A baby menu containing, among other things, a cottage- cheese
daiquiri was introduced by the upscale Boca Raton (Fla.) Resort
The resort expects to broaden its appeal to families with such a
menu because parents won't feel compelled to shlep along so much of
their own baby food.
During a press luncheon in New York, John Tolbert, vice
president of sales and marketing, observed that until recently, few
families with infants vacationed at the property. Now, about 10% of
the guests bring along babies.
James Reaux, the resort's executive chef, is responsible for the
hotel's ability to carve out a niche for this market. He started
preparing the same dishes for hotel guests that he created at home
for his own 1- and 3-year-old children. The baby menu is available
in several hotel restaurants and from room service.
What's in the cottage-cheese daiquiri? It is a blend of vanilla
yogurt, crushed pineapple, small-curd cottage cheese, apple juice,
coconut syrup and crushed ice. Banana teething biscuits are another
Do you know me?
Have you ever noticed the cardholder names on American Express
cards pictured in ads? In the U.S., for example, the name C. F.
Frost is often used, and during a trip to Turkey, we saw the
cardholder name Evren Yansel on an American Express billboard.
Was this name carefully composed or selected to reflect the
An American Express spokeswoman told us that, internationally,
individual marketing departments use a computer database of
cardholders to find a name that doesn't exist on a card.
But sometimes, she said, a name is chosen less scientifically.
For example, in Germany, there are ads featuring the cardholder
It turns out this was the real-life name of a secretary for a
top American Express executive in that country.
So who is Evren Yansel, and what qualifies him as the John Doe
of Asia Minor? No one at American Express, in either Istanbul or
New York, could seem to remember.
FIT to be tied
After the ASTA World Travel Congress in Strasbourg, France, a
colleague of Insider's had weekend plans in Dublin.
With no easy and inexpensive route from Strasbourg to Dublin,
our friend (he was on his own nickel) was forced to get a little
He boarded a 9:53 a.m. train out of Strasbourg to Paris, and the
train arrived on schedule, at 1:55.
The station was just a couple of blocks from the Gare du Nord,
but he had two medium-size pieces of luggage and a laptop computer
in tow. At the Gare du Nord, he hopped a 3:10 train to
Persan-Beaumont, a little town north of Paris.
At that station, there was a quick jaunt across the tracks to
meet a connecting train to Beauvais, a slightly larger little town
north of Paris.
Arriving in Beauvais at 4:57 -- 20 minutes late, according to
the train schedule -- he had precisely 53 minutes to get to the
Beauvais Airport in time to catch its $51.25 RyanAir flight to
Thankfully, cabs were waiting, and our friend arrived at the
airport, which looked a lot like a post office, on time.
Once aboard the open-seating flight, he was asked to buy snacks,
drinks, duty-free goods and even a calling card, but Flight 27B
arrived in Dublin right on time.
Our friend had completed the Strasbourg-Dublin journey in 10
hours. His flight back to New York took seven.
Key locked in
We were in Key West recently, where we learned from a cabdriver
that there are local conditions in some ways as fearsome as
If you live and work in Key West, you must pray that none of
your friends or relatives up north dies or becomes seriously ill
during the peak winter season, he said.
The reason: There are no seats left for the locals on the
regional carriers linking Key West with Miami, Tampa, Orlando and
Should there be a no-show and a seat becomes available, the
walk-on fare is enough to bring on your own coronary.
Most people, he said, simply drive the 160 miles to Miami
Airport and then fly out.
Reason not the need
Traveling in foreign countries always is rewarding, even if the
reward is simply gaining an insight that hadn't occurred to you
On a recent trip to London, Insider made a daily habit -- for no
particular reason -- of walking to Buckingham Palace and sitting on
the steps of the Victoria Monument, the centerpiece of the
roundabout in front of the palace.
One day, we arrived only to find that
the monument was closed, surrounded by a three-foot fence. We asked
a passerby if he knew why the monument was off-limits.
No, he replied, giving us a look that might have said, "Why
would you ask such a question, anyway?" It occurred to us that our
need to know was a peculiarly American thing:
It's closed? Fine. But why? We wanna know.
Perhaps the monument always is closed to the public on the third
Sunday following the second full moon of autumn, or if the fog
doesn't lift by noon that day, or if the chief palace guard sneezes
in the queen's presence.
We walked away, chuckling, thinking of the puzzled look on the
passerby's face. We Yanks might not have standing stone circles or
Dame Edna Everage, but that doesn't mean we're without our