The Black Cat and the Bermuda Triangle

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Cool Cat Phil

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The door closed right on noon, and we were in the air by 12.30. Our flight attendant came around for drink orders; something to sip while they took our meal orders. I started with a baileys in ice while munching on warm nuts and perusing the menu.

I chose to start with garlic bread and the Pinot Grigio, and the coconut chicken soup.

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For mains I had the chicken and polenta, and the Pinot noir (which I found a little sharp).

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Finished off with a chocolate lava cake and the dessert semillion.

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The food onboard VA international Business class looks absolutely top notch !
( And that comment is coming from someone who is a avid, locked in QF/OW customer).
Looks delicious!
 

blackcat20

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Doubletree Houston Downtown

Not having stayed in a Doubletree before I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Turns out there were a few hits, and a few misses too. Check in was friendly and efficient; I was given all the schedules for Quilt market as it was one of the official hotels. However, the hotel was full so no upgrade for this HH Gold. A warm cookie was gratefully and we headed to our room on level 5. I failed to take a photo, however it looked like this stock image, but with a less impressive view.


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The hotel has HHonors floors, but we were not put on one, and it would have been nicer to be higher as per my preferences. Housekeeping was a bit of a miss. One day I returned to a made up bed but with all the pillows on the floor. And our last day, they turned up at 5pm when we were in the midst of sorting suitcases for our flights the following morning. No fresh glasses either; used glasses remained where we left them.

Breakfast in the restaurant was suitable, with vouchers provided by reception. For a four night stay where I spent every waking minute at the convention centre it was more than suitable.

Downtown Houston on the other hand...lucky I was so busy, as the only shop to be found was Forever 21, and that's it. They even bulldozed Macy's... I thought I'd been organised booking dinner for our last night, but when it took 45 minutes to get a glass of wine, then 90 minutes in being advised that they'd run out of our wine AND our food, I was starting to wonder. When the wow tress suggests you go elsewhere, you know you've got a problem. Lucky they had salads (and a more proactive waitress) so get us through.
 

blackcat20

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The food onboard VA international Business class looks absolutely top notch !
( And that comment is coming from someone who is a avid, locked in QF/OW customer).
Looks delicious!
The chicken was a tad dry. The lamb cutlets were really nice (pinched a bite from someone else).
 

blackcat20

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AA1383 IAH-DFW MD80 seat 3B
This was my very first time in an MD80, and by all reports I should be glad I wasn't down the back. The flight departed on time, and was a relatively short one. We were offered a pre-departure drink (juice or water), then the snack basket came around during the flight.

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AA1462 DFW-MIA A321S Seat 1A
A lovely new plane with in-seat IFE. However we were not offered a pre-departure drink on this flight.

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The door closed and we departed the gate 5 minutes ahead of schedule. After take off we elected to drink sparkling wine (though they seem to call it champagne). Turns out they only loaded bottles and by the time our meal was being served, we'd drunk them dry...

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I had pre-ordered my meal; the beef enchilada. Not the best I've had but passable as an inflight meal. Enjoyed with a glass of Californian merlot.

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And of course, finished off with a chocolate chip cookie. I thought our flight crew on this leg was pretty good; they had a hiccup with one of the ovens and dealt with it well, were attentive and the right amount of friendly.

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blackcat20

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AA 308 MIA-BDA 737-800 Seat 3B
Priority boarding worked perfectly again and we were amongst the first onboard again. As we settled into our seats were were offered a pre-departure orange juice.

Up in the air we were offered a drink. I asked for sparkling and our slightly more mature and absent minded FA produced a glass of white wine with ice cubes :shock:
Easily corrected and she produced sparkling and warm nuts.

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Dinner was chicken with a tomato sauce. Not fabulous but passable. And of course there was a warm cookie.

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Lovely sunset as we crossed the ocean to bermuda.

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Bermuda is a bit like OOL; stairs are wheeled out and the airport is tiny. I was first in line at customs/immigration and we were done in minutes, and promptly in a cab to our accomodation.
 

serfty

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Mmmmm. Warm cookie....
Not the hot cookie of pre Sept 1, 2014 and years gone by (which was dough baked on board); currently it's a warmed cookie - often dry (although there are rumors the baked on board are to return [due to complaints]).
 

TomVexille

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Not the Hot cookie of pre Sept 1, 2014 and years gone by (which was dough baked on board); currently it's a warmed cookie - often dry (although there are rumors the baked on board are to return [due to complaints]).

That's disappointing. I've only ever had the baked on board cookies and the build your own sundae.
 
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docjames

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Warmed cookie on PHL-DFW and DFW-LAX for me. No sundae.

Ice cream on LAX-PHL (on US).

Rest of food (meal on each leg) was fine (without being anywhere near "fine dining"!).
 

TomVexille

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Warmed cookie on PHL-DFW and DFW-LAX for me. No sundae.

Ice cream on LAX-PHL (on US).

Rest of food (meal on each leg) was fine (without being anywhere near "fine dining"!).

I feel like the sundae is a transcon and international thing.
 

blackcat20

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It cookie was warm and moist. I have no complaints.

Minor heart attack in check in for our transcon when we were told there had been an equipment change and we had lost our seats. Same plane type, but our upgrade was 'coach to business'!! :shock: Luckily we had a great agent who dug further and saw that we were actually meant to be in F, and even got us back our original seats.
 

JohnM

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Hmm, I'm going to be howled down here I think, but I never bother with the cookies. Absolutely full of sugar - err, make that corn syrup - and so, so sickly - yuk! Typical LOTFAP grossness IMHO. Disgusting! The FAs always seem surprised when I reject them. Aaahhh, LOTFAP - nuthin' like it!
 

straitman

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Hmm, I'm going to be howled down here I think, but I never bother with the cookies. Absolutely full of sugar - err, make that corn syrup - and so, so sickly - yuk! Typical LOTFAP grossness IMHO. Disgusting! The FAs always seem surprised when I reject them. Aaahhh, LOTFAP - nuthin' like it!
Howl, howl, howl :!:
 

docjames

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I feel like the sundae is a transcon and international thing.

Well it was two scoops in a nice glass but not a "sundae" as no toppings or anything. Cookies and cream flavour.
 

TomVexille

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Well it was two scoops in a nice glass but not a "sundae" as no toppings or anything. Cookies and cream flavour.

That's definitely not it. But you say that you were on US, who don't serve the AA sundae as far as I know.
 

Princess Fiona

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That's definitely not it. But you say that you were on US, who don't serve the AA sundae as far as I know.

Agree it can't be. The AA Sundae is a thing of beauty. Ben &Jerry's with custom toppings and sauces served from the trolley.
It of course has zero calories as its eaten at 34000 ft :D
 

TomVexille

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Agree it can't be. The AA Sundae is a thing of beauty. Ben &Jerry's with custom toppings and sauces served from the trolley.
It of course has zero calories as its eaten at 34000 ft :D

Couldn't have put it better ;)
 

blackcat20

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BermudaWe took a taxi to our Air BnB accommodation, arriving 30 minutes after we had arrived in the country. Our host showed us around the house and gave us all the info we would need to see Bermuda for the one full day we were there. Then it was shower and bed.


Next morning we were up and ready to hit the beach. Unfortunately we missed the shortcut and ended up taking an almost 4km long-cut. But it see nice to see the area and the little cove we swam in was well worth it. We also missed the shortcut on the return, but found a second slightly hillier one which cut down our return time.

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Once we had changed, we headed out to catch the bus into Hamilton. The buses run every 15 minutes, and it was a half hour trip into town. First port of call was lunch, at a restaurant/bar called Muse. The food was adequate, but the gratuity was compulsorily added to the bill which rubs me the wrong way (and I'm more than happy to tip in the states). No change was offered.

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After lunch we went for a wander around town, including a tour of the Hamilton Fire Station.

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Then a little more wandering before settling into the local Irish pub for a few beverages and a lovely view across the water.

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With a hankering for Italian food and a little look on TripAdvisor, we found Portofino around the corner. It was like stepping into a little restaurant in Italy. We enjoyed a lovely Sangiovese and for myself some ricotta ravioli with bolognese sauce.

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Then it was back to the house to ready for our flight out in the morning.
 
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