|Carnival Inspiration (click to enlarge)|
I was pleased to find a decent-sized cigar lounge on the ship. When we cruised a few years ago on Royal Caribbean, when I finally found the cigar bar, it was closed. This time I smoked a couple pipefuls and a few cigars. Paula joined me for a couple cigars as well. Unfortunately, I was the only pipe smoker. But I did meet a very nice older gentleman from upstate New York. We chatted awhile and discovered quite a few things in common, including auto racing. Years ago I used to write for an auto racing newspaper, Gater Racing News, out of Syracuse, and he said he reads it every week. We knew a lot of the same drivers racing the short tracks in the area and his son and daughter run the dirt track circuit throughout central New York. Small world! On board, I smoked Tinder Box Reserve 1928 in my Cavicchi volcano and I brought along an Ashton, Oliva, and La Gloria Cubana Serie R to enjoy. There was nothing quite like relaxing with a good cigar or pipe and watching the water glide by.
|La Casa del Habano (click to enlarge)|
|Paula and I on the Inspiration's bridge|
with the captain.
We arrived back in Tampa on Saturday and Joe K was kind enough to pick us up. We disembarked very quickly from the ship and were home by 11:00 or so. Joe went off to The Tobacco Hut and I joined him an hour later. We were joined by Peter G, Ed B, and Darryl G. Nothing too exciting happened at the Hut, although I promised I would include what Joe, Peter, and Lou thought was my "conversion" back to the Christian fold.
I explained that our first day on the ship we had lunch at the buffet on the Lido deck. While waiting in line we saw this loud, bald redneck sporting probably a 60" waist, goatee, wearing a sleeveless t-shirt and covered with tattoos. Paula and I feared that he and his hillbilly family would be our dinner companions, since everyone shares a table with others at dinner each night. The story went something like this, "I looked at this disgusting guy and thought, 'If there is a God, please don't have him sit with us at dinner.'" Well, that brought the house down, because we ended up having quite normal dinner-mates. Well, sorry to disappoint you, guys, but it was just an expression. There was no momentary lapse or conversion. Just a figure of speech!
Nice to see Peter as he's been under the weather lately and seems to be on the mend now. Darryl has made it two visits in as many weeks and Ed has been stopping by pretty regularly. I was hoping to see Adrian so we could perhaps do battle over the chessboard again. I wanted to see Steve B as well to thank him for replacing another section of my back fence. Not sure how he did it since the back gate was locked, but thank you!
I had smoked quite a bit of the Tinder Box Reserve 1928 on our cruise, which is a nice cross between aromatic and English, but I was ready for a true English blend, so at the Hut I loaded up a Crown Winslow freehand with Lou's most-excellent Baker Street blend. I can't say enough about this tobacco. It's got just the right amount of Latakia and was really enjoyable.
That's all for now. Hope to see everyone next Saturday!