Cuba – The (not so short) Story and Chocolate Banana Protein Smoothie

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, right? Since I have well over a hundred pictures that I would like to share here, that would translate into a hell of a lot of words, especially if I started adding a whole bunch of words on top of that! ;o)

So I’ll try and keep the talking to a minimum and share some of my favorite pictures instead. I think the images pretty much speak for themselves anyway.

So here goes a short (well, short as I can make it, you know me, I talk a lot!) recap of my recent trip to Hotel Playa Blanca in Cayo Largo, Cuba, where I spent a week with my mom and daughter.

We lived in one of those cute little bungalows.

Ours was the first blue one that you see below. Fear not, the sky hadn’t been stolen, it just didn’t want to be on that picture, I think…

This was the view from our balcony. We spent at least an hour every day sitting on that balcony, reading a book or just enjoying the view.

I really wouldn’t mind sitting there again right now!

To get to the beach, we’d have to walk down that little wooden bridge / path. I liked it so much that I wanted to shove it in my purse and take it home with me.

Well, I wanted to take everything home with me. Except for the dead crabs, of course (more on that later…)

As we’d get closer to the ocean, this is the view spectacle that unfolded before us. It took my breath away every.single.time.

I never could get over the magnificient color of the water. It was simply out of this world.

Then we’d go down a few stairs…

Of course, Tasha always beat me to it!

I turn my head to the left, this is what I see…

And to the right… (hold on to your socks! Wait… I’m not wearing any. Good thing, I guess, ’cause the view before me would’ve knocked them right off!)

WOW! I just can’t believe I am really standing there! There’s only one thing left to do, and that is… GO IN!

Alright, I might want to remove my clothes AND lose the bag first…

The whole time I was there, I was just fascinated with the sea, its movement as well as its color. I could’ve taken millions of pictures.

For some reason, I also developped some sort of a foot fetish;)

And so did my daughter… I just love this photo that she took of our feet. Notice the sand. It was just unbelievable, felt like light brown sugar.

It was so fine and soft, you’d want to bury yourself in it.

At dawn, the pinks of the sky combined with the blues of the ocean made the whole place look like a fairytale.

I did mention crabs before, didn’t I?

Well, there were hundreds of crabs everywhere. Tiny, lively, lightning fast and colorful crabs, and large, drab as can be, not quite as fast beige crabs.

For some reason, the large beige crabs all came out at dawn and spent the night all bunched up under the palm trees. In the morning, there’d be carcasses lying around here and there… I really wonder what went on at night!

Here, a small colorful crab is hiding behind a very dead beige crab.

And another dead crab…

Now seriously, can anyone come up with a theory as to how one dies in such a strange position?

Looks like it’s just frozen in time!

Here’s another critter that seemed to have his home near our “habitación“. We’d see him regularly as we went in and out…

Of course, there was also lots of trees, and plants and flowers…

Did anyone say vibrant?

This is one GORGEOUS plant. I soooooo want one for an interior plant. Yet another thing I wanted to stuff in my purse!

These beauties grew literally everywhere. Talk about nice ground cover! They look like some sort of a bizarre version of our Morning Glories.

Some of the coolest flowers ever! These looked like they were made of plastic and covered in some sort of velvet…

And this one? I think I don’t even need to comment. Are they even from our planet?

The craziest Hibiscus flower ever! Think they’re available here?

Now of course, there were TONS of that! Coconut anyone?

Oh, how I wish these grew right in my backyard…

We were lucky enough to have the staff at the hotel crack them open for us one day. Wow, there’s nothing better than a young coconut, fresh from the tree and still warm from the sun.

Of course, we won’t mention the rum that they’d add straight to the coconut water before to drop a straw in the hole and hand the delicious fruit nut seed over…

Then, when you were done drinking all the liquid, you’d bring it back to the guy and he would extract the sweet, tender flesh for you to munch on. Oh my, YUM!

Don’t tell anyone, I had 2 of them…

Now, as far as activities are concerned, we didn’t do that many things. Let’s face it, there isn’t much to do in Cayo Largo. It is a small island that is only about 50km long by 5km wide…

Let’s just say there is no amusement park there! ;)

Still, there was this one day when we went swimming with the dolphins. What a truly magical and fantastic experience that was! Dolphins are just AMAZING!

Need I tell you I wanted to stuff one in my purse?

Walking on water!!!

Then we went on a catamaran to do a bit of snorkeling, enjoy a nice meal of rock lobster and watch the most amazing sunset.

Other than that, I must’ve spent at least 5 hours a day swimming in the ocean, 1-2 hours reading on the balcony, 3 hours watching the musicians and dancers every night…

And, well, I ate… and drank…

Yeah… I did way too much of that!

So much so that I can see of lot of these in my immediate future…

Fear not, I’m not going on a diet, but I need to give my body a break.

Protein smoothies are a great way to go!

This one is Chocolate Banana. A classic, but so, so good! I just can’t get enough of it.

Plus, I make mine EXTRA chocolaty…

Want the recipe? It’s quite easy.

INGREDIENTS
(Serves 1)

  • ½ very ripe banana
  • ½ cup unsweetened soy milk (or your choice of liquid)
  • 2 tbsp Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1 scoop vanilla flavored whey protein powder
  • 8 ice cubes

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add all the ingredients to your food processor (I use a magic bullet) and process until smooth. Pulsing at first might help break the ice cubes.
  2. Transfer to glass and garnish with cacao nibs and mint leaves, if desired

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. says

    I am glad you are back Sonia! Your trip sounded SOO amazing and the photos transport me right to Cuba – I wish I was swimming with the dolphins right about now…and relaxing on the beach with a coconut in one hand and looking out into a gorgeous bright sunset! I’m glad you had a blast – love the pictures, thanks so much for sharing! And I love your comment about shoving the beach in your purse and taking it home – I laughed out loud :)
    Ummm your choco-nana smoothie looks SUPER yummy!

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