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May 26th, 2014


After days of writing and grading papers, there was no reason I would go straight to typing a blog post. Yet the words rushed in like they’d be waiting in line for Black Friday sales. I had no choice but to oblige, and here we are.

My college roommate had a certain propensity for dairy products. If you were to match hatches in our apartment, it would be with drained gallon milk jugs and empty chocolate pudding containers. More than likely at least one of pudding containers would have the spoon hard-welded to the side, inevitably toppling the container under its weight. So it only stands to reason that when a rerun of “The Big Lebowski” came across the screen, that a White Russian kick followed. I’ve lost track of the duration, but Josh tells me it went on for at least a month and four or five bottles of vodka. Sounds about right. I don’t think I’ve ever attached myself so religiously to a beverage. If I was forced to pick favorites, I enjoy Moscow Mules, and I enjoy Xingu, a Brazilian black lager. My favorite bar has both, so I drink them regularly enough, but not like that particular period. That was just impressive.

Of course this might have just changed. On a recent trip to Baja, I spent an evening being told of the best mojitos in the world at a cigar shop near the marina.

The first half of the next day was similar, with regular reminders of the mojitos. By high noon and a slow in the fishing, those mojitos were sounding very tempting. And that was two hours before we headed back to the marina. Once we tipped out our guides and gathered the gear, we walked the couple blocks to J&J Habanos. Certainly it was nice to get out of the sun; that’s a bit of a given in a desert area. Second, once my eyes adjusted, I realized this place had a serious cigar selection. In a place like Los Cabos, you are constantly bombarded with Cuban cigars for sale, counterfeit and otherwise. J&J was the place every other cigar vendor should have aspired to be. The entryway was subdued and professional, rather than the garish exteriors of the usual tourist destination shops. The shopkeepers were welcoming and knowledgeable, and exceptionally friendly.

I don't always take selfies, but when I do, it's inadvertent because I'm drooling over the humidor.

I don’t always take selfies, but when I do, it’s inadvertent because I’m drooling over the humidor.*

Most importantly, however, they served mojitos in mason jars with about a half-pound of mint and 7 year aged rum. And these mojitos were good. I’m not talking “Wow, it’s hot out this Bud Light really hits the spot” good. I’m talking “If you had a mint allergy, you should probably risk it to try this” spectacular. Pair that with a 2007 Partagas and the merits of one-way airline tickets start becoming readily apparent.

Maybe I need to work on my priorities, or maybe I just need another mojito.

I don't always drink my cocktails with a straw, but when I do, it's because they contain gratuitous amounts of mint.*

I don’t always drink my cocktails with a straw, but when I do, it’s because they contain gratuitous amounts of mint.

The margaritas that night at dinner weren’t terrible either. Neither was the fresh-caught fish prepared a half-dozen ways. I’d ballpark my fajita consumption around eight that night. The itis promptly followed. It was a good day. So it only made sense that we repeated the routine the next day. It would have probably happened again after that if flights didn’t disrupt the routine and returning to the real world didn’t disrupt the routine. All things considered, I’d go back to Mexico for J&J alone, though I wouldn’t scoff at a chance to chase some roosterfish either.
And to think this post doesn’t even consider what happened on the water… Maybe I need to work on my priorities, or maybe I just need another mojito.

*I figured the “Most Interesting Man in the World” caption theme was fitting, even if in the beginning it was unintended.


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