I've been looking forward to this vacation for about
4 months now. It's our annual trip to a friends camp in New York's Adirondack
Mountains near Lake Placid. While it's nice to escape the summertime heat
of central North Carolina, this trip has turned into something more important.
It's become a micro cigar event for me. With the nucleus of my most gracious
host, George Trumbull, my brother-in-law, Ken Smith from Natick, Mass and
myself, I know that fine cigars will accompany each evening's sunset.
I can still remember last year's cigars, Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur No.
1, Arturo Fuente Chateau Fuente, 8-5-8's and Rothschilds, and the finale
a Partagas Aristocrat. You may notice, while these are all fine smokes,
there was something missing - no Havana's! Well I can't let that stand,
I've got good friends and family around me, beautiful scenery and weather,
only the best will do this year. I'm going to bring them Cubans this summer,
and not just any Havana's, I want to bring the best.
Since I attended the Jersey Shore Cigar Crawl this past May I met many
friendly cybersmokers who were able to point me in the right direction
to help fill the void. I'm packing the travel igloo-dor with the legendary
Cubans - Montecristo No. 2, Bolivar Royal Corona, Partagas Corona, and
La Gloria Cubana Medialle d'or No. 3 (for my sister-in-law, Steph, who
sometimes sneaks out to have a cigar with us) and other top-drawer cigars
- Arturo Fuente Hemingway Signature and Classic, El Rico Habana Club, JR
Ultimate Rothchild Double Maduro, El Rey de Mundo Robustos Suprema. Since
George and I will play a couple rounds of golf, I'll bring some JR Alternatives
to LGC Churchill and Cuban Coronas to enjoy on the course.
I've got the cigars lined up, now I've just got to get there. By-the-way,
I'm not traveling on this trip alone, my lovely wife Tania, daughter Alecia
(age 5), and son Zack (age 9 months) will make the 14-hour drive interesting
and at times trying. Last year we discovered the secret to keeping my daughter
happy on this long excursion, we bought a TV/VCR for the van. She can pop
in any Disney tape she wants and is happy 95% of the time. Compared to
the alternative, 95% is enough to keep both parents sane. It's a crap shoot
with my son, hopefully he'll sleep most of the way.
With the addition of Zack, we figured that a cargo carrier for the top
of the van would be a necessity. So on the night before we leave, while
my wife packed I run out to Sears and pick up one of these contraptions.
Looking back I probably should have realized that the carrier would require
some assembly, but I just thought that it would take 15 or 20 minutes to
strap this thing on luggage rack and be done with it. I even took an JR
Ultimate Toro with me thinking that I could savor the last half of the
cigar while admiring the finished project. Needless to say the Ultimate
was gone long before the 4 hours that it took to assemble, mount and fill
the carrier. I can't help but think that with a little spanish cedar, a
couple of blocks of oasis and some PG and distilled water, it'd make a
nice-sized car top traveldor.
On The Road
Now that we're all packed up, the plan is for both of us to leave work
a little early, start the long journey north and get a far as we can before
stopping for the night. I've also made arrangements to meet Jersey Shore
Crawler Adam Goldstone at JR's new Whippany, NJ store the next day for
lunch and a cigar. Since it's on the way, Tania and the kids are meeting
me at work. I have absolutely no confidence that I will leave work early.
It's never happened before, why should it happen now. It's not anybody's
fault, it's just a fact. Then UPS delivers a good omen, a trade comes through
on some Puros Indios Pyramid No. 1's. I'll add them to the travel igloo-dor
for the trip, you never know when you might more cigars!
As predicted we leave late. 7 PM instead of 3 PM. We've really got to move
so that I can make it to JR's to meet Adam. Fortunately the entire family
is in a good mood and the miles pass until about AM when I pull over and
check my tired family into a hotel about 2 hours from Whippany, NJ. I figure
that we can sleep in until about 8:30 and still have plenty of time to
meet Adam and have a cigar. No such luck! The next morning when I go to
open the van, the remote keyless entry will not work. I open the door with
the key (can't remember the last time I did that) and try the ignition.
Nothing, but a dead battery. So I call the motor club and arrange a jump
start. As soon as the jumper cables are connected the radiator fan starts
turning. "Yep, looks like ya gotcha bad relay," said the tow truck driver.
"That's what runt down yer battree." Now we're about 2 hours behind schedule,
so I call Adam to ask if he can meet us a little later. Unfortunately he
has to decline, but I am determined to visit Lew's new store in Whippany.
Everything goes well until we're within a mile of JR's and hit a huge traffic
jam. I'm in agony, I can almost see the store, but we're still 15 minutes