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November 09, 2008|Susan Spano, Jane Engle and Pete Thomas and Hugo Martin

French accent on Mexico's Market

Mexico says hola to master chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, above, whose latest culinary venture, Market, opened this month at the luxurious One & Only Resort Palmilla in San Jose del Cabo. Market, which replaces a more formal restaurant run by Chicago-based chef Charlie Trotter, retains the same ultra-stylish and imaginative fare as other Vongerichten eateries, including the Jean-Georges in New York City. There's a Gallic touch, stemming from the chef's Alsatian French upbringing, crossed with accents from the Far East. At Market, he adds Mexican twists to the menu: corn ravioli, marinated cherry tomatoes and basil fondue appetizer and roasted veal chop with chipotle glaze. Suviche, a Vongerichten raw fish bar, and 13 new beachfront casitas, also just opened. Info: 011-52-624-146-7000, www.oneandonlyresorts.com.

-- Susan Spano

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Ski season lifts off

Storms that brought rain to Southern California last weekend dropped snow in the Eastern Sierra. Mammoth Mountain ski resort opened Monday -- 10 days earlier than scheduled -- with just one run and one chairlift, but was expected to open "top-to-bottom" by now. Early-season lift tickets cost $52 for adults, $39 for teens and $26 for children and seniors. Boreal opened Thursday with more than a foot of snow and discounted lift ticket prices of $30 for adults and $15 for children 5 to 12. Info: Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort, (800) MAMMOTH (626-6684), www.mammothmountain.com; Boreal Mountain Resort, (530) 426-3666, www.borealski.com.

-- Jane Engle and Pete Thomas

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Delta adds bag fees

Delta Air Lines, one of the last holdouts on fees for the first bag, last week started charging $15 for the first bag and $25 for the second one each way on domestic flights for travel on or after Dec. 5. The good news: If you're a two-bag traveler, you'll actually pay less under Delta's new policy. That's because, until now, you paid $50 for the second checked bag and nothing for the first. And of course, high-mileage frequent fliers and customers who pay premium fares are exempt. Here are more Delta changes: SkyMiles and WorldPerks members no longer pay fuel surcharges of $25 to $100 on award tickets originating from the U.S. and Canada. Phone sales: You'll pay a fee of $20 instead of $25 to buy tickets or redeem award travel by phone. Curbside check-in: Starting Dec. 5, Delta will stop charging a $3 "administrative fee" for this service. (Please remember to tip the skycap.) Coach Choice seats: You pay $5 to $25 to get desirable seats, such as those in bulkhead, exit-row and forward-cabin locations. Premium fliers can get these for free. Info: www.delta.com

-- Jane Engle

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Rough and ready case

Worried about your luggage getting damaged? The Pelican 1510 Laptop Overnight Case -- just the right size for a weekend excursion -- is crush-proof, waterproof and dust-proof. It's made of thick polyurethane and includes a cushioned pocket to hold a laptop computer and comes with a retractable extension handle and wheels. It fits into most overhead compartments and comes in black, desert tan and olive-drab green. We stomped on it, tossed it down a staircase and doused it in a shower; it passed all our tests. The drawbacks: It weighs 13.6 pounds -- more than twice the weight of typical overnight suitcases -- and has a manufactured suggested retail price of $361. (You can buy it online for as little as $130.) Go to www.amazon.com and www.bh photovideo.com; to find a retailer near you, go to www.pelican.com.

-- Hugo Martin

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For more Travel news, go to latimes.com/travelblog.

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