countdown – 5 days

The excitement is starting to set in – along with the anxiety – that next Thursday, Sean and I are going on our first major trip together. We’ve been reading resort reviews to get some tips and to know what to expect; I’ve been casually glancing at the weather forecasts, praying to the rain gods that they just piss off while we’re there.


Some advice that I’ve picked up from the reviews:

  • Don’t go to the Italian a la carte restaurant – I’m not sure why, but people seem to be shocked that Cubans don’t know how to cook impressive Italian meals. Instead, stick with El Caribe (Caribbean food) – duh!
  • Bring bug repellent and band aids.
  • Sit on the right-side of the Russian army truck for the jungle adventure, bring toilet paper and be prepared for spending a lot of time travelling over the two days (600km!).jungle trip
  • Be prepared for the smell of sewage if it rains a lot. Yuck.
  • Go swimming on the beach first thing in the morning – the water tends to get choppy in the afternoon.
  • Don’t bother with the Wi-Fi – it’s too expensive to be so slow.

It’s crazy to think that summer is almost over. With these pasty-white legs, and only a few dips in the lakes to speak of, it’s hard to believe that summer was ever actually here. So this trip is kind of like the beginning of summer and the end of summer, all wrapped into one big Hurrah.

I went shopping a few times last week to try to score good deals on summer clothes to bring along with me. I mean, I made it through the summer with only two pairs of shorts and a couple pairs of capris, so I thought this was the perfect time to update the wardrobe. I figured, it’s the end of summer, everything is going to be on super clearance. Ya, not so much. It’s mostly just XS booty shorts, fall plaid and winter jackets lining the store walls these days. Alas, I did find a few things: three pairs of shorts, a couple tank tops. The temperature in Varadero has been hovering around 30 degrees, feeling like mid-30’s to mid-40’s with the humidex, so let’s be honest, I’m not going to want anything besides my bathing suit on.

Sean and I also loaded up on sunscreen at Costco this week. I was shocked to find that the 3-pack of Coppertone 60 SPF sunscreen was on sale for $5.97! Like, holy crap! I was buying it for $18 there just last month. That’s the law of supply and demand in action, kids. We bought enough to hopefully last us through next summer, too, since the expiration date isn’t until September 2015 (and how accurate is that expiration date anyway? Marketing ploy.)

This weekend is all about laundry, laundry, laundry. Then, I’m going to pack up my suitcase, and hope anything that I forgot to pack will come to mind before Thursday. I figure that it’s better than packing the night before and realize while sitting on the plane that I forgot something important.

I can’t believe it’s been over two years since my last trip! And this time around, there is the added stress of having a job that isn’t exactly easy to get away from. At all my other jobs, life went on when I wasn’t there – projects went on hold, work piled up for me to deal with upon my return. But that isn’t the case for an Executive Assistant. They have their hand in the daily functioning of the place. I’m hoping I can channel my inner divination so that I can make sure the office is prepared to deal with anything that might come up while I’m gone. Yeesh! This is a lot of pressure to put on someone who hasn’t had a vacation in so long and just wants to get out of here!

What do you find the most stressful part of travelling? Packing? Flying? Leaving work behind? How do you deal with it?


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