La Aurora Trip 2011 Edition, Final Thoughts

What was scheduled to be a short day in the Dominican Republic became a bit of a journey for those of us on the 12:20pm flight back home. I was joined by Jerry Cruz, David “Doc” Diaz, and Mario Takeyama for our final breakfast the morning of our journey. For one of us that would not end until the following evening due to flight delays and long lines at customs.

As I sat on the deck waiting for my partners in crime to join me I had a chance to reflect. I thought about all the people of the Dominican Republic who were employed in the tobacco industry and how our growing taxes and regulations could affect their livelihood in the future. I wondered about Yulie and her friend; how their day living in luxury would affect them compared the life of poverty they were accustomed to. I wondered if our hosts were happy with the events, and if they would ever think about having any of us back again. But the thing that I will take with me and carry with me forever, is the love of the Dominican Republic. I am proud to be an American, but a piece of me always longs to return to a place that makes me feel so warm and welcomed.

One final look into Santiago, Dominican Republic before we head home from a great time had by all.

On our last night together at Casa De Leon we were each given a parting gift bag. The bag consisted a box of Guillermo Leon Signature Belicosos, Ron Barcelo Rum, and a Guillermo Leon T-Shirt.

As we got to the airport, we were greeted with a fairly empty check-in process which was a plus. I was even lucky enough to get bumped up to first class. But this is where things began to operate in a downward spiral. Our trip home was delayed due to a passenger getting ill as we were on the taxiway moments before take off. We returned to the gate where the paramedics tended to him. He fell into diabetic shock, and I am told he reached his final destination in life. The delay which was unavoidable, caused Doc to miss his flight and Mario who lives in the US with a Japanese passport had to suffer the wrath of the TSA.

I owe a great bit of thanks to many people and I hope you indulge me for a minute as I do just that…

Guillermo Leon, the man behind La Aurora Cigars. I can't begin to thank you for your generosity and friendship. I look forward to the next time we get to light one up and enjoy a laugh together.

Jose, thank you for taking the time to teach me more and more about tobacco every time we meet. As a fellow Yankee fan we share a common bond that is only surpassed by our love of cigars. I look toward to the time when we can sit back and enjoy a cigar together.

Jason, thank you for including me on the 2011 Blogger Trip. I look forward toward the next one in 2012 *hint*. The next time I am in Miami I look forward to seeing you. Wait, who am I kidding I look forward to seeing Sheila at the Cigar 1 Lounge. Now, GET BACK TO WORK, JASON!

Amaury, no time would be complete in the Dominican Republic without time spent with you. Your style and class speaks for itself, I shall see you in Las Vegas my friend at the trade show.

Jose, Your smile and love of life is as infectious as they come. And even though my antics this trip trumped yours, there is no one more loco then you 🙂 Watagatapitusberry - WHAT?!?!

Tomorrow, I’ll conclude my La Aurora Week with a review of the La Aurora Cien Anos Churchill that has been aged for 8 Years. Thanks for reading!

Monday: Day 1, The Journey Begins
Tuesday: Day 2, The Factory Tour
Wednesday: Day 3, All Hell Breaks Loose
Friday: La Aurora Cien Anos Churchill Review

The 2011 La Aurora Media Trip Class Picture. Thanks to everyone who made this a weekend we will never forget.