Once again, the blog has been silent. However, this time I have a good excuse. I took a trip to the Dominican Republic with a group of friends from the on-line cigar community. I hooked up with CigarTourism.com to be guided through many cigar factories and fields and be taught about the production of premium handmade cigars.
This was technically a birthday gift from Linda for my 40th birthday – a great gift, indeed.
The weather was warm (80 degrees) and I didn’t need any sunscreen because we were mostly inside or in shade. It was a great getaway from work. More importantly, I missed the snow blizzard of the season that crippled much of the country.
To read about my visit – click on “D.R. Trip Pics” at the top of the page. This will take you to a collection of albums that are individually annotated.
I know it’s been a full week since the last post. Several events occurred that were worth talking about, but I was either busy at those events or I was working.
Last Thursday night was the annual Christmas Dinner for the Kansas City Cigar Aficionado Club – of which I’m a founding member. The picture above is me with my best friend, Krishna, and his wife, Amanda. It was a wonderful meal followed by a cigar that was given to us by a fellow club member that had died the previous month. One of his dying wishes was to have his favorite cigar distributed to the members at the dinner. What a great way to remember Bob.
Saturday night found us at The National Golf Club of Kansas City in Parkeville, MO. What a stunningly beautiful place. This was the annual Christmas party for my two hospitals. Linda and I had so much fun spending time with my colleagues in a non-medical environment. The food was even better and the free wine tasting was fabulous.
Sunday night found us across the street at our neighbors house for the annual block Christmas party. Catching up with neighbors is nice – but getting to know new neighbors is even better.
The next few nights found me at work and not really around to see what was going on around the house. Most importantly, no photos of things happening here. I hope to do a better job of this over the next couple weeks before Christmas arrives. The girls only have a few more days of school and Linda is already done teaching for the semester. Seems to me next week shouldn’t be near as busy.
I obtained my first large humidor in 2007 (the one on the left in the above picture). Over the years, it has become very full. I often joke that I can be more accurately called a collector of cigars rather than a cigar smoker. I enjoy sampling the many different offerings available from around the cigar-producing world.
A very good alternative to the spanish cedar wooden humidor is a large wine fridge – Vinotemp being the most common brand used. I’ve wanted one for several years, but didn’t want to spend the money on one nor did I want to spend the money to customize it to hold single cigars.
A friend of mine from my cigar forum put his up for sale. The great part is that he lives in Topeka. Great price, already customized, and he threw in all the different accessories used to keep it humidified. We met up in Lawrence at Centro Cigars to share a cigar and make the transaction.
After moving cigars into the new humidor, I find it completely amazing that I had all my cigars crammed into the one humidor.
Thursday night found me in the heart of Jayhawk land as I took one of my best friends to meet his hero, Litto Gomez of La Flor Dominicana cigars.
I met Mr. Gomez for the first time a little over 3 years ago. Many of you know that I regularly attend cigar events where I get to meet and talk with the “celebrity” manufacturer of the cigars being featured. There are usually special retail offers available that day and plenty of food and libations. Mr. Gomez was the honored guest at one my first cigar events in the summer of 2007. He is a quiet man who is truly passionate about his product and a real master. At that event in 2007, I was introduced to his cigars and found a brand of cigars that is absolutely fantastic.
Like authors touring at book-signings, cigar manufacturers tour to promote a new line of cigars. La Flor Dominicana has the Air Bender line (released earlier this year) and one particular size that was released just a few weeks ago. I had that particular cigar last night and was transported to a higher level of enjoyment. Sitting there with Krishna, Mr. Gomez, and all of the other cigar appasionados, I really enjoyed myself.
Most everyone knows that one of my hobbies is premium cigars. I find them enjoyable as a relaxation tool – they’re also fun to collect (much like premium wine).
One of the local cigar shops hosts a big event each month; they will bring in a cigar manufacturer (really celebrities in the cigar world) with specials, food, drinks, and a party atmosphere.
I try to attend most months – as long as my work schedule allows. I’ve been able to meet many different cigar manufacturers and have autographs, pictures, and stuff like that. One person I’d yet to meet was Pete Johnson of Tatuaje Cigars. Well, I finally got to meet him and talk about cigars with one of the more popular cigar-makers of today.
Next month will be Don Pepin Garcia – even bigger – but I’ve met with him twice before. Doesn’t mean I won’t try to get there, though….
Tonight I attended a gathering of friends known as the Kansas City Cigar Aficionado Club. We get together at local restaurants and enjoy a social hour with half-price appetizers and drink specials while partaking in premium hand-rolled cigars.
Great group of friends that provides for fantastic relaxation.