Photo by Sydney Coatsworth[/caption] For more than 5 decades, Cuba has been the much lusted after – but unattainable – American vacation. Oh the torture to be so close to those glorious beaches, to a plucky, passionate nation that remains rooted in the 50’s with antique cars and slicked back hairdos. Despite being ruled by a dictator and ostracized by their closest neighbor, they opened their arms to the world and thrived. Although Americans have been allowed access to Cuba since 2011 through licensed tour operators, the recent lift of the embargo has hearts aflutter. But let’s be honest, it’s going to be a while yet before the average American can jet down for an inexpensive, quickie vacation, though things look good for more open American Cuba travel by the end of 2016. Some travel experts predict it will be 2-4 years before the tourism infrastructure in Cuba matures enough to support American vacationers en mass. While you’re waiting for Cuba to ready herself for you, take a few moments to look – really look – at Cuba as a vacation destination. Cuba is home to a smorgasbord of unspoiled beaches, warm climate and passionate, hot-blooded culture, remember – but it’s still a very poor country and it’s had no exposure to American tourists for more than 50 years. Be prepared for some old-world practices.