TRAVEL BLOG

September 2012

As with this business, you just never know where you will end up tomorrow, a week from now, a month from now?  Well, here we are – Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  The weather is definitely not what we are used to in Florida, but we welcomed it since we never get to experience temperatues that actually drop below 60 degrees (brrr) in September.  This may be our last trip for the hail season, but that may change in a blink of an eye.

(More on Calgary as the time here progresses)

So far, we have had our adventure traveling to Calgary from St. Louis, MO.  The drive is a grueling 24 hour car ride – not including stops.  And even though being in the car for that long may seem horrendous, the drive was really not too bad.  We had hit Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana on our way to our destination.  The drive was quite picturesque and there were many small towns on the way to explore.

We were lucky enough to be able to stop by Mount Rushmore on our way to Calgary.  What a treat!  Clear skies, great view and few(er) tourists which made it easy to park and get around.  It is free but you do have to pay for parking (small price to pay for a fantastic experience).  The view is just fantastic and awe-inspiring.  It’s crazy to think that this sculpture was made by blasting dynamite on the side of a cliff!  This was definitely one experience that we will never forget.

Mount Rushmore

All in all, the drive wasn’t too, too bad, but, I am happy that we arrived in Calgary safely and with no problems (especially having to cross the Canadian/US border).  We cannot wait to explore this marvelous city as our stay here progresses.

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July-August 2012

Here we go – from Lake George, New York to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.  We stayed right outside of Pittsburg in the town of Monroeville.  The city was a mix of new and old.  They had many restaurants of different varieties.  We ate at a Japanese restaurant one night and the went for Thai food the next.  All very tasty and worth going to.  There are many other things to do in Pittsburg.  They have a wonderful Farmers Market in the city.  We missed it due to it being a Sunday, but the streets were busy and full of shoppers.  It is a city in which you can just see that it was built on steel and coal.

Driving into Pittsburg

We were lucky enough to stay at a hotel right next to a Primanti’s!  Yes!  The Primanti Brother’s restaurant – featured on the Food Network channel.  We did end up eating there one night to see what the hype was about.  They are known for their ridiculously huge sandwiches that are filled with meat, french fries and coleslaw.  I was not so adventurous that night so I ended up with a chicken sandwich (tasty).  But, we were just happy to have the experience.

The hail damage was evident in Pennsylvania but not so prominent that we had to stay there for long.  After a couple of weeks of work at the Kenny Ross Collision Center, we were hastily packing for our next journey to Michigan.

We ended up in a quiet town outside of Detroit called Romulus.  Although the town is quiet and quaint, the people are friendly and accommodating.  It was a little difficult for us to find restaurants to eat at, but using TripAdvisor we were able to find some really neat “mom/pop” restaurants that were quite good!

Lucky for us, we have family in Michigan who own a bakery and even luckier – they happen to be at the Farmers Market in Ann Arbor the day we went!  How fortunate for us that we were able to visit AND bring home yummy breads (the cheddar and garlic twists are my favorite!).  Ann Arbor is a great town to visit.  The Farmers Market has all kinds of neat items for sale – whether it’s fresh produce, clothing, soaps, sauces, or even kitchen ware – it’s all there!  The stores are charming and have a lot of character.  The people are helpful and informative since lots of the products they sell are locally grown or handmade.  Worth the visit!

Ann Arbor Farmers Market

If you ever find yourself in Ann Arbor, you have to stop at the Mill Pond Bread stand.  So easy to find – just follow your nose and head towards that delicious fresh-baked bread smell.  All the locals love it and you will too!

As fun as Michigan and Pennsylvania were, work is always on the back of our minds.  After all, we would not be able to travel this much with out it!  We feel very fortunate to be able to travel and see the country while doing what we love – paintless dent repair!  Cannot wait to see where our next adventure takes us!

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June-July 2012

As the craziness of the hail storm in St. Louis, MO was winding down, we find ourselves in a curious predicament. Where do we go now? Well, the answer came soon enough as we found ourselves packing our equipment and tools and headed off to the northern resort village of Lake George, NY.

What an amazing place to be (especially for work). As it were, there was a lot of hail damage that was apparent in the quiet lake town. Our hotel had suffered from hail damage and was being quickly repaired for the upcoming summer vacationers. Few locals have stated that they had watched the storm from their lake side homes only to witness the storm up-rooting trees and damaging their vehicles and home. Luckily, the mayhem did not last long and didn’t seem to hamper the onslaught of vacationers eager to spend the Fourth of July in this quaint village.

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(A picturesque town located in northern New York)

There are fortunately many activities in Lake George to keep busy. There are many restaurants, shopping and lake activities. We stayed at the Fort William Henry Hotel which was literally next to Fort William Henry. Two of our favorite eateries were Smokey Joe’s for good barbecue and Mezzaluna for good Italian food. Plenty of people watching, eating ice cream, souvenir shopping, and beach lounging can be done in this little village. Such a relaxing place especially after a hard days work – you wouldn’t want to leave the peace! Visit www.lakegeorge.com for more information.

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(Steamboats in Lake George)

As much fun as Lake George is, sadly, we are leaving for Monroeville, PA for the next hail chase. Monroeville is about 20-30 minutes east of Pittsburg, PA.

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May-June 2012

Here we are, the beginning of hail season. This year started earlier than anticipated and we find ourselves headed to St. Louis, Missouri on our first stop. As we make the 18 hour drive from lovely Southwest Florida to Missouri, we try to assess how much hail damage has been done to the area. We received many phone calls from friends and family telling us how much the storm had really affected the area where the storm had hit. We also found many people on Facebook mentioning the hail storm on their statuses, even posting pictures up of the size of hail that was coming down.

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As you can see, they were almost the size of baseballs!! The damage done to the vehicles range from minor to complete totals. It surprises me how much destruction hail can cause. It is evident as we drive into the city. I looked out the window saw vehicles completely pock-marked with dents from the hood to the trunk. We decide to head right to work.

First things first, we check into the shop that we will be working out of. It is called 5 Star Auto Body. They specialize in auto body work as well as paintless dent repairs. Located in Arnold, Missouri, they are perfectly located for locals to get their vehicles fixed. We are quickly rushed into our jobs and with no hesitation, we accept.

Not only does the general public need their vehicles fixed, the dealerships, the rental car companies, existing customers, and even friends and family need to get their vehicles taken care of.
In our minds, people rely on their vehicles daily and it is so hard to be without a vehicle, especially if you are working or have a family to take care of. As dent techs we understand that a quick and proficient job needs to be done. We are prepared for the tough road head fixing dents and pulling long hours to keep each and every one of our customers happy.

If you are around the St. Louis area and need your vehicle restored back to its glory, please do not hesitate to visit our website at Platinum Dent Repair or at 5 Star Auto Body and schedule your repair today!

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