From Saskatchewan to San Diego
I was raised in a Ukrainian Orthodox household, and I loved Alex Shoumatoff's Driving article "Keeping the Faith" [August], about visiting Ukrainian churches in Saskatchewan. I know that my brother will appreciate the piece—he is returning soon from Ukraine, where he traveled for missionary work. In his correspondence, he has often mentioned the beauty of the churches there. Luckily, I have one of my own to admire right here in Rhode Island: St. Michael's, in Woonsocket.
—GREGG CHAREST, JAMESTOWN, R.I.
Cuba or Bust
As the executive director of the Association of Travel-Related Industry Professionals, I was pleased to see that the 43-year U.S. ban on travel to Cuba has not stopped readers of T+L from selecting it as their favorite island in the Caribbean [The World's Best Awards, August]. The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to repeal the ban for three consecutive years; both the Senate and the House plan to introduce identical bills before the end of 2003. We are confident that they will pass, and hopeful that the administration will concur. In the meantime, the delay has clearly not deterred Americans from exercising their right to travel.
—BRENT GIBADLO, WASHINGTON, D.C.
My wife and I can sympathize with Indian-born Pankaj Mishra's account of post-9/11 travel inconveniences ["Border Crossing," Eyewitness, August]. In December 2001, we were traveling with our two young daughters from Chicago to San Francisco. Even after going through the standard security screening, we were pulled aside for additional checks before boarding each of our three flights. I cannot help but think that my wife's Vietnamese heritage raised the red flags.
—DAVID BOLLIET, KALAMAZOO, MICH.
Selling the Seychelles
I enjoyed Laura Begley's article about the Seychelles ["Seventh Heaven," September], but there's one snag that travelers should be aware of: complex currency exchange. It can be virtually impossible to convert the Seychelles rupee into another currency. In fact, many facilities on the islands themselves don't accept it. Unless you want an expensive souvenir—several hundred dollars' worth of useless paper—you're better off carrying cash in the form of U.S. dollars or British pounds.
—KENNETH KIMMEL, VIA E-MAIL
LAURA BEGLEY REPLIES: That's a great point, and travelers to the area should be aware that local banks will not convert Seychelles rupees to any other currency without an ATM receipt or other proof of a prior transaction. Not even the duty-free store at the Seychelles International Airport accepts the local currency.
San Diego Sizzles
We are regular visitors to San Diego, so we enjoyed Leslie Brenner's Insider ["So Cal, So Cool," August], especially the profile of the hip Hillcrest neighborhood, just north of downtown. Allow us to add our favorite restaurant to your short list: Chilango's Mexico City Grill [142 University Ave., Suite E; 619/294-8646; dinner for two $65]. The regional dishes, carefully prepared according to the recipes of the owner's mother, are a welcome change from the standard taco-and-enchilada fare found in most Mexican places. The roast pork loin, guacamole dip, and pork-stuffed poblano pepper are not to be missed.
—PETER AND HOLLY GALDERISI, SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH
READER'S FIND IDAHO
What an extraordinary experience my wife and I had recently at the Teton Mountain View Lodge in Tetonia [510 Egbert Ave.; 800/625-2232 or 208/456-2741; www.tetonlodging.com; doubles from $79]. Energetic husband-and-wife managers Dick and Connie Sizemore were delightful. After a night's sleep on comfortable beds with soft, white linens, the fresh fruit and sweet rolls were a treat; so was the opportunity to see Dick's watercolor paintings and bronze sculptures. We were thrilled when, during our tented outdoor dinner of Dick's grilled steaks and Connie's homemade pie, a brief shower brought out a double rainbow over the Grand Tetons. The sunset—orange clouds with pink streaks against purple mountains—left us with a lifetime memory.
—JIM AND LENDA SHERRELL, KNOXVILLE, TENN.
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