A baby menu containing, among other things, a cottage- cheese daiquiri was introduced by the upscale Boca Raton (Fla.) Resort & Club.

Chef James Reaux with his favorite menu-testers, Hunter Reaux, left and Haley Reaux. 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 popular item.

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 country's religious


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 Elke Herzog.

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 creative.

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 Dublin.

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 hurricanes.

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 Fort Lauderdale.

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 before.

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.

Victoria Monument, London.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 peculiarities.

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