Happy May!

Happy May! This month, Americans celebrate a plethora of holidays and special events, including May Day, Mother’s Day, Cinco de Mayo and Memorial Day, as well as high school and college convocations and commencements. This also is a busy month here at home, with events ranging from the Rose Rock Music Festival to the May Fair. Check out our calendar for some great activities.

Looking for unique vacation ideas? Our cover story examines an incredible travel opportunity that includes deluxe cruise ship accommodations and stops at both well-known and secluded ports in Cuba, known for its pristine, sugar-white beaches; cigars, Cuba libres and salsa dancing; and vintage American automobiles.

And if you’re a senior planning a vacation, whether to Cuba or another country, you won’t want to miss this month’s Healthy Lifestyle column, which lists safety guidelines to make your travels the best ever.

This month’s Hot Spot restaurant review features El Toro Chino Latin + Asian Kitchen in Norman, which opened in November 2016 to rave reviews and has already gained a devoted clientele. Gerry and Jennifer Reardon, partners in the business with Scott and Kathleen Shuler, bring a wealth of experience to the restaurant: Jennifer served as catering director at Benvenuti’s for nine years; he previously served as director of operations at Café 501 in Edmond.

You’ll also find stories on next month’s eagerly awaited Le Tour de Vin, the Norman Rotary Clubs’ annual fundraising event, which celebrates its 15th anniversary next month and will benefit The Studio of the Sooner Theatre, and on “Hometown Hero” Mark Braley, who’s spent his entire life protecting and serving others–as a member of the U.S. armed forces, as an officer for the Norman Police Department, and now as the new veterans’ services coordinator for the Cleveland County Health Department.

Of course, those are just some of the highlights in this jam-packed issue. Happy reading!

Before closing, I’d like to offer a final farewell to our good friend, and talented Cleveland County Lifestyle photographer, Linda Irie, who, along with two of her beloved grandchildren, were killed in March following a tragic accident on the Turner Turnpike. We credit Linda’s incredible photography skills for much of the magazine’s success. We, and all who knew her, will sorely miss Linda’s bubbly personality, warm smile and infectious laughter. Linda is the topic of this issue’s Parting Thoughts.