The scene is a familiar one: hotel guests lounge beside the outdoor pool as staff members filter around, offering refreshments or collecting clients for a spa treatment. However, at Pet Paradise, the pool is bone shaped and all the guests are dogs. This luxurious scene is one cat and dog owners can find at this boarding and daycare facility that has been owner Fred Goldsmith's pride and joy for a decade. The animal lover was inspired to start his own pet hotel when he simply couldn’t find a place he was comfortable leaving his bichon frise when he went on vacation.
Fred made Pet Paradise to his exact specifications, and the pet hotel's amenities reflect the loving care he lavishes on his own beloved pup. Dogs and cats can luxuriate in spa-quality grooming treatments or burn off some energy during group playtime. In the evening, pets can settle into plush bedding and feel safe knowing that the dedicated live-in staff resides just a bark away. Nocturnal kitties spend the night exploring their own private six-level cat condos while gentle spa music fills the air to keep them entertained. In case of any emergencies, Pet Paradise keeps veterinarians on-call, and in the event of a snack emergency, each staff member is a certified bacon cook.
Cars line up at the drive-thru window, where instead of bags of burgers and fries, staffers hand over bundles of glossy personal photos. Inside Creative Photo & Digital Imaging, digital techs convert media such as VHS tapes, records, and reels to DVD and CD, while across the store, photo experts transfer snaps onto album prints, museum-grade canvas wraps, and gifts such as coffee mugs and puzzles. Heirloom family portraits, ravaged by rips and sun damage, doff their imperfections in the photo-restoration lab, and an onsite portrait studio captures clans as they update their sweater sets through the years. Creative Photo & Digital Imaging also hosts photography classes on subjects from how to take better pictures on camera phones to the intricacies of digital SLR cameras.
Though shoji screens, wall-mounted Japanese fans, and natural-wood tones lend a calming simplicity to the decor, Geisha Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar doesn't lack for spectacle. At hibachi stations, chefs entertain diners with witty banter and flashy knife skills as they sear orders of filet mignon, scallops, or lobster tail on the tables' hot-grill surfaces. Behind a wooden bar, sushi chefs adopt a more reserved stance, quietly accessorizing maki with premium ingredients, including shitake mushrooms, spicy sesame oil, and pickled radish.
Mustard Seed Fair Trade connects locals with artisans from across the globe via a rotating stock of handmade decorations, accessories, and jewelry. Wee ones can slip paws into a pair of kids’ gloves ($8), a purchase that supports Bolivian knitters and complimentary haircuts for alpacas. Delhite artists enhance earlobes with pairs of chandelier earrings ($10), and necks are draped with an alpaca and silk shawl ($25). Ceramic bird whistles ($8) from Ecuador can be used to decorate soundscapes with cheerful tweeting.
Sprawling over 1 1/2 acres of fenced-in land, South Paw Acres takes care of canine companions with climate-controlled, cage-free indoor play areas, comfy beds, a plethora of toys, and an on-call veterinarian. A dedicated dog-sitter monitors all playgroups, which are grouped according to tail-waggers’ size, temperaments, and Forbes 100 listings. South Paw Acres boards no more than 10 dogs at a time, ensuring that every pup receives a high level of interaction and affection. After romping around the pooch playground, outfitted with a refreshing pond and tree-shaded lounge areas, furry friends can listen to soothing music and watch animal-centric television shows while awaiting the return of their owners. All canines must be more than 4 months old and have updated vaccination records, be spayed or neutered, and have the ability to tie their own shoes.