Cigar Aficionado

Camp Smokes

My buddies and I took our children camping this past weekend. We pulled up to a small island off the Connecticut coast and waded ashore, using a small raft to bring in the kids. We started unloading the gear while the boys and girls began playing, enjoying the water and sand.

The weather was perfect. (Quite different from last year’s trip.) All was right with the world.

My friend Mark showed off an insider’s tip he learned from a north shore Boston resident to find quahogs and steamers—you throw a rock toward the sand (a big one), and the vibration scares the clams into jetting out streams of water, giving away their position. A little digging with a shovel and you have shellfish. The kids loved the show, but we freed the bivalves later, sparing them the knife (and Tabasco sauce.)

The kids played in the sun all day, and fairly long into the night around the campfire. We dined on real haute cuisine—hot dogs—but Russ turned the food up a notch with some good cheese and bread from a local shop.

When the little ones were finally asleep in the tents, Russ, Mark and I relaxed on the beach chairs and clipped the heads off of cigars. I had some old Aurora 100 Años Belicosos I had been saving for a few years—they were still nice and strong, very earthy, and pleasantly leathery, fine smokes for a perfect starry night by the fire. A little Buffalo Trace bourbon on ice completed the picture.

The next morning it was back to the beach for the kids, and time for a pancake and sausage breakfast. Yours truly forgot to bring the spatula, so we crafted one from a Jiffy Pop popcorn shaker, trimming the foil and folding it onto itself for strength. Gotta love Swiss Army knives!

The kids had a blast and the dads did as well.

"Very nice. Great to see another fan of the very reasonably priced Buffalo Trace. A really nice bourbon. Cheers!" —August 20, 2009 13:55 PM
"Reminds me of 'The Good Old Days' when I would take my troop of Scouts up to Ten Mile River Scout Camp. Every evening I would light up a cigar around the campfire (after bedding down the boys) I believe your friend Russ was one of them." —August 3, 2009 11:46 AM
"David, I did kind of the same thing last week. I took my son on a quick trip accompanied by a cousin of mine and his family. After your done serving there needs nothing beats having a great cigar poolside with married with an awesome beer." —July 28, 2009 12:05 PM