Come on Spring

Bring on spring, I’m ready for it after spending last week in Cuba.

The weather was outstanding. Average daytime temperatures were 29-32 and the evenings were not much lower. No need for a sweater or a wrap at night over sleeveless tops. It was glorious after the 100 centimetres of snow we had here the week before I left.

We spoke to the locals about the high temperatures and they told us they didn’t really have a winter this year. Even they were surprised at the heat this time of year.

Sunscreen is a must. The sun is so strong these days it is a vacation essential I make sure I pack and use it daily. Even with sunscreen on this year, I managed to get a bit of a burn and I was only in direct sunlight for 30 minutes at the time. Thankfully it was not bad enough to ruin the rest of the vacation. There were a lot of really burnt people walking around. Some I’m not sure how they were coping with the sun beating down on the burnt skin. One year I was stupid and didn’t put on sunscreen first thing, after all I was sitting under the palapa so why did I need it right then? Unfortunately one ankle was in the sun and I didn’t realize it. Well it burnt to a crisp and I could barely stand the next few days walking around with the sun beating on it making it sting constantly.

I used to be a big sun worshiper. I’d sit in the sun for most of the day trying to bake my skin to that golden-brown color that I always thought was healthy looking. Now I don’t sunbathe hardly at all. Most of last week I stayed in the shade under the palapa. I still wore sunscreen and I came home with a tan. I can’t get over the strength of the sun.

It was a wonderful week of relaxing and reading. I loaded a number of books on my reader before I left and had a great time reading a few of them. Relaxing under the palapa was also a the perfect time to let my mind wonder and think of stories I want to write, and to find a solution to a plot problem I have in a current story. Observing at the bar and pool area gave me lots of ideas for characters for future stories – a few tidbits of conversation here and there to add to dialogue and character quirks to make characters more real.

The internet is spotty at best in Cuba, so for the first 5 days I was completely unplugged and it was refreshing. I had no idea what was going on outside my little area under the sun. I probably would not have bought an internet card, or at least not until the last minute to check in with home to say my plane was on-time, but a lady gave us 3 cards for one hour each. She could not get them to work for her and she didn’t want them. It’s funny how quickly you get pulled back into the hub-bub. I found myself checking Facebook, PMing my friends and family, reading my email. Just that short time back in “reality” and I was getting antsy. There went the wonderful calm relaxing in the warmth had given me.

I left Cuba on Thursday night, the temperature was 25 degrees Celsius. I arrived home and the temperature was minus 5 degrees, and it was snowing and blowing, and the high temperature for Friday was minus 15 degrees! I near froze to death all day. It was enough for me to start thinking about next year’s trip already.

This week it’s back to reality…

About Linda O'Toole

Women's Fiction Author
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