Welcome back to The Adventures Continue – Let’s Do This (Part 2).
So off we went to Pennsylvania and what an adventure we had. We took the truck because you never know what the weather is going to be like in the North East in December.
This turned out to be a really good idea and I have to tell you why: On Christmas Eve, I was sitting in the truck reading a book on my phone and smoking a cigar. I had looked at the temperature on the trucks mirror what I lit up and it said 54 degrees.
I had been reading for a while and when I looked up, everything was covered with snow and when I looked at the thermometer again it said 28 degrees. I would not have wanted to be on two wheels for that and it didn’t stop snowing until late the next day.
The Cigar Shoppe
My very first post was about the Cigar Shoppe in Ellwood City, PA and while there have been many changes since that first post, this shop will always be near and dear to my heart.
I often talk about the small shops and how I have a soft spot for them. They are the underdogs who persevere and manage to hang on in an increasingly hostile environment (FDA).
So of course when we got up there, one of my first stops was to drop in and see the boys at the shop. Not to mention that they have couple cigars that I can only seem to find there, like the Ohana Pulse.
When I go to this shop, I am like Norm on Cheers and when I walk in the door, they all yell “Chuck”
So of course we hung around and caught up on what’s been happening. I texted Pastor Dave and he dropped by for a stick.
Guitars And Cigars
I have another blog called Guitars and Cigars, where I travel around the county with my cigar box guitar and perform at cigar lounges.
While at the Shoppe, I arranged to do a show for them and even though I do not plan to officially start doing shows until later this spring, I wanted to give them a little taste of what I am doing.
I was not anywhere near ready to begin doing live shows at that point and it’s funny even now when I practice some of the songs that I did up there and see how far I have come.
I have been playing at the guitar since I was 12 years old, but the cigar box is a totally different instrument and I have only been playing one since late October and as I said was not ready, but the crowd was kind and encouraging and we had a great time.
While we were in PA, we figured we should go out east and see Debs Niece, since we were that close and didn’t know when we would be back up that way.
While there, we went over to the big Cigars International store in Hamburg, Pa. I have been in this store a few times before, but Deb had not and I wanted her to see it.
The place is really cool, the whole place is one giant humidor, with two stories and two bars and so many cigars it makes me dizzy trying to figure out how to stay within my cigar budget (right, don’t think I have ever done that)!
Sadly due to Covid, the bars were close as well as the seating areas, even the huge outside deck on the second level and of course we had to wear our masks so there was no smoking.
We still had the opportunity to talk with Brian and ask him about how they had been fairing the Pandemic.
He told us that they did have to close the stores for a couple of months, but were able to keep employees working by sending them to the warehouse to help with online orders.
They were then able to open back up, but then the legislature made them shut down again during the holidays and they had just opened back up.
We saw this a lot out in eastern Pa, but not as bad out west.
Gilbertsville Cigar Factory
We also had the opportunity to drop in to visit our friends at Gilbertsville Cigar Factory and sadly, they were only allowed to have one customer in the store at a time.
Then the even sadder thing is there 24 hour members lounge, which is quite spacious, but they had to call ahead to make a reservation and only one member was allowed at a time for a one and a half hour stay time.
What fun would that be to sit in a cigar lounge, by yourself?
The New Harley
While we didn’t encounter any cigar lounges on the way home, we did stop in Little Rock, AK one night and in the morning we dropped in at a Harley shop that I had seen the night before to pick up a poker chip for may buddy Randy and Deb was on the phone when I pulled in and I asked her if she was coming in.
She begged off and I said, well don’t blame me if I walk out with a new bike, I wasn’t supervised!
Long story short, I did! I now have a 2015 Road Glide (Deb bought it for me)
The 2000 Screamin Eagle Road Glide that I picked up after the fire has never given me the confidence to take off carefree to cigar adventures and I plan to have a lot more this coming year.
Since we’ve Been Back
Since we’ve been back in Texas, where we have been wintering (yes we survived the great blizzard) I haven’t had a chance to get out for some big adventures, but I have been hanging out with some folk from the Gold Leaf Cigar Club and others who hang there, down at Finks.
We have also been up to the Tabak Haus in Fredricksburg a couple times.
I have made some upgrades on the new bike, including a trailer hitch and wiring it for my trailer, and I plan to get off on some cigar adventures in the near future.
I hope y’all have enjoyed “The Adventures Continue – Let’s Do This (Part 2).
As always, feel free to leave comments, suggestions and questions in the section below.
Until next time Cigar Pals
The Adventures Continue is a great post! It’s been a wild ride, but I’ve loved every minute of it (except the Co-vid.)
Hi Deb: Thanks for checking out the post. Yes it has been quite a ride and I have loved making it with you. Yeah, that Covid thing sucked!
Nice picks from your Eastern Pa adventures Chuck. COVID has been a financial nightmare for a lot of business’s and it’s good to see some cigar shops doing what they can to keep the doors open.
Thanks for checking us out Paul. I ask everywhere I go, about how they came through the Covid thing and it is usually the same story. I have learned that in your neck of the woods, most of them stayed open on the sly.