Cuba, Photography, Tips & Tricks: Mobile Phone Cameras

Down-low From the Streets of Old Havana

IMG_2225We hailed a Coco Taxi at the Malécon in Old Havana. Don’t know what I was thinking climbing into the brightly-painted yellow three-wheeled open air “taxi” bubble, but my travel companion insisted!

Open air, by the way, means you are sucking in all of the fumes from the other unregulated exhaust pluming out of the pipes of vintage cars in Cuban abundance.

I decided to make the best of this ride, by dangling my arm and camera outside, upside down* and low as one of those Cuban treasures (’58 Chevy) motored past us.

*To get a different perspective out of your cell phone’s camera [I currently shoot with an iPhone 6s,] turn it upside down and take your shots from there.

Road Trips, Travel

A Woman’s Survival Guide to Peeing Almost Anywhere

The Preamble:

976398_10151442089200741_1339674153_oTHIS, ladies, is my brilliant (if I do say so myself) discovery of how to navigate a road trip, specifically when nature calls and you find yourself—drivin’ down Highway 41, with no rest stop in sight. None. Anywhere. Damn it!

The Checklist:

  1. Flirty skirts (Go commando—sans underwear; essential; can’t stress this enough.)
  2. Flip-flops (There’s a good reason for this, it’s optional, but a really good reason!)
  3. Diaper wipes (They have a dual purpose.)
  4. Camera phones (Optional)

Curious? Read on…

Road Trips, Travel

Road Trip: In the Company of Me

For over ten years I dreamed, rather fantasized, of taking a road trip. You know, the kind where you throw some things in the truck, van or whatever, gas up and hit the highway. Maybe a loose idea of where you are headed, but open to making a right or left turn at the crossroad. At the “Y” choosing this way or that way—and none of that mattering, because the only purpose is to be going somewhere. “Anywhere will get you there,” and in this case, that adage works.

In 2004 I bought a sport utility vehicle. The first thing on the must-have-on-board list, behind the heated seats, was the ability for me to crawl in the back, and make a bed. Just thinking about the road trip fostered the most incredible feelings of freedom. The fantasy of being a gypsy rebel hippie-type felt so right. All of that, saddled with the responsible, level-headed, what-the-hell-are-you-thinking—societally crafted woman. But know this, it might take this Renaissance woman some time to make something happen, but when she does—watch out!


A Travel Angel in Cuba: Ana

Meet Ana

If you ask me about my trip to Cuba, you will most likely be met with a longer than usual pause. It is a multifaceted conversation that is not about the white sands of the playa, or even the dreamed-of-seeing vintage American cars—it is above all about the people. The gracious captive people of Cuba. I came away and back to America with a larger and heavier heart.

Meet Ana. At a stop along the way to Viñales, the mountainous green acres of tobacco plantations, I made my way over to the ever-coveted baño. I say that because if you have travelled almost anywhere but in America, there isn’t a Starbucks, Burger King or MacDonald’s on every corner [thank God] and at the same time I can appreciate that piece about those places.

Ana was the tender of los baños. A shitty job. And yet—this little lady was a beacon of light, her smile wide and wonderful. Her pride showed as she took the 25 centavos for three squares of single ply toilet paper [smallest rolls on the planet] and gestured with a welcome arm into her baño.