Guantanamo Bay: May 2016
Never expected to go to Guantanamo Bay, but when Uncle Sid and Aunt Kerianne moved there and extended an invite, well, you don't say no!
Essentially a little slice of small town USA transported to the island of Cuba to support the US Naval Station there, add in a few beaches and tropical weather, complete isolation from the nation surrounding it, plus hints of the most famous detention camp in the world today: it was truly a unique experience.
Also doubly important to both us and to Uncle Sid and Aunt Kerianne, this was the first time we/they/us got to figure out "Space A" travel to and from Guantanamo Bay. Definitely some logistics to figure out, but in the end it's not too bad, at least if you avoid holidays/peak travel times, and don't mind a few very early mornings to get back and forth!
Day 1 - Flying to Jacksonville, FL (JAX) via Washington Dulles (IAD), via a complimentary premier upgrade from United on a Boeing 777-200 with BusinessFirst.
Day 2 - 5:00am check-in at Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, the rotator flight via Miami Air, and arrival at Naval Station (NS) Guantanamo Bay for our first taste of base life, including food at Gold Hill Galley and the Officer's Club.
Day 3 - Visiting the beaches, including Girl Scout Beach and Windmill Beach, and dinner at The Jerk House.
Day 4 - Sailing around the bay, awesome lunch at the illegal Jamacian place, the old lighthouse and museum, and a movie at the outdoor theater.
Day 5 - Breakfast at the hospital galley, lots of iguanas, and a pleasant evening at Ferry Landing beach.
Day 6 - Returning to the mainland via a much nicer Sun Country charter for the rotator flight (and watching people say goodbye from the landing), then dinner at Cracker Barrel.
Day 7 - Third stupid early morning of the trip to head back to the West Coast.