The Hawaii issue [Oct. 21] was excellent and apparently awoke some memories of an adventure almost 50 years ago. At the end of my third year of college in June 1963 and being close to collegiate burnout, I got a job through an old friend at the Ala Moana shopping center [in Honolulu] selling women's shoes. Those six months were probably the best times of my life. I managed to surf almost every day and was in the best shape ever. But most of all, I appreciated being in one of the most beautiful places on the planet. As ironic as it sounds, I never wore Hawaiian shirts then, but I have a closet full of them now. Thanks so much for removing the mental cobwebs from my youth in paradise.
They heart Bentonville
I am a senior at Bentonville High School (and a lifelong resident) and just read the article on my town ["A Portrait of Change" by Christopher Reynolds, Oct. 14]. He captured the spirit of Bentonville perfectly.
The addition of Crystal Bridges has rejuvenated Bentonville. When I come back from college to visit my parents, I'm guessing I'll barely recognize the town. I love that Bentonville is finally growing, I love being a part of it and I love Bentonville.
It was most gratifying to see some "ink" on northwestern Arkansas, an area that is sadly ignored by most travelers on both coasts. I visited the area for a very interesting week a couple years ago and found, to my surprise, that the locals were impressed to see someone from L.A. spending time in their own backyard. Indeed, to call this area "flyover" country is to miss experiencing a down-home, modest, yet intriguing section of mid-America that is surprisingly affordable and memorable.
Playa del Rey
Safety fears in Tunisia? Bah!
I recently returned from a trip to Tunisia. My friend and I decided to go despite the State Department warning against travel there. Our tour group turned out to be three women, all over 65.
We toured all areas of Tunisia and never had any concerns about our safety. We saw wonderful Roman ruins and also experienced other aspects of Tunisian culture. Our hotels were first rate.
I would encourage anyone thinking about a trip to Tunisia to go for it.
I fully agree with Mark Anderson's letter "Look the Other Way" [Oct. 14] about caution when crossing streets in foreign countries.
When I worked in Qantas reservations in Sydney many years ago, I heard a commotion at one end of the room. A girl was in tears. She had carefully worked out an itinerary for an Australian woman, and they had developed a good relationship. But the woman was killed on the first leg of the journey when she automatically looked right instead of left as she crossed into the street.
Taking a gamble
Regarding the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the Sept. 30 letter from Rancho Bernardo's Bonnie Hilberg is revealing. She always gets "comped rooms" at MGM, but during a recent visit was charged $20 "plus tax" a night.
That MGM now offers "Stay Well" rooms for an extra $30 a night [Need to Know, "Health Buffs, Vegas' MGM Grand Awaits," Oct. 14] should give readers pause. Does the hotel charge a "resort fee" plus tax each night on top of the $30?
Rooms that feature "vitamin-C infused" showers and "advanced air purification" and "water filtration systems" sound lovely, but what happens when guests get the urge to gamble or swim in the hotel's chlorinated pool? Do they go from being well to unwell?