After getting to the marina at 2:00am and doing our paper work with the harbor master we tried to connect to the AC power at the marina only to find there was a ground fault. We just went to sleep inside without air conditioning instead of trying to screw around and fix it at 2:30 in the morning.
The next morning I took the big boys on a long walk from the marina to the two hotels that are near the marina. Mom had contacted both to arrange a booking and we ended up at Blau Marina Varadero. This hotel was closer to the boat and gave me and the boys a much warmer welcome as non-guests.
The marina at Varadero is still under construction, there are crane ships with diesel generators running 24/7 and at about 8:00am the work crews all start up, not peaceful at all. I decided we would stay at the Blau too, even though it would burn through a months budget in a week. So be it.
One cool thing we heard about the marina, though I am uncertain whether it is true, is that it might be the first development where foreign ownership will be allowed since before the 1959 revolution. Cuba needs foreign capital and I think the marina development is an experiment for them to see if having condos owned by foreigners can work in Cuba.
We were there a day ahead of my parents and hadn’t told the kids that they coming to so it was a pretty big surprise when Oma opened the door.
Opa came a few days later and that was a surprise too.
The big boys slept in Oma and Opa’s room almost every night on the floor which was great because then Leah and I both got our own beds. At around 8:00 we would get up and head over to Mom and Dad’s room where usually a game of lego would be underway or the boys would be watching spanish cartoons. Then we would head down for breakfast, have coffee in the lobby and then head to the rooms to play for a while. Once it got hot we would head to the pool and chill for the afternoon. At night we would all hang out on the balcony or in the lobby.
Mooky has really grown in his comfort in the water. Before the trip you could not get his face in the water without him crying after the fact. Now he does it voluntarily and even complains about a life jacket because it holds him up.
The resort had 3 a-la-carte restaurants and our favorite was the Italian, especially the soup. At the buffet, we always got our same table which the staff would save for us. Cubans love our tow-head kids, especially Ethan. Where ever we go Ethan gets doted upon and the resort was no exception. The servers would ask us if they are all Leah’s kids and are surprised that Leah has three kids and that she is so young – Cuban women usually start having kids in their thirties and most often only have one child. Ethan slowly warmed up to a few of our servers and by the end of the week would actually give them high five and not just tell the to go away.
For the first few days we were there the resort was dead; then the Cubans showed up. We were at the resort for Father’s Day weekend and the resort offered a deal for Cubans expecting about 200 additional guests. Instead 500 people showed up and they overwhelmed everything. At the buffet, the lines went from 0 to 20 people and the water in the pool went from clear to cloudy as the Cubans would put sunscreen on in the water, eat in the water and ride the water slide drink in hand – spilling at least half of the drink most times. It was a circus and made our lives a little busier but it was entertaining to watch them enjoy their time. One pair of girls from Toronto got a cell phone stolen which was a bit of a bummer because normally you can just leave your stuff laying around at resorts.
As quickly as they showed up they were gone and the resort went back to normal, though it seemed like it was always a little busier than before Father’s Day.
We enjoyed our time with my parents and the resort however like all good things it was too short. Our next stop Havana!!
Some random Varadero pics: