Don't know if this is a pro or a con, but Maplewood Lanes is located in a fairly remote area between Saline and Ann Arbor. It is located next to an industrial park practically outside city limits. That's very strange for a bowling alley. However, Maplewood Lanes has everything you could want in a local bowling alley: plenty of lanes, friendly people, lots of "locals" and a snack bar. Prices are completely average for games, shoes, food. I guess what I like most about this particular bowling alley is that it is far enough away from the college crowd so that you don't get the college town atmosphere. Most often, you see older couples or families bowling which gives Maplewood more of a community feel. Oh, and no smoking!
PROS: Location, Atmosphere
After a long drawn out water-leak problem in our ceiling, we chose to have the area tested for black mold. My youngest daughter had developed asthma all of the sudden and we were very concerned. Well, the people at Anderson Bennett were great. They came out next day and took a look around. They were very competent and friendly, and I was just glad that we didn't have to delay our worry for a few weeks. Testing was done and over so quickly. They really put our minds to rest in an efficient, professional manner. I have already recommended them to several friends.
PROS: Great Professional Group of People
Ann Arbor Realty is currently our condo association's management group to maintain the grounds and fix structural problems. While I have never been incredibly impressed with their work, I've also never had much to complain about either. Until this last year.
Nearly a year ago, my ceiling began leaking water from the condo above us on a nearly weekly basis. AAR refused to help us stating it was the owner upstairs problem. She, subsequently had two separate plumbers take a look at the plumbing. No problems on her end. Still, AAR refused to do anything except send inept handymen who didn't have a clue what was going on. Nine months later out of desperation, we decided to tear out our ceiling and look for the leak ourselves. We found that there was a huge (2.5 inch by .75 inch) crack in a pipe in the ceiling. Of course, we called AAR regarding the crack and they offered to pay for the plumber to fix it. We received no apologies for the horrible treatment we got for nearly a year from them.
Just a horrible group of people working in their office who don't care about the people they serve.
While I don't own any animals at the present time, I have three little girls that are mad about birds/dogs/bunnies, etc. And right next to the kids apparel resale shop I go to each week is Pet Supplies Plus. Therefore, we always take the time to check out the store.
My girls love it when owners bring their pets to shop, and I love that the staff are so willing to talk to them about the birds, bunnies and guinne pigs currently up for sale. The employees get a kick out of watching us "watch" the animals and I feel they go out of their way to engage my kids. They know I don't spend money in their store, but that never seems to bother them. They are helpful and fun and we will continue to visit them on a weekly basis.
PROS: Fantastic Employees
While in the market for a new high-end mattress, I stopped in this little shop to see what was available. Oh my, I felt I was being harrassed by a used car saleman.
The employees obviously get commission on sales because our sales lady would not leave us alone. Plus, she wouldn't stop pushing the sale and kept giving us a "deadline" for the deal. "Buy it by tonight or the price goes up by $400." What in the world?
Also, she didn't even seem that competent when it came to high-end mattresses. She couldn't tell us the differences between models without reading the displays.
I was just bothered by the whole pressured experience and would go out of my way to tell all my friends to steer clear of this shop.
CONS: Pressure Sales Techniques
While I understand that Roto-Rooter is a franchise and you don't always get consistent quality, I can honestly state that the Ann Arbor location is just fantastic.
We had an unexplained leak in our ceiling that had everybody baffled. After months of trying to fix the leak through our Condo's management group, we decided to get our own professional plumber. We called Roto-Rooter and they offered to look and give a free estimate. They came by the next day. Within 20 minutes of Josh getting onto the job, he found the leaking pipe and immediately fixed the problem. Needless to say, the management company paid for the services and we got to thumb our noses in their ignorant direction!!!
What I loved best about Josh in particular, was his friendliness and professionalism. He obviously new his stuff and was very competent. But he also took the time to really clean up after himself and even left us a nice note when he was done. Such great service
PROS: Really Professional and Competent
Downtown Ann Arbor has a real gem in the Bellanina Day Spa. I was charmed by the converted turn-of-the-century home from the very start. My husband suprised me with a full body massage and facial here and I really loved the entire experience.
The staff really seem to be personable and helpful. They helped me choose the best massage options for me as well as the type of facial that would best suit me. The group of girls there were particularly nice and didn't mind my ignorance regarding spa etiquette! And of course, the service was exemplary. I had the time of my life and really look forward to going back.
Prices are on par with other day spas in the area. Nothing here is cheap, but you'll get your money's worth, that's for sure.
PROS: Charming atmosphere, Great Staff
I found AADC by accident. I was looking to get my 4 year old daughter into ballet classes and had planned to take her to Saline. An ad in the Ann Arbor Observer for AADC had me sold on it as it was right in my own backyard! I wasn't as concerned with the quality of the dance instruction as I was with the cost and location. Both are excellent.
But to make things even nicer, the studio is very professional and mom-and-pop at the same time. They know your and your child's name and the comraderie is very casual. However, the dance instruction, even for a 4 year old, is very professional. I wasn't expecting much, but the teachers are great with the kids. Having a class of ten 3-4 year olds pay attention for 30 minutes of instruction seems daunting to me. But the kids listen and perform wonderfully. Our particularly favorite teacher is Ms. Lauren. Beautiful, young and knowledgeable, my daughter really looks up to Ms. Lauren and I will continue to pay for lessons at AADC because of her.
AADC is a real gem in the area and I've already passed the word on to lots of other moms.
PROS: Location, Costs, Teachers
CONS: Small Lobby!
I've gone to many zoos throughout the country as I've got three young children. Some we like, some are okay, and some (like Detroit) aren't worth the money paid.
To start with, Detroit Zoo does not participate in the AZA zoo program in which buying a zoo membership at one zoo entitles you to get in free to most other zoos in the country. Strike one.
Strike two... the cost of the zoo is quite prohibitive. $11 for an adult and $7 for a child. And to park is an additional $5 per car. This is nearly double the cost of the next closest zoo, Toledo, OH.
And once we paid our fees, we were completely unimpressed by the exhibits. The zoo is long and narrow, with LOTS of walking in between houses. The only worthwhile exhibit is the polar bears. This truly was a great experience, but not worth the admission fee and all the other lackluster exhibits.
Also worth noting, the food kiosks were practically non-existent.
PROS: Great Polar Bears
CONS: Price, Lousy Exhibits
While I've never been to the flagship location of this local icon, I can't believe they get much business. Originally located in a huge store in the mall, they subsequently ended up moving to a large kiosk near the center court.
It appears that this store takes its cues from Build-A-Bear or Vermont Teddy Bear Company. You get to dress up a teddy bear or customize a t-shirt (with embroidery) for the bear. My children LOVE B-A-B, but have never even asked to stop at Chelsea Bear Co. even though we pass it every week.
I've gone through the bins of bears to see if it would be worth my while, but have never chosed to actually purchase a bear. The styles of clothes and bears seem so non-descript. Nothing you'd remember and definitely not something worth paying for. I say, skip this joint and head over to B-A-B if you want to customize a stuffed animal.
CONS: Cheap looking, Unimaginative