This news is a week or two old at this point. Nevertheless, I thought I would remind everyone who has plans of traveling to Cuba that restrictions on bringing cigars and rum back to the US have eased. For this past couple of years, Americans could only bring a combination of $500 worth of the two items in to the US.

For affecianodes, this is big news. Rum is everywhere in Cuba, and along with beer is extremely popular. Even better is the fact that it is inexpensive. Some of the lower priced rums are cheaper in Cuba than a similar sized container of bottled water!

Cigars are even more popular among visitors to the island. Of course, Cuba is renowned for the quality of its tobacco and finished cigars. I am not a devotee of cigars, but I know a few things:

1.  Be very careful where you buy cigars. They will be offered to you on the street, by taxi drivers, and near cigar factories. Most times they are counterfeit, and not what you think you are getting

2.  Do visit a cigar factory. There are several in Havana. Get your tickets beforehand. It is a fascinating thing to see.

3.  Do also, if you have the time, travel to Vinales. This small valley, about 2.5 hours from Havana, is where most of Cuba's quality tobacco is grown. It is quaint and rural, and presents a fascinating view of country life in Cuba.