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About Ryan

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  • Birthday 10/19/1969

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  1. "London's oldest cigar merchants" is a bit unkind. I think they're both looking well for their age.
  2. The guy in London, for whom I originally asked about this issue, I met him in Havana a few times and forgot to ask how he got on. I just got in touch with him now. He flew London - New York - Havana. He is a UK citizen/passport holder with no US resident status. He flew London - New York, at New York he filled out the OFAC form (ticked "research") and got the US-issued pink visa. Flew to Havana, no issues. He flew directly back to London from Havana. No problems at all with him not being a US citizen or permanent resident. I asked him specifically if they had any extra questions for him or if he had any difficulty whatsoever, he said none at all.
  3. Hi Rod, Please forgive the comments here. Due to a sense of "detatchment" or whatever the reason. comments and criticisms are often made in an online forum that would never be made to someone in their presence. I'll leave it up to the members here if they want to edit their comments. I had a look at the website and the close-up pictures of the perfecdraw tool. It's a well-engineered bit of kit. Do you ship to Ireland?
  4. Announced this morning... "We are excited to announce the first ever Regional Edition exclusively for Ireland, the La Flor de Cano Zorros!A Petit Corona (Mareva 42 x 129), the Zorros will be available in boxes of 10, and we are expecting them to be launched in June of this year.Watch this space!" I'm very surprised at the name Have a good one!
  5. I hope they're all going to good homes and the security guys at the airport can make a little something extra from them. That's the way of the world, and I'd wish them all the best!
  6. At Jose Marti Terminal 3, two out of the last three times I've gone through, they have been taking all lighters, soft and torch flame. I never bring a decent lighter or cutter (more than $10) in carry-on, on any flight, anywhere. Matches get through no problem in Havana. Airside for smokers is like a prison-scene with people almost offering favours for a light. A trick that often works, in Jose Marti at least, is to place your lighter under your phone on the tray at security. They usually just see phone. I still wouldn't risk bringing a decent lighter in carry on, in or out of Cuba. Going to Cuba, I bring a few cheap empty torch lighters, buy a bottle of gas in a hotel shop the first day ($6.20 in a set with a torch lighter). A few boxes of cigar matches in the check in for the first night. The gas is terrible, it smells quite strongly of a mixture of blue cheese and something worse. But it works. I usually give the lighters away towards the last day, this time I brought a couple home in the check-in, in my Cigar Caddy, just in case. No problems. I had a couple of free Habanos bics taken off me at the airport that I had forgotten about. No big deal, I had matches. They got a JJ Fox London branded Hippo cheapo off me this time as well. They recognised it, they must have taken a few before me and had a right old laugh, as did I!
  7. If you're staying at the Colina again, try to visit the Napoleon Museum if you have 2 cuc and and hour to spare. It's 200 yards away. It's an unbelievable collection in what was once somebody's house. Possibly my favourite house in the world.
  8. It was strong, young. To be honest, it was at the end of ten days of abuse, so I couldn't give it a fair review. I think they'll have potential though. Was good to see you in November. Shame we didn't have more time. It always the way, there are people I'd have liked to spend more time with. Yourself, Nino, plenty of others. We'll do it again!
  9. Was it Vivian? Shame I missed you. Next time!
  10. A quick review. Food Santy's. A seafood loving friend, there for the first time, said it was the best sushi she's had. Azucar. Easy, cool relaxing on a hot afternoon. Good tapas plate. One of the few places I've had proper bruschetta, anywhere. Corte del Principe, possibly the best food in Havana at the moment. Italian. Vistamar, lovely view, good service, decent food. La Guarida, always a sense of occasion. Very good food. Can get loud, tourist-loud. Rio Mar, lovely spot, good tapas El Aljibe, the same. Great chicken, relaxing not having to think what to order on days when thinking is taxing. VIPHavana. Lovely spot. Great service and great food. Nero diSeppia. One of the top three Italians. Proper pizza. Friendly staff. Esto No Es Un Cafe. Very serviceable, got a table at a busy time and still decent. Cuban food. Sandwiches, pork, chicken, rice and beans. Cheap. Bars/cafes Floridita, can get very busy with tourists. $6 daiquiri is expensive but they are good. Watch out for brain freeze, I always get it here. Decent band. Lluvia de Oro, my first time in here. Good band for a Wednesday night Monserrate, not what it used to be. Too many tourists and prices have gone up. Staff not happy. Nacional Bar, always a great mojito. Espacios, relaxing, a bit too relaxing. I sometimes feel very distant from things here but nice spot and decent food. Sia Kara, the place to go when the VIP room in Partagas gets too much, it's 50 yards away. Perfect for the mid-afternoon slump when all that's needed is a rum and a cigar. As good as a nap. Good selection of rums, cocktails and tapas. Sloppy Joes. No point going in. No smoking, plenty of staff but they couldn't be bothered with customers. I've no problem with that, we left. Clubs Don Congrejo, $15 in but a great time, some of the best bands in Cuba, check it's open. If you're a group of 40, go here. El Sauce, $5 in and 1,200 Cubans having a dance. Fun. Great fun with the staff. Mio y Tuyo, young crowd and lots of "friendly girls" but open late and and has booze. Smoking outside only. Fantasy, see above but slightly older crowd. Fabrica de Arte, $2 in and one of the best venues in the world. Gato Tuerto, refurbished, goes til 3 am. Hasn't changed much but maybe I have. Tocororo, the new Gato Tuerto. Nice outside space too. Good spot for a late drink on a Monday night. Highlights Simon having Sue and the Gibraltarian ladies in tears laughing in Santy's, telling a story about a fish shipped like a penis. While they were all eating fish. Simon telling a story about when he was 27, meeting a 68 year old Greek lady on a flight to Greece. Not disrespectful at all, he had the girls "oohing" and "ahhing" in admiration. Quite the charmer for a 71 year old. Not having to go to a cadeca at all to change money. My driver wanted hard currency very much so I changed it all with him. Not worried at all about counterfeit money since I'd be giving a sizable portion of it back to him. Lowlights None I can think of.
  11. Heriberto at Partagas told me three weeks ago that the dates are confirmed as 13-17 Nov.
  12. Last few pictures of my last day. Naptime for the kids at the day care. Lovely spot. Dropping off a humidor for safe-keeping. Lunch with the Gibraltarians Paris with Nakamura
  13. Saturday morning, into Habana Vieja again. The London crew heading off that day so lunch in Azucar followed by cocktails in Sia Kara, one of my favourite café/bars in Habana Vieja, right around the corner from Partagas. Great dinner that night in Nero di Seppia with some friends, then Don Cangrejo to see Alexander Abreu with his band Havana d’Primera. Great show, highly recommended for a Saturday night. Sunday, Yiorgos and David heading off so I saw them off with lunch at the Nacional then off to a friend’s house for a birthday party for his wife. Suckling pig with all the trimmings. Lovely time, my favourite “event” of the festival. Relaxing afternoon with some friends, beer and good cigars. Dinner in Corte del Principe that night. One of the best restaurants in Havana now. Set dinner, they cook what they have, Italian style and it’s all brilliant. Fabrica de Arte after that, then Mio y Tuyo, followed by Fantasy, met Yannick with a crew, then Mio y Tuyo again. A lot of rushing around on Monday, dropping stuff off to people. Called over to the daycare that some friends run, to drop stuff off for the kids that the Irish and UK crew had brought over, lovely time. Then a final lunch with the Gibraltarians and Cuban friends. Met Nakamura at the airport that evening, we were on the same flight. He had 12 hours in Paris, I had 7, so we got the train into Paris and had a very nice afternoon together over some SLR Marquez. Cuba. I’d do it again. 😊 On the Malecon, I like this one. Penthouse apartment over Azucar. Nice sport. David and Yiorgos at the Cuba/Ireland plaque on Calle O' Reilly. Sia Kara. Lovely spot. Malecon again. David and Yiorgos on their last day. Me on my last evening. Suckling pig Montecristo Dumas Serving up the pig and trimmings. Punch Joe, Rita and others.
  14. Gala dinner after party. Machine. Hunger gets the batter of Yiorgos. "VIP area" of Mio y Tuyo. It was a table beside the TV. The chap beside me is apparently somebody, that was his minder beside him. No idea who he is. Nice guy though. Last out.

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