ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH!

“He was born in the summer of his 70th year…  Coming home to a place he’d never been before…  He left yesterday behind him, you might say he was born again…  You might say he found a key for every door… ”    Yep, those are the opening lyrics to John Denver’s most famous song, ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH.  By wonderful coincidence, I recently flew up to Denver (and then further north to Aspen, Colorado) to attend the wedding of my beloved nephew, Jarrett Yanoff.  (Who had the good fortune of marrying the brilliant and beautiful Miss Caitlyn!)  OMG, are those mountains gorgeous!  (But not as pretty as the bride!)

The lovesick couple got married on the very top of Aspen Mountain, which is about 14,000 feet ABOVE sea level.  (They should call it “see level,” because you can see forever from the top!)  The wedding party took a 20-minute gondola ride up to the top, witnessed a lovely ceremony, drank too much champagne, and then headed downhill to a spectacular reception at the Little Nell Resort Hotel.  (I have attached some photos taken at the top of the mountain.)

I told my nephew that marriage is a wonderful institution.  (Similar to other institutions…  like Alcatraz and Sing Sing!)  My goal was alway to find a woman who looked at me the way I look at pizza.  I also offered the newlyweds some sage advice.  (Even though basil is my favorite herb.)  I reminded them that despite the high cost of living, it remains quite popular.  Also, that arguing with your wife is like being arrested.  Everything you say can and will be used against you!

The rehearsal dinner, held the night before the wedding, was hosted by the incredible Viceroy Hotel in Snowmass, another charming ski town a few miles from Aspen.  Following an elaborate dinner, guests were treated to an assortment of activities.  (After they had a chance to sober up)  The Aspen area is famous not only for skiing, but also for mountain hiking, trout fishing, golf, tennis, white water rafting, and horseback riding.

In accordance with my Texas roots, I saddled-up my pony (actually a full-grown horse) and went on a L-O-N-G ride into the mountains with a group of other suckers.  I wanted to ride bare-back, but our guide asked me to keep my shirt on.  In any case, up the mountain and down the steep terrain we went, observing some of the most beautiful land I have ever seen.  Words cannot begin to capture the sheer beauty of northern Colorado.  (Nor the sheer drop of the ledges we were riding across!)  The highlight of our ride was spotting a bear in the wild.  Fortunately, he (or she) kept his distance and did not spook the horses.  (However, one young lady from back east was a little spooked until I told her that her nag could easily outrun the brute that was staring us down.)

Naturally, I was a little, how shall I say this, “saddle sore” from my lengthy trek up Grizzly Mountain.  (In other words, my butt was killing me!)  Nevertheless, I would not have traded the experience for anything but a deep-tissue massage.  Ah, the foolishness of youth!  Oh well, if you don’t look back on your younger days and say, “I was so stupid back then,” you’re probably still stupid!

So what else is new?  Well, it took 3 or 4 months, but my newest “Adam Gold Mystery,” titled, CAPONE ISLAND has now become one of the best-selling books in Florida!  (Thanks to my loyal Floridian fan club and some great advertising by Barnes & Noble.  If sales keep up, we just might grab the number one spot, which would be nothing short of celebratory!  (Where did I put that bottle of expensive tequila?)

Well, I must leave you now, as I am packing for another adventure.  Tomorrow morning, I shall be joining my two daughters (Rachel & Rebecca) for a swimming adventure down at Barton Springs Pool, which is fed by an underground spring and produces a cool pool filled with very chilly water.  (A constant water temperature of 68 degrees!)  We have had one full week of 100 degree days down here in Austin, so now is the time to take the plunge!)  (Where did I put that bottle of expensive tequila… and my diving wet-suit?)

Adios, dear friends, until we meet again… whence you will be treated to an engaging tale of my recent trip to South Dakota and Wyoming!  Until our paths cross once more, please remember to treat everyone with politeness and kindness, not because they are nice, but because you are!

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

***** PHOTOGRAPHS ATTACHED, FREE OF CHARGE! *****

 

 

 

BACK IN THE SADDLE!

Howdy, buckeroos!  Old Scamp Yanoff is back in town and back in the saddle, too.  By the way, do you remember that great western song?  It goes something like this…..  “I’m back in the saddle again, out where a friend is a friend.  Where the longhorn cattle feed, on the lowly jimsyn weed, I’m back in the saddle again.”  In case you’re curious, the song was written by the great Gene Autry way back in 1939.  Ah, but why am I leading off today’s blog with an old western tune?  I’m glad you asked…..

Well, mainly because I recently returned from a long trip out west, an amazing tour of South Dakota and Wyoming!  (Two of the most BEAUTIFUL states in our wonderful country.)  I spent most of my time in Yellowstone Park and Grand Teton National Park, and all I can say is WOW!  Talk about scenic, these incredible parks were simply beyond belief.

We  began our grand tour in Rapid City, South Dakota, which is a clean, charming, and fascinating city in the western part of the state.  From there we headed west, toward Custer State Park, where we were engulfed by a herd of buffalo.  (See attached photos!)  Incidentally, do you know what a mama buffalo says to her calf each morning?  Bye son.  (Bison)  You may think that’s a lot of bull, but you should see a real buffalo!

After Custer State Park, we drove to the Crazy Horse memorial, which is slowly being carved on top of a majestic mountain peak.  The Crazy Man (as he is locally known) will not be completed this century, but it’s still an impressive site to visit.  The great Sioux chief is a “chip off the old block,” and responsible for planning and leading the charge against the 7th Calvary at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.  Right around the corner is Mt. Rushmore, which was also quite impressive, and bears the likeness of four American Presidents.  (Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Hillary Clinton.  Just kidding, Theodore Roosevelt is the fourth.)

On day three, or maybe four, I lost track, we drove up and over the Bighorn Mountains, which seem to be a few inches below heaven.  Yikes, talk about getting up in the world!  The Bighorn National Forest is one of those places that don’t seem real.  So magnificent and huge, loaded with all sorts of game.  (Deer, elk, moose, and Monopoly.)  Our final destination that day was Cody, Wyoming, which was truly one of the coolest stops we made.  (We toured the Buffalo Bill Museum, ate some more bison burgers, and then attended an evening rodeo.)  I told the local cowboys that I never met a horse that could throw me.  (After all, they don’t have hands, only hooves.)  However, I have been known to throw a little bull now and then!

When I was finished busting broncs, we drove into Yellowstone Park (8,000 feet above sea level) and then down to Grand Teton National Park.  (7,000 feet above sea level.)  Both places were beyond stunning, and I will elaborate further next Sunday.  (Once my nose stops bleeding!)

Our ten-day adventure ended in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which is also one of those “must-see” venues.  What a pretty town.  A little expensive, but quite charming.  Jackson Hole is surrounded by the National Elk Preserve, which offers sleigh rides during the winter, and provides the local restaurants with some interesting cuts of meat.  We, of course, have been to an Elks Club, but never to an actual preserve.  Very enlightening.  (I’ll skip my jokes about being “horny!”)

As fate would have it, my nephew is soon to be married, and he’s taking the plunge (bad word choice!) atop a mountain in Aspen, Colorado.  Sooooo, it’s back to Denver next week.  I’m thinking about becoming a park ranger, but I only want to work during July and August.  (Warm-weather months)  I think I’d be a good ranger.  I loved most of the animals we saw, especially the moose herds.  (And chocolate moose is one of my favorite desserts)  I wonder how much a ranger makes?

By the way, I realize that I have yet to finish the last 3 chapters of my last adventure book, PIRATES OF PERCHANCE.  In the weeks ahead, I shall present amusing tales of our shenanigans on the “saintly” islands of St. Kitts, St. Martin, and St. Thomas.  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the attached photos of South Dakota and Wyoming.  Nice to be home!

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

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PIRATES OF PERCHANCE. (Chapter 6) “Mangrove Monday!”

Well, look, since today is Father’s Day, it seems logical that I should begin this post with a word or two about “Man-groves.”  (As opposed to “Two-lips,” which are female… in most cases.)  My Monday (last voyage in February) began with a charming paddle trip down the Indian River in Roseau, Dominica.  (Which, I might add, is a COMPLETELY different country from the Dominican Republic…  and a lot safer, too!)  Dominica is often called the “Nature Isle of the Caribbean, due to its abundance of flora and fauna.  There are actually nine volcanoes on the island (all still active) and they add quite a bit of heat to the island’s boiling lakes and sulfur springs.

Roseau, the Capital City, is known locally as the “City of Vernadas,” and it’s a good thing too, since shade is often required to survive.  Our trip got very interesting just outside of town, when we visited a tribe of Kalinago Indians, the indigenous people of the island.  None of them knew how to use a computer or iPhone, but they did make lovely straw baskets.  The Kalinago tribe arrived on Dominica around 1,000 A.D. — roughly 500 years before they were finally discovered by Columbus, an explorer from Ohio.

The folks who live on the enchanting island of Dominica were very nice, welcoming, and extremely proud of their work ethic and overall existence.  It was a real pleasure meeting so many wonderful folks, and I would definitely recommend a stop if you happen to be cruising by.  (Please note:  Unfortunately, the hurricanes of  2018 caused a LOT of damage, so repairs are still underway.  Watch your step!)

And speaking of Father’s Day, (Huh?) allow me to wish all you daddies a marvelous holiday!  Did you know that Father’s Day is observed in over 111 different countries?  We can thank Sonora Smart Dood, (a woman!) for encouraging this special day, which started in June, 1910.  (President Nixon made it an officially recognized event in 1972)  I always made breakfast in bed for my Dad, and being a good sport, he actually ate what I made.  (Now that’s love!)

I remember the first time I became a Dad.  I was waiting near the delivery room when a nurse came out and spoke to the other “soon-to-be-Dads.”  She told the first guy that he was the father of twins.  He was shocked, since he worked for the Minnesota Twins!  She told the next guy that he was the father of triplets, and believe it or not, he was an executive at the 3M Company!  She then told the next gent that he was the father of quadruplets, and lo and behold, he worked at the Four Seasons!  The last guy fainted, but only because he work for 7-Up!

So what else is new?  Well, one of my most brilliant students (when I was teaching at Miami-Dade Community College) was a wonderful woman named Nola Firestone.  Nola’s grandson, Mr. Adam Avin, has also become a brilliant scholar, and he recently recorded a marvelous “Ted Talk.”  If you want to listen to a smart, educational, and informative video, then check out his website.  (You will really enjoy this young man’s speech):  https://youtu.be/2r6TWTqr8FM     (Or you could just “Google” him and look for his performance!  A very impressive lad!)

Our first pool party was a huge success.  (Nobody drowned!)  Judge Susan and Baron Lee drank a lot of beer, but what the heck, that’s why they were there!  Before I forget, I must thank the Princess of Portugal for making her universally adored dessert, “Azorian Lemon Squares.”  (She was going to bring some tarts, but we already had enough of them hanging around the bar!)  In any case, she concocted an amazing treat.  (Considering that she was sporting an eye injury, which she claimed was the result of a collision with a flowering plant!  Yeah, right.)

Finally, a word of welcome back to Chief Maxamundo and Queen Smoochie-Gucci, who have finally returned from the Big Island.  (That would be Hawaii, not South Padre Island.)  The honeymooners are back in the great state of Texas, just in time for some blazing hot weather next week.  (It’s already hot.  Yesterday I saw a couple of fire ants carrying canteens!)

Well, that’s about it for me.  If you would like to see a few photos from the remarkable isle of Dominica, just scroll down.  In the meantime, have yourselves a happy and healthy week!    Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

 

 

 

 

PIRATES OF PERCHANCE. (Chapter 4) “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem, Mon!”

Greetings from the warm and lovely port of Castries, St. Lucia.  Most tourists come here to get “Castrated,” which in this case, means a relaxed Caribbean feeling.  (I hope!)  We arrived in port at 8:00 a.m., and the weather was perfect… Sunny and 83 degrees.  St. Lucia is a sovereign nation, but still part of the Commonwealth of England.  I suppose its most famous landmark would be the breathtaking mountain peaks on the west coast.  (Locally, these are known as the Gros and Petit Pitons, which are the rocky peaks that soar over a pristine beach.)

Being the insipid, I mean, intrepid explorers that we are, we hopped aboard a small motor boat and drove up the west coast, searching for the island’s most idyllic beach.  We actually found several idyllic beaches, and stopped for a marvelous lunch at Soufriere Bay.  After chowing down on some Caribbean rock lobsters, we drove up to the Morne Coubaril Estate, which is a wonderfully restored 17th-century plantation.  The best part about this stop was tasting some of the fiery Creole hot sauces produced on the grounds.  (Well, not really on the ground.  They now use tables.)

Next stop was Landera Resort, where our catamaran dropped anchor and we got to do some snorkeling.  Most of the water surrounding St. Lucia is clear, warm. and turquoise.  Perfect for swimming, snorkeling, or scuba diving.  Some of our shipmates opted to go whale watching, which had nothing to do with the women on the Carnival Ship parked next to us.  These were the gentle giants that live in the area, which include pilot whales, sperm whales (no jokes, please!) and humpbacks.  They also have a large population of dolphins, which you might want to see on porpoise.  Just saying.

To be perfectly honest, St. Lucia is all about the water.  Marigot Bay, where most ships stop, is somewhat developed but still very “touristy.”  If you visit, I suggest you hop on a boat and putter around the island.  You can also make a stop at the iconic Pitons, if mountains are your thing.  Next week we will be “broadcasting” from a very special place…  Bridgetown, Barbados.

So what else is new?  Well, as many of you know, the newest “Adam Gold Mystery” is now available throughout the North American continent and in most Central and South American countries.  The book is titled, CAPONE ISLAND, and so far, sales have been exceptional.  (Except in Venezuela.)  If you’re an Adam Gold fan, and let’s face it, who isn’t, then you will absolutely adore this new tale.  You can order a copy from Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, Kindle, Nook, and leading bookstores across the fruited plain.  (You can still order a book if your plain has no fruit.)

****SPECIAL BLOG FOLLOWER OFFER:   If you order a copy of CAPONE ISLAND and leave a nice review on Amazon I will send you a complimentary, autographed copy of the book!    (So what are you waiting for?)

Well, what else is new?  I spent a marvelous afternoon in Wimberley, Texas, last week.  My destination was Jacob’s Well Natural Area, which features one of the deepest underwater cave systems in the state.  The main shaft plunges down 137 feet, which is quite a drop.  (At least 8 people have died while trying to explore the underground network.)  Risk-takers like to climb up a cliff and jump down into a 12-foot gap, but my life insurance policy prohibited me from taking the plunge.  If you’re anxious to get the shaft, the entry fee is $9.00 for adults.

I would normally write another paragraph or two, but I am about to be interviewed by a Florida radio station.  (Our pre-recorded conversation will be broadcast next month.)  I will post the dates and details when they become available.  We will be chatting about CAPONE ISLAND, which I visited last week during a stop in Boca Raton.  If you would like to see what the island actually looks like, just “Google” a place called, Deerfield Island State Park.  (The name that the state has given the island)  I was the only person on the island, and to be honest, I would not like to be there after dark.  (Too many snakes and gators!)

Well, dear friends, have a safe and superlative week, and we shall meet again in the not-too-distant future.  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

PIRATES OF PERCHANCE. (Chapter 3) “Beach Blanket Bingo!”

Well, as you might have guessed, one of the more popular games down in Antigua & Barbuda is beach blanket bingo, but if I were you I’d never play this game on a “clothing optional beach.”  (i.e., anywhere there is nudity)  Why?  Because when somebody gets “bingo,” they jump up and scream, and a curious bystander can get seriously injured.  (Think of flailing body parts!)  In any case, I was not severely injured, but I did get a black eye.  (Last time I stand that close to a naked Antiguan!)

Our lovely vessel dropped anchor in Heritage Bay at 7:30  a.m., and shortly thereafter (at noon) we dropped by a wonderful little place called Jolly Beach, which is truly beautiful.  (Check out the photos at the end of this semi-brilliant blog post)  We were the guests of a local hotel and after signing a few thousand copies of TURBULENT TIMES (actually, 17 copies, but who’s counting?) we had the rest of the day to ourselves… and we certainly made the most of it.  The hotel was kind enough to supply a gourmet luncheon of local treats, plus an unlimited amount of Caribe beer and rum.  (After two hurricanes, I was feeling no pain.)

Aside from ruining your liver, you can tour the island, which contains some enchanting forests and is surrounded by azure waters.  The most famous (previous to my visit) person associated with Antigua is Admiral Horatio Nelson, the father of David and Ricky Nelson.  (I think)  The capital, St. John’s, is also a nice spot to dine and wine, but make sure you bring plenty of booty.  (Ain’t nothin’ cheap in this part of the world)

Most of the tours stop at a place called Nelson’s Dockyard, which offers a certain amount of appeal, and is still in use today.  If you’re lucky, you will then be driven way up a mountain to a spot known as Shirley Heights, where you can gaze across the sea while sipping another rum drink.  (Here you will be 446 feet above sea level, perched on some questionable cliffs… so make sure you order that rum drink!)

Due to my international celebrity status, and a small bribe,  we were invited to have lunch at Eric Clapton’s villa, but our schedule did not allow a visit.  Just as well. I understand that he was back in London with some chick named Layla.  We did make time to use his pool and grab a souvenir towel, but it wasn’t worth the detour. (Or the modest fine)  Next week, or the week after, we shall be re-living our stop in St. Lucia, which was simply luscious!

So what else is new?  Well, my trip to Granbury was a huge success.  We sold and signed many books, and more importantly, made a lot of new friends.  If you’re planning a visit, make sure to stop at the Historic Granbury Square (which look round to me) and the charming 1886 Granbury Opera House.  (Which has recently been renovated)  Owing to my vast historical knowledge, I ushered our party over to the Acton Cemetery to see the grave of Elizabeth Crockett, the widow of Texas hero  Davy Crockett, who died at the Alamo.

If you’re so inclined, you can also stop for a cold beer and some hot polka music at Ketzler’s Schnitzel Haus and Biergarten.  (Don’t have too many beers, or you’ll really get inclined!)  After you fortify yourself with some strong ale, head over to the Nutt House (Yes, that’s the real name) and sign up for the Granbury Ghosts and Legends Tour.  (The town is filled with spirits!)

Finally, I’d like to thank Ms. Terry Lewis, of the Bee Cave Public Library, for inviting me to be a featured author at this weekend’s Spring Fest in the Galleria at Lake Travis.  I had a marvelous time and met a lot of very nice people, and the weather was simply superb.  (All of my mystery novels and both of my history books were available for purchase, which made my visit even better!)  This was a terrific event and I hope to be back next year, so thanks again, Terry!

Well, all you pet lovers, I shall leave you with this thought…..  If the situation were turned around, I doubt very seriously if one cat would take in 26 old ladies.  Meow, meow.  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

THE PIRATES OF PERCHANCE. (Chapter 2) “The Tortola and the Hare”

So, if you’re familiar with Aesop’s Fable, “The Tortoise and the Hare,” you might recall that it involves a race of sorts between a turtle and a rabbit.  (In real life, the turtle might have run out of gas… and gone to a “shell station!”)  Sorry about that, I couldn’t resist!  Anyway, the reason I used this title is because while we were on the lovely island of Tortola, we found a “restaurant” (i.e., snack bar) that featured an unusual Caribbean soup….. comprised of tender morsels of turtle and rabbit!  Naturally, I had to taste the dang concoction, and surprisingly, it was actually quite good.  However, our vegan guide did not seem to enjoy the dish.  (I should not have referred to the dish as “pet soup.”  My bad.)

Well, other than the soup, Road Town, the capital, was a very interesting port.  This was my fourth visit, but I still find the island enchanting.  Tortola is spread across miles of gleaming azure waters, and is the largest island of the archipelago we call the British Virgin Islands.  Sailors and pirates have been skirting its shores for centuries, including my two favorite rascals, Captain Kidd and Blackbeard.  Sugar cane used to be the main cash crop, but after they ran off the pirates and the locals started to going to San Juan Community College, tourism took over.

Living on Tortola can be a wonderful experience, but you will have to put up with a major hurricane every now and then.  By the way, in the event of a tornado or hurricane, always do what I do.  I always put a pack of hot dogs in my pants pocket. (Which, of course, is where you’re supposed to keep your wiener.)  Why do I do this?  Because the search dogs will find you first.  Think about it.

Anyway, after a scenic drive along Ridge Road, we came to one of my favorite beaches on the island… Cane Garden Bay.  Unfortunately, the last hurricane caused some serious damage, and the beach, while still inviting, was virtually destroyed by the tremendous wave action that hit the island.  If you go to Tortola, keep in mind that you can take two wonderful excursions… to Virgin Gorda and the Baths, and to Jost Van Dyke.  I’ve been to both, and they are definitely worth the time and effort it takes to get there.

Next week we will be “broadcasting” from Antigua, so keep that bottle of rum handy.  So what else is new?  Well, if you’re one of my groupies, please keep the following dates in mind…..  today and tomorrow I can be heard at the 2019 Thriller and Mystery Internet Conference.  (But the sponsor charges a small fee)  Then, on Saturday, April 27, I will be featured at the Springfest Author Festival in Lakeway.  I will be in the main tent, selling and signing books, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.  If you’re in the area, stop by and say hello.  Finally, on May 29-31, I’ve been invited to make an appearance at the New York Book Expo at the Javits Center.  This event will be hard to attend, as I will be celebrating a birthday on May 29th.  (Since the party is in my honor, I’ll probably have to go!)

I’m looking forward to a great book signing event up in Granbuy this coming week, and I will keep you posted about the dates, times, and locations of their little book festival.  Until we meet again, let me wish all of my Christian followers and friends a joyous Palm Sunday.  In concert with the spirit of the season, so to speak, allow me to leave you with some “deep thoughts.”

The hardest thing about “everything happens for a reason” is figuring out the reason!

If a woman starts a sentence with, “I find it funny how,” you can bet your life she doesn’t find it funny!

If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything~  (Shania or Mark Twain, I forget which one.)

Have a great and gargantuan week!  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

THE PIRATES OF PERCHANCE. (Chapter 1) “Why Does The Ocean Wave?”

Ahoy, mates and mateys, and welcome to another thrilling adventure, featuring your old pirate buddy, Captain Kidder.  (a/k/a Doc Yanoff)  As you can tell from today’s blog title, this next book is loosely based upon the comic opera known as the PIRATES OF PENZANCE.  This charming opera was written by Gilbert & Sullivan, better known as Gilbert Gottfried & Ed Sullivan.  (Just joking)  It was actually written by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, and premiered at the Fifth Avenue Theatre in New York City on December 31, 1879.  (Man, that must have been one hell of a New Year’s Eve party!)

Today’s blog, which is obviously more interesting than that ancient opera, marks the beginning of a fascinating tale of high adventure on the dark and stormy seas of the Caribbean.  (Actually, the only dark & stormy thing I saw was my rum cocktail, which was called a Dark & Stormy.  Rather fitting name, since it got a little dark after two cocktails, and then my stomach got stormy!)  In any case, we shall be focused on my recent voyage to the Caribbean islands found between the Greater and Lesser Antilles.  (No, they’re not called the Mediocre islands!)  Have you heard of my Aunt Tilly?  Well, she has nothing to do with this blog, so let’s move on…..

My goals on this particular voyage were twofold:  1.  Sell & autograph as many books as possible.  2.  Endear myself to the indigent people of the Caribbean basin.(Oops, make that “indigenous” people)  So, did I succeed?  Yes and no.  I sold a lot of books, but I did not gain many followers among the heathen savages that we encountered.  No idea why.  Most of the semi-naked natives had an “attitude” about waiting on me hand and foot.  (Although some of them simply used a middle finger from time to time.)  Still, our voyage of enlightenment was a huge success, even though I had to return the lovely couple I purchased on St. Lucia.

Our trip began in lovely San Juan, Puerto Rico, which really did look great.  The entire area encompassing Old Town has been cleaned up from last year’s devastating hurricane, and the good folks of Puerto Rico were exceeding gracious to us.  (Even after I used some of my oldest jokes on them!)  We spent two days at the Marriott Hotel on the north shore, and it was simply wonderful.  (Lovely accommodations, good food, and a marvelous beach.)  The towels were a little thick, but we managed to fold a couple into our duffle bags.  (I’m talking about a couple of towels, not a couple of tourists.)

San Juan is most famous for mojito, mofongo, and salsa.  (Sounds like a law firm!)  Each is delicious in its own way, and when you’re done stuffing your face, you can take a nice long walk around the historic town of Old San Juan.  (We chose to travel by Segway, but after running over several of the locals, we decided to walk a spell.)  You enter this section of the city through San Juan Gate, an impressive remnant of the walls that once encircled the area.  Once you’re inside, you can view the vast Fort San Cristobal, the largest fortress built in the New World.

If you’ve never been to Puerto Rico, I suggest a visit to the Bacardi Rum Factory (which you will enjoy, but not remember in any detail) and a visit to El Yunque Rainforest.  We once toured the rainforest with Barbara and Max Talbott, and after we saved them from a local tribe of headhunters, we marveled at the lush 28,000 acres of the park.  (The park contains 75 percent of the virgin forests in the country, but very few other virgins.)  Still, if you enjoy flora and fauna (I liked Flora the best) you will be intrigued by the forest’s 240 tree species and its 150 types of ferns.  (Fern was also nice!)  Well, enough about those questionable virgins…

Let’s get back to pirates…  What do you call a ship that’s twitching at the bottom of the ocean?  (A “nervous wreck!”)   How much do pirates pay to get their ears pierced?  (A “buck-an-ear!”)   Last one…  (thank God)…  Why can’t pirates play cards on a ship?  (The captain was standing on the deck!)

Hey, come on, some of those jokes were passable!  All right, maybe not.  So what else is new?  Well, as you might have read in the NYT, my new mystery book (CAPONE ISLAND) received a wonderful pre-publication review.  The reviewer, who I did NOT bribe, wrote the following:  “Buckle your seat belts, folks.  Adam Gold,(America’s favorite insurance investigator) is heading down the highway to hell again, and this time he’s involved with Big Al’s treasure and a band of ruthless Cuban spies.  CAPONE ISLAND is the new book, and it is destined to become one of the best-selling mysteries of the year.  Look for a May release date.”

Well, I don’t have any idea how well the book will do, but I can assure you that you will enjoy the story.  The manuscript is undergoing some final “cleansing,” so I will keep you informed of the actual publication date.  In the meantime, if you will scroll down, you will see some recent photos of my Caribbean outing.  (I wasn’t actually “outed,” but you know what I mean.)

Have yourself a marvelous week and we shall meet again soon…   (The next stop on our voyage was Road Town, Tortola, which is part of the British Virgin Islands.  (However, as before, I did not meet any virgins!)

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff