Friends first led me to Nora’s Smoke Shop several years back on a work trip to Orlando involving airplanes and sales and the doldrums as the real estate market tanked in Florida…we needed a dose of cheer.

The guys sized me up and gauged correctly that I would “get” Nora — she’s a broad in the best sense of the word, having crafted her own haven in the Real Orlando serving tastes of wine and beer alongside dips into the humidor for an eclectic band of characters, those who can’t be bothered with the whole Disney thing (except for the princess tiaras…but that’s another story). Stoli (short for “Stolen Dog) greeted us and showed us to our place on the patio, and I go back often in my mind.

One night at Nora’s after the Petite Petit (Sirah) devolved into beers and cracking open Cajun seafood at King Crawfish down the street, I lost track of the Coronas and laughed the next morning at the photos on my phone.

Nora moved and expanded a bit from her old Lake Ivanhoe haunt…and you can ask me for her address, but I won’t send you there unless I *really* like you. She’s that special.