Monday, August 22, 2011

My precious...

Here's a picture of me with my beauties!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cigars! Cancun's got 'em!

I'll be straight with you all. I really wasn't convinced by this trip to Cancun organized by my lovely one. I promised to be really quiet about the whole thing, but there were some glitches that made me nervous. Anyway, I won't go into those because I found a place that carries cigars.

Correction: Rather, I should say, they make them!

The place is called Buena Vista Tobacco Factory. I am so glad I walked up to the door to ask to take a peek. I was greeted by one of the managers of the factory, who was... Cuban! Staffed with about 30 people, the place easily has a half dozen Cubans who are training Mexicans to roll cigars alongside them.

We hit it off almost immediately. He could tell I was a true amateur of a good smoke, and offered me one to try. I was blown away. The secret? Cuban seeds grown in a place in Ecuador that mimics the soil, climate and tobacco farms of embargoed island. The plus... I was smoking cigars that I could smoke back in the U.S!

Anyway, the next day I learned a ton about how cigars are rolled and ended up rolling 10 of my own. (A side note: a good average production rate is 80 to 100 cigars per day). It took me all day to roll those. It's not as easy as these guys make it look. Here's a video my lovely one put together this morning.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Getting ready to vacation. Wondering if there are cigars.

My lovely one was beginning to give me that look at the restaurant. The one where she was threatening to leave me if I didn't give her time off. So, I casually mentioned something about closing the restaurant briefly for a holiday and she ran with it. 

She started googling all the travel sites, and it seemed like she was looking at Europe, the Mediterranean, South America. I started asking her to look into Cuba or the Dominican Republic, because my idea of a vacation is one where I can smoke cigars.

After researching about a thousand resorts and bed-and-breakfasts, she finally bought a package to Mexico.  So that's where we're headed. I need to find out where I can get some good cigars.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Has Atlanta Changed? ... And is that a bad thing?

It's been a while since I've posted to the, only because returning to Atlanta has been--well, a trip!

Most of the people I reconnect with will tell me, "Atlanta has changed since you left," but I find that much of it has stayed the same.

Some things Never Change
If anything, I think the folks who say that most wish that it had changed more than it really has in my eyes. But truthfully, the Buckhead Betties are still out there.

Change can be a Good Thing
As for the food scene (which may be what folks are referring to, when they speak to me), I think that if Atlanta has changed "drastically" it's that it has finally embraced "ethnic" foods--and by ethnic I mean, anything other than "Chinatown-style" Chinese or Taco-stand-style Mexican (both of which hold their place in the food industry).

Change Can Add Spice To Your Life!
While shopping with my lovely one yesterday, I was excited to see the Atlanta Magazine give an Indian restaurant some colorful ink! For years, I have loved the interplay of powdery spices from the East and the subdued flavors of coconut milk, meats, salt and rice.

Born on a Caribbean island where traditional Indian foods, styles and techniques have adapted to what's available locally, my lovely one has always had a penchant for food that "tap dances on my tongue." That's not to say she likes her food to be too spicy (compared to some West Indian diners, her ability to "take the heat" keeps her out of the Caribbean kitchen), but it does mean that she enjoys dabbing into a "cool breeze" from a mint chutney when dining on a creamy curry, or the perfume of clove in a plain Basmati rice.

This type of experience is what makes me crazy for "tasting" and "grazing". To me, it's not about the food, it's about the experience, memories, thoughts and creativity that biting into a dish evokes. With my lovely one and me, the experience that spice evoked was love.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I'm in!

I finally made it. Actually, I arrived last night, with my lovely one, and we went to her family's home south of Atlanta.

It was not easy. The highways are much busier than in the other states that we went through and ... well, my lovely one thinks the word "Spaghetti junction" explains best the planning that went into Georgia roads.

It felt good to visit Atlanta for the first time today. Of course, I had to take my lovely one to the Four Seasons, which was kind enough to host a book promo party for kids (and kids-at-heart) this Saturday (Oct. 3, 2009)

Also, I had the chance to talk to a lovely young lady at, who will be writing an article about Luna Needs a Miracle and this journey.

Monday, September 28, 2009

So close...

... Tennessee was great.

My lovely one and I have been looking at the map. We're thinking 24 East to 41. But who knows? Getting into Atlanta looks like it'll be dangerous.

We're so close.

We're so happy for great weather.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Rainy Nashville Saturday...

... It's a rainy day in Nashville today. The batteries in my video camera are finally dead, and I need to get extras. We're still not sure how we're going to head down into Georgia... Lots of things are up in the air today.