I once lived in the Alamogordo, N.M., area and agree with writer Anne Harnagel that its parched, gritty landscape can be a bit jarring to first-time visitors ["New Mexico Mexico Hideouts," May 20]. Indeed, a lush lawn, blooming flowers and towering trees are in short supply. But the desert has its own subtle beauty.
I used to lie in my backyard watching the International Space Station glide overhead, hundreds of miles above. Ninety minutes later it would return, having circumnavigated the world. Other unknown satellites also streaked across the sky in clear view. Priceless memories.
New Mexico's surprisingly charismatic state bird, the roadrunner, also entertained me. They warily avoided hungry coyotes, much to my amusement. A cartoon come to life.
The cuisine of southeastern New Mexico was a most refreshing contrast to my former rather bland Midwestern diet. Nothing beats authentic, tasty (New) Mexican food.
Playa del Rey
In-flight tale gains and loses altitude
I love it when Elliott Hester writes about actual experiences on an aircraft ["What You Say, or Don't, Can Land You in Trouble," Fly Guy, May 13].
Because he's a flight attendant it's more meaningful to me. It's amazing that someone would refuse to acknowledge the flight attendant and then say, "What's the big deal?" I love reading Travel and look forward to it each Sunday.
I read Hester's article and mentioned it to my wife. Of the man who didn't answer despite repeated attempts to converse, she said that it sounded like a petit mal seizure.
A relative of hers has had this type of seizure, and when it happens, she will stare blankly ahead, doesn't hear anyone calling her, and won't respond.
After a couple of minutes, she will snap out of it and not remember anything that happened over the previous few minutes.
There's no way you would be aware of someone experiencing a petit mal seizure unless you know someone who has experienced them. I doubt a traveler would put it into his or her profile.
If this happens again, when the person snaps out of it, ask the person if they are susceptible to these events. Who knows, maybe this person was just ignoring the flight attendants, or maybe it was a medical issue.
Another case of totally unacceptable airline behavior, or "we have the power." Did anyone ask him is he OK or if he has had a bad day? Just ignore the guy and get on with your day!