I listed earlier a lot of the differences for my traveling this time to Cuba but one BIG difference I forgot is that I'm with both children and adults who are speak Spanish - most better than me and some even fluent!
I LOVE the streets of Habana: they are quite narrow, almost all one way (so less chance of being hit by a car, a bicitaxi, or a motorbike!), and surrounded by lofty ancient buildings that would be beautiful if one can forget who was forced to build them, who occupied them, and fled them dismantling all they could.
The marble steps, staircases, floors, even walls glow, the blood of the slave laborers long forgotten and hidden, the tallest doors and windows grace the multitude of openings, and fancy wrought iron decorates the abundance of small balconies protruding over the street on every floor above the second!
Bright colors mix with music, honking horns, and people - both Cuban and tourists (way too many tourists) to lend a vibrancy - mingling with enticing smells of street & restaurant food.
This is the view out the 2nd story 14 foot tall window of our hostel:
This is the view down the street from our hostel!