Fenwick Island, Delaware

Woman Makes Scene in Restaurant Over Spilled Wine

This image shows a white wine glass (WMF Easy)...

This image shows a white wine glass (WMF Easy) with white wine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wednesday night, we dined at Nantuckets in Fenwick Island, Del. As we enjoyed our meal we saw a waiter, who appeared about 20-years old, trip and spill a glass of white wine on a lady at the next table. The waiter looked terrified as the lady ranted about the wine. My husband said to the woman that at least it wasn’t red wine hoping that she would stop berating the waiter.

The woman complained and the manager visited her table. Customers in our dining room made eye contact and smirked at the irate woman. I suspected that her overreaction was a scam to get a free dinner or maybe free meals for her table.

As I watched this minor incident, I remembered how my husband reacted on two occasions when someone poured a large glass of red wine on him — and no it wasn’t me. On both occasions we laughed and he ensured that the person who spilled the wine did not feel guilty over an accident.

On the positive side, the woman’s behavior provided entertainment to the patrons in our dining room.

Self Storage Plus and Von Paris — Great Customer Service

Self Storage Plus Units

Self Storage Plus Units (photo by dorothyadele)

My daughter needed temporary storage for her furniture when she changed her residence. Von Paris picked up her furniture and delivered it to a Self Storage Plus facility in Timonium, Md. The Von Paris  employees were efficient, clean cut and polite. It amazed me how methodically they stacked her furniture in a 5×10 storage unit. They stacked a queen bed (mattress and box spring) long dresser, mirror, office chair, futon,  night stand

5X10 Storage Unit

5X10 Storage Unit (photo by dorothyadele)

and boxes in the unit. They left room  for additional storage.

Nick Calvert at Self Storage Plus literally walked us through the process and left nothing to chance.  Prior to the Von Paris truck arriving, Nick took us to the truck entrance,  we entered our code and he took us to our unit. He ensured that we knew how to lock the unit properly.  His demeanor and expertise relieved our stress.  The move went smoothly. I would highly recommend Self Storage Plus and Von Paris for moving and storage.  

Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay

Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort — Luxury and Comfort

We recently attended a party on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and spent the night in Cambridge, Maryland at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort Marina and Spa.

Upscale amenities, attractive-curb appeal and excellent service and hospitality classify it as a luxury hotel with a four diamond rating by the AAA .

When we entered the hotel, the receptionist welcomed us with a glass of cranberry juice and champagne. (This is one of my favorite holiday drinks– sometimes called a poinsettia.) She was personable, knowledgeable and efficient as she answered our questions and directed us to our room.

After checking in, we sipped a drink in Michener’s Library (named after James Michener who wrote Chesapeake). Two stone fireplaces flank the spacious lounge giving it a warm, cozy feeling. Large windows offer a spectacular view of the Choptank River.

Our spacious king room included a desk, and the bathroom was large enough to accommodate a table. We could step out on our tiny balcony (if it was warmer), instead we viewed the Choptank River through the sliding-glass doors from our room (see photo).

Luxury sheets concealed a pillow-topped mattress on the king bed. A white down comforter dressed the bed. The bed was comfortable and we slept well.

In the morning, we enjoyed breakfast in our room. I had an egg-white-vegetable omelet filled with shiitake mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes and cheddar cheese. (I switched from mozzarella to cheddar.) My meal was delicious, healthy and filling.

Unfortunately, we only stayed at the Hyatt for about 15 hours, because we had another commitment. However, I plan to return for a longer visit.

I would consider the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay for a meeting, reception or wedding because it offers good service and a great venue.

Safeway in Towson, MD — Not Enough Scheduled Staff

I visited Safeway in Towson at noon today. It is convenient, but I hesitate before shopping in this store, because they don’t seem to schedule enough employees.

One lady sliced meat and cheese behind the deli counter that extended around the corner into the prepared food area.

Safeway in Towson Deli

Safeway in Towson Deli

The deli lady was the high point of my visit because she was efficient and pleasant. As she waited on the customer in front of me, I thought that if someone wanted to place a prepared food order (from the other end of the deli), the customer would have to find an employee to wait on them. I wonder how much business Safeway has lost because their counters are not always staffed.

At the checkout, there was one large-order register, a few self-service and two express lanes open.

No Service at Deli and Hot Food Counter

No Service at Deli and Hot Food Counter

A line formed in the large-order lane and a customer asked a customer service employee if it was possible to open another large-order register. The employee immediately opened a new register, but why didn’t he think of that in the first place?

I don’t understand why Safeway in Towson lacks scheduled employees. When I shop at other Safeway locations or competitive stores, I don’t have this problem. Why is this store different?

What is your experience with grocery store customer service?

Lady Baltimore Hardwood Floors, Finksburg, MD — Beautiful Floors, Great Customer Service

OLD STAINED HARDWOOD FLOOR AND NEW STAINED HARDWOOD FLOOR

OLD STAINED HARDWOOD FLOOR AND NEW STAINED HARDWOOD FLOOR

Lady Baltimore Hardwood Floors in Finksburg, MD installed a new hardwood floor next to my existing 12-year-old hardwood floor.  Tim Dipaula, the owner,  matched the old floor almost perfectly.

Lady Baltimore recommends three polyurethane coats while other companies suggest two poly coats or a water base. (I learned, from experience, that three polyurethane coats make a big difference in preventing wear.) The installer placed a walnut strip between the two floors to separate the old and new floor.  I am very happy with their quality, professionalism and customer service.

 It is a messy process. They remove all the furniture from the room. They install the floors on day one and sand and stain them on the following day. They hang protective plastic in the work area to contain as much dust as possible.  They follow with three coats of polyurethane. The job lasted five days.  We could not use the floor until the sixth day.     

PRE-FINISHED HARDWOOD FLOOR

PRE-FINISHED HARDWOOD FLOOR

OLD STAINED FLOOR ON RIGHT AND NEW PRE-FINISHED FLOOR

OLD STAINED FLOOR ON RIGHT AND NEW PRE-FINISHED FLOOR

I chose pre-finished hardwood floors for my bedrooms. Lady Baltimore laid the pre-finished floor next to the old finished floor.  They matched those floors almost exactly too.  I chose pre-finished for the bedrooms because it took two men four days to install it versus 12 days for unfinished floors.  Also, they shifted the furniture from one side of the room to the other instead of removing it.  For me, it was worth it.  

If you plan to add hardwood floors, call Lady Baltimore.  They are a family business with an Angie’s List “A” rating.

 

Upholstery Fabric Search Tips

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I plan to reupholster my living room sofas. I considered buying new sofas because the reupholstering cost is barely less than buying new. I visited some fabric shops to determine how long they would keep my sofas to cover them. I was told about four to six weeks. I could not give up my sofas that long if I want to keep my husband.

I found a lady who will reupholster my sofas one at a time. She said that she will keep each sofa for about two weeks. Her price is much less than the fabric stores.

I shopped for fabric in Mill End, Alexander Blank Fabrics, and Calico Corners. In each shop, I received excellent service. In The Mill End, three ladies went through several books and spent two hours with me, but no luck.  The Calico Corners’ employees also helped me search for home decorator fabric. I worked with Jessica at Alexander Blank Fabrics. She even searched for fabric when I left the store. I found the right fabric thanks to her.

During my hunt, I learned a few tips. The first tip is to check the rub count for durability. The higher the count the longer it will last. Also, one hundred percent cotton is likely to fade in a sunny room, a blend is better. I will follow up with pictures of the finished sofas and information on my upholsterer.

 

 

 

 

Gary Cress Cleans Window Treatments in Your Home

GARY CRESS

Gary Cress cleans window treatments where they hang in your home. He serves the Maryland and Washington, DC region.

His phone number is 410-876-6605. He has an Angie’s List “A” rating, and I highly recommend him.

 He cleans bolted-in top treatments, jabots, swags, balloons, valances, fabric shades and more.  He also cleans upholstery and lampshades. 

 I used Gary several years ago to clean my window treatments.  He was

GARY CRESS MADE THEM LOOK LIKE THEY ARE NEW

thorough and professional. Recently, Lady Baltimore Floors installed hardwood floors in my home.  I had dust throughout my home from the sanding process. The hardwood floors are beautiful and it was worth it.

 I was concerned that I had to replace my window treatments because they were 11 years old and very dirty.  Gary made them look new.  Furthermore, he cleaned my sofa and did a great job.

Gary’s wife, Lydia, also makes house calls. She makes custom window treatments. Her work was shown in the Baltimore Symphony Show House at The Ritz Carlton Residences in Baltimore.  Gary and Lydia are a great team.

 Give them a call!

 

Annapolis Waterfront Marriott–Former Bellman Roosevelt, Missed

English: The dock or harbor in Annapolis, Mary...

English: The dock or harbor in Annapolis, Maryland. Dock Street is just out of the frame of the photo to the right. Folks leaving their boats tied up here would step right out into the street. The Maryland State Capitol is the tall tower in the distance. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My family visited the Annapolis Waterfront Marriott several times over many years for lacrosse tournaments and holiday parties.  I still feel a loss when we arrive at the Marriott, because of Roosevelt Sterling, the bellman, who assisted us for years, passed away in 2007. It is ironic that we visited a few times annually, and his absence still makes me sad.

Roosevelt Sterling always greeted us with a smile and ensured that our bags arrived promptly in our room.  He used his hook hand to maneuver suitcases and bags. He was professional, personable and efficient.

According to his obituary, Roosevelt welcomed dignitaries, state legislators and sailors. He even made us feel special.

I think about Roosevelt when we visit the Annapolis Waterfront Marriott.  I always glance at his portrait in the lobby.  Isn’t it funny how someone you rarely encounter can make a lasting impression?

The Sanctuary, Kiawah Island — A Relaxing Retreat

The Santuary

The Sanctuary

My husband had a business trip to The Sanctuary on Kiawah Island, SC, and I accompanied him. A long quiet palm and pine-tree-lined road brings you to The Sanctuary. Large cream columns, shuttered windows and black mediterranean wrought iron balcony railings make you feel like you arrived at a plantation. Smiling doormen welcome their guests.

Jasmine, butterfly bush, wave petunias and various other flowers and bushes line the pathways throughout The Sanctuary. Their sweet fragrance scents the breeze.

The Sanctuary atmosphere is quiet and relaxed. We visited in late April, but I heard that the pace picks up in the sweltering summer months. Many families arrive for summer vacation.

The 2012 PGA Championship is scheduled for August at The Ocean Course at The Sanctuary. Can you imagine the celebrities that will attend? My husband played golf on The Ocean Course, and it will be interesting to hear his perspective while we watch the PGA (as long as he doesn’t get carried away).

Ocean View

Ocean View

During our visit, we rode bikes on the beach. It was a crystal clear day with a slight breeze. The best part was enjoying the ocean scenery without dodging people and cars.

I also took a tennis lesson, and I learned more from one lesson than many previous lessons. The pro gave me great visual images that I will use when I am playing a match. He noted that they are rated the #1 tennis resort in the world for another year by www.tennisresortsonline.com.

The resort staff provided great customer service from the bellmen to the wait staff. Various staff members asked about our stay. Of course our response was that we had a wonderful time.

The only down side for me was the alligators. I saw numerous signs warning about dangerous alligators. I saw a few and believe me, I was watchful!

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The Boca Raton Resort and Club

Boca Raton Resort and Club in Boca Raton, Florida

The Boca Raton Resort and Club

The Boca Raton Resort and Club

After several years, I recently returned to Boca Raton Resort & Club in Boca Raton, Florida. There is nothing comparable to approaching the impressive, ornate resort from the palm-tree-lined entry road. I am not a resort-type person because I prefer quiet vacations. However, the Boca Resort and Club’s amenities outweigh any inconvenience from crowds during the busy season.

The Boca Resort and Club offers a beautiful beach, several pools, golf, tennis, croquet, a spa, fitness center and a marina. They even have children’s programs. (My children participated in these programs many years ago.)

Previously, I accompanied my husband when he visited Boca for business. We loved the resort and brought the children with us on vacations.  The Boca Resort excelled in customer service.

During one of our past visits, I had a great experience. We did not tell the personnel at the resort that it was my birthday, but when we returned to our room, the management sent us chocolate covered strawberries with a birthday note. I presume that someone saw my birthdate on my license and followed up. We were impressed!

Last week my daughter and I visited the Boca Resort and Club. I felt that their

The Ferry From the Resort to the Beach Club

customer service had changed from my past experiences.

Tennis was one of the highlights of my Boca Resort experience.  Over the years, the tennis staff would fit me into a tennis game on short notice (even when I was a beginner and could not hit the ball even if my life depended on it).  On one of my trips when I was about 35  years old,  an 80-year-old man beat me in tennis.  It was extremely embarrassing.  I remember that I had a cocktail at the pool bar just to recover. My husband asked me repeatedly if the man was really 80.

When I arrived at the Boca Resort last week, I stopped into the tennis shop and asked if I could get me into a tennis game. (I have improved since the mean 80-year-old’s victory over the helpless 35 year-old.) They took my name and room number.  When I stopped into the tennis center on my departure day to exchange an item, I mentioned that I never heard from them. They told me that I was not on their list, but they could have used me that morning in a game. I was disappointed.

The morning that I planned to leave, I had another issue. I was reading and relaxing in my room (in a robe) when I realized that I had not checked in for my flight. I called the business office and asked them if they would please print my boarding pass.  The man who answered the phone told me that I had to come  down to the kiosk and do it myself. I jumped into my clothes and hurried to the kiosk. I could not get the boarding pass to print and still needed assistance. I finally found a manager to help me.

I feel that the Boca Resort and Club is still a beautiful resort but their customer service has declined in some areas. However, my husband and I are going to give it another try.

On a positive note, my daughter and I had a blast. We excel at eating  and enjoyed the resort’s restaurants.  We ate sushi in Morimoto, seafood in Cielo, we had  a fun casual dinner in 501 East Kitchen and Bar. (The only complaint about 501 East was that my daughter wouldn’t let me order the cocoanut cake, because she wanted the monkey bread.)

We loved our room and they allowed us an early check in and a late check-out. We ate, exercised, relaxed, swam and bonded!

Safeway Towson, MD –Where are Their Employees?

At 5:00 on Friday, I stopped by Safeway in Towson to buy some deli products. When I arrived, there was one deli man diligently slicing meat behind the counter, there were two people ahead of me, and one person was behind me in line. After waiting for about five minutes , a woman arrived to help with the deli orders. I noted that there was a man in the back cleaning. I wondered if he should have assisted customers.

As I checked out, I noticed that the man behind the customer service counter (who was also by himself) was juggling answering the phone and the four customers waiting in line. (I was glad that I wasn’t in that line.)

When I payed for my groceries, my cashier told me that she had been at work since 9:00 and hadn’t had a break.

My heart goes out to the employees at the Safeway in Towson. It seems like there is a lot of pressure to wait on customers without sufficient help.

Even though the store is convenient for me, I think twice before frequenting that Safeway, because I am not a big fan of standing in line.

Greetings and Readings, Hunt Valley, MD — Great Customer Service

We had a great experience ordering custom printing materials from Stephanie at Greetings and Readings . Greetings and Readings is located in the Hunt Valley Towne Centre in Hunt Valley, MD.

 The store is packed with unique merchandise. They stock cards, books, movies, music, toys, games, collectibles, candles, jewelry and numerous other items.  They even sell Ravens, Terps, and O’s gear.  They stock several name brands including Vera Bradley, Brighton and Swarovski Crystal (to name a few).  It is difficult to decide where to look first. If you want something new or need a wedding, shower, engagement, baby or birthday gift, you will find it at Greetings and Readings.

 My friend and I met with Stephanie in custom printing to discuss a print order for an upcoming event.  Of course, we needed the print order yesterday. (So what else is new?) We perused catalogs and selected our card stock.  Stephanie made printing suggestions. We proofread the material and placed an order. We hoped to receive our order within a week.

 I called Stephanie to follow up on the arrival time for our order.  She called the company (where we ordered the cards) and asked them to rush the print order.  I believe that she contacted them several times. We received the order earlier than expected without paying extra postage. 

 We appreciated Stephanie’s professionalism and follow through. She was also fun to work with! (Hopefully, we were too.)

Best Buy Timonium, MD, “One Stop Shopping” Failed

Best Buy in Timonium, MD

My husband, Jim, purchased a television and installation services from Best Buy in Timonium, MD. The install date was Thursday, January 19, 2012.

After the purchase, the salesperson took my husband to the Comcast -in-house center to purchase an HD box from Bob. Bob indicated that he had just given the last HD box away, but he told Jim that others should arrive soon.

Bob took Jim’s phone number and told him that he would call when an HD box arrived. He also gave him a Comcast phone number into the Best Buy store.

Jim did not receive any calls on January 16, 17, or 18. He called the Comcast in- store number about 10 times, there was no answering machine and no one answered the phone.

My husband called the store and waited on hold for about 25 minutes while a kind saleswoman tracked Bob down.

Bob told my husband that they did not have any HD boxes. He added that Comcast would not pay for an answering machine.

On January 18, my husband spoke to a woman from Best Buy who confirmed delivery for January 19, between 8a.m. and 12 p.m.

On January 19, I had a question about the cable, and I called Best Buy. During the call, I learned that we were not scheduled for delivery that day.  I changed plans to ensure that I was home. They told me to call dispatch. Don’t you think that it was their job to resolve the problem?

I eventually spoke to the Best Buy assistant manager Dave. He set up delivery for nine days later.

On the second delivery date, we never received a call to confirm our delivery schedule. We were skeptical. My husband called Best Buy and spoke to Becca. She told him that the store manager Mark would return his call to confirm delivery. He never called.

We eventually received the television, however, Best Buy’s “One Stop Shopping” failed.

Has anyone had a similar experience at Best Buy?

Manhattan Bicycle Rickshaw/Pedicab Scam

 

A pedi-cab in Times Square in NYC days before the new years 2011 party. Photo taken on: December 25th, 2010

Credit line:© Michael Ludwig | Dreamstime.com

A pedicab driver scammed my daughter and me in Manhattan recently. My daughter and I Christmas shopped for several hours one day in December. As we walked towards our hotel, we decided to climb into a bicycle rickshaw. The driver gave us a heavy wool blanket and rolled down a thick plastic sheet for warmth. Our pedicab weaved in and out of swarming -yellow taxicabs. Some came within inches of our cart. I contemplated jumping out, but I stayed to enjoy the relaxing adventure with my daughter.

 

After six blocks of horn-screaming bumper-to-bumper traffic, my heart was pounding. I had enough fun.

I was looking forward to a great dinner with my family, so I wasn’t ready to die in a pedicab. (They would never let me live it down.)

When we exited the rickshaw, the driver said that we owed him $40. As I questioned him about the price, a man pulled up next to us and asked about our discussion. I said that the driver charged us $40 for pedaling six blocks. When the man glared at the rickshaw driver, I knew that we were scammed.  I tossed $20 to the rickshaw driver and walked away.

I researched pedicab companies to learn the appropriate cost for pedicab rides. The Central Park Pedicab Tour site’s price list seems reasonable. Also, The NYC Pedicab Owners’ Association offers tips to avoid scams. My advice is to negotiate a price before climbing into a bicycle- rickshaw -death trap.

What has been your experience with pedicabs in Manhattan?

Harry and David, Towson Town Center – Great Customer Service

Towson Town Center from Dulaney Valley Road

I needed a hostess gift for a special luncheon. I thought about flowers, guest soap, and wine. I stopped in Harry and David in Towson Town Center, that sells gift items like fruit, cheese, chips, salsa, crackers, dips, smoked salmon, candy, and more. I browsed and searched for something that could be enjoyed during cocktail hour.

The sales staff gave me some gift basket ideas. Tabitha made suggestions, and Christine added her ideas.  I could not have asked for better service.

They assembled and wrapped my unique gift basket that contained flax seed – tortilla chips, salsa, organic – water crackers, and bruschetta spread.  I will return because the staff was pleasant and provided excellent customer service.