It’s early Monday morning—our bus will be here soon to take our research group to the airport. Yesterday we had free time to research the beach, research shopping, and research tourism in Cuba. It’s too bad we couldn’t just come here as tourists—that would be illegal, according to the U.S. government. (Technically, tourists can come here, but cannot spend money. Researchers are exempt from that regulation, so most of our travelers successfully researched the process of buying artwork, Christmas presents, and gifts.)
After researching lunch, we rode in our bus along the north coast for 2 hours back to Havana. We checked into our same hotel–the Santa Isabel. We had more free time to walk around Old Havana and finish our shopping.
At 8pm, we walked a couple blocks to our Farewell Dinner at the Cafe del Oriente. It was great to have our guide and driver have dinner with us. We passed out certificates to all the researchers in our group. It was also the birthday of one of our travelers–Julie. Our guide had ordered a birthday cake, so our “Last Supper” was a nice ending to our research expedition.
Today we’ll go to the airport, say “good-bye” to our guide and driver, clear customs, and wait for our flight back to “The Empire,” as it is called by many Cubans. We had a few glitches on this trip, but overall I think it was one of my best expeditions yet.