Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Smokin' Good Times!


It was a warm summer evening...
...at Taps Fish House and Brewery. The year was 2006 and life was good. I had just purchased my home and met some new-old neighbors. Johnny used to live a few doors down from me back at our old condominium complex. We really hadn’t talked a whole lot; I had kids and worked all day, he didn’t have kids and worked graveyard for the railroad. He moved about a year before I did to an undisclosed location. It seamed that my new house was once again situated just a few doors down from Johnny, his wife, and their son. I guess it is a small world when the center of your universe is North Orange County!

Back to Taps. Johnny had told me once about a cigar and spirits(booze) store that had a fine selection of all things forbidden: booze and stogies! He was right. I began to be a frequent shopper at Vendome
on Yorba Linda Boulevard. They had been putting together some pretty neat tasting parties, one of which caught my attention. The flyer mentioned Ocean Vodka and Drew Estates Cigars. I had never tried either product but for the low sum of $25 dollars delivered in hand, I could try both and get dinner! Being a sucker for a deal, I signed up and told Johnny. The event was being held at Taps (where you can find an AWESOME juicy ribeye).

We arrived early and found the reps from Ocean and Drew Estates already in place with samples. Without hesitation or forethought, we lit the cigars. The first was the Blondie. A funny name with for a small, light colored cigar that was sweet on the lips and easy on the tongue.

The Ocean Vodka was equally amazing. I took a sip of a screwdriver and complained that the dring was watery and didn’t have much of the vodka. The young lady pouring the cocktails told me to watch carefully. First, she filled a shot class with the clear elixir. Next, she made a screwdriver just like Mom does. Ok, Mom doesn’t make them but Dad does. She gave the glass a generous serving of the expensive vodka, giving the drink a watered down look. She handed both over and told me to sip the shot to make sure it was actually vodka. It was extremely smooth and light but I did detect a faint hint of alcohol. Next I sampled the screwdriver. Well I’ll be Bush-wacked! It was the real deal but is was so easy going on my palette that I hardly noticed… About three or four drinks later and several minutes, the effects were felt.

I was having a good time chatting with other connoisseurs when the Drew Estates brought out another cigar. This one was labeled Kuba Kuba. I’m not sure who labeled these or what they were smoking but the names work for their products. The Kuba was darker than the Blondie but was much the same. It was sweet at first kiss and then it was like a bouquet of flavors blossoming at once. A virtual potpourri of exotic and mystic flavors that were rich and dark without the usual bitterness that most large cigars take on. It was stogie perfection, or so I thought.


Johnny asked the Drew rep about someone named Larry. The rep said he can get ten for $110. Not understanding who Larry was or what was “ten for $110”, I asked Johnny. He laughed and said Larry isn’t a guy, it’s cigar! The correct name was Extra Ordinary Larry. What a goofy name! But I learned on that warm summer night not to judge a smoke by its name. So, after a few more drinks Johnny settled up with the Drew Estates rep to buy a box of the Extra Ordinary Larry cigars. He promptly offered me one and so, not wanting to offend my friend by refusing his generous gift, I accepted. Without delay, we stoked those cigars to life and began what would become a love affair with Larry!


That was back in 2006 and here I am at the end of 2009 with the economy in the toilette, swirling around the bowl with whatever else might be. At $15+, the love is still their but the maintenance is just too much for me to bear. Instead of one or two a week, I have one a month, if I’m lucky and I’m not that lucky. So, next to Larry, I settle for the Kuba Kuba. On a side note, my other neighbor, Dave, has been subsidizing my stogie-licious love for the Drew Estates line by handing me a stick now and again. The camaraderie shared with Johnny and Dave over drinks and cigars is genuinely indispensable to my disposition. Thank God for friends…

Here are some links to the products mentioned:
http://www.oceanvodka.com/
http://www.tapsfishhouse.com/brea/index.html
http://www.vendomes.com/
http://www.drewestate.com/home.html

Please note that I have never been paid or compensated in any way by any vendor or manufacture for this or any portion of my blog. However, should any manufacturer or distributor wish to send me a product to sample and critique, please contact me via this blog.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Greg Sebourn

Orange County Bail Bonds

The Beauty of a Storm

The Beauty of a Storm
Orange County, Ca.

My Grandma - A Eulogy

LET'S TALK ABOUT 1914 FOR A MOMENT.



FOR STARTERS, GRANDMA WAS BORN TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22, 1914 IN HER FAMILY'S ATWOOD RANCH HOUSE.



IT IS WORTH NOTING THOSE ALSO BORN IN 1914:

JACK LALANNE

JOE DIMAGGIO

DANNY THOMAS



AND WHO DIED IN 1914:

JOHN MUIR, THE FAMOUS NATURALIST FOR WHICH NUMEROUS ROADS, PARKS, HOTELS, AND NATURE RESERVES ARE NAMED.



IT IS ALSO WORTH NOTING THAT IN 1914 WOODROW WILSON SIGNS MOTHER'S DAY PROCLAMATION AND BABE RUTH MAKES HIS MAJOR LEAGUE DEBUT WITH THE RED SOX. MOTHER'S DAY AND BASEBALL- TWO OF MY FAVORITES!! (PERHAPS HER NICKNAME "BABE" CAME FROM BABE RUTH???)



GRANDMA WAS BORN INTO A PERIOD OF TIME FILLED WITH TURMOIL. IN JUNE OF 1914 ARCHDUKE FRANZS FERDINAND WAS ASSASSINATED. WITHIN ONE MONTH WORLD WAR I RAGED ACROSS EUROPE. TWO DAYS AFTER HER BIRTH HOWEVER, GERMAN AND BRITISH TROOPS INTERRUPTED WWI TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS. (PERHAPS THEY PAUSE KNOWING THAT A GREAT WOMAN WAS BORNE) WORLD WAR I CONTINUED UNTIL THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES IN 1919.



ALTHOUGH SHE WAS ONLY 5 YEARS OLD, SHE SAW THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS CREATED AND THE 19TH AMENDMENT WAS APPROVED BY THE U.S. CONGRESS GUARANTEEING THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN TO VOTE.



SHE LIVED THROUGH MANY NOTABLE EVENTS. LIKE THE 1933 LONG BEACH EARTHQUAKE OR WHEN ATWOOD FLOODED ALONG WITH MOST OF ORANGE COUNTY IN 1938 AND THE FLOOD-WATERS CLAIMED MORE THAN 50 PEOPLE, 43 OF WHICH WERE FROM ATWOOD! ALL OF THIS DURING A TIME THAT WE READ ABOUT IN SCHOOL AND KNOWN AS "THE GREAT DEPRESSION". SOMEWHERE IN ALL OF THAT SHE FOUND THE LOVE OF HER LIFE, GRANDPA LEO, GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL, GOT MARRIED, AND HAD KIDS!



THEN THERE WAS WORLD WAR II. FROM PEARL HARBOR TO HIROSHIMA, GRANDMA WAS RAISING MY UNCLE BOB AND MOM ARLINE. WITH AIR-RAID SIRENS AND BLACKOUTS SHE WAS A WIFE AND MOTHER. WHAT A TIME TO RAISE CHILDREN! I BET GRANDMA'S PARENTS WERE ABEL TO TELL HER A THING OR TWO ABOUT RAISING KIDS IN WARTIME.



GRANDMA WAS THERE WHEN THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA HELD THEIR 3RD ANNUAL NATIONAL JAMBOREE IN 1953. SHE SAW AIRBASES OPEN IN '42 AND CLOSE IN '99. SHE WATCHED WALTER KNOTT START UP HIS BERRY FARM AND WALT DISNEY TURN ORANGE GROVES AND STRAWBERRY PATCHES INTO DISNEYLAND!



SHE SAW THE HORSE AND CARRIAGE FADE AWAY INTO HISTORY AND SPACE TRAVEL EXPLODE BEFORE HER WITH THE FIRST LUNAR LANDING. JUST IMAGINE HOW MUCH TECHNOLOGY HAS CHANGED OVER THE LAST 100 YEARS. FROM TUBE RECTIFIERS TO SUPERCONDUCTORS; FROM TRANS-ATLANTIC TELEGRAPH CABLES TO SATELLITE TV.



SHE SAW MORE IN HER 93 YEARS THAN MOST OF US WILL EVER READ ABOUT, LET ALONE LIVE THROUGH!



OF THOSE 93 YEARS IT IS MY HONOR TO HAVE BEEN HER GRANDSON FOR 35 OF THEM. SHE WAS MY MOTHER WHEN MOM HAD TO WORK. SHE WIPED MY NOSE AND PUT FOOD IN MY MOUTH. SHE LET ME PLAY WITH GRANDPA EVEN THOUGH SHE NEEDED HIM TO TAKE HER TO THE STORE. SHE WAS MY GRANDMA AND I WILL MISS HER IMMENSELY.



JUST LOOK AROUND THIS ROOM; SHE DID THIS. SHE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR BRINGING SO MANY GOOD PEOPLE INTO THIS WORLD AND TOGETHER TODAY. THIS IS HER LEGACY.



A Dedication To My Loving Wife, Stacey. Thank you for all you do for me!

Brad Paisley - I Thought I Loved You Then


I remember trying not to stare the night that I first met you
You had me mesmerized
3 weeks later in the front porch light taking 45 min to kiss you goodnight
I hadn’t told you yet but I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I remember taking you back to right where I first met you
You were so surprised
There were people around
But I didn’t care I got down on one knee right there
And once again I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I can just see you with a baby on the way
I can just see you when your hair is turning gray
What I can’t see is how I’m ever gonna love you more
But I’ve said that before.

Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Well look back some day at this moment that we’re in
And I'll look at you and say I thought I loved you then
And I thought I loved you then...

Download AutoCAD's Educational Version