Eating Like a Cuban in Miami's Little Havana

In Bello’s Cigar Shop in Little Havana, I admire the largest cigar I have ever seen with the appreciative gaze of one who values a fine art, as a hand rolled cigar is clearly art, regardless of the size.

“Is it real?” a tour participant asks the tour guide. “Can you smoke it?” he pushes playfully as only an American can think to derive pleasure from the destruction of something that undoubtedly took days or weeks to create.

“Yes of course it’s real. They made it to smoke the day Fidel Castro died.” She said with a certain distaste as she spoke Castro’s name that was distinct even with her strong Siberian accented English. “When he died, they had a big celebration in the streets here in Little Havana. They took the cigar out to smoke it, but they didn’t smoke the whole thing. That’s too much!” She laughed, a clear twinkle of pride in her eye. “My husband is Cuban,” She explained.

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Betting on an Icy Break-up: How to Make the Winter More Interesting with the Nenana Ice Classic

Winters in Alaska can be brutal. “Tell us something we don’t know,” I can hear you saying. But it’s not the cold I struggled with. I got tired of the death grip that winter had on my world. I wasn’t able to go outside without 3 layers or more (cue the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man) and as cumbersome as this was, after I did get dressed to go somewhere, not many people were out. Winters got very lonely, not a good time to make friends and get involved in the community.

I found solace and trivial excitement in the tradition of the Nenana Ice Classic.


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Pancakes and Booze Art Show in Toronto

"So, do you think they're going to have REAL maple syrup or just that fake crap?" I asked Mike, a little whine entering my tone thinking of dry pancakes or even worse, someone putting fake syrup on FOR me. I shudder at the thought, giving Aunt Jemima maybe too much power over my evening. 

"I don't know. Probably not the good stuff," he answers, agreeing with my theatrical emphasis, also confused why real maple syrup isn't served when it's made right in this very province. 

"Let's bring some of our own," I say conspiratorially, and he agrees eagerly. 

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Things to do in Stowe, VT

We recently just spent a day in the little ski town of Stowe, VT. Although we were there on the last Alpine ski weekend, city and town people alike still crowded into the little town on Saturday, hoping to get in the last ski of the season. Luckily, flakes came down in big fat blobs on Friday, filling out the hill with a few feet of wet, slippery snow, cushioning the ice below, making the Alpine skiing a little more manageable.  

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