Having just spent three months on Siesta Key, I had sufficient time to sort out where all the important stuff is - namely, the good cigars. It's a neverending cigar store safari in Florida, with my selections of smoke being wholly dependent on the vagaries of local sources. And it's frustrating to have to pull up stakes and ship out to another city just when I finally had this town figured out. But as our Solar System is currently hurtling through space at 420,000 miles per hour into the Local Fluff, none of us can stand still even if we try.
After Siesta Key, I took an extended-stay residence in a hotel in Sarasota's Rosemary District. It being not so far from my prior cigar sources, my left-jacket-pocket lineup didn't change so much. I did, however, discover a new place not previously reported on here - Smokin' Joe's downtown. It's a swingin' bar with a kick-butt walk-in humidor and some knowledgeable employees. They carried delicacies like Loose Cannon, Gurkha Cellar Reserve, Alec Bradley Black Market, and Esteban Carreras Aged 12 Years. Best of all, they were an additional supplier of my current favorite cigar, the Alec Bradley Nica Puro.
While in the Rosemary District, I happened to be smoking a cigar in the park when a lovely lady walked past me, smiled, and remarked on how good my cigar smelled. I should have asked her to marry me but was too stunned to speak.
I spent some time in Ocala, and though I'm sure they must have serious cigar tobacconists hidden there somewhere, I never found them. My dwindling supply of sticks leftover from Sarasota carried me through this difficult time. I know you feel my pain. When the X-class killshot solar flare hits Earth, pray for me that I'm not stuck in Ocala.
Then came Orlando, land of Cigarz at Waterfront (and Bubble Tea.) The guy at Cigarz was a swell Johnson who spotted me a free sample of Cordoba & Morales Family Reserve torpedo. I also dabbled in delights as Puro Pinar, Pinolero, San Lotano Oval, and Don Pepin Garcia. A liquor store (whose name escapes me now) carried in its dusty old humidor a neglected box of Nat Sherman which I pounced on like an antique dealer buying a Renoir from a yard sale whose owners don't realize what they have.
Don't think me ungrateful; I do adore hotel living but the biggest drawback about the lifestyle is that everyplace is "no smoking". This means that, now more than ever, my car has become my substitute smoking parlor in lieu of a lanai on which to lounge. As you might expect, this puts a damper on my predilection for pairing my cigar with a fine craft beer or a shot of something funky like Zwack.
Someday this war's gonna end.
Now I've arrived at yet another hotel, this time in the promised land - Tampa, the cigar capital of the world. And as if to herald this momentous event, a supernova exploded in the Cigar Galaxy, a.k.a. M82. Truly we live in miraculous times.
Does it get any better than this? I intend to find out.