Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas shopping in Cuba

It is our last morning in Cuba and thought I would write a quick blog before the reality of regular life strikes back like a Star Wars sequel.

Though Christmas Eve is a mere two weeks away, it is the last thing on my mind; we have been completely sheltered from any sort of holiday spirit here at the Memories Flamenco resort in Cayo Coco. Our thoughts have been more focused on finding the best beach chairs, keeping the plastic beer cups full, avoiding sunburn and being sure to sample everything on the ample buffet spreads. As far as all-inclusive resorts go, this is probably the best one we have ever been to. The mathematics of how the tour operator and resort can be making any money eludes me. I just cannot understand how a family of four can be flown to the Caribbean, fed delicious food and unlimited drinks, and be catered on by armies of personal assistants for less than $2,500 for an entire week.

Saying all that, after a week of this routine I am always ready to go. It is nice to spoil yourself for a short time, but after a while the whole thing gets a little ridiculous. I have certainly caught up on my sleep – made it to 11:30 one night, but the rest of the evenings I was sleeping by 9:30 or earlier. Of course, I was then awake by 5:30 most days, which allowed me to sneak out of the room with a laptop, grab a coffee and do some early morning writing.

I brought a copy of my book along, and have been tempted several times to open it up and start looking for errors, but every time I tried, Ana slapped my hand.  And I am very thankful for that as I needed a break from it. The next phase of the project is to start selling the damn things instead of trying to perfect it! So far I have only really “released it” online and through Amazon and have not yet done any local marketing. There will be a couple boxes of printed books ready for me when I get home so will start my marketing efforts then and see where that takes me.

This is the time of the year when I start preparing for the annual Olson family review. It sounds dorky, but each year during the Christmas holidays I do a full set of financial statements, put a Powerpoint slide presentation together and we have a family meeting to review what we accomplished during the year, and then set goals for the following year.  We each set personal goals for areas such as health, fitness, education, and work, then together set family goals for travel and finances. I try to track every dollar we spend during the year so it’s always enlightening (and sometimes shocking) to see where all that money actually went. I may be accused of being a planning fanatic, but hey, if you don’t know where you are trying to get to, then how the hell can you even know if you are traveling in the right direction?

Ouch, just got a mosquito bite. Won’t be getting any of those in Ontario for the next few months!

1 comment:

  1. So when we were planning our winter getaway, there was no question we were heading back to Cuba. Though we decided to try another city this time.