Travel Time x Cuba x Getting There

Hey Everyone! i want to start focusing more on travel and eats and of course continue to share recipes and things happening in the D.

February 2017 – presidents weekend – my favorite travel partner and I went off to cuba !! yes we went just the two of us on our own with no issues upon entering or exiting. Here’s how we did it …
Pre – Travel Tips :

  • FLIGHT:  Jet Blue offers flights to Havana  as well as Delta , if you feel like you want to fly through Canada or Mexico you can but you really don’t have to.
    • What did we do ? on a Friday morning we hopped on a JetBlue flight from Detroit to FLL to Havana. We made it to Havana mid afternoon.  FLL to Havana is only 45 minutes !  
  • VISA:  technically you cannot travel from USA to Cuba for Tourism, however there are 12 offerings of a visa that are permissible.  When you get to the check in counter you pay $50 per person via credit card for a Visa – this is what is used when entering and exiting Cuba – your passport does not get stamped 😦
    • What did we do?  With paying the $50 fee we were given a piece of paper to fill out selecting the “Educational ” visa , there were two options one that was saying you were with a university and one that you were going there to learn about Cuba & its culture ! we saved museum tickets just in case, but no one asked us again about why we were going after checking that box.
  • MONEY : exchange your money to Euros/ Canadian prior to entering Cuba. Cuba is a CASH COUNTRY, it’s not like we know and breath here in america with cc only places. you cannot use your american credit card or american debit card in the country. if you exchange from USD in CUBA then you will be charged with an additional tax of 10% + …. so not worth it !
    • What did we do? since we live in Detroit (Canada is close!!)  and Jason was going to be traveling to Montreal the following weekend we went with candian dollars & the exchange rate was better
    • Exchanging @ the Airport in Havana – there are two stations to cambio dollores – there are also places in town to do so but we were told the rate was best at the airport. the line is going to be long but moves kinda quick – we waited probably 25-30 minutes.
    • AIRBNB vs HOTEL:  friends of ours had showed up to Cuba with no place to stay and just simply asked their cab driver to take them to one of the casa particulares they knew of with availability … a casa particular is a private home kinda like a bread and breakfast it is likely a room within someones home.  Hotels are owned by the government! if you are going there “to support the cuban people” then dont’ stay at a hotel. The hotels in Havana aren’t that that nice apparently anyways, or at least compared to american standards.
      • What did we do ? searched and searched for the most modern place to stay, we found a 2 bedroom apartment that is in the Edificio Fosca ! it is a centrally located pre-revolution bldg that has a door man and elevator. It is one of the tallest bldgs in Havana, easily identified by people/cabs/etc ,and very close to the Malecon!
    • Baggage:   we were under the impression that the Havana airport was unorganized and a hot mess, so false.
      • What did we do? We both did carry out bags, but when getting to FLL they made us gate check the bags.  We waited a bit longer than we are used to on Delta Sky Priority but it was really NBD.  We both brought causal small backpacks to carry during the days for camera, selfie stick, snacks etc.

    What to wear ? It is a very causal place and it was hot as balls !! we went in february and it was high 80s and humid, everyday is sun shiney !!  We each brought like 2/3 pairs of shoes  – sneakers for hiking and adventures, sandals for beach and walking tour, and then going out shoes.  If you are going to a club, you cannot wear flip flops – given.

    Crime ?  much to my surprise there is no petty crime there, pick pocketing is not a thing, i’m not saying don’t be cautious and aware of your surroundings, but it is a whole different situation than being in Barcelona !

    Tour Guides/ Drivers – highly recommend setting this up in advance.

    Follow the next post on what to do while you are there  !

    Our 4 day trip was memorable and we can’t wait to go back ! 

    XX,

    Linz

    February 2017 x Detroit Dirty Show @ Russell Industrial Center 

    Buy your tickets in advance for the Detroit Dirty show !! The cost to go in the x rated show is $30 The show is always around Valentine’s Day and is down right dirty as the naughtiest public art works show Detroit sees. Be warned your eyes can’t unsee the art. 

    Wow!! Bring your most open mind and eye balls the Russell Industrial Exhibition  Centers  Dirty Show … erotic art fills the walls, go go dancers are in cages , live erotic performances happening in different corners of the warehouse, and a girl flying from the ceiling by back piercings. You honestly don’t know where to look first! 

    Two  separate artists made notion that our president is a dickhead !

    You can’t even in your wildest dreams begin to imagine the crowd this draws and people who get into kink costume. I saw females dragging other females around on Leashes. My eyes brought before me an unseen prior  of intersection between sexuality, art and community culture.

    Definitely a Detroit Bucket List Add  if ready to enter with unjudgemental eyes to the art world of painted and performance eroticism.

    Wild Views in the D! 

    Vibe on,

    Lshawtay

    Travel Time x Nashville x Rolf and Daughters

    Rolf and Daughters  (aka RAD) is the creme de la creme you’ve absolutely got to get a reservation here if you are going to be going to Nashville !   We made our reservation for 2 people about 2 weeks in advance and luckily were able to snag a Friday Night reservation. My parents on the other hand who called 3 and half weeks in advance were not able to snag a ressi for their trip less than 1 month from mine.

    20161118_223300.jpg

    Exterior Mural

    We immediately fell in love with the cool mural on the exterior of the building, there was outdoor seating and a small waiting area right outside the front door.

    Rolf and Daughters was recommended by my cousin whose a student at Vanderbilt and Thrillist.com. Address: 700 Taylor St, Nashville, TN 37208.  We took Uber from Omni Hotel which was more downtown. RAD is located in the hip and historic neighborhood called Germantown.  Google identifies RAD as an industrial-chic restaurant with clever New American dishes, communal tables & inventive cocktails.

    20161118_213302_001.jpg

    Interior Shot 

    We did not sit at the communal table however we did get quite friendly with the table next to us and our waitress. Everyone is extremely friendly !!
    Earlier for lunch we went to the infamous Prince’s Chicken and my tummy wasn’t in the hottest shape. The waitress totally understood where i was coming from and her and the bar tender stirred up a life altering bitters and soda drink to cure my hot chicken pains.
    The bread was fresh AF and made in house, along with their decadent seaweed butter. The smoothness of the butter was delightful on the hot fresh bread. 
    I’m not the biggest Italian fan and rarely ever eat Pasta, but heard this was the spot to do it!  We each ordered a pasta dish and both were UNREAL.  Apparently their menu is seasonal and always rotating, i can’t guarantee that either the Cacio e Pepe or the Mafalde will be available when you visit but if so …. DO IT.
    20161118_210122.jpg

    Cacio e Pepe

    20161118_210138.jpg

    Mafalde – Mushroom Alfredo

    Can’t believe we went for it ; but we absolutely could not resist dessert. This cute little popsicle that had gold bits on it !!

    20161118_212920.jpg

    Get your booty to Nashville and dive into their good eats !!

    xx LShawtay

    Do it For Detroit x Fash Bash

    Popping bottles and looking like models, the annual Fash Bash 2016 kicked off on Thursday August 11th around 7pm. Entering into the Detroit Institute of Arts you are greeted by mummified models holding signs such as ” designer threads ahead “.  Of course there was a stop and repeat photo stand support the collaboration of Neiman Marcus x Founders Junior Council x Lincoln . It was a total hot box outside, nonetheless there was an outside bar sporting valentine vokda,gin and whiskey. The special craft cocktail I went with was a Vinyard spritz ,which included rose, Elder flower, valentine vodka , a hint of lemon squirt and splash of soda water. Totally delightful and refreshing. The brand new Lincoln MKZ 2017 was outside by the bar too! 

    Moving back inside you kindergarten line up for your fashion show ticket. Moving into another gorgeous ball room area where mingling and mixing and more drinks followed.  If you were lucky you had the passed hdourves! These tuna tartar shooters were out of this world !! Hats off to Forte Ballenger group for that yummy syringe treat. Moving along the back wall had an enormous light up sign ” Fash Bash ” which later was filled and boarded with an assorted popcorn! The dill popcorn was UNREAL. True in flavor which I love. 

    Ding a ling, the bar tenders stop serving and its time to head to the great hall for the Fashion Show put together by Ken Downing , legend of Neiman Marcus. Walking into the great hall there is a side line of paparazzi!! You feel like a total star, and hey we looked like celebs not gonna lie. 

    I’m rocking a Versace ( Versace Versace!) White dress with Grandma Spoils white Chanel bag and Jason is rocking an Etro shirt. His pocket square compliments the shirt just adorably,  hard to see in the pic but when we get the professional photos I’ll share. 

    Me and Miss Autio at one of the bars in Kresge Hall.

    Arriving at the seats you’re greeted with a small snack box of crackers, chartruerrie ,cheese and nuts … not the best in consideration to allergies but cute. 

    The show begins and the energy is high!! We had awesome seats right at the start of the runway.


    I loved all the guys rocking Gucci belts!! Ken even told Jason he needs one… looks like Hanukkah will come early this year 😉

    One guy was a stand out in black boxer briefs and mess long sleeve top with a design in the center.  Mhmm!! He looked real good. 

    The after glow part of the evening had kicked off while the fashion show was going on. It was a blast to walk right into a banging after party!! 

    Dancing, drinking and more fun followed into the after party. Other food was being passed around such as cheese burgers, tofu egg rolls, tacos and shrimp. 

    I loved the funnels on the mini moets!! 

    Me Anne and Jason at the Fashion Show 
    The founders junior council donated a $1 million dollar gift. The Egyptian room at the museum will be re named in their honor. Go FJC!! Proud of Jason and the council for an unreal evening in the D

    #BBOTD #NP #TUNESDAY : DJ Khaled & Drake

    I can’t stop playing on repeat this hot new track, it gives me a jolt and jig in the AM… you want to get out of bed bumping and grinding this is your beat !! Check it …!

    Listen to DJ Khaled (feat. Drake)- For Free [OFFICIAL AUDIO] by Top Tracks #np on #SoundCloud

    Vibe on,
    Lshawtay

    #BBOTD : The Weeknd Beauty Behind The Madness

    Kayne West collab’d on the track embedded above.

    TheBananaBoat Saturday Morning I cruised around with my squad in Stevensville, Michigan bumping The Weeknd’s new Album !  Photo’d is The Banana Boat selecting the dopest track to rock out to with the ceilings missing.  Follow on Soundcloud for the best beats to make your day.

    If you are looking to really feel the deep vibes of a great track that moves not only your soul but your body – turn it up a bit louder for “The Hills”

    Keep on Vibin’

    Lshawtay

    Not having Nostalgia

    I’m just not – it’s simply been three years since I walked across the stage at the Michigan Theater for my Communication Studies graduation at the University of Michigan. As joyous as the day was, the day has come and gone.  I listen and speak with others who have been out for one year or two years and they still feel the sentiment of graduation time . Is it that I’m so far removed ( granted it really hasn’t been that long) ? Or that I’ve been living in Ann Arbor since graduation and just feels like another day in Ann Arbor to me.  Little be known but I am sitting here writing this blog post at Angelos on the Side and proudly wearing a comfy blue sweatshirt with MICHIGAN painted in Maize across my chest.  A sweatshirt that feels like a second skin.

    It feels more of a check point to me – just turned 25 and it’s been 3 years since I graduated with an undergraduate degree. 

    I have stories for days about what I’ve been up to and what my friends have been up to. People have traveled the globe and I’ve met people from all over the globe – even countries I’ve had to Google because I simply I have never heard of it. But they’ve all heard of Michigan, the University of Michigan and the Forever Go Blue attitude.  It is truly amaizing ! to be a part of something that is much greater than yourself and your piece of paper stating you’ve accomplished a degree.

    I stress the above about receiving an undergraduate degree – because these days to me personally it just doesnt seem like much. I interact with students who are obtaining all sorts of Masters , PHD or JD degrees.  Granted I am a licensed Salesperson for the State of Michigan aka have a Real Estate License and am a Notary Public – just doesn’t seem like it holds the same merit as a graduate degree.

    Blogging about lifestyle can range  near and far because it essentially encompasses et al about life. I’ve tried to focus in a few topics — my monthly trips to Detroit, Ann Arbor Eats, DIY project, Chef Lshawtay, Bumping Beats of the Day — but it seems my span stretches far.

    At this check point in life – it’s okay to not know your lifes purpose – its about what you do to find out !

    Keep on Vibin’

    Lindsey

    Tunesday Tuesday : Bumping Beat of The Day

    #BBOTD: Bumping Beat of the Day is Dwin I Wanna Wake 2014

    Lets give it up for December 2014 ! Now is the time to keep your New Years Resolutions in Check ! Have you been keeping up with what you thought you would for 2014? WAKE UP & MAKE IT HAPPEN !

    24 Years old & 

    >> I Do It For Detroit – each month of the year I have ventured downtown to Detroit for a purposeful experience with various friends and acquaintances or just my self !

    >> think Reading is Fundamental – the number of books i have read this year have surpassed the last 6 combined ! Being out of an education institution means you have to make an effort to learn and stay stimulated. Books is one ancient way to accomplish staying educated. & you make a cool bookshelf collection for the decorating!

    >> TCOY – take care of yourself – bring awareness to Wellness . Walking 10,000 steps a day & experimenting with different work out regimes and classes.  How am i going to live to 100 if I don’t take care of myself now – you only get one body so treat it right ! Small adjustments in your daily life can produce longevity !

    >> Blog Consistently – purchased livinlikelindsey.com & lshawtay.com and made sure it was mobile friendly. Dairies are old skool – not saying i don’t keep hand written daily notes – blogs are with the times.  granted i have been blogging for a DECADE now i have altered my blogs to become more fluid and understandable to all.

    NOW is always the Moment 

    Vibe On,

    Lshawtay

    Detroit Inhales

    Detroit Inhales