Readers write: Key to pies, kids, and souvenirs

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Piece of pie. Emilie Ast of St. Paul, Minn., knows that a trip to the Florida Keys isn't complete without taking time to enjoy the area's signature Key lime pie. But don't settle for second-best. "Mama Mac's in Key Largo has the best Key lime pie I ever tasted," she writes. "It's a great place to stop during that long drive from Miami to one of the outer Keys. Mama Mac's is on the edge of the highway on the right as you drive out from Miami. The highway is divided there, so if you're driving toward Miami, you have to go past it and turn around."

Kid-friendly vacations. Anyone who travels with kids (see page 14) can find good advice in family-oriented guidebooks. Fodor's has just introduced a new series, "Around the City With Kids," which covers Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington. All are written by parents, and include creative ways to keep youngsters entertained. Three guides offer excellent advice for choosing an outdoor vacation that includes children: "National Geographic Guide to Family Adventure Vacations," by Candyce Stapen; "Outside Magazine's Guide to Family Vacations"; and "Fodor's Family Adventures," by Christine Loomis and Jennifer Paul.

Save those souvenirs. Jayne Hanlin says that when she goes on study tours, she slips 9-by-12-inch manila envelopes into her suitcase - one for each day she'll be away. Every evening, she puts the notes, postcards, and brochures about the sites visited that day into an envelope. That way, when she wants to make a scrapbook about her trip after she returns home, all the organizing has been done ahead of time.

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Share your travel tips with other Monitor readers. We'd love to hear from you if:

You've discovered an interesting vacation spot that you think others would enjoy, too. You've found an Internet site that tells you everything you need to know about potential vacation spots. You've come up with a way to make some aspect of traveling easier or more rewarding.

*Send your tips to Travel Editor, The Christian Science Monitor, C-17, One Norway Street, Boston, MA 02115. Or e-mail LoweJ@csps.com Please include your name, city, and a phone number or e-mail address where we can contact you if we have questions.

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