We had to leave at 5:30 AM to check in to our 9 AM flight. Barbara was very sweet and woke up to send us off. We gave her 20 CUC as a tip and I gave her a $1 US bill. She put it on her altar and gave us big hugs goodbye.
When we arrived at the airport, it wasn’t even open yet! Note for next time, find out when the airport opens…regardless of when the flight leaves.
We got through immigration with zero questions. They stamped our passports with an entry stamp (which they back-dated…is that legal?) and an exit. Security was a simple metal detector, but you had to take your shoes off.
When the duty free shop opened, everyone rushed in to buy their rum. We bought 3 bottles, each was about $5. We also bought a few more cigars with the last of our CUCs, they were the exact same price as in the hotel in Havana. Note: if you go to Cuba, just buy your rum and cigars at the duty free.
We arrived in Miami and were pretty much waved through customs. They asked if we had bought anything and we just pointed at our duty free bag. Of course we had more and had receipts and it was within the limit, but this seemed like the easiest answer.
I took some notes about some things to bring on a trip like this next time:
- a sports bra
- a fleece for each of us
- a smaller backpack
- anti-itch cream
- download more music!
- candied ginger
- more Clif bars
- emergen-c or something to change the taste of plain water
Also, everyone boiled their water in their homes and offered it to us. We weren’t sure if it was okay at first. Once we started drinking it, it turned out to be fine. So maybe next time I’d use my water bottle more.