I have no idea what our hosts told that guy, but he took care of it.

4 (45m 57s):
So after your beach day, you spent the night again, before you went back to Havana.

2 (46m 2s):
We did, we did the beach was the second day to nurse our hangover. And then the day after we went back to Havana. Okay.

4 (46m 11s):
And was the taxi situation back to Havana better than the first

2 (46m 15s):
It was in Jordan and I fought for a seat in the backseat.

4 (46m 18s):
Did you have to negotiate with a local taxi or was it still the guy who brought you stayed and then went back? Or how did that

3 (46m 25s):
Airbnb host helped us get another one back. Okay.

2 (46m 28s):
Yeah. That’s a good question. So the guy, we negotiated the price in Havana for a one-way trip to Trinidad and then our Airbnb host helped us negotiate a one-way fare back to Havana.

3 (46m 42s):
And then we went back to Havana. We stayed in Barrio, Chino.

2 (46m 46s):
Yeah. They have a Chinatown in Havana and it was so quaint. And the best restaurant that we ate at was at Chinese food restaurant in Barrio, Chino,

8 (46m 59s):
Jorge was telling us that the chef who owns that restaurant has a Michelin star restaurant. I believe obviously you remember he said Anthony Bordain had actually been to that.

3 (47m 8s):
She did say that. Yeah. But yeah, that Chinese food was bombed.

2 (47m 12s):
And Jorge was our waiter who we made friends with. And I didn’t go out that night to party with him. But Kim and Jordan did

3 (47m 21s):
Out to Jordan for being the number one wing man.

2 (47m 25s):
So from the restaurant, we walked back to our Airbnb and the key that our Airbnb hosts gave us to get into the building did not work. He said that there were two and both worked, but it looks like I sat on her sister is the one that had the key that worked. So it’s about 11, 11:30 PM at night. And we’re on the fourth floor of this building and we’re locked out and we’re drunk. So I start to scream for ISL at the top of my lungs, hoping that she will hear us to come open the door, which she finally did. She came and she opened the door and this Airbnb host was really an intense dude.

3 (48m 8s):
So we got to tell them that throughout this whole trip of planning, I think I booked the first two Airbnbs mom and dad you’ll be proud of me because

17 (48m 17s):

2 (48m 17s):
Looked at the first one in Vedado

3 (48m 19s):
Did you? Okay. So you’ll be semi-pro XenApp, but a little disappointed. So Our first two Airbnbs, no problem rented the whole house out. Everything was good. When we get back to Havana, we realized Dana booked us two rooms in a bigger Airbnb.

2 (48m 37s):
This is like my first time booking Airbnb

8 (48m 42s):

17 (48m 42s):
Not because you booked a good room.

3 (48m 44s):
Yeah. So anyway, we realize it and the guy would be fine if the guy was cool, he didn’t live there, but he was always there. Very scary older gentleman who, one day we were sitting there eating pizza

17 (48m 58s):

3 (48m 59s):
And Jordan trying to fix the fan because it’s really hot in there. You kind of knock it down.

8 (49m 8s):
Yeah, well, no, remember I like, so it’s basically like a fan bolted into the wall and I’m trying to adjust it down. So it’s blowing on me and it came out like this little like backyard, patio table that he has and the kitchen. Well, as I reach up to like move the fan a little bit, it just like makes this crazy noise and then stops working. And I like, look at cam and like sheer like, Aw, fuck my life. I’m dead. And then we both like turn over and the guy is like appeared out of nowhere. And it’s like, oh shit. The fan like broke. It was just like, the plastic was so worn out just when I went to move it, it basically had moved off the last part of the thread. So it wasn’t even user error. It was just like 30 years old. You know what?

3 (49m 49s):
So anyway, we turn around, he’s staring at a stone cold arms crossed and I think you said something like, oh, it just broke. And he storms to his room, shuts the door and you can

2 (50m 0s):

3 (50m 1s):
The deadbolt locking.

8 (50m 6s):
I thought we were dead at that point,

2 (50m 7s):
Which is up. So also keep in mind that this is the day after Jordan and Kim went partying with Jorge and Jorge and Kim had plans to meet up at the beach that day. But we slept in because we were pretty tardy down. It

3 (50m 22s):
Was the end of the trip and we were getting tired.

2 (50m 25s):
Yeah. And so because Kim didn’t show up and we don’t have like working phones or anything like that to get in contact with us. He came to the house to see Kim to make sure that she’s okay. So we don’t know that someone just rang the doorbell and the owner of the house answers the door.

3 (50m 41s):
And he had already told us the rules or no breaking things. And no guests.

4 (50m 46s):
He already broke one thing.

2 (50m 48s):
Now there’s a guest that we don’t know about. And so he opens the door. We don’t know this at this time. And all you hear him yell is Jordan. And I start to cry because,

17 (50m 59s):
Cause I’m like, oh my God, what’s going on

2 (51m 2s):
Up. And it was such a scary way that he said Jordan’s name and Jordan stood up. Like

17 (51m 12s):
He just got up and walked to the hose,

1 (51m 14s):
You know, have you gone on one vacation without crying?

2 (51m 19s):
Every single time? I was so scared the way that he said Jordan’s name. It was so scary. And Jordan army,

3 (51m 25s):
We’re still at the table eating the pizza it right after the fan. We’re like, oh shit, what now?

2 (51m 29s):
Exactly. So it’s like, what’s going to happen now. But it’s like, you know, like when someone stands up with confidence and the chair just scoots back. Exactly. You know, like, like Jordan got up and he was like, all right, man, I’m going to go see. And it was just Jorge.

8 (51m 44s):
Well, in that same guy to the Airbnb hosts to remember like halfway through our two days there, he never really like warmed up to any of the girls. But he like went from after I broke the fan to like being my best friend. I remember he gave me those cigars. Like he wanted me to go on like the living room, watch TV with him. He had like that little black and white TV and shit. It’s like what? I’m not watching black and white TV in America, let alone in Cuba.

17 (52m 5s):
It was

3 (52m 6s):
Very scary. So pro tip, make sure to check whole house when you’re getting your Airbnb.

4 (52m 13s):
That sounds like a typical mistakes. Dana would make

8 (52m 16s):
It was made. It wasn’t terrible. I mean, obviously it

3 (52m 19s):
Locks on our bedrooms. Yeah.

8 (52m 20s):
Yeah. I mean, the guy was a little uncomfortable at first. I mean, I’ve been in worse places, you know what I mean?

2 (52m 25s):
He’s a guy that wants to make money, but he’s a guy that doesn’t want to open his house. Yeah.

8 (52m 28s):
He wasn’t like very receptive to people. Like, but definitely like what Kim said, like it just getting the whole place to yourself. Definitely just more comfortable for sure.

4 (52m 35s):
That was your last night. Yeah.

2 (52m 37s):
Well that is our last night, but not before we went out in style by going out to another bar and partying it up.

3 (52m 45s):
I went to two tourist places that night though, to end out our trip. One was this traditional show with like cannons and people dressed in like colonial outfits.

2 (52m 57s):
It was the Castillo de San Carlos Dayla cabana. And the canons go off every night at 9:00 PM. So we had to get a taxi to get there before nine o’clock and then they do an entire show and then they light the cannon off.

3 (53m 8s):
And there’s tons of people playing music and colonial outfits that we were taking pictures with. It’s very touristy thing to do. Lots of people

8 (53m 16s):
Out in the soldier feeling.

3 (53m 17s):
Yeah. And then after that we closed out our trip with The Tropicana Show in Havana.

2 (53m 23s):
Yes we did. And they give us a free rum with our ticket purchase for the

3 (53m 28s):

4 (53m 29s):
And how much does an entertainment show like that cost in Cuba?

2 (53m 33s):
It was like $150.

3 (53m 36s):
I think it was a hundred. Yeah. And it was the splurge that we did. We

8 (53m 38s):
Had mixed feelings on

4 (53m 39s):
That. That’s expensive. Yeah. I wasn’t expecting anything to be that price. I know earlier Jordan was talking about some of the more expensive hotels in Havana, but I mean, for a show,

3 (53m 50s):
We bought the ticket in a tourist book, in a hotel in one of those fancy.

8 (53m 54s):
And I walked in to basically had all kinds of things where I just tourists, things like that. If you wanted to do

2 (53m 59s):
The Tropicana Show is probably the most expensive thing that we did. I mean, granted the taxi ride to Trinidad and back was more expensive, but that was,

8 (54m 7s):
It was 200 split five ways. Right. That was like a hundred. I think it was like a hundred or 105 a piece.

2 (54m 13s):
Yeah. So for The Tropicana, it was a splurge, but we’re in Cuba. And how many times are we going to be in Cuba? So we did that. We got our free. And once again, this is another one of those scenarios where we got a car for all five of us and it was negotiated for, let’s say 40 cooks. And when we got there, we tried to give them money. And they said, no, what time do you want to be picked up? We said 1:00 AM. And at 1:00 AM, they showed up and when they dropped us off, then they took the 40 cooks. And then we did party. One more time. We went to a bar where we weren’t allowed to take our purses. And with us,

3 (54m 47s):
We’re walking around Havana and it’s kind of desolate. There’s not really the people at, which was unusual for Havana. We go to this one place. It does not look like a nightclub. It looks like a food place that not really anyone’s in

8 (54m 59s):
The front patio area and they serve food right there.

3 (55m 1s):
Yeah. So they said the nightclubs were to the back. They were out, they were out of food. Every restaurant was out of half the food. So we’re like, really? This is a nightclub. Okay. I mean, it’s the only place open. I think it was like five cook and we get two drinks with it too. We got two drink tickets. But the weird thing was before you go in, they said, you can’t take your purse or your phone. And we’re like, what do you mean? And the thing was, you have to check your purse and your phone and everything. So we’re like, what the fuck?

2 (55m 28s):
And I was nervous because I think my passport was in my purse, but the pursuit of alcohol was stronger than the safety of my passport. So I checked my person, I got my two free drinks.

3 (55m 37s):
We opened up the doors to a back there and it’s like, people are everywhere, lights going reggaeton. Anyway, it was like a crazy nightclub in there. Just beyond these doors.

8 (55m 47s):
It was packed in there. It was tight, it was dark. It was a lot of people partying.

2 (55m 50s):
You know, what was funny is I feel like we were so close to being out of money at this point. So we had to pull our money together to go in, to pay for the cover charge and then make sure that we still had enough for our taxi to the airport.

8 (56m 4s):
Yeah. I mean, that was, the problem was like definitely with the money, getting tight and not having the accessibility to any other money. So

1 (56m 10s):
Before we wrap it up, I just want to know what surprised you guys most about Cuba,

8 (56m 14s):
The food quality. Terrible.

3 (56m 16s):
That was one of the big ones. My most surprising thing I think was just how different it is with the people being so nice, friendly. And like everyone wants to talk to you and hang out. And it’s just very social and drinking everywhere. And I wasn’t expecting

8 (56m 32s):

2 (56m 34s):
Yeah. They are the most happiest people. The other thing is that Jordan has a beard and to them, him having the beard reminds them of Fidel Castro. And so everywhere we went, they would look at Jordan and say, Fidel, Fidel,

8 (56m 49s):
That was another weird thing. Also the appreciation and respect that they have four Fidel Castro.

2 (56m 55s):
Yeah. Cause they treated her

8 (56m 56s):
Like they, for the most part, looked at them as prominent figures that they respected

2 (57m 2s):
And because Jordan’s beard reminded them of Fidel, they treated us like celebrities. So you notice a huge difference in the way that you’re treated when you’re with Jordan versus when Jordan wasn’t with you

1 (57m 15s):
Overall sounds like a really great trip you guys had.

2 (57m 17s):
It was amazing.

4 (57m 18s):
I have one general question. So I know you said The Tropicana Show was the most expensive thing, but as a whole, you would say Cuba overall was very inexpensive. Like what was the cost for your Airbnb is

3 (57m 31s):
Airbnb’s were cheap. They were less than 50 bucks each I would say around that.

8 (57m 37s):
Yeah. You’re saying for the whole cost of the room.

3 (57m 39s):
Yeah. Per night split between five people. And then I only brought, I think $700 spending money for the week and that’s all I spent. Cause that’s all you can get out.

8 (57m 48s):
Yeah. Cause I think I had six or 700 that I converted to pounds. And then it was like just lower than that. When I diverted to the sea, you see, when we got to Cuba

3 (57m 56s):
And then the flight was, I want to say less than 400,

2 (58m 1s):
I took $500 with me and spent every single dollar. But I would say overall from San Diego to Fort Lauderdale to Cuba and a week in Cuba, less than a thousand. Yeah. It was awesome. And that includes unlimited beverages. Well, I mean, clearly I paid for them, but they certainly felt like they were bottomless.

4 (58m 24s):
Sounds like an awesome trip.

2 (58m 25s):
Yeah. So thank you so much for joining us guys. Thank you, Jordan.

3 (58m 30s):
Thank you Jordan, for coming on the trip and the podcasts.

4 (58m 34s):
Definitely given this episode a lot more character, you

3 (58m 37s):
Can come back any time.

4 (58m 39s):
Please subscribe to our podcast. Guys, leave a review, tell us what you’d like and tune in every travel Tuesday as always for new episodes.

2 (58m 47s):
And if you aren’t already be sure to follow us on Instagram and Twitter at Travel Squad Podcast,

1 (58m 53s):
Make sure to pack your bags and your cars because next week we are going on a road trip exploring the American Southwest.

2 (58m 60s):
Yeah. Can I say

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