The buzzer has gone off on my alarm. My half opened eyes finally adjust to the clock, which now reads 4:45 a.m , and I am both annoyed and excited. It’s time for the IPCPR event in New Orleans and a time for all the manufactures (both old and new) to showcase all the goods coming out for the remainder of 2009 and beginning of the 2010 year. My other half is finally woken and gives me a kiss – “Don’t party too much, stay out of trouble, and don’t be a slut.”
To make long story short – We finally arrived in New Orleans around noon local time ready to continue the party. You see on the plane I alone somehow managed to drink 4 Bloody Mary’s, well maybe 3 drinks, before I passed out and drooled allover myself (http://twitter.com/CASAFUMACIGARS was kind enough to take a picture to show the world). Upon landing we were ushered to a local bar, still in the airport, to have a Cajun Bloody Marry. Don’t worry though because everyone drunkenly ate two large roast beef sandwiches.
To get from the airport we decided the only way to “roll” would be in a limo that was smoke friendly. Six guys (met up with another group) all piled in and lit cigars. This would have been great if the windows actually rolled down and smoke wasn’t forced in your eyes for the 30 minute drive to the hotel (plus liquor store stop).
After getting to the hotel I lost track of everyone else in the group. I only had enough energy to crawl to my room and fall fast asleep. Hours later a bunch of drunk – cigar smoking – loud – excited – rowdy – people woke me up and informed me it was time to start drinking again before the IPCPR welcoming dinner. Still feeling a bit…worn out I lit a cigar and made my way on over.
Dinner consisted of some brief mingling with familiar faces, food, more cigars and more alcohol. Who would have guessed cigar smokers in visiting New Orleans would come to party? Food at the convention was plentiful but the spicy crab cakes were the only things I could stomach. After saying hello to everyone and making some new friends I went back to the hotel to rest…so I thought.
My phone just seconds after laying on the bed to inform me we needed to go see the UFC fight with a group of guys consisting of a popular cigar company president, cigar brokers, and some select shop owners. I propped myself up, redressed, and on my way I was – again. During the fight I was forcing myself, yes forcing myself, to keep the drinking going. Heck, you wouldn’t turn down a drink (and a shot, shot, another shot, and a beer) purchased for you and put in your hands.
“Ready to go?” I hear from the group leader as the fights finished.
With a simple smile I reply with a simple “Yes”.
Now “go” really meant “Let’s continue this party on Bourbon Street (and off some side streets)”. I won’t continue to bore you with all the details of the night that happened but you can follow them via http://twitter.com/cigarsmoking where I tried to chronicle the chaos.
Hours later I arrive home, pop two Advil, some more drunken food, ice cold water and prepare for the days to come at the 2009 IPCPR. You want to know the scary thing? This was just our first night and the group made a point to inform me that they “Couldn’t wait to really get going.”
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