Monday, August 28, 2006


We've just returned from an action-packed two week holiday to the Netherlands where we had some family vacation time and caught up with Peanut's Dutch side of the family. I certainly should have given myself more credit in the weather forecasting department as it rained for the entire time! What a welcome relief from Texas - we missed out on the 17-day stretch of 100F days.

We chose to fly Continental airlines as they have a direct flight from Houston to Amsterdam which Peanut's papa & I had flown once before. It seems I don't hear as much about Continental as the other major carriers; they are a best-kept secret.

Service has been very good and delivered by happy flight attendents which can be in short supply nowadays. They keep the cabins VERY chilly during the flights, but I think it keeps the air feeling fresh and crisp. Somehow they even manage to keep the cabin and lavatories clean during the whole flight. All seats have private monitors with access to lots of inflight programming. And, they stress, free headseats and meals!

We'd requested bulkhead seats, but they are not confirmed until you check-in. In both directions we got our wish. Peanut was traveling with her carseat so she looked as comfy and cushy as anyone in First Class. Her carseat fit neatly into our Maclaren stroller so it was no problem getting it and her in it around the airports.

I also requested a child's meal for Peanut. What a bonanza! She was served chicken nuggets, green beans and potato croquettes -- with plenty of packets of ketchup! There were also several extra packages of crackers and cheese, a Twix bar, a granola bar, a yoghurt drink and a small salad. Continental provided the milk and I brought straws as otherwise Peanut would be sucking milk through tiny cocktail straws.

There is a mondo-sized lavatory onboard where you can barely reach the toilet paper from a sitting position. If we had wanted to, we could have fit our entire family in there. And, this was back in economy even....imagine what they have up in Business Class.....

The only thing Continental didn't have was goodies for the little ones. On earlier flights Peanut had gotten bibs, bear hand puppets (from Finnair), and rattles (from Lufthansa).

The heightened security alerts and ban on liquids was more of a hassle than anything for us. I would have liked to bring some drinks for Peanut, but those were quickly given by the flight attendents.

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