“Where is your favorite place to smoke a cigar?” by David Baldwin

“Where is your favorite place to smoke a cigar?”

I have heard the similar question, “Where do you usually smoke?”, asked a number of times in casual conversations between cigar enthusiasts making small talk while enjoying a cigar and I have even asked it a few times myself.  I would guess that your answers are probably very similar to mine.  I often smoke in the man cave in my basement, on my front porch, or on my back deck with a fire in the fire-pit.  I smoke at my brother’s houses either on their deck or in their garage.  I smoke at the ballpark while watching my daughters play softball.  And, of course, I smoke at my favorite cigar shops.  These are the places that I smoke most often, but did I have a “preferred above all others”, place to smoke?

When I was asked this question the other day, I thought this was an interesting paraphrase of the usual question, as I had never really considered having a single, preferred, place to smoke.  As with most cigar smokers in this day of dwindling “smoking permitted” locations, I am just happy to have places that I can actually enjoy lighting up without being hassled about doing so.  I then started thinking about where I normally smoke, who I smoke with and if I really have a single place at which I prefer to smoke more than any others.

I started thinking about some of the places to which I have been and had the privilege of enjoying a good cigar.  Now, I would not consider myself to be a “well-traveled” man, but I have had the good fortune to relax and enjoy a cigar in some very special places.  I had the pleasure of smoking a cigar on a park bench overlooking Boston Harbor after having dinner at the Union Oyster House.  I have smoked a cigar under the famed lighthouse at Montauk Point, Long Island, New York while watching the waves of the Atlantic Ocean crashing on the rocks.  I smoked a cigar while standing on the infamous “Island Green” of the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.  I enjoyed a cigar while sitting on the balcony of the marina in the harbor at Islamorada in the Florida Keys while watching all the fishing boats returning from their daily expeditions.  I smoked a cigar on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico after spending the day filling the boat with Speckled Trout, Redfish, Cobia, Mahi Mahi and yellow-fin Tuna.  I once enjoyed a cigar on a pier in the bay overlooking the Port of San Diego and I also had the chance to complete the four corners of the United States by smoking a cigar at the famous Pike Place Market in Seattle while enjoying a breathtaking view of the Puget Sound.

While these were all great and wonderful experiences that I enjoyed immensely and I would gladly repeat any or all of them if given the chance, most of them occurred while I was alone and I did not get to share them with anyone.  They were also one time events and therefore don’t really qualify as a “favorite” place to smoke on a regular basis.  Even though smoking in these fabulous locations was interesting and memorable, I have even better memories of cigars smoked with good friends in locations like a parking lot or a rest stop picnic table, because sharing the smoking experience with loved ones is more important to me than the location itself.

While listing the places that I have smoked and where I most often smoke, it occurred to me that one place I used to enjoy a cigar often, but no longer do, was in the smoking room at my dad’s house before he passed away.  Right up until he passed, my brothers and I would gather at his house once a week or so and enjoy a cigar together.  If dad was still with us, this would definitely be my favorite place to smoke and it still remains the one place in the world that I would prefer to smoke again if I had the chance or opportunity to do so.

All that being said, if I had to give an answer to this question, my answer would be that my favorite place to smoke is wherever my good friends and family can smoke one with me.  I do often enjoy smoking a cigar alone and reflecting, but my preference is to bond with my brothers of the leaf in good conversation and camaraderie.  I guess what I’m saying is that the actual location is more important if you are smoking alone, but location does not matter much at all, when you are with family and friends.

David Baldwin

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