Here's a new guest-room amenity that popped up on a press release touting a Caribbean resort: adjustable air conditioning.

What's the big deal? Ask anyone whose extremities have been frostbitten in the middle of the night in a hotel room in the tropics. Many air conditioners we've encountered in the islands operate on two speeds only: Off and Freeze.

These units' Arctic blasts are usually aimed directly at the shivering victim cowering under light blankets at the far end of the bed. The fixed air vents do not permit any adjustment of either direction or wind velocity.

The only thing to do is move out of harm's way, which usually reduces the victim to sleeping either in the closet or huddled up on the bathroom floor.

Of course, there should be the option of shutting the unit off and opening the window, but some newer hotels have rooms that are hermetically sealed, and some older properties consider bug repellent and window screens unnecessary amenities.

So the benefits of adjustable air conditioning is welcome news. We hope it catches on.

Toll-house blues

Not long ago, while visiting a relative, Insider stayed at a Doubletree hotel in Plymouth Meeting, Pa. (That's right: Plymouth Meeting. You gotta problem with that?)

Bag of cookie mix.While gathering up our stuff to check out, we noticed that a coupon for freshly baked chocolate-chip cookies had been stuck in the envelope that came with our room keys.

When we tried to redeem the coupon, though, we got burned by the "freshly baked" part: That morning's batch of cookies was still in the oven. Not wanting to wait, we left and promptly forgot about the cookies.

A few weeks later, though, a friend whose sister works at a Doubletree brought us several of the chocolate chips, and after sampling them, we decided that the next time we're in Plymouth Meeting, we'll wait for the cookies -- traffic on the turnpike be damned.

First issues

Nov. 10 turned out to be more than just an average day for's chief executive officer, Richard Barton.

Richard and Susan Barton show off baby William Marcus.Expedia's stock was to begin trading for the first time that day, and it just so happened his wife went into labor that very morning.

As Expedia's stock skyrocketed, the Bartons greeted their first child, a boy.

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