Havana Nights


always making new friends 😛


Happy New Year to all!! I went to Havana, Cuba with friends to ring in the New Year and I’m so happy I went! We had a really great group (very different from the solo travel I’ve done this year) but it’s always fun when you have a good crowd around you that’s enthusiastic about the same things as you.

Havana was very inviting… we actually hired a driver for our stay which I definitely recommend doing. Ricardo made everything so simple and we kind of bonded with him. One night we realized one of our friends wasn’t actually in the car when we got to our next destination and our driver was so scared but we found her. haha. After that we joked with him about “counting all the chickens” when we got in the taxi.

He was even nice enough to invite us over for New Year’s Eve celebrations with his family. Part of the celebration included teaching us dances and at the stroke of midnight, they take a doll (looks more like a scarecrow to us) and pour gasoline on it and light it on fire and it symbolizes letting go of the past year. (He even lit his cigarette from it! :o) Then we walked in a circle around this enormous tree. One of the largest trees I’ve ever seen and you’re supposed to think about your dreams for the coming year. It was really special and I’m glad my friends and I got to experience it.

I love Havana nights. And the late afternoons on one of the rooftops is my favorite thing. I’m already looking forward to planning another trip and have so many ideas of places I want to explore.

Here’s a short clip I put together you can view more on my Instagram ❤

View this post on Instagram

Havana 💃

A post shared by Joanna Lea Hudson (@sittingprettyinthequeencity) on

Published by sittingprettyinthequeencity

Hi, I'm Joanna. NC based. Lover of beautiful things. Welcome to my blog! I also own The Classified Design, a website design and social media management company! This blog is a really fun creative outlet for me and I love interacting with readers so if you have questions or tried something out from the blog, please share! I always look forward to questions and comments. To follow along on Instagram: SittingPrettyintheQueenCity for my business accounts: TheClassifiedDesign xoxo Jo p.s. follow me on Instagram: sittingprettyinthequeencity Twitter: JoSittingPretty https://www.facebook.com/SittingPrettyintheQueenCity For sponsorship opportunities or collaborations email sittingprettyinthequeencity@gmail.com

52 thoughts on “Havana Nights

  1. Nice pictures and glad you had a good time. However, I don’t see the need to support a brutacommunist dictatorship and lining the pockets of Raul Castro with greenbacks.


    1. Thanks, Tom. That’s absolutely your prerogative. Americans aren’t allowed to contribute to tourism so I wouldn’t say I supported that. It was an eye opening experience and the people were lovely and it was great to see a different culture so different from my own. Even more interesting was listening to their opinions about the dictatorship and the rulers. But I’m not trying to sell anyone on it. If you don’t want to support it you don’t have to go 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Tom, learn some history please. Fidel Castro liberated Cuba from the US backed dictator Bautista. He was not a communist back then, more a supporter of Jose Marti. The US illegally occupied Cuba at around the same time it annexed the Philippines, Guam, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. Fidel was no saint but Cuba enjoys better education, healthcare and housing than many Americans.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. All perspectives are welcomed 🙂 One great thing about spending New Year’s Eve with my taxi driver and his family was I got the opportunity to have more intimate conversations with his family and ask their opinion (I feel like they spoke more freely in their home) and Ricardo is close in age to me. He said the country was still in mourning and that Fidel was his leader – the whole country was in mourning so they didn’t have the typical NYE celebrations . He seemed to respect/admire him. Ricardo’s father on the other hand who was about 80 basically said the younger generation is brainwashed and they don’t remember what it was like before Fidel. Before going, I was under the impression most Cuban people disliked Fidel so I was shocked to hear how sad they were about his passing. You are absolutely right about their healthcare I was amazed.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks like you had an awesome time! I was supposed to go to Cuba on a band trip back in 2015, but sadly that never came to fruition. Besides Havana, did you go anywhere else in the country? Just curious in case I ever get the opportunity to travel there in the future.

    Thank you for sharing your experience! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It was definitely up in the air until the last minute but I was so happy it worked out! I really wanted to go to Varadero beach it’s one of the nicest in the world but it was 2 hours away and an expensive cab ride. Since I was only in Cuba five days we stayed in Havana and really explored Havana but I want to go back to see other parts of the country for sure and now I know more things I want to see next time

      Liked by 1 person

      1. At least you got to spend a lot of time taking in Havana and getting a taste of the country. If you ever get the chance and have the money, you should consider trying out Fiji. While many would talk about resorts and private islands, I stayed in the capital city of Suva with my family and the development and rich history from a British colony to an independant nation is really neat

        Liked by 2 people

      2. At least you got to spend a lot of time taking in Havana and getting a taste of the country. If you ever get the chance and have the money, you should consider checking out Fiji. While many would talk about resorts and private islands, I stayed in the capital city of Suva with my family. The development and rich history from a British colony to an independent nation is really interesting, and it really feels like a slice of life on the distant sea (depending on where you go), unlike some more Americanized island nations. Hopefully your travels lead you to interesting places! 🙂 (Also half of my message got deleted so I had to send this. Sorry!)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely that you got to go so early before the flood of tourism hits. Looks beautiful in the images and sounds fun too. Ricardo obviously took a shine to you! New year with family must have been incredible what a great cultural experience.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Hi Joanna. Looks like you had a great trip.
    Thanks for the lovely pictures.
    All the people I know (including y youngest daughter) who’ve been to Havana just loved it.
    Another place to visit.
    Ye be good naw.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. oh yes I did 🙂 Surprisingly the 5 years of Spanish lessons have mostly been forgotten 🙂 but I understand a good amount and I know more kitchen/food terms from working in restaurants. haha My Spanish is still better than my Italian probably! It’s a work in progress

        Liked by 1 person

      1. We had an airbnb which I loved – I like being spontaneous but we had to do a little planning since we didn’t have internet access! Check out a cigar factory, pig roasting, sugar cane farm, go see the canons go off in Havana at night. I loved the seafood and wanted to see more beaches! Our hosts helped us plan meals if we felt like staying in and recommended places for going out and we had the same driver the whole trip! Nightlife – Havana Nights was my favorite. Have a drink at Floradita and lounge by the pool at a rooftop bar. Go on adventures! 🙂


  5. What awesome photos of a beautiful city — I love how you capture it’s present-day vibrancy. And thanks for following teresabruce.me — I’m hoping to share the road trip retrospective with loads of new friends who love travel

    Liked by 1 person

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