I had a window seat for the short (1-hour) charter flight between Miami and Havana, which afforded me great views of the turquoise water and vast green farmland as we came in over Cuba.
Even after we'd touched down and were heading into Havana, it was much greener than I'd imagined. All farmland, really, or brush growing on either side of the road, on which you'd periodically pass cows, goats, and chickens.
People gather and walk freely on the shoulder of the road, and cars - not people - have the right of way. You see all manner of transportation - the ubiquitous classic cars, plus bikes, horses, horse-drawn carriages, and tractors...
They welcomed us with rum drinks and we sat in wooden glide chairs under a thatched roof, open air bar with beautiful tiled floors and tables while a traditional Cuban band performed.
Out back are rows of carefully tended vegetables and greens, towering Cuban pear trees with clusters of magenta flowers and ruby pears, banana plants, avocado bushes, and a handful of hammocks strung between the trees.
There were also carved wooden parrots in the trees, and lanterns strung about - beer bottles with their bottoms removed and light bulbs inside.
We enjoyed a delicious lunch on the terrace - my selection included salad, fried chick peas (excellent), lasagna (in a white sauce with meat, diced onion, and an egg inside!), and home made pineapple ice cream with a cortadito (Cuban espresso).
A black cat meandered through the property, too, crying out for a bite of food.
This place was fantastic; what a great start to our trip!