Why we went: We had always wanted to visit, and the timing was perfect.
Don’t miss: Speaking with the Cuban people at every opportunity. They are warm, friendly and always willing to speak with Americans.
Don’t bother: Trying to use the Internet. It’s slow. Best to take a break from being connected.
Coolest souvenir: An art print from the art school in Cienfuegos and, of course, rum and cigars.
Worth a splurge: Staying at Hotel Nacional de Cuba in Havana. This is an amazingly beautiful building with friendly staff and fantastic service.
Wish we’d packed: A good camera for each of us as the photo opportunities are spectacular and unending.
Other comments: If possible, read as much as you can about Cuba before traveling there. It is a fascinating and surprising country.
By Karen and Nick Ashiku, SF Gate
March 26, 2015