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It’s been nearly a year since my trip to Cuba and my failure to write a travel entry on the country (tisk tiskkk). In all fairness, most of the trip turned out to be a near disaster and I did not want to write an entry based on a negative impression. So instead I’ve decided to present the beautiful country of Cuba through some of my favorite pictures from the trip.

It's often impossible to figure out which buildings in old Havana are inhabited. This is just one example of a beautifully decrepit corner building. Photo credit: Tazi Phillips

It’s often impossible to figure out which buildings in old Havana are inhabited. This is just one example of a beautifully decrepit corner building. Photo credit: Tazi Phillips

The sun setting behind a church in old Havana. For most of our time in the old capital there was no electricity, forcing shops, restaurants and museums to close, and us to eat by candlelight each evening. Photo credit: Tazi Phillips

The sun setting behind a church in old Havana. For most of our time in the old capital there was no electricity, forcing shops, restaurants and museums to close, and us to eat by candlelight each evening. Photo credit: Tazi Phillips

The main square in Trinidad, on the southern coast of Cuba. Also my favorite town we visited. Photo credit: Tazi Phillips

The main square in Trinidad, on the southern coast of Cuba. Also my favorite town we visited. Photo credit: Tazi Phillips

Riding bikes through hordes of crabs on the road to get to this beach near Trinidad, Cuba. Photo credit: Tazi Phillips

Riding bikes through hordes of crabs on the road to get to this beach near Trinidad, Cuba. Photo credit: Tazi Phillips

Say hello to the '50s. Vintage cars and taxis lined up in Havana, Cuba. Photo credit: Tazi Phillips

Say hello to the ’50s. Vintage cars and taxis lined up in Havana, Cuba. Photo credit: Tazi Phillips

Mom talking to a local in the streets of Trinidad, Cuba. Photo credit: Tazi Phillips

Mom talking to a local in the streets of Trinidad, Cuba. Photo credit: Tazi Phillips

Horse and buggy suffering under the hot sun on the cobblestone streets of Trinidad, Cuba. Photo credit: Tazi Phillips

Horse and buggy suffering under the hot sun on the cobblestone streets of Trinidad, Cuba. Photo credit: Tazi Phillips

Dogs dressed as a tourist couple wait to take pictures with passersby. Photo credit: Tazi Phillips

Dogs dressed as a tourist couple wait to take pictures with passersby. Photo credit: Tazi Phillips

More architecture in Havana, Cuba. Photo credit: Tazi Phillips

More architecture in Havana, Cuba. Photo credit: Tazi Phillips

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So, it’s been quite a while since I last posted. I’ve moved to Los Angeles, rented my first apartment without a roommate, leased my first car, rode every rollercoaster at Six Flags, went to my first shooting range, made new friends, reconnected with old friends, ate at my first food truck, went to my first art walk, was a (faux) contestant on a tv show, met several celebrities, watched 4 sets of fireworks on the Fourth of July from a beach in Malibu, swam in hot springs, experienced true LA traffic, among a ton of other experiences both good and bad.

And on Friday I will be heading out of the country for the first time since April 2011, over a year ago — the longest amount of time I’ve remained in the US for a period of time. And I’m itching for an adventure.

Where to? CUBA!

I’ve wanted to explore Cuba for years now. And now my current job and the changes to the Cuba embargo have allowed me to visit the country, finally! So come Friday I shall be traversing the streets, beaches, churches, countryside, and whathaveyou of Cuba for ten glorious days. Stay tuned.

I just made the leap, safe and sound, across the Pacific to find myself in the heart of Little India at my hostel in Singapore.

A temple in Little India, Singapore

Luckily I have yet to come across any travel woes (but I write this at 2am as I wait for David to arrive from the airport on his later flight with no cell or internet communication…). The wonderful and hadsome Aram woke up early this morning to give me a ride to LAX, and knowing how unpredictable and utterly painful Los Angeles traffic can be, we left pretty early for a noonish flight. However we lucked out on the freeways and before I knew it, Aram and I were having a sad goodbye, and I was off through the non-existent check-in line and past security, wandering around the sparse international terminal. (Aram – I’m feeling lucky about that lotto ticket. Meet in Bali in a week?)

Having no luck finding some breakfast, I wandered into a place advertising Sam Adams where I came across my friend Carl and his Norwegian gang of hardcore rockers. (We had found out the previous week on their tour through Boston that by some chance/luck/fate we were on the same 12hr flight from LAX to Tokyo, where they would be continuing onto the Japan leg of their music tour) The charming and talented Carl had even surprised me by arranging all of our seats together prior to me even arriving at the airport. (Brownie points!) Very happy to have company on the long flight (David is following in my layover footsteps by about 2 hours…), Carl and I quickly began b*tching about how this Japanese airplane was clearly constructed with those of the Eastern hemisphere in mind.

After we consumed a Kirin and a Sapporo (thank you airline gods for the free booze), both boasting the promise of “good times” on their labels (later, the milk for my coffee also said this…I guess it is pretty important to have the promise of soon-to-be-good times when you’re consuming any kind of beverage in Japan?), I promptly spilled an entire glass of red wine on my beige Toms and clearly frightened the Japanese woman sitting next to me. After hours of stories, movies, picture show-and-tell, napping, and eating relatively good airline food with my temporary travel companion Carl “the Transporter”, we landed successfully in Tokyo, where I then had to book it to the next terminal and arrived just in time for my Singapore flight. Compared to my middle seat on a packed midget flight to Japan, the window seat with no one sitting next to me was quite enjoyable. (Stretch those legs, woman!)

I’ve been to Singapore once before, under almost the exact same circumstances. My mom and I pulled an all-nighter on one of our last trips to Bali, but we had no where to stay and I ended up taking a nap on a table in a 24hr department store. I sprung for a taxi at the airport since it was after midnight and the public transportation in Singapore had already stopped running, and just wanted a bed and a shower. On the way driving along the marina, I spotted a giant lit up ferris wheel, and behind it the eerie, glowing extraterrestrial shape of the Marina Bay Sands (a hotel, casino, shopping mall, museum, and skypark) that my dad’s architectural firm designed. I’m excited to go on a tour of it tomorrow, as well as exploring Little India and eating some good food before my flight in the late afternoon.

Chicken curry. Our first non-airplane meal in Little India, Singapore.

Next stop – Bali!