It's called "Changing Wheels," a deal whereby...

Times Travel Editor

It's called "Changing Wheels," a deal whereby U.S. RV owners can switch rigs with others overseas. Loads of opportunities in Britain where the company is based. Other possibilities in Canada, Australia, New Zealand. There's a $40 fee for joining. Covers the cost of a directory with names of RV owners taking part in operation switch. Only don't send money, the operator advises. Wait until after you get other details from Changing Wheels c/o C.W. House, 84 Fallowcourt Ave., London N12 OBG, England. If you can figure a deal, it could make for a cheap vacation. No rent. Only an airline ticket between you and a spin down the open road in some foreign country.

New Orleans

Bill Prentiss, the ex-manager of New Orleans' popular little Maison de Ville in the French Quarter, has switched to the Grenoble House, a small, all-suite hotel a block off Bourbon Street. This is a wedding together of three town houses that date from 1834. "More like a country inn," says Prentiss. Seven suites with kitchens. A swimming pool, Jacuzzi, a couple of landscaped courtyards. Prentiss promises sweet silence. "Even our street-side rooms are quiet," he says. Croissants, orange juice and coffee for breakfast. Bottled water in the refrigerator. Matched glassware. Rates start at $85 a day. Grenoble House, 329 Dauphine St., New Orleans, La. 70112. (Only a block or so from several fine restaurants--Arnaud's, Galatoire's, Antoine's.)

Nassau's Small Hotel

Mary Ann Barnes of Marina del Rey wants the name of a "friendly, inexpensive hotel in Nassau." My vote goes for Nettie Symonette's cheerful little Casuarinas Hotel on Cable Beach. Nettie is a handsome, gracious, gregarious Bahamian lady who makes it her business to see that her guests enjoy themselves. This is a family-operated hotel. Small. Personalized service. A couple of swimming pools, two restaurants, a bar. Accommodations range from studios to two-bedroom apartments with their own kitchens. Your travel agent can book you or call toll-free (800) 432-5594. Casuarinas Hotel, P.O. Box N-4016, Nassau, Bahamas.

Alaska

Anyone who is planning a trip to Alaska would do themselves a favor by getting a copy of "The Milepost Travel Guide." Nearly 500 pages of information on our northern state. Tells all about cruising, motoring, camping, hotels, sightseeing. An excellent buy for $12.95. If it isn't available in your bookstore, write to the Alaska Northwest Publishing Co., 130 2nd Ave. S., Edmonds, Wash. 98020. (Include an extra buck for postage.)

For the Disabled

Help for the disabled is the theme of a newsletter published by Mariam Allen-Brownson, who won't let her own handicap slow her down (she's wheelchair ridden). With co-publisher Mary F. Smith, Allen-Brownson puts out her quarterly newsletter to stimulate travel among other disabled would-be travelers. In a recent issue she told how she learned to ski! Subscriptions to LTD Travel cost $15 a year for the four issues. Or you can get a sample copy for $2. Allen-Brownson promises to refund your money if you aren't satisfied. Write to LTD Travel, 116 Harbor Seal Court, San Mateo, Calif. 94404.

Connecticut for Romantics

Marcie Thomas of Van Nuys is planning a trip to Connecticut. Says she's looking for "romantic inns and restaurants" and asks "any recommendations?"

Last fall I stopped by The Golden Lamb Buttery at Hillandale Farms in Pomfret Center. I said at the time: "Were I a honeymooner I'd go no farther."

The Golden Lamb is a restaurant that operates out of an old barn. Lots of antiques, a pond out front and an inn out back. Sheep graze in the pastures. Guests go on hayrides during the cocktail hour. Later they dine by candlelight. Lots of hanging plants, romantic melodies. One of those very special places. Not cheap, but not outrageous either. Besides, if you're a romantic it's worth it. For reservations call (203) 774-4423.

Here's another: The Griswold Inn, 48 Main St., Essex, Conn. The Gris has been operating continuously since 1776. Seven dining rooms, guest accommodations with brass beds, country wallpaper. And a pretty village to boot. For reservations telephone (203) 767-0991.

Reader Recommendations

Fallbrook, Calif.--June Le May, Palm Springs: "Enjoyed the quiet atmosphere and excellent cuisine of Le Bistro restaurant, Jackson Square, 119 N. Main St., Fallbrook, Calif. 92028."

Carmel, Calif.--Jackie Pickell, San Diego: Praises Tuck Box English tearoom, Dolores Street between Ocean and 7th Avenue in Carmel. "English decor, a quaint tiny tearoom."

Napa Valley, Calif.--Arlene Rogers, Santa Monica: Praises a B&B; named Hospitality House, 4455 Linda Vista Ave., Napa, Calif. "Wine and cheese in the afternoon, continental breakfasts, maps of the area. Twin-bedded room for two was $58 or there are queen rooms for $48 plus tax. We loved it!"

Ireland--Ruth Palmberg, La Habra Heights, Calif.: Recommends the Rosemount B&B;, Dublin Road, Dundalk, Ireland. "Extremely clean, excellent breakfast, $21 for two."

Switzerland--Mary Harrington, Canoga Park: Praises the Hotel Mauvoisin, CH 1931 Mauvoisin, Valais, Switzerland. "Charming little inn built in 1862. . . . Has rustic rooms . . . beautiful views . . . down comforters. The proprietor is offering a one-week "safari" with room, all meals and eight hours each day in the mountains with an experienced guide, including one overnight in a cabin for $219 per person." The regular room rates are $22 double, delicious meals $7."

Canada--Phyllis and Stanley Vernon, Marina del Rey: "A beauty of a B&B;, 404 MacBeth Crescent, West Vancouver, B.C. V7T 1V7. A swimming pool, wooded glen with a sparkling stream. Cost: $25 for a double."

Canada--Arthur H. Brownell, Huntington Beach: "A delightful bed-and-breakfast home in the best location of British Columbia, 30 White Eagle Terrace, Nanaimo, B.C. V9S 3C6. Cost was $35 for two."

Germany--Kenneth R. Klofkorn, Irvine: Recommends the pension Salzburger Hof, A0-5530 Fuschl Am See 88, Austria. "Costs only about $15 U.S. for a single room with all facilities, a full breakfast."

Germany--John Kelcher and Kathy Smith, Huntington Beach: Enjoyed a bed and breakfast at Zeppelinstrasse 37, D-8000 Munich, Germany. "Great location, super breakfast and service. English spoken. 100 marks with public bath, 120 marks with private bath."

England--Janet E. Grant, Laguna Hills: "Cruise the Thames between Windsor and Oxford for six nights on the Actief. The food is fabulous, the crew great and just enough sightseeing and relaxation for an ideal vacation. Call toll-free (800) 221-3140."

England--Grace Stanley, Santa Barbara: "Just returned from England. Spent five days in beautiful Devon. A centuries-old farmhouse hotel on Highway A382 between Moreton Hampstead and Bovey Tracey and near the little town of Lustleigh. The post office address is East Wrey Barton and the telephone is Lustleigh 06477-338. Good accommodations, outstanding meals."

England--Helen and Alan Budin, Granada Hills: Enjoyed Gray Friar Lodge, Highway A593, Brathay, Ambleside, Cumbria, England. "This is in the Lake District. A large stone house on a hillside with a gorgeous view of the countryside. Gourmet cooking. Bed-and-breakfast rates from 10 to 15 pounds."

Mexico--Lloyd Peter Oliphant, Los Angeles: High praise for a "unique little cafeteria" named Me Gusta in Puerto Vallarta. "Alberto Reyes (the owner) has his own water purifier, so you can drink the water and eat the vegetables from the salad bar. The cafeteria is on the street level, with a balcony upstairs overlooking the busy street and surf. Address: 824 Paseo Diaz Ordaz."

Readers: Your recommendations should contain the addresses of hotels, inns, restaurants, as well as prices whenever possible. (Please print or type.)

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