Tag Archives: Blog

Havana, Cuba

12 May

There might be some mixed feelings with people visiting Cuba.

I am well aware of the hardship the Cubans have gone, and still go through.  The pain, the struggle, not able to see family for a long time, not being able to go back to home.  Of course I don’t agree with any of these, and my heart goes out to them.  I completely understand why some do not agree with us going there but, here is the other side…  in no particular order.

* Curiosity – This is a place that was banned for years.  Forbidden, closed, that we only were able to see by what leaked through TV or by what our friends told us about it.  So, of course once we’re allowed to go, we would want to.  It’s human nature.

* History – So much has happened in Cuba, and all has been kept almost untouched.

* Travel in time – Again, since so little from the “outside” world has touched Cuba, it’s like they are stuck in time.  Something I appreciated, since a lot reminded me of my home Puerto Rico, and helped me imagine it as it might have been years ago, maybe during my Grandmother’s time.

* The People – Beautiful, friendly, hospitable, happy.  I loved talking to all I encounter, comparing our islands, our Spanish, our accents, our food…  It was a breath of fresh air to be around people with similar culture to mine.  I would not trade these conversations and smiles for anything.

* The Ocean – just like In PR, the ocean has a distinct smell of Home.

* The Food – This is always an important part in my trips.  We do have similar dishes but the condiments, names and preparation are somewhat different.  It’s great experiencing these and maybe even incorporate in the dishes I already know.

* The Music – Salsa is a must in Cuba.  Listen and dance it!

Instead of staying at a hotel, we opted for an AirBnb. close to El Malecón, we would walk to most places.


After seeing the house, and leaving all our things, we headed out and walked blocks until we found a bar.  The setting was interesting, like a church, with ocean view.

Out first drink, you guessed it, a Cuba Libre.  The breeze and the view were amazing, so we stayed for a second one.


With reservations for dinner that night, we went back to get ready.

The restaurant La Concordia has outside seating on the 3rd floor, giving this a “rooftop” vibe.  LEDs that change color are placed on each table.  Great for a date or any type of gathering.


Saturday was my favorite day.  We started with a city tour in antique cars, which they call “Máquinas”.  Convertible, 1950 – 1960s cars, colorful and absolutely beautiful.



Several stops, plus conversation with the drivers/ tour guides, give you a good amount of information of the island, history, and culture.


Walking tour was next, which took us to “Plaza de Armas”, some Plazas, what would be considered “downtown”.  Also got to see where Hemingway drank “


Rum tour was interesting, and ended with a shot.  And while we waited for our driver, we were at the bar enjoying some live Salsa music and dancing.  What can be better than that?


A quick stop at Sloppy Joes and then off to dinner.

Dinner was a treat!  We went to  where they do Dinner and a Show with members of the Buena Vista Social Club.

The highlight here is the show…  Song after song, with incredible voices and entertaining personalities.  They make you dance, laugh, and even go on stage!  They include everyone in the audience, even singing part of songs from the countries visiting that night.​​

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Still dancing with all the songs stuck in our heads, we found a promoter who guided us to different clubs around the area.  My favorite of the night was Cafe Tin Tin.   Live music, good drinks, dance space.  Real fun!


Next morning, and last day.  We decided to walk around one last time to take in all the beautiful views one last time.


Our AirBnb hosts were there to see us off, not without a hug first and wishing us safe travels and to come back soon.

Cuba is beautiful, so are the people…  So much to see and do… So happy I got the opportunity to experience it.

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You have to “kiss a lot of frogs”

3 Aug

I recently read an article that warned women of the types of “frogs” to avoid kissing.

Well, I’m sure it’s too late for a lot of us, and even if we had read this before, we would have done it anyway…  :p

The article listed three types (I’m sure there’s more or hybrids):

1.     The bad boy.  This is the one that dresses to impress, has all the right words and knows exactly what to say.  Most (or all) his comments have sexual insinuations because his goal is to have another conquest and not a serious relationship.

2.     The controller.  This one is possessive and wants to dominate you and the relationship.  He has to know exactly what you’re doing at all times…  who you’re with and where, and is extremely jealous.  The article says this type of relationship might be addictive.

3.     The broken boy.  This one says he wants the relationship, but the experience of his last relationship(s) scare him and won’t let him fall in love again.  He will start showing you affection and make all the right moves but when it’s time to commit he will “freeze” and start backing out.

Yes, they say you have to “kiss a lot of  frogs” to find the right one but, how many is a lot?  What if you keep kissing the same one just different face/ name?  What if you have a pattern?  You know about it but can’t seem to break it…  So I ask, when do you get tired of the same thing over and over and change the tune?

I know this is usually where I insert a positive/ inspirational thought or answer but today, I don’t think I can.  I’m still dealing with this one myself and, if I’m honest, think I might keep failing to change it for a while.  It’s tough breaking patterns and habits…  Especially when there’s some good times in them.

You hear your family and friends say, or even think to yourself, you deserve so much better, a “good” guy will come and will make you realize what you need but, truth is, it’s in us to realize that and give that guy a chance.  A thousand might come our way, right in front of our noses, even try to get to know us but, if we’re not ready or still looking at a “frog” it won’t matter.  It’s up to you, and only you, to open your eyes and realize what “good” really is and what really matters.

Huh!  Look at that…  I did give some advice…  now the hard part is following it.  Good luck!!!

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Loss

4 Mar

We’ve always heard “death is part of life”, “death is the most natural thing in the world”, “death is the only sure thing we have”. Unfortunately I recently had to hear these over and over again, and know those statements are true… As I grow older, I realize more will leave us.

If death is “a natural part of life” I guess we should consider goodbyes the same but, if these are “natural” things, why do they hurt so much? Why do we not get used to it easily?

Death is not the only loss we suffer during life, we also suffer loss when a friend or love walks away. In a way, it’s death as well, the death of that relationship.

Actual death is inevitable, and definitive. We cry, we miss but, in the end, we must resign knowing there’s nothing we can do about it.

Why then do we fight to keep the ones who walk away? Why don’t we resign to see it as the death of the relationship? After all, those who walked away did it willingly. Is it human nature, the need to control or understand a situation, the love we have for them that won’t let us give up because we know that person is still alive and hope there’s a second chance?

I think fairy tales and movies have something to do with this. Even in those death is final but, love lasts forever. It can move mountains, survive any fight, misunderstanding, war, distance, etc.

We relive in our heads the words they said to us, the moments we had together, the things we wanted to do with them.

We look for a way to get them back, to be what they want, to be happy with them.

We hold on…

Thinking about it now, I guess it’s human nature. The way we do it is not the same but, we do hold on to the loved ones that have passed as well. We keep them alive in our hearts and memory. Those memories help us cope with the sorrow, and even bring smiles and laughter. Those memories are what we have to hold on, and we never let go.

So, what’s really natural and certain is that we love, and that’s why it hurts. Either way they left us, we love them, and we were not ready to say goodbye. They leave both heartache and memories.

We try any way we can to keep them in our lives, and when it’s not possible we mourn them, we miss them.

Those still alive, we hold on to the hope they come back soon, and the rest we hope to see again in the future.

In the end, they all leave a mark, one that will live with us forever and shape who we are. A mark only ours, that no one can heal, take away or match. We love them, and they’ll be forever in our hearts.

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Be a Writer

14 Jan

You know, keeping a blog isn’t easy…

One sets a goal to write every  so often, let’s say at least once a month, to gain and keep subscribers, to prove yourself that you have something to say and write about, as an outlet to vent when talking is hard, whatever the reason, it just isn’t easy.

You see, when you have this type of blog, the one without a specific topic, or someone telling you what to write about, you write about personal experiences or things you talk about with friends.  You write about your trips, your eats, what you see and feel.  On these topics, we all have a lot to say, problem is, we don’t always want everyone to hear.  Our heads and hearts are filled with hundreds of emotions daily.  Countless stories, new and old, can be told in one day so, why don’t we?

I’ve written before about how one should not feel ashamed or embarrassed by what or how we feel but, that’s easier said than done.

Sometimes what comes to our heart to write is too personal we are scared to share it with the world.  Maybe not even with the world but just one person in specific.  We are afraid of how we might be perceived, how vulnerable we feel, what people will say, and how will it affect how they treat us.  Or, we might have the happiest news, but afraid to share it scared we might jinx it, or scared that if at the end it doesn’t end well, we have to write the unfortunate update.

Still, writing is a great outlet.  Someone once told me “Take pictures when you’re happy and write when you’re sad so, in the future, when you’re sad, the pictures remind you of happy times and the writing shows you how far you’ve come and the experiences that made you who you are” (something along those lines).  I write… not all makes it to this blog or to anyone’s eyes but, I see it, I feel it, and it helps me release what weighs me down.  When I read it, later on, when the feelings are more tamed, it helps me analyze the situation and my thoughts better.  It helps me live the moment again, with a new perspective.

We might not all be bloggers but I believe we all should be writers, writers of our own stories.

Grab a pen, a keyboard, anything and write away.  Let your spirit flow in that blank page, not for the world to see but for you.  Discover yourself, what you feel, what you want and need.  Writing will allow you to see many sides of you, you might have not known existed.  Relive the moments and feelings, and let your own words show you a new light to them.

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2014 is coming to an end…

30 Dec

As we celebrate and welcome the new year, we can’t help to look back and think, even if it’s for a moment, about the past.

I’m sure we’ve all had some ups & downs, heartaches & love, loses & gains, tears & laughter…  Through it all, we’ve learned, we’ve become stronger, gained new perspective on things and, hopefully, appreciation of the important things in life.

Cherish the wonderful memories, enjoy the simple pleasures, value family and true friendship, as these are the real treasures and what makes every year special.

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In every aspect of life…

4 Sep

In every aspect of life (family, friends, love and/or work):

I’ve learned…

That trust is a really big thing and really fragile

That a kiss can mean the world to someone, same as a hug, but absolutely nothing to the other

That a “relationship” can be broken in just one second

That said relationship wasn’t real…

I’ve seen…

How time after time I’m capable of forgiveness

That I can smile again, love again, and trust again

That past experiences do affect you but don’t define you

That I’m strong enough to move on

That things happen for a reason

That not everyone is meant to stay in your life, and that the people that are always do

That family and friends are the most important thing and the only ones you really can count on

I must…

Enjoy the moment

Trust myself and my “6th sense”

Know that happiness comes from within

Not rush or force things

Accept what we can’t change

Be patient, and pray

Know that everything always works out in the end

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Instagram It!

1 Aug

Back in December 2013 I opened an Instagram account for my blog.
It’s not every day I get inspired to write but, I do see things, daily, that catch my eyes and/or emotions and I try to capture them, as best as I can, in pictures.

As I said on my blog post from December, I think this is the magic of pictures. They show a piece of you because even when you’re not in the picture it is of something that “spoke” to you and Instagram lets you share it with everyone else. With this incredible social media tool we realize how some things are universally beautiful or appealing, how an inanimate object can turn into art immediately, how a flower, and it’s color, comes alive when in our routine life we might have just passed it by, and how marvelous and unique sunrises and sunsets are, even though they happen every day. We learn a little about each person by the style and subject of their photographs and when we find things in common we follow them, and see how we’re all so different but similar at the same time.

I invite you to follow my Instagram feed @throughapurplelens and see a little bit more of me. I will keep looking at yours and admiring how beautiful our world is.

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