United States

Emergency Dental Work on Vacation

Thanksgiving was one heck of a vacation. I flew in late Tuesday night with my girlfriend and tons of luggage. We arrived at Albany International Airport at 7:08 PM, breezed through security and hopped in an Uber.  We rode to Price Chopper on Route 9 in Latham, NY, where we grabbed some quick snacks. Then, we sat down at JJ Rafferty’s Bar and Grill to have a quick dinner. Right after, we rented a scooter to drive to my parent’s house.  That was a mistake!  It’s too cold to be riding that right now. I could barely feel my hands with the wind whipping by.  We were making a lane change near 847 New Loudon Rd and some guy in a Camaro cut us off. I slammed on the brakes and we flipped off the scooter and rolled off the side of the road. As we were falling, my girlfriend hit her face on the handlebar and broke her tooth. We didn’t have any other injuries, but that one didn’t look good. She was in a lot of pain, so I started searching for an emergency dentist in Latham. That’s when I came across They were the only dentist office that offered emergency dental services around the clock, so I called them right away. The head dentist was able to see us at their office within 15 minutes of my call. After a quick mouth inspection, he informed my girlfriend that she would have to have her tooth extracted and would need to use an oral prosthesis going forward. The process to remove it was quick, although it looked like it still hurt, even with Novocain injections. Luckily, we have good insurance. Our dental co-pay was only $100 for a procedure like this.  The denture creation wasn’t something that could be done right away, so we came back on Saturday to discuss that. Overall, it was a very interesting Thanksgiving weekend. I feel lucky that Latham Dental Pros answered the phone on Tuesday night, and I don’t think I’ll be renting any more of those scooters any time soon.

United States

Restaurant Visit in New York City

My job requires me to travel a lot, so I fly all over the world.  Let me tell you what I saw when I was in New York City this past month.  I boarded the airplane and flew straight here non-stop with just two small bags and the clothes I wore.  When I arrived in New York, NY, I rented a car and drove it to my hotel.  Shortly after unpacking, I took a shower, got dressed, and went downstairs to the lobby in order to determine where I wanted to go for dinner.  NYC has many famous restaurants, so it was a tough decision.  I chose to eat at a franchise restaurant instead, PF Chang’s, because my friend John works there.  The meal was great, and after the restaurant closed for the night, my friend invited me to walk into the kitchen area to see the restaurant hood cleaning process.  It appeared to be very tedious work.  A company called Queens Hood Cleaning had 2 technicians pressure washing the vent hood and kitchen equipment with water and special chemicals to sanitize it.  After that, they installed a grease trap.  Apparently, a grease trap is a device that collects grease from cooking and catches it in a special compartment to prevent a clog in the drains or piping that connects to the sink.  John said that the Queens Hood Cleaning Pros are one of, if not the best NYC grease trap installation companies because they remove all the grease effectively, always perform quality work, and their pricing is low.  Whether their handling grease trap installation for a restaurant or scrubbing hoods, they are always timely and affordable.  It was very cool to see this work being performed in front of me because I’ve never experienced anything like this before.  If I didn’t already have a job, I’d consider this industry.

United States

Swimming Pool Inspiration from Florida

Have you ever chosen a hotel simply because of the amenities?  Think about what you do prior to planning a trip.  You have a general idea of the kind of experience you want; you might have a list in your head, or maybe you went so far as to write it down.  Whatever that list may be, you’re not going to book that hotel for you and your significant other unless it meets those requirements.  Believe it or not, swimming pools are one of the main amenities people simply must have.  And, as a pool builder, it’s important to study the designs and construction from the best pool companies you can find so you’re always at the top of your game.

The most impressively designed swimming pools I have ever seen are in Sarasota, Florida, so what better place to go and learn.  My pool construction company is only 7 guys, so it was pretty easy to book a trip to Sarasota and hang out for a few days to tour the sites and see some well-designed residential and commercial pools.  The first pool builder we met with was Sarasota Pool Builders, a local company with an impressive history of high quality construction in Florida.  Their contractors have built thousands of swimming pools across the region, varying in size from small oval shaped ones to huge water-park pools.  Their team met us at the airport and took us out to lunch first at Yoder’s Restaurant & Amish Village located at 3434 Bahia Vista St, Sarasota, FL 34239.

After lunch, we felt like relaxing a bit, so we drove to the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, which can be found at the following address: 811 S Palm AveSarasota, FL 34236-7726.  It was very cool because it had a huge variety of tropical plants, epiphytes, a koi pond, a rainforest, and a nice view of the bay; that part felt just like home!  We stayed at the botanical garden for about 2 hours before deciding to start our swimming pool tour.

Sarasota Pool Builders paid for a limo to drive us around to view their previous work.  Our first stop was Judy Anders, a local resident with a home on S Jefferson Ave.  Judy had a wide-open backyard and decided to have a figure-8 shaped pool built just beyond the patio.  The amount of detail was crazy.  The shape and design were absolutely flawless, with a set of stairs on the northwest corner of the pool and a ladder at the southwest corner.  The pool liner was a combination of blue and teal with a shell pattern that repeated in 4 foot chunks.  Outside the pool, their contractors had even installed custom lighting for added ambiance.  We’ve never seen anything quite like it.

After leaving Judy’s residence, we traveled to the Suncoast Technical College – Newtown Campus area in North Sarasota.  Jamie Parsons, a long-time resident lived next to the school and graciously offered us a tour of her backyard.  This residential monstrosity was nothing like the previous one we had seen.  I swear to you – the pool must have been 75 feet long and 30 feet across.  It started at 3 feet deep up top and went down to 13 feet in the deep-end. The coolest part about the pool was a luminous liner though.  The sun was going down when we arrived, and we got to see the swimming pool glow in the dark.

This whole trip was made possible by my friend and the owner at Sarasota Pool Builders, so we want to say thank you for allowing us the opportunity to visit.  We learned a lot and hope to take some of the creativity and design work back with us to apply in our own business.

New Zealand

Trip to the Paihia in New Zealand

Best Paihia Hotels in New Zealand

New Zealand has got to be got to be one of the most overlooked travel destinations due to its surreal beauty. It’s such a nice-looking place that even movies like the Lord of the of Rings were even filmed in Zealand. The cities might not be the brightest or with the tallest buildings, but it has some of the most beautiful landscapes that you will ever see. If you’re flying from North America or Europe, your flight is going to be very long, so be prepared. Here are 5 of the best hotels you can stay at for a great price, all able to booked through Travelocity.

Swiss Chalet Lodge Motel

This location is nice due to its convenient placement. You’ll notice that there are some small islands that you can go to that are right next to this motel. On top of that, there are places where you can park your car. Unlike other parking spaces, these parking spaces have a lot of space, almost guaranteeing that you won’t bump into anyone or anyone won’t bump into you. The building design is beautiful. It has a sense of structure, while still being unforgettable to your experience.  And it has a gorgeous swimming pool that was built last year.

The interior of the rooms is just as beautiful. You have warm and fluffy beds that were clearly intended for just one person but could easily fit two people on there. You also have a decent chunk of space if you want to get work done, lounge in the couch chair, or eat with your friends. If eating outside is something that you would like to do, there is also a lot of space for that. In case there’s an emergency, there’s a lot of space in the hallways and a fire extinguisher. You should be able to get a great price if you order at the right time.

Bed of Roses 

This hotel is in an area that is going to be a lot quieter than other places. It’s one of the best options for a hotel if you plan on renting a car for you time in Paihia. You’ll have a lot of space for you and whoever you’re traveling with to drive through. You’ll be able to ease into traffic because this area won’t be very busy at all. The plants are bright and vibrant, bringing in so much life and energy that will be reflective of whatever activities you’ll be doing on your trip.

The inside of the place that you will be staying at is truly a spectacle to marvel at. The design that’s on the inside feels like an actual house. Instead of just being a bland room with boring sheets, there are pillows with designs, flowers set up across the room and even art in some of the main rooms. The tables are already set up for you when you want to have Breakfast or Dinner with your family and friends. They even have classic board games such as chess, which is sure to sharpen your mind and keep you entertained.

Kingsgate Hotel Autolodge

This hotel is one of the bigger ones that you’re going to be staying at in Paihia regardless of what your plans are. You should be pleased to find out that it’s one of the best places to stay due to what it offers every customer. The best time to go to New Zealand would usually be the summer. This works out for your benefit because there is a pool that you can stay in the pool with your friends in. There are a lot of opportunities to go to the beach but there are more things that can go wrong. The pool can be a great secondary option in case the beach gets shut down or it wasn’t the experience that you thought it would be.

It’s a great place to be in if you plan on being there for multiple weeks. There’s a restaurant and bar in case you plan on staying there for a while. The food and drinks are great, and you should really give it a try even if you plan on trying other foods. Your rooms will also have air conditioning. It can get really hot outside when you’re in the middle of the summer. Having Air conditioning helps to makes things a lot more bearable.

The Retreat

This is one of the best prices for a hotel that you will ever receive in this area. It’s a bit smaller than the other options that you will have, but that likely means that you will have more privacy for you and whoever you decide to bring with you. The rooms may not have that much that stands out to impress you, but that also means that you have more opportunities to set it up for yourself. The views that you get are genuinely breathtaking. Generally, a hotel is not where people have memories, but there are some sights that you can only get in a hotel.

The is a spa for you and other to stay at. These are great places because not only are they relaxing. The staff has seen a lot of positive feedback of all the things that they have done for their guests. It’s one of the cleanest hotels that you will go to. After spending all that time out, a lot of people will just want to relax and not have to worry about stress. This hotel does one of the best jobs at alleviating that stress.

Sanctuary Palms

Sanctuary Palms is one of the best hotels if budget isn’t an issue for you. For one, it has a golf course, which can be very expensive to maintain. On top of that Golf courses are location specific, which is why there aren’t golf courses in Alaska or Antarctica. This should immediately put it on your priorities list if you are a player and had the need to constantly practice. The service is very incredible, the staff are incredibly friendly and offer a lot of support to all of their guests. You should have no problems with the staff.

On top of that there are kitchens in some of the rooms if you like to cook food. There are a lot of foods that belong to a specific area. Buying them at the store and then cooking them in your hotel is an experience in yourself. To many, food is just chemical energy and nutrition, but to others cooking is an art form and the hotel included a kitchen in some of the rooms to respect that. You get a luxurious experience that you just wouldn’t get with other hotels.

I couldn’t decide which hotel to stay at, so I tried a different one every day of the week.

Things to do in the Bay of Islands

Costal Kayaking

Kayaking is a great sport that encourages people to get into the water and lets them take a adventure. You get to take others with you so it’s not just yourself, you have those memories and experiences with others. That also means that if someone gets hurt, you will have someone to get help for you. In this specific case Kayaking in the Bay of Islands also lets you see some of the most beautiful sights that Paihia has to offer. You can even go in teams and compete against each other.

You will have guides that teach you a lot about the area. It suitable for most ages. As long as the person can play a sport, they are more than capable for kayaking. The guides are also full of energy and very helpful. The people who have been on the guides were surprised how much knowledge they had on the area and said some of their best time was spend there. It can even give you a workout, if you’re someone who needs to constantly be in peak physical condition.

Visit Tapeka Point Beach

The beach can always be a lot of fun regardless of what location you are in. What separates most beaches is how many people are at the particular location as well as the things that you can do at the location. This is one of the beaches where there aren’t going to be that many people at the location. That just means that you and your friends will mostly have the beach for yourself. This works out great if you are planning on playing any games or taking any fancy photos. In fact, the lighting can be incredible, so you owe it to yourself to take a few photos when you get the chance.

The views are also amazing. The sights are something that you can only see in Paihia. They showcase trees that you may never see again, really cementing it as an experience that truly sets it apart from the other places that you have visited. There are also some chairs if you and your significant other just want to relax together and just enjoy the sights of nature. The houses and hotels won’t be that far from the location so it’s a great option for everyone.

Take the sea shuttle to the Bay of Islands

The sea shuttle lets you see some great sights that you more than likely wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Some of the sights you may have seen in a photo if you went out of your way to see them, however, to get the full experience it is something that you need to see with your own two eyes. The staff are incredibly forgiving even if you happened to be a few minutes late, you can more than likely get there in time for the guide. The experience is a lot of fine and it will be one of the most fun experiences you have in New Zealand.

The tour may take 2 and a half to 3 hours. It’s a great time and there are a lot of people that can go on the shuttle at once. When you go on this shuttle it allows you to feel like you are interacting with the adventure and these places are actually there for you to explore. It’s something that you allowed to be laid back in, not something that you have to prepare hours for. It’s a lot of fun for everyone, including the guide who is educating you about these locations, You are going to be more informed on these locations by the time you get off the shuttle.

Check Out Action World

Action World is one of the most fun places in New Zealand. There are tons of rides that people can get a kick out of. It serves as an amusement center for all kinds of people during the summer. To get the full experience, the best time to go is the summer because you will get to experience all of the rides. On top of that, some of the hotels are going to be close there. If you happen to be staying close to Action World, it is a experience that you need to go to when you visit Paihia.

If you like water slides, this center has some of the longest water slides that you will ever ride. It’s almost like going to a state fair and seeing all the rides that you can have fun on. There are also a lot of mini games that you owe it to yourself to play. You should go to all of the rides, give them a chance, and have fun on your own.

Waitangi golf course

Golf can be one of the most relaxing sports regardless of your physique or experience. Regardless of who you are, golf is made to test your skill and not if you have a certain body type. You can compete with your friends to see who will win on the course. Part of what makes a golf course so enjoyable is going to those courses on a bright day with all of your equipment. Whether you’re traveling in a golf cart or just walking with your bag, those are what cement this sport as memorable. The options that you must use for clubs are almost endless.

There are some genuinely breathtaking views that you should see at least once if you’re a golf player. It’s a course that the most casual of players can have fun with and a lot of work is put in maintaining this course. For golf, it is recommended that you play in the earlier hours of the morning, that’s not only when you’ll play the best, but is also when the outside will look the best.

After a long trip in New Zealand, it’s time for a trip back to the United States.  The US was my original home and I loved visiting New York, Florida, and some of the other areas where my friends still live.