Magnificently set in the mountains of southern New Mexico, the historic Lodge at Cloudcroft (800/395-6343 or 505/682-2566, fax 505/682-2715; doubles $89$119) contains 61 rooms that are lavish and rustic at the same time. I've never had a less-than-perfect time there. The service is out of this world. The dining room, called Rebecca's after the ghost that's said to haunt the 1911 lodge, serves eclectic six-course dinners that take hours to consume. There's also a tower where guests can watch a glorious sunset or just listen to the wind in the aspens and the ponderosa pines.
El Paso, Tex.
Calvin Trillin's "Where the Day Begins" [January] was a fascinating portrait of Tonga today. His friends who had never heard of the island group might at least recognize the name of Captain William Bligh. In 1789, Tonga was the starting point of his 3,600-mile voyage to East Timor in an open launch following the mutiny on the Bounty.
A. T. Hinson
Trillin's article will no doubt convince hordes of travelers to make Tonga their destination on December 31, 1999. How quiet and uncrowded it will be, by contrast, when the millennium really ends on December 31, 2000. That's when I plan to celebrate.
The Right to Carry On
While something definitely needed to be done about the burgeoning size and number of carry-on bags, the pendulum is swinging too far in the other direction [Smart Going, February]. The Association of Flight Attendants has proposed a limit of 14 pounds per passenger for all carry-ons, including purses, briefcases, laptops, and cameras. This restrictive trend is quite unreasonable, especially since airlines urge passengers not to check valuables, and accept minimal or no responsibility for loss, theft, or damage.
Huntington Beach, Calif.
Who's Who in Kathmandu
The flower-strewn statue in the marvelous photo that opened your feature on Kathmandu [November] represents not the Hindu god Shiva but Avalokiteshvara, a Buddhist deity. It is one of four bronzes that stand in the courtyard of the Golden Temple in Patan.
The Edisto Touch
The Lee Bros.' "Sweet & Soulful South Carolina Tour" [January] was a delight. I'm a Midwesterner who lived in the South for three years. A recent trip back landed me on Edisto Island for Sunday dinner (which takes place at noon) at the Pavilion Restaurant & Coots Lounge. As the locals dug into their Sunday fried-chicken special, I ate a fresh seafood salad and my companion had delicious barbecue, presented to him by the chef in crisp whites.
Santa Clara, Calif.
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