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Sunday, March 6, 2005; Page P08

Cool Cat Island

I'M HEADED back in April for my fourth visit to Greenwood Beach Resort on Cat Island in the Bahamas ["One Cool Cat," Feb. 27]. When I first found it on the Internet, I thought it was too good to be true. Nope. It is a wonderful place.

The beach is extraordinary. The bar works on an honor system, and the evening's entertainment is fixing yourself a drink, having an hors d'oeuvre before dinner (conch fritters to die for) and talking to the other guests. Or take a stroll on the beach with nothing but the moon and the stars, and that's it. There is really nothing to do except swim, snorkel, dive -- that's why I love it.

A word on getting there: I've flown from Reagan National to Fort Lauderdale and then on to New Bight via Lynx, and I've flown into Nassau and taken Cat Island Air. Both work -- most of the time. Evening flights are sometimes canceled; schedules are approximate.The challenges of getting there are part of Cat's charm and is one reason, perhaps, why I have sometimes been the only person on Greenwood's amazing eight-mile beach.

Linda K. Moore


Veggie Travel

YOUR ARTICLE on vegetarian travel was excellent ["Would You Eat This Pig?," Feb. 20]. I loved your descriptions of eating in various parts of the world. I remember many meals of breaded and fried veggies in Hungary . . . and people in Albany, Ga., saying they didn't think they'd ever met a vegetarian. Some of my most delightful meals have been in Vietnam and England.

As you say, some areas of the world are more veggie-friendly than others. Recently in San Antonio and in Texarkana, it seemed that restaurant after restaurant had lard in the beans or a meaty broth in the rice.

Thanks again for the wonderful article and resources.

Antonia Balazs


ANDREA SACHS'S article was pertinent and helpful, not only to vegetarians and vegans, but anyone concerned about their health.

In my own experience, I have found that planning makes all the difference. In my early days as a vegan, I spent a miserable weekend in Chicago. My most vivid memory is of my stomach growling loudly as I wandered downtown in search of a place to eat.

Just a few weeks ago, my husband and I returned to Chicago and had a refreshingly different experience. A pre-trip Internet search revealed plenty of vegan-friendly restaurants a short train ride from downtown. We dined at Soul Vegetarian and the famous Chicago Diner, where a vegan milkshake and macaroni and cheese nearly brought tears to my eyes.

Vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants are out there -- sometimes, as Sachs writes, we just need to make the effort to find them.

Lindsay Pollard-Post

Holland, Mich.

THANK YOU for the informative article on vegetarian travel. May I recommend another fabulous location -- the Stanford Inn by the Sea in Mendocino, Calif. The inn sits on a hill overlooking its organic gardens, horse pastures, ponds and out to the Pacific Ocean. The executive chef provides divine vegetarian/vegan meals; my non-vegetarian husband was delighted with our six-course Valentine's Day dinner. And the included breakfasts were delicious. The inn can be reached at 800-331-8884. Happy munching.

Karen Van Eg

Great Falls, Va.

No Majority

THE FACT item in the Feb. 20 Travel section referred to 27 percent as being a majority. A "majority" is any amount exceeding 50 percent of the total number involved. Twenty-seven percent is a "plurality" -- or just say "the largest number."

Don Hirschfeld

Temple Hills

Getting to Philly

FOR THE budget-minded, or those who would rather spend their money on Philly's fantastic food scene, take the New Century bus (www.2000coach.com/dcphillyrt.html) to see the Dali show [On Exhibit, Feb. 20]. It costs $28 round trip, and is the same travel time, or less, as the alternatives. Bring a headset or ear plugs in case there are loud cell phone talkers or a video. Many people carry on snacks or full takeout meals.

Go to the toilet before the bus leaves. There are facilities on board but I wouldn't use them -- on any bus.

Purchase your ticket ahead of time on the Internet, arrive at the departure location at least 15 minutes early, and jump on the bus as soon as you can to secure a seat. They are frequently packed.

Mary E. Gallagher


San Francisco, Cont'd

HERE'S ONE MORE for your San Francisco article on tourist vs. local spots [Second Time Around, Feb. 13]. You can battle the tourists and buses while walking along a concrete path in the redwoods of Muir Woods National Park just across the Golden Gate Bridge; or you can venture south toward Santa Cruz and enter Big Basin Redwoods State Park.

At Big Basin, you can hike (and camp) miles of trails in a natural basin that retains the coastal moisture and provides an amazing setting of forest streams and waterfalls for the majestic redwoods. The rangers don't have to play traffic guard, there are more trees, they're just as big, and you won't wait in line to see them. I'll be back again this May!

Doug Brown


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