Going to bed the night I met Luis was tough. I was too busy floating, I could not come down to get a good night sleep. Therefore, the next morning was a blur. I want to say some of the girls and I went on a two mile jog, came home, had our hot breakfast (thanks to Tia Olga), and waited for our 9th friend to arrive. Yes, we travelled as a pack!!
The entire morning I thought about how I was going to call Luis. Do I say “Hey it’s Yolanda- The americana?” Do I just start talking- hoping he remembers who I was? I asked Tia Olga if I could use her phone to call Luis, which she let me. Thank goodness because verizon charges $2.99/min for a damn call. Anyways, I called and he pick up. “Hola Luis, es Yolanda- La Americana de anoche.” “Ahh si, Hola como estas?” He says. I must have been blushing. I asked him what he was doing that day, that the girls and I are planning on going to the beach later that afternoon and I would like to see him. He agreed to meet and asked me to call him before we left to the beach to figure out where we will meet. And man, let me tell you. I could not wait for the time to come.
I think I changed my bathing suit twice, and my cover up about 3 times. My homegirl Deidra fixed me up and put me in one of her covers. I swear I couldn’t think straight. I was nervous. Anyways, 3pm arrives and my friend Jenn arrives. YEY the group is together. For a moment I forgot about going to the beach. I was so excited to be with my girls in Cuba that we had a few celebratory drinks. Great times with my girls!
Santa Maria del Mar is a beach East of Havana. It is very beautiful. Clear blue water, soft kind-of white sand. Waves aren’t too crazy and the water was just right. However, the day we went was a gloomy day.
We first had dinner while it drizzled. Food was alright. I always eat just chicken. How can someone mess up chicken? I can’t say everyone liked their food- than again, not everyone ordered the chicken. Anyways, I get a call from Luis who lets me know he is there. I direct him as best as I can and we meet at the restaurant.
My face had the biggest smile (I know this because Deidra told me to calm it down…) But I couldn’t help myself. He was fine to me. I introduced him to everyone and we head out to the beach. God must have wanted us to hang out because the rain stopped. Still gloomy out but no rain!
We sat by this big rock (not pictured) and just talked for about an hour or more. I lost track of time. We talked about what we do for a living, my life in NY, his life in Cuba, to the numerous pictures the group was taking. We learned what we could about each other. He spoke to me in a way I could understand Spanish as my Spanish isn’t the best. Oh and his lips…. (insert dirty thought right here). Changing the subject. Let see, just to point it out- I did asked him about the ring on the left finger. He told me its a fashion statement, they put their wedding band on the right hand. (I later learned that everyone had a ring on the left finger. It is just something they do).
Some of the girls came over to chat as well. He came with some friends so we all had a chance to get to know each other.He seemed really cool and managed to calm my nerves down. I loved his eyes. They are brown, oval- with a slight squint to them. And they speak with some sort of passion. Hard to describe. Till this day I fall for him all over again when I look into his eyes. After a while our cab driver said it was getting late and it was time to head back. He asked to take a picture and told me he wanted to see me that night. I told him I would call him because we had plans for dinner. Long story short, I never got to see him that night. By the time we were ready to head out to dinner, it was super late. I called him after we ate but he thought I wasn’t going to meet him and went home. “Llamamé mañana- cuandos lleges de Trinidad.” he says to me. “Buenas Noches.” He asked me to come see him play at another night club the following night. I made it a point to see him.
I was a bit sad because I really wanted to see him. For the rest of the night I tried not to think about it. But away we went, to explore Havanas night life. We stopped at this one bar but the music was something we were’t in the mood for. What it was- I can’t remember. As we walked around, some locals directed us to another spot. A hidden club so to speak. It was danty and not something we were dressed for. We left and walked across the street to Hotel National de Cuba. It was beautiful and big. The girls and I walked right in and went straight to the bar in the back. We ended up ordering a few bottles of wine. We laughed, talked, and laughed some more. It was about 4am when we realized we needed to head home because we had to be ready by 6am to go horseback riding in Trinidad. We already paid for the excursion and did not want to be late.