Best Time at the Beach: Fall

If you miss salt sticking to your skin as you inhale the sea-laden air or the crunch of Fischer’s sweet caramel popcorn or the rhythm of the reggae beat, you’re in luck.

Fall, or the beginning of the off-season, is the best time to travel to your favorite summer beach resorts. Visitors can still sunbathe, swim, shop, fish, crab, boat, play tennis and golf, visit museums, take classes, and enjoy the nightlife.

 Beach Net is an excellent resource for year-round information for the Maryland/Delaware Eastern Shore. It includes an event calendar to help maximize your stay.

In addition to an abundance of activities, the following lists the reasons that autumn, especially September and October, is the best time to visit the beach.

September and October Temperate Weather 

  • Clear skies and mild temperatures are the best beach weather ingredients.
  • The ocean has warmed over the hot summer months, and the temperature is easier on your body.
Uncrowded East Coast Resort Town

Crowds are limited during the off-season in this Delaware beach resort.

Reduced Crowds Means Less Stress

  • You arrive at your destination quicker with less traffic.
  • Bike riding is less dangerous.
  •  Restaurant hostesses can seat you quickly.
  • Parking at retail stores is easy and there are fewer, or no, lines inside.
  • Golf tee times and tennis court reservations are usually available.
  • Beaches are less crowded, and sometimes no one is in sight.

Relaxed Rules

  • Surf fishing, paddleboarding, kayaking, and surfboarding are allowed during the day.
  • Dogs are permitted on the beach during certain dates, depending on the town.
A man walks his dog on the beach in Delaware.

Dogs are allowed on most beaches during the off-season.

Best Time for Heavy Blue Crabs

Fall is the best time to enjoy heavy steamed blue crabs. I recommend  Captain Mac’s Fish House & Seafood Market, The Crab Bag, and Fenwick Crab House, in that order.

Packages and Deals

  • Restaurants run specials and advertise happy hour prices to draw customers.
  • Hotels offer vacation packages, and condominium and beach-house-rental costs drop.
  • Shoppers can stock up at “end of season” sales.

In my opinion, the best time to stick your feet in the ocean and squeeze the sand between your toes is now.

 

 

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Hawaii

Oahu, Hawaii Bus Tour — A Humorous Experience

When I was in my 30’s, I won a company sales contest. The grand prize was a trip to England or Hawaii. I chose Hawaii.

As part of my prize, my company planned guided tours on Oahu, Hawaii. I felt obligated to attend the first tour, and I disliked it and it became my first and last bus tour.

Following are some reasons why this tour influenced me to never take a bus tour again:

1. I had nothing in common with my bus mates who left the bus to take pictures of pineapples in fields and then took close-up photos of them. I wondered if they took pictures of pineapples in grocery stores.

2. My tour mates reinforced that I had nothing in common with them when they stepped off the bus again to photograph field and close-up pictures of sugarcane. At this point, I wanted to return to my hotel because I thought that I was in hell.

3. The bus driver repeated incessantly that there were no snakes on the Island. He said it so many times that I started to suspect that there were some. In addition, I had a nightmare about snakes and the bus driver.

4. I was stuck on the bus all day when I wanted to lie on the beach, enjoy a casual lunch, and read my book.

5. Everyone on the bus carried bags and cameras and resembled Terry and Tommy tourist. I hoped no one recognized me with this motley group — even though I probably fit in more than I will admit.

6. I didn’t like to get shuttled to a tourist-trap restaurant where the bus driver seemed chummy with the owner. The food was terrible and I couldn’t get a cold beer to escape my misery.

7. Everyone on the bus was old — like I am now. But even though I am old, I still won’t get trapped on a bus.

8. I prefer to eat with the locals and determine when my tour begins and ends.

This bus tour affected me for life and left me with humorous memories. However, no matter how old I am, you won’t catch me lined up to board a bus with old people like me, unless I am forced.

One Coastal Fenwick Island — Best Deal in Town

The best kept secret in Fenwick Island, Del. is One Coastal Delicatessen at 101-6 Coastal Highway. It is located just north of the Maryland/Delaware line –next to Ruddo’s Golf. The restaurant is convenient from Ocean City, Md., Route 54 and Bethany Beach, Del.

It is a little difficult to find, but once you try their food and check their prices, you will return, just like the locals.

My husband and I visit One Coastal often, because the food is fresh and homemade, prepared to order and reasonably priced. You can dine in, carry out or just stop in for a drink at the bar. One Coastal is family owned by Bernadette and her son Randy. Their goal is  great food and service.

Last night we enjoyed the seared ahi tuna and edamame, as we sipped our drinks and waited for our carry out order. We ordered one of my favorite sandwiches the Coastal Club which has turkey, avocado, bacon, lettuce and tomato with Dijon-mustard mayonnaise. We also ordered Italian sandwiches served on homemade rolls filled with Italian meats and cheeses.

Some other meals that we love are their meaty lasagna and their seafood specials like ahi tuna with wasabi mayonnaise. Other daily specials include Asiago shrimp wrapped in bacon with rice pilaf, tuna steak with vegetables and rice, kielbasa with sauerkraut, and brisket.

One Coastal serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and has something for everyone.

When you visit the Maryland/Delaware Eastern Shore, stop in One Coastal for  great food and the best deal in town.

https://dorothyadele.wordpress.com/2012/07/28/one-coastal-delicatessen-fenwick-island-de-great-food/

Comcast’s Corporate-Customer-Service-Phone Number

My Comcast experience this week had been so frustrating that I called the corporate office to get service.  You can find the Comcast corporate phone number at the end of my post. Following is a list of some of  our  phone calls to Comcast customer service:

1.   At the beginning of the week, Sunday or Monday, we called 1-800 COMCAST, and we asked for an appointment by Friday — we had been without service for a few days. The Comcast representative told us that they couldn’t schedule an appointment until Monday a week. I did not plan to be home the following Monday, and we thought that was too long to wait.

2.   On the next call, a representative told us and that we would have to pay for the service call and we would receive a rebate. We didn’t understand why we would have to pay for a service call if the issue was with Comcast.

3.   On the next call, we spoke to a representative who put my husband on hold for 10 minutes twice, while she supposedly spoke to a supervisor. She set up an appointment for Thursday and offered my husband a $30 rebate and free channels for a year. She told him that someone would call my cell phone within 30 minutes to confirm the appointment. No one called.

4.   My husband called Comcast again about Thursday’s appointment. We learned that the appointment was scheduled for Friday and it was not to fix our service but to switch our phone to Comcast. We felt that we had been misled.

5.   My husband asked to speak to a supervisor and waited 22 minutes to speak to Christopher. Christopher said that he would try to set up an appointment, and we would hear from Comcast. No one called.

6.   I spoke to a representative Wednesday who set up an appointment for Friday from 1 – 3 p.m. I asked him if the appointment was confirmed, he said yes.

7.  I called Comcast the next day to check my confirmed appointment, the recording said that my appointment was scheduled for Monday.

8.   I called the corporate office and spoke to a representative who filed a report and informed me that someone from the regional office would contact me shortly.  I waited a few hours, and I never heard from the regional office.

9.  I called the corporate office again. The corporate representative gave me the name and phone number of the regional customer service representative who had our case. She said that the representative from the regional office had sent my husband an email instead of contacting me.

10.  . I called the regional representative who was handling my case twice, and I did not receive a return call. I called the corporate office again, and they kept me on the line for about 10 minutes while they contacted him.

11.   He finally called me and said that he had sent an email to my husband — to an address that never existed.

12.  I asked him to please send Comcast service technicians to my home today, Thursday, I was out of patience.

13.   Technicians arrived within 10 minutes and spent a few hours and resolved the Comcast issue.

If you can’t get service using 1-800- COMCAST, try the corporate number 215-286-1700.

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American Express Platinum Travel Services

I booked airline tickets today through American Express Platinum Travel Services. I used some of our accumulated American Express points to buy our tickets.  The American Express associate confirmed that  she would book our flights and assured me that I would receive a confirmation email within five minutes.  I never saw an email.  After following up, I learned that our reservation was never made. The irony is that the associate made other changes to our reservation, but did not ticket the flights.

With a follow-up phone call, another agent ticketed our flights and we were fortunate that there were no changes to the reservation.

In the past,  American Express has  provided excellent service making  travel arrangements for us  including airline, dining and theatre reservations.   I suspect  that today’s incident is unique.

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?

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.

 

 

 

 

Warning Issued in Bethany Beach, DE to Bicyclist That Slowed for a Stop Sign

Crime Scene Evidence

A police officer issued my husband, Doug, a warning in Bethany Beach two days ago when he slowed for a stop sign at Atlantic and Garfield Parkway  while  he rode his bike.  Yes, it is the type that you pedal. It was 9:30 a.m., and Doug said that there was minimal pedestrian and car traffic.  The officer who stopped him said that Delaware received a federal grant for bicycle safety.  He said that Delaware treats bicycles like cars. ( I guess that a 10 minute ride through Bethany just turned into an hour. On the bright side,  you can impress your friends that you rode your bike for an hour and they will think that you rode  for several miles, when you actually just stopped at every stop sign!)

Since Doug does not carry his license when he rides his bike, (imagine that) the police officer gave him a warning. The officer asked him for his address and of course Doug gave him the correct address. How would the officer know if the address  was accurate if the accused does not have identification?  Does this make any sense? 

This is information on the federal grant for Delaware.  It seems irrelevant to this situation. Is this another way for Bethany Beach to raise revenue?

On a positive note, it is an entertaining story for a dinner party!

One Coastal Delicatessen, Fenwick Island, DE, Great Food!

One Coastal Delicatessen

 Check out One Coastal Delicatessen at 101-6 Coastal Highway in Fenwick Island, DE. If you proceed north on Route 1 from Ocean City, go 2 blocks from Route 54 (the Maryland/Delaware line), and it is on your right next to Ruddo’s Golf Store. Locals, councilmen and business owners frequent One Coastal. (Don’t you think that says it all?) The owners, Randy and his mother Bernadette, and staff  accommodate their customers and are very friendly. For example, before they had a juicer, Randy hand-squeezed orange crushes on request.  Isn’t that great service?

 My husband and I like the Edamame. They are crisp, tender and tossed with a little kosher salt. In addition, One Coastal offers Pulled Pork Tacos, Baked Coconut Shrimp and Scallops to name a few of their Small Bites.

 Old Bay Broth flavors their steamed mussels, shrimp, clams and crab legs. I tried the mussels and they were tender and the Old Bay enhanced them with a “steamed crab taste”.

 My husband loves the Italian Sandwich. Imported mortadella, parma cotto, ham, genoa salami, capicola and provolone pack a homemade hoagie bun. Seasoned evoo tops off the meat and cheese. It hits the spot after a long beach day.

 The Caprese Salad combines fresh local greens and tomatoes with fresh basil and homemade mozzarella in a balsamic redux. The mozzarella melts in your mouth. The tangy balsamic redux  compliments the tomatoes, greens and cheese. 

 Organic greens, local strawberries, walnuts and goat cheese, with the dressing of your choice, compose the Summer Salad. Creamy goat cheese melds with sweet strawberries and crunchy walnuts for this unique delicious salad.

 One Coastal serves several dinners, among them are Meaty Lasagna, Seafood Salad, Half Chicken and Dogfish Mussels. They also serve several sandwiches that include a Muffuletta, Coastal Club and Veggie Delight.

 Salads, meat and cheese displayed in their deli case are available for take home.

 I have to grab dinner,  see you there!

https://dorothyadele.wordpress.com/2013/07/06/one-coastal-deli-best-deal-in-town-dine-with-the-locals/

 

Gasoline Spill on Southwest Tarmac in Jackson, Mississippi

We boarded our Southtwest Flight 1979 on June 21, 2012 from Jackson, Mississippi which was already 20 minutes late. As we sat at the gate, a gasoline odor permeated the cabin. We deplaned because of a fuel spill on the tarmac. Southwest would not allow photos of the fire engines and the spill. Three Jackson Airport Authority officers blocked the airport window from the passengers view. The original departure time was 10 a.m. It is now 11:15 and we are reboarding. I took a few photos from inside the airplane. They will follow!

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 & 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.