Trump Sets Door Ajar For Aspiring Cuba Travelers

 

Tony Randgaard traveled to Cuba twice recently under the relaxed U.S. travel restrictions. The New York Times and CNN report that President Trump is poised to narrow the Obama loopholes that have enabled thousands of Americans to visit the lost-in-time island since fall of last year. Take in his latest adventure and Minnesota travel tips—before it’s too late.


I got off the bus in downtown Havana wearing a Gustavus Tennis tee, high hopes and a Cheshire cat smile, cultivated by two months of meticulous planning. I stepped into a frothing stew of pedestrians, vintage Fifties Ford and Chevy taxis, three wheel bicycle cabs and street peddlers. Not to worry, I had been told my Airbnb apartment was a mere five blocks away and of course I could always lean on those basic Spanish phrases I had been practicing.

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Sully in Cuba — Is This The Next Seminal Moment for Cuba Travel?

Not a bad deal — Key West-Havana for only $100 one way?

The brochure beckoning you to “Travel The Comfortable Way.” And then Vic Chenea, the airline representative, crowing about the wide wicker seats, sweeping glass windows and even free bags — before plying you with rum on the airline’s tab. Who wouldn’t jump on that type of personal service? You’re in and a convenient return time from Havana at 3:55 p.m. to boot. What could go wrong?

Well it started with the rain and low visibility out of Havana. And then wondering by 5:00 p.m. — isn’t the flight supposed to be one hour?

By 5:15 p.m. the pilot and mechanic are using binoculars to look for Florida and then asking if you can help find the Sand Key Lighthouse and its beacon? Minutes later, flying at low altitude, the pilot spots a tanker ship below. The co-pilot is writing out a message on stationary. OMG, message in a bottle? Instead, he affixes it to a large metal lever, wraps it in a cloth sack and then drops it out the window. You’ve got a good view from the seat behind him and watch incredulously as the package falls into the ocean and sinks.

What the hell type of procedure is this?

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Summer Plans? Think Historic Forestville!

The time has come to start working those summer plans into our schedules! It’s hard to believe now, but green grass and budding trees are just around the corner.

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Fate and Luck: The Incredible Mr. Hillary

edmund_hillary

Ed Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the Lebron and Steph Curry of mountaineering — yet all they could do was wait. They were holed up in a small tent on the South Col of Mount Everest while the ‘varsity’ team of two climbers was aggressively attacking the last 2,000 vertical feet above them. Their colleagues would become the first climbers to summit Everest, the world’s highest and most unreachable peak. In contrast to other climbers, Hillary and Tenzing were imposing physical specimens. Hillary was 6 foot 5 inches of lean, sinewy muscle and abounding energy. Norgay was larger than other Sherpas and his elite acclimatization to altitude enabled him to climb near the summit two times recently.

Norgay sat cross-legged in the small tent with a three-foot flame from the camp stove shooting up between his legs, while the others slept. A similar fire may have burned inside him. He had a score to settle with Everest. At 3:30 p.m. the first assault team of Charles Evans and Tom Bourdillon stumbled back into the South Col campsite — weary and beaten. According to Hillary’s official autobiography Reaching The Summit by Alexa Johnston, they ran out of time and oxygen to reach the summit. Now the stage was cleared for Hillary and Norgay.

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Highlights of Southern Ireland

the blarney house

I used to think the idea of Ireland being completely and richly green was probably a stereotype, but that didn’t last for long. That idea was dashed before my plane even landed. As I gazed out the window, as soon as the clouds dispersed the first thing I saw was emerald as far as the eye can see. It took my breath away from that very moment and I didn’t get it back until I left the country.

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Wanderlust: My Seven Wonders to the Pacific Northwest

yellowstone

For most of my life I have had this desire to live anywhere besides Minnesota. No offense to Minnesota or anything, but I have this feeling that I wasn’t meant to live in the Midwest my whole life. I told friends and family about this dream for as long as I can remember; so I think the decision to actually do it at the age of 26 was a soft blow to them.

For the past three years I have resided in the great city of Minneapolis. It felt like home. But, that strange feeling of wanderlust was still in the back of my mind. So, after many months of talk, I quit my nine to five job, notified the landlord of the beautiful apartment I lived in (very sad about leaving this apartment behind), my boyfriend and I packed up our materialistic lives and drove to Portland, OR. This is my experience of the highs and lows, differences and similarities of the Midwest to the West and everything in between.

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Amsterdam: A Friendly City

amsterdam city

When I took my first step outside the Grand Central Station onto the streets of Amsterdam I felt immediately engulfed by the city’s unique atmosphere. The bustling squares and many narrow alley-like streets were intimidating at first because the layout is so different from what I’m used to in a typical American city. But there is little in Amsterdam that resembles a typical American city.

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Why is Mayor Hodges Visiting the Coldest Major City in China… Now?

Harbin Ice City (Emma Gawen)

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and City Council Member John Quincy (Ward 11) are joining leaders from ‘Meet Minneapolis’ for a winter adventure in the heart of Manchuria. Though they’re not going halfway around the world for a vacation. They’re participating in a timely forum for cold cities to exchange ideas in Harbin (China’s eighth largest city).

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Erosion of Courage (Reflections on ‘The Interview’ Cancellation)

Staying Behind the Legal Picture Line at the DMZ

A view from behind the yellow line (for photography) in South Korea’s Demilitarized Zone across to North Korea

As I looked across the Demilitarized Zone (a layered valley of autumn-tinged fields and soldiered fences) my heart sank with a heavy realization: Korea had more than governments, economics, armies, allies and living conditions dividing it; the landscape glowered at me as the greatest separation. North Korea was (and is) treeless.

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Qylatron System Could Be Answer to Improving Security Screening at Public Events

qylatron security system

Anytime someone hears the three letters TSA put together there’s a good chance they aren’t gong to jump for joy. Ever since the terrorist attacks on 9/11, and the many more attempts since then, airports all across the country have turned security checkpoints into the one thing travelers tend to loath more than flight delays.

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