VISITING THE HOMELAND
I recently took a trip with my fiance down to Florida for an engagement party her parents had thrown for us. While we were down there I decided to pencil in some time for "cigar related activities." Part of the trip entailed a visit to Ybor City, the great cigar town of America. After the obligatory meal at Columbia restaurant, we each found ourselves a cigar and vanished in a cloud of smoke as we walked.
As we walked, we happened upon a Caribbean style open-air bar. The bar seemed to be closed, but we could see a man stocking liquor through the wrought iron fence. Strangely enough, the man let us in and said "I'm not open, but you can come in and have a few beers." We hit it off with Robert, who turned out to be the owner. Nice man, and hard-working for sure. He took on a second job just to support some children the and his wife were fostering.
Robert actually left the bar, with us in it, to go run a few errands. He left us to pour our drinks ourselves. Talk about a good man. It is very seldom you happen upon someone like this.
Since we were heading down to the Tampa area, I decided to bring my Opus X carving to see if any of the Fuente's would be available to sign it. We visited the old Cuesta-Rey Factory which is now the location of the Fuente-Newman offices.
Unfortunately the Fuente's were out of town, but we still got to see the factory and have a great day in Ybor. Hopefully the next trip will be more fruitful.