Travel blog postings

Travel Postings

Earliest: September 24, 2003Latest: December 17, 2017Total: 41

June 22, 2015

UHaul Van Rental Tips

This past weekend we rented a UHaul truck from Uhaul Natick site. Here are some tips/tricks that you should know to help make your move just a bit easier.

First make sure to reserve a truck online before going to the store. One person in line want a truck but was told by the manager that there were none available. However, there were a few available because a customer canceled a large order overnight. So, it doesn't hurt to constantly check on availability when you need a truck on short notice.

The Uhaul Natick store is well stocked with everything that you need for moving. They had lots of boxes, tape and twine at reasonable prices. The store seem clean and the layout was nicely done with similar products placed near each other.

We got one of the new model cargo vans. The truck was nice and clean. The dashboard was a bit hard to read, so I wasn't sure exactly how many miles it had on it - but I think it was roughly around 800. It took a while to learn how to use the side mirror on the Masspike traffic.

I found that the radio was a bit hard to use and didn't have much time to learn to get my station on. They did have an audio cable jack where I could have played my iPhone through the radio speakers, really quick way to listen to my music. I would recommend bring a male-to-male retractable audio cable. You'll need some music because van makes a lot of noise. There is a power car jack so you can also charge your phone as you drive. Yes, you'll need your own USB Car Jack charger. Oh and there's plenty of cup holders, I counted 4 places where a driver could put down their drink.

I had to remember that I didn't have my fastpass transponder with me and use the Mass Pike cash-only lanes. I have gotten so use to the fastpass system that I didn't know how much the tolls were. I put some change on the dashboard to remind me to pay cash. Currently it's $1.30 from the 84 exit to Framingham.

We rented some furniture moving covers which came in handy moving some mirrors and frames. These only cost $20 for a dozen and were perfect protection. Nothing broke during the move! The moving covers were dusty when we open them, so your best to put the covers on the pictures in the truck.

I cleaned out the van using a Multi-Purpose Mega Cleaning Brush that I got years ago at the California State Fair. It worked really well and got the job done quickly. I noticed that the rear cabin floor mat looks like that it comes out for really quick cleaning. I did a simple sweep job and made sure the drivers area was clean.

Returning the van it took longer than expected since someone else had to open the store on a Sunday and that person got lost on the way. Once the manager opened the store, it took a few minutes to figure out how to turn off the alarm that was going off. Once the alarm was off, he then took a few minutes to figure out how to sign into the Uhaul computer system.

At this location, when you return a UHaul vehicle your supposed to stay with the truck until someone helps you - similar process when you return a car. I didn't do that this time, since I arrived before the store opened and thought it would be faster to be the first person in line at the store, that wasn't the case. There was another worker that was handling returns that was working while the manager was trying to get the store ready. Your best bet is to stay in the vehicle and wait for someone to come up to you.

Overall it was a good van rental experience and we certainly would use them again.

June 17, 2015

Group Photo Opportunity

Have you ever been asked to take a photo of a bunch of people that you don't know? It can be hard to get everyone looking at the camera so the photo is perfect.

The next time that you get asked, do everyone a huge favor and take multiple photos. Don't be afraid to take 10 to 15 pictures of the group.

We are beyond the age of film photography and people had to worry about using up film. If the person that owns the camera doesn't like the photo they can just delete it. What they can't do is bring back the moment to take a better photo because someone blinked or wasn't looking at the camera for the one shot that you took.

I can't count how many times when I ask someone to take a picture that they basically do the bare minimum and take one or two photos.

If you don't know how to use the camera ask the owner. You should ask if the photo doesn't look right. Perhaps the camera is in the wrong setting for the environment your in. Don't be afraid to speak up as you are the best judgment on how to give them the best possible shot.

You could also have people do different things to give them a fun shot, such as ask everyone to be silly or to have everyone do a thumbs up.

Be creative with the next time you are asked and by all means take more than a couple of pictures.

September 23, 2009

Back from Vacation

Yesterday we came back from a ten day vacation in LA and Las Vegas. In the next few day's I'll blog some of the sites that we saw and recommend some great places to eat.

We both had a great time on our trip and we took a lot of photos (3,000 +) and videos. Some of the photos were put up on Facebook, and others will go in the photo gallery with some detail descriptions of the place.

December 21, 2007

Frozen Cocktails

Some Frozen Cocktails to enjoy if your visiting St Maarten. I really enjoyed BBC and Strawberry Shortcake. You can find these at most bars on St. Maarten, or goto the pool bar at Pelican Bay. Each drink cost about $6.

  • Mango, Strawberry or Banana Coladas, Daiquires and Margaritas
  • Melon Coladas
  • BBC
  • Mud Slides
  • Blue Simson Bay
  • Banana Delight
  • Strawberry Shortcake
  • Lime Lambada
  • Toasted Almond
  • Mango Madness
  • Pelican Passion
  • Guavaberry Coladas
  • Bushwacker

If you are staying at the Perlican Bay Resort you can buy all the ingredients at the Peli Deli and make these drinks in your own room cheaper than getting it at the bar. Be creative and get a good Frozen Cocktail book before you go so you can try different tropical drinks.

November 28, 2007

Dream Pro Marketing

Anyone know anything about the Scratch Tickets given out by Dream Pro Marketing in Phillipsburg on St Maarten?

If you get approached by someone with the scratch ticket, avoid them. It appears to be a scam done to get people to purchase timeshare or merchandise.

November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'll be away for a couple of weeks, first in Glastonbury CT. Then off to St. Martin and staying at the Pelican Resort.

I'll probably won't be doing any updates until December 10, 2007. Have a great Thanksgiving!

November 9, 2007

Beverages on Airplanes

In the C terminal at the San Jose International Airport, there is a NOAH'S New York Bagles counter. Here's a brief price list on November 6, 2007:

Fountain Soda $1.89
Milk $1.99
Juices $2.79
Bottle Water $2.19

The prices of beverages is importaint to look at, since passengers are unable to bring drinks past security. This is due to strict Homeland Security regulations.

However the drinks go through the same security screening as any other luggage. While I was in San Jose I noticed that a couple of cases of water was going through security. They weren't "double checking" the water or doing some complex chemical analysis. The water went through the same xray as my suitcase. However, I couldn't bring water beyond this point.

I think the liquid restrictions are unnessary and should be removed. I have no problem with drinking in front of security to show that the liquid is what it says it is. I do have a problem having to pay $2.19 for bottle water. Seems to me that some people are profiting from this regulation.

You can bring food past security. Which is good. I usually have these in my laptop bag:

November 8, 2007

Power Port on Jet Blue

JetBlue doesn't offer PowerPorts for laptop users. Don't go out an purchase an iGo, or some expensive power converter for a long flight on JetBlue. You won't need it.

I guess JetBlue thinks that since they have TVs at every seat, they didn't need to offer Power ports. The problem is that not everyone plans to watch TV, some people might need to work during the flight.

I recently took a Red-Eye from San Jose to Boston and most people did have their TVs on. I was the last person on the plane to have the light on as I was trying to finish a book on the flight. This particular flight offered the FOX Pay-Per-View movies for free. I guess JetBlue does this since there's nothing really on TV.

Possible Solution

So the easy solution to this is to just buy an extended battery for your laptop so that it lasts the entire trip. The total travel time to California from Boston is about 6 hours. In most cases just having a five hour battery pack would be good enough.

November 6, 2007

1908 days Later

A quick posting. I am in training in California this week. My first time in California since August 17, 2002 , when I left California to return to Boston, Massachusetts.

This is a quick two day trip so I won't be able to see many of the sites that I want to see, but I hope to be back soon! Would like to see my old apartments, Apple headquarters, Fry Electronics, and the Great Mall.

It has been a fun trip so far, more later. I'll be taking the JetBlue red-eye tonight back to Boston.

October 18, 2007

Cab Drivers

This past week I was on a business trip to Received exception:undefined method . I really didn?t do any site seeing on this trip, didn?t have time for that. However, its another state that I can claim that I slept in.

When I got to Wellington Amtrak station, I took a cab and the driver was nice enough to give me his business card and made sure that I got a cab the next morning at 7:15am. Very cool! That?s one less thing that I had to worry about the next morning.

When I was done with my work, I would call the cab company and within 15 minutes they came by and picked me up. The same guy picked me up both days that I called for service, the second day when I called I just told him my name and he said that he would be there in 15 minutes.

The whole time I was in Wellington, I had two different cab drivers and they provided excellent service and were very reliable.

Why don?t other cab drivers do this? When dropping a customer at a hotel, cab drivers should ask if they need a cab the following morning. This seems like a simple value add service and beats having to waiting for business at airports or train stations.

Thanks to Noni Taxi of Wellington, Delaware for great service this week!