Travel letters: A caution on Mexico's Yucatán

Your Yucatán articles were fine, but any travel there should come with a warning ["Sweet Spots" by Jody Jaffe, May 31].

A few years ago I took my wife and kids to the Yucatán and traveled all over that peninsula on our own for about a month. (The Travel section should have mentioned the famous and incredibly tasty sausages of Valladolid.)


As we were driving through downtown Mérida, the police pulled us over. They searched our car for drugs (there weren't any), then detained us while trying to drum up some other bogus charge. One of them told me all our troubles would go away if I'd just allow them (there were four officers) to rape my wife. I pretended not to understand.

We eventually got out of this terrifying situation, but as you can imagine, it put a damper on our vacation.

We lived in Mexico City when our son was a baby, and I met some fine officers during that time. But your readers should understand that if you get into trouble in Mexico, going to the police might be the worst thing you could possibly do.

Mexico needs to make a lot of changes before we'll go back — and it used to be our favorite country to visit.

William Stout


I find it incredibly offensive that Avital Andrews is promoting venues that are tantamount to prisons as good places to take a baby while visiting Las Vegas ["Stroller-friendly Vegas," May 31].

Dolphins in Vegas? Talk about a fish out of water. What kind of learning experience is this for a child?

Tigers in a casino? Really?

Las Vegas is the most unnatural environment for almost every living species, humans included.

Andrews' desire for easy entertainment for her baby comes at the expense of beautiful living creatures.

Here's a suggestion for her: Read to your child. Play with your child. Teach your child to swim.

Note to families visiting Las Vegas: If you can't find suitable and non-exploitative entertainment for you and your children, perhaps this is a sign that you should stay home.

Wendy Ledner



The Travel section missed the finest cemetery in the country — Green-Wood in Brooklyn, N.Y. It is a National Historic Landmark. Many famous people are buried there. Green-Wood is a living cemetery, not just one to wander around in search of tombstones. It includes architecture, statues and Tiffany glass windows. Many community events are staged there, including the Memorial Day celebration, which is spectacular. Overlooking New York Harbor, Green-Wood is the historic site of the Battle of Long Island in 1776. It is also an arboretum and bird sanctuary. Tram rides, lectures and other events during the year are conducted. Here is its website:

As a genealogy addict, I can attest to this being a well-cared-for and cherished place.

Barbara Bodden


To Len Frank of West Los Angeles [Letters, May 24] regarding "On a Roll" of May 10: Access to the new Cuba probably won't include any visits to Guantanamo, where you can be housed not only at no cost for years on end but also without charge and without access to the outside world. If you support freedom at home, you also should do so abroad.

Michael Clarke

West Hollywood

Ed Schoch complained [Letters, May 31] about "Un-businesslike" seating in business class on an Air France flight from Paris to Madrid. I have flown British Airways several times in business class between London and a Western European city. I have always encountered the same faux business-class seating arrangement — three across on either side of the aisle with the middle seat blocked — but the same seat width and pitch as coach. At least BA served delicious smoked salmon sandwiches with afternoon tea. I suggest Schoch check out before booking business class for short-haul flights in Europe.

Mary-Lynne Fisher

La Crescenta

Couldn't agree more about how frustrating it can be searching for the best deals on the Internet ["New Barriers and Help in Fare Searches," by Catharine Hamm, May 31]. Solution? Call your travel agent. Some of us who have been in the business a long time, 30 years in my case, actually know things not found on the Internet.

We still answer the phone and most times will cheerfully offer our knowledge and experience at no extra charge.

Those still not convinced, I advise to search the Internet and when you're done banging your head against the wall, then give us a call.

To paraphrase the tag line for the movie "Alien": "In cyberspace, no one can hear you scream."

Mark Anderson

Adventure Vacations

La Jolla