Saturday, September 17, 2011

Finally on Kindle!

A year after publication of the soft-cover edition of my book, I have finally managed to create an e-book version for Kindle.  The price is less than half of the hard-copy book, and it can dowload on your Kindle reader in seconds.

I should have gotten it together more quickly; but my first attempt to put the book on Kindle failed when the file became corrupted, and I didn't learn about it for several months.

The process of creating a Kindle book is a bit daunting for a novice, as it involves starting out with a properly formatted MS Word document, than going through three different conversions to reach the Kindle format.  Luckily, Amazon does have a fairly usable and simple guide to the process on its website, which I tried to follow religiously.

The Kindle ebook of "Dear Guests, Beware of Wild Monkeys" sells for $6.99 and can be found at

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Las Vegas in August

Ok, maybe it wasn't the best idea to spend a week in Las Vegas in mid-August.  After all, Sin City is known for being toasty at that time of year.  But we found a few places where we could keep cool, and even enjoy bargain food, drink and entertainment, which is not as easy as it used to be, especially on the Strip.

Here are four tips for getting the most of your entertainment dollar in Vegas.

1. Battista's Hole in the Wall.  This throwback Italian eatery boasts framed photos of celebrities with the owner, an amazing collection of miniature booze bottles, a wandering accordion player, and good food at reasonable prices.  Battista's is just off E. Flamingo Road, about a block from the Strip.  The menu is listed on signs on the wall, and complete meals run from $22 to $38, including soup or salad, garlic bread, a carafe of house wine and a cappucino.  Try the steak pizziola for $28, it was delicious!

2. Ellis Island Casino and Microbrewery.  Try a prime rib dinner with all the trimmings (including a 20-ounce microbrew or home-made root beer) for $12.99, or a steak dinner for $7.99 (not on the menu but ask the waiter.)  A block behind Bally's.  Microbrews, which some in light, dark and amber, cost about $3.  The casino is a bit smoky, but the restaurant is non-smoking.

3.  The Cosmopolitan.  One of the newest casinos on the strip, the Book and Stage lounge offers free, top-flight entertainment.  We caught a Washington, D.C.-based jazz combo called The Funk Ark ( while sitting in comfy leather chairs, each with its own footstool.  Just watch the bar tab; martinis run $16.

4. Tamba.  A great Indian restaurant tucked away off the Strip in the somewhat tacky Hawaiian Village shopping center, next to the Polo Towers.  Try the lunch buffet for $12.99, you won't need to eat again that day.  All manner of veg and non-veg entrees, along with delicious, fresh-baked naan bread.

Although this blog is geared toward travel with children, we parents have a right to get out once in a while, right?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Taking our Show on the Road!

Here is my interview about traveling with children, preparing for a round-the-world trip, and other related topics - of course a plug for the book - from the morning show, San Diego Living on Channel 6 with host Marc Bailey, a real pro and a nice guy as well.  Thanks to Channel 6 for allowing me to tell my story to their viewers.

Over the past three weeks, Ava, Salome and I have taken our story on the road, we have made presentations about the book and our world trip, tips, etc., at the Pine Valley, La Mesa, Vista and Rancho San Diego county library branches, as well as the Oasis adult educational program in Mission Valley.  The talks were well-received, and we loved talking about our travels!  We want to thank the county library and Oasis for inviting us.

As the long-winded member of the family, I did most of the talking, but Salome was kind enough to read excerpts of her journal, which are included in the book.  Ava and Salome answered questions, when I stopped talking long enough to give them a chance.

We were gratified by the attendance at the library talks; people were interested in what we had to say, and they shared some of their own travel tales.  Some folks traveled across the county to attend our presentations.  We also want to thank everyone who came to hear us talk.