I walked a bit more around Old Havana. I saw the Plaza de la Catedral again (I've now seen all four plazas two times each) and walked along O'Reilly back to the Capitol. I saw some pretty cool architecture and street art along the way. I did a bit of last-minute shopping too.
When I took a maquina back to Vedado I discovered my new personal hero. The driver of this maquina was a woman (the only female driver I've seen so far). She drove without shoes and very aggressively. She always started to drive before the guys getting in had closed the door (although she didn't do that to me), sang along to the music on the radio and kept saying "Ay, que calor" (It's so hot) very loudly. I love her.
I got off at Hotel Habana Libre where I was going to meet iwth Madison for lunch. I was a little early, so I read some of my art book and then went one last time to check out the gorgeous view of Havana on the 20th floor there.
Madison didn't come to lunch with me but Pepe and Olvis's nephew, Robier, came. I ate my last tasty, super-thin crust pizza at La Rampa and told them about our plan for the day. Madison and I were going to go to Coppelia and then Hotel Nacional but she didn't show up and it was super hot out, so I didn't feel the need to go back to those places again. We decided to go back to the pool at Hotel Habana Libre. We left to get our swimsuits and then we met up again at the pool.
We swam, drank and ate there. Pepe and I taught some different styles of swimming to Robier (who doesn't know how to swim), and chatted a lot in a mix of English and Spanish (Robier doesn't speak English). Pepe told me that my Spanish has got a lot better, and I agree. I told him that I don't need to think about what I'm going to say so much and he thinks that's gotten a lot better for me too.
The bartender told me that Ron de Santiago is the best (I tried to try a glass of Santiago 11-year aged rum but they were out of it because it's so popular) and when we left the pool I stopped by the liquor store that's attached to the hotel. I saw a bottle of Santiago 11-year rum for 40CUC and decided that I needed to buy it. So tomorrow I'll need to bring the rest of my money. Pepe is buying a bottle of Habana Club rum that also costs 40CUC (I think it's aged 7 years).
After dinner we gave our gifts to the family. The boys really liked the baseballs and SDSU baseball caps that I brought, and I think that Jorge was pretty excited about the bottle of Jack and Coke that I brought. Lute really loved the dreamcatcher and tea that Lauren and Rachel brought for her.
I helped Lauren and Rachel get ready for the Tropicana show, and then I went to the Submarino Amarillo (Yellow Submarine) club near John Lennon park with Trina and Emily. It was a lot of fun because the band played a wide variety of American and British music--Bon Jovi, P!nk, Beatles, Guns 'N Roses, Maroon 5, Pink Floyd--and I liked all of them (except for the Nickelback music video they played on a break and their rather off-key version of the song Rude. I don't think that reggae-influenced style was the band's strong suit). I had some really strong Cuba Libres and we enjoyed watching the Cubans dancing and singing the songs in not-quite-right-but-still-English-sounding lyrics. I was happy that I was able to go out one more night before heading home.
Now I'm going to sleep. Only one day more. :(