Category: On travel


ACP is headed to New Zealand and Australia

By John Yunker,

We’re excited to once again be headed Down Under to meet with authors and readers.

We have two events planned that all are welcome to attend:

 

Christchurch, New Zealand

Writing about Animals: Literature’s evolving relationship with the animal kingdom

November 10th, 3 to 5pm

At the University of Canterbury

New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies

Engineering Core Lecture Theatre, Building E12

 

Perth, Australia

Sunday Session

November 26, 4 to 5:30 pm

At the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre

 

If you have any questions or would like to meet us along the way, please contact us.

Join us for Penguins & Patagonia in October 2018!

By Midge Raymond,

Save the dates: October 29 to November 6, 2018!

Join us and Adventures by the Book on a journey through the majestic land of Patagonia and immerse yourself in the setting that helped inspire My Last Continent and The Tourist Trail.


When John and I volunteered at the Punta Tombo penguin colony in Argentina, helping with a penguin census of the largest Magellanic colony in the world, our experiences with the land, penguins, and dedicated scientists inspired our novels, The Tourist Trail and My Last Continent. Now you can join us for a chance to see this spectacular colony firsthand, learn about its incredible history, and find out how to help conservation efforts in this extraordinary part of the world.


You’ll also have the opportunity to see and experience wildlife in ways you never imagined as we travel from Buenos Aires to Punta Tombo to the UNESCO World Heritage site Peninsula Valdes, where penguins, rheas, guanacos, foxes, sea lions, elephant seals, orcas, and many more stunning creatures reside. We’ll have a uniquely intimate experience with nature based at the private estancia Rincon Chico, accompanied all the way by a team of experienced local guides. (Note: While we’ll experience a lot of wildlife, we won’t be “roughing it” — the activity level will be light to moderate, and the accommodations will be lovely!)

And if you’re up for a further adventure into the icy places of My Last Continent and The Tourist Trail, there is an optional add-on excursion to Antarctica!

This literary & wildlife adventure includes…

  • Welcome dinner & tour in arrival city Buenos Aires
  • Penguin & wildlife excursions, including whale watching, with local guides
  • Signed copies of My Last Continent and The Tourist Trail 
  • …and so, so, so much more!

Reserve your spot before January 31, 2018, for a $300 discount — reservations are limited as this will be an intimate, exclusive tour. Learn more here, and feel free to contact us or Susan McBeth (susan@adventuresbythebook.com) with any questions you have.

Dining well in San Diego’s Little Italy

By Midge Raymond,

I was delighted to learn that San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood has among its many Italian restaurants and cafes one known for its vegan menu: Civico 1845.

One of the great things about this restaurant is that it brings the vegan menu to your table along with its regular menu and wine list, unlike some restaurants in which you need to ask for the vegan menu (or those in which the vegan menu is such a secret you don’t even know to ask).

Even the wine list noted the vegan options with a (V), which was wonderfully helpful. We began with pinot noir and the oyster mushroom “calamari.”

This appetizer was very good, and would probably be a hit with omnivores as well due to the texture: these mushrooms are lightly fried and chewy, with thin tendrils that melt in your mouth. The arrabbiata sauce was a bit watery and quite bland, unfortunately, but it was otherwise a lovely dish.

For our main courses we sampled the Ravioli Boscailoa, house-made mushroom ravioli with truffle sauce, and the Fettuccine alla Bolognese, house-made fettuccine with slow-cooked seitan ragout.

The Ravioli Boscailoa was our favorite…beautifully cooked ravioli with a wonderful mushroom filling, accompanied by a sauce that managed to be light and rich at the same time. The wild mushrooms gave the whole dish a big burst of flavor.

The fettuccine dish was also good — the seitan and the bolognese sauce had a robust “sausage” flavor (and was topped with nutritional yeast instead of parmesan), but the fettuccine was a bit overcooked and overall this dish wasn’t nearly as inspired.

Overall, this wasn’t the best vegan Italian (sadly, our very favorite, Portobello in Portland, Oregon, is closed), but it would be a wonderful choice for those visiting San Diego with omnivores, as it’s so easy to order off the vegan menu without having to ask a lot of questions or make special requests.

And if you are in San Diego’s Little Italy and looking for a completely plant-based dining experience, try Cafe Gratitude, which has an abundance of options, including wine, beer, and cocktails and a great happy hour.

Dining well in Las Vegas, part 3

By Midge Raymond,

It was by accident that we discovered Nacho Daddy, located a block off the strip (at S. Las Vegas Boulevard and E. Harmon Avenue), and we’re thrilled that we did.

First, for those looking to escape the chaos of the Strip, Nacho Daddy is festive but a bit lower-key than anyplace on the strip. It was busy but not overly crowded; it was nice to have a bit of elbow room and to be able to hold a conversation, which we did over the restaurant’s blood-orange and signature margaritas.

Nacho Daddy has a long and wonderful vegan menu, and the only challenge was trying to decide what to eat. We opted for the chick’n tacos and the vegan loaded nachos.

I can’t say enough about the chick’n tacos: two crispy, lightly fried flour tortillas stuffed with marinated chick’n, caramelized onions and a spicy tomato salsa. Absolutely beyond delicious, the tacos were served with black beans and wild rice.

We also loved the loaded nachos, a gigantic pile of tortilla chips covered with black beans, salsa, guacamole, and vegan cheese and sour cream. Adding spice is avocado lime salsa and pickled jalapeños.

The vegan menu at Nacho Daddy also includes fajitas, quesadillas, fajita bowls, chick’n nachos, and salads. If we’d had the time, we’d have tried every one of them. For a wonderful vegan meal (and tasty margaritas), this is a must-visit for plant-based Vegas travelers.

  Category: On travel, Vegan
  Comments: Comments Off on Dining well in Las Vegas, part 3

Dining well in Las Vegas, part 2

By Midge Raymond,

Continuing our vegan dining coverage in Las Vegas, we had a couple meals at the Wynn and Encore hotels. While both places have vegan-friendly restaurants — a few items on each menu — the online menus have more items listed than the restaurants do. We hope this is a temporary oversight.

We began with brunch at Jardin, which is in the Encore. The only vegan item on the menu, other than oats, was a kale scramble, with a note that it could be made vegan. When I mentioned to our server that the pancakes were listed on the online menu as vegan, she checked with the kitchen to confirm that they are indeed vegan. So, ordering our vegan brunch was a bit less seamless than we’d hoped (always remember to ask! we were very glad we did).

Still, it was worth it. The kale tofu scramble, which came with potatoes and red peppers, along with toast, was sublime.

And the whole wheat pancakes, topped with berries and powdered sugar, were thick, sweet, and about twice as much as a person can eat in one sitting (though I did my best).

We loved that the toast came with vegan butter, a joy to find in any omnivorous restaurant. Because we were there for work, we sadly weren’t able sample the brunch cocktails, but all looked incredible and well worth ordering.

Jardin is also a lovely place to dine. Wynn and Encore are among the mellower hotels on the Strip (if such a thing is possible).

For a lovely vegan dinner in the Wynn, try the Italian restaurant Allegro, located near the casino; accordingly, the restaurant keeps casino hours and is open from 5 p.m. until 6 a.m.

Allegro is an inviting place with a lovely atmosphere and wonderful service; however, there were only three vegan options on the menu during our visit: vegan pizza, chicken parmigiana, and pasta.

We did not have a chance to try the pizza, but the organic ancient grain penne was amazing, gorgeously flavored with garlic and basil, with fresh zucchini, asparagus, and cherry tomatoes.


We also tried the chick’n parmigiana, which was made with Gardein and covered with vegan mozzarella and tomato sauce and served over linguine. It was slightly less inspired and flavorful than the pasta but was still very good.

It would be nice if Allegro offered a couple more vegan choices (and we were told that, unlike Jardin, they did not have vegan butter), but the offerings are delicious and maybe one day these two restaurants will offer even more.

  Category: On travel, Vegan
  Comments: Comments Off on Dining well in Las Vegas, part 2