Little Havana

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I realized that I am woefully behind in sharing photos from our trip to South Florida over Fourth of July weekend. And since it is almost the 1st of August, I figured I’d better get on it. Of course, being the shutterbug I am now I decided I’d better break the posts up since I have so much to show you. I apologize now for freezing up any one’s pc or iphone.

So, as I may have mentioned in this post, Eric surprised me by suggesting we take a trip to Florida over the holiday weekend. Due to two cats that require daily medicating, it’s been a long time since we went anywhere. And I’ve been really a little bit sad that we haven’t been able to indulge in one of our favorite things to do – travel. Especially when everyone I talked to asked what our plans were for a summer vacation, and I had to reply “no plans”. So, I was ecstatic when Eric suggested this trip.

We flew out on Thursday evening and checked into our fabulous hotel in Fort Lauderdale, the Riverside Hotel. Eric picked this hotel and it was such a great place to stay. There was beautiful tile work on the floors and walls, as well as a wonderful tropical feel.

Friday morning, we drove to Miami and decided to explore Little Havana. One of the things I really wish I’d gotte a photo of, but didn’t, was the tilework on the building facades. It was all chair rail height and the front of each storefront had different tile. It was so beautiful.

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There were just so many beautiful things to see, and I enjoyed some of the architecture like this old movie theater.

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And of course we visited several of the cigar shops. We had intended to take a tour of one of the cigar companies, but it was closed. But purchases were made in a couple of the shops for Eric.

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Cigars in hand, we went over to the Domino Park to watch the locals play. It’s been years since I’ve played dominos (I think the last time was with my neice). I loved watching all the players surrounding the tables and enjoying each other’s company and their game. And the tables themselves have a map of Cuba on them.

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You can see some of the tile work right next to the domino park and the walkway with a domino pattern. An excellent place to catch a little shade and enjoy a cigar.

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There was a guy sitting on a bench in front of this store, and my photo would have been so much more perfect if I’d taken it from the other side – with him and the Indian in the shot. But I am too chicken to take photos of random strangers when they’re looking at me. Now, taking photos of then on the sly…that’s a different story.

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Key Lime Cola?? Count me in! We didn’t come across any though. But, I have to say Key Lime Pie is my second favorite, right after Lemon Meringue. Just in case you feel the need to send me a pie or something.

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And although we didn’t find any Key Lime Cola, we did find these tasty cold beverages. Eric had the Ironbeer and I had the watermelon. Mmmm…pretty yummy with some plaintain chips.

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Calle Ocho also features this walk of stars along the sidewalk. I was happy to find Celia Cruz’s star. (And yes, Ms. Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine also have a star).

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This was the cigar factory we had intended to tour, but it was boarded up tight. Too bad, since La Gloria No. 7s are one of Eric’s favorites.

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We headed to lunch and decided on La Carreta. It was soo good! Even their iced tea is good. I had a fabulous chicken sandwich with plantain chips.

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Eric ordered a Cuban sandwich (he loves these and has been missing them since one of his favorite restaurants closed in Dallas). He also ordered fried plantains to go with it.

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After lunch, we went to La Casa de las Guayaberas and shopped for some authentic Cuban clothing for Eric.

From Little Havana, we headed over to South Beach for the remainder of the day. But, later over the weekend we came back to Calle Ocho and went to Versailles, another great Cuban restaurant and bakery, for late night desserts. We shared Tres Leches and Coconut Flan. Mmmm.

I’ll have more posts to share photos of South Beach and Palm Beach. It was an amazing weekend!

2 thoughts on “Little Havana”

  1. So fun! I've never been to FL before. Will have to make it there someday soon.

    PS – I'm totally hungry for Cuban food now. I'm calling the husband to see if he wants to go 🙂

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