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The European bronze medal emphasizes the values of quality and is another in a series of confirmations of excellent international positioning, which sees Istria again in the European Top 10, the only Croatian park on the scale of the Old Continent. Election passenger ratings are processed based on the Tripadvisor algorithm that compares different parameters, including the ranking, quantity, and quality of reviews published by the international user community. “The third European destination for Istria is a sign of growing public respect and comes at the center of a particularly complex season for the sector, fitting in with the task of aligning the entertainment offer and respecting new safety protocols and epidemiological measures.”Said Silvio Kraljević, head of the Istralandia aquapark. Today, the Travelers Choice scale was published, dedicated to theme parks and water parks, and the great news is that Istralandia is once again in first place in Croatia and the only Croatian excellence in the Top 10 European water parks. Photo: Istralandia “The award restores employees’ hope that quality always wins because it recognizes effort and constant investment in staff training, kindness and professionalism, care for greenery, entertainment and variety of animation programs, order, cleanliness and quality of pool water, rich and varied gastronomic offer, new adrenaline attractions of the latest generation, always high standardized levels of services, rich sports offer and at the same time great readiness to accept innovative entertainment programs”Says Kraljević and emphasizes that he thanks all the employees of Aquapark Istralandia for this important new achievement and great international success, which is also a great tourist success for the destination of Istria and for Croatia in general. The Travelers’ Choice 2020 ranking dedicated to the category of water parks, published today by the most important internet portal for quality excellence ratings in the world, confirmed that the Istralandia water park is 3. the best European water park in the competition of more than 300 European water parks, and at the same time Istralandia is classified as 5. the best water park in the world. The goal that Istralandia has perfectly achieved by using attractions and services based on a few, clear and simple “rules of the game”, preserving the original formula of the park, says Kraljevic, and these are: a perfectly successful combination of fun and entertainment for all lovers of water attractions. cleanliness in accordance with the highest hygienic standards and of course impeccable safety for all visitors and lovers of water pleasures.
THE GREAT OUTDOORSI’ve seen Montrezl Harrell and Paul George showing off the fish they’ve caught. I’ve seen Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee playing outdoor giant-sized Connect Four. I’ve seen players on boats and on golf courses, and shotgunning beers on the Disney lawn.I thought about that a lot on Thursday night as, for the second time this week, I went for a ‘run’ in my room. The longest stretch of floor space is about 30 feet across — that’s about eight jogging strides, or six sprinting strides. I could only stand about 20 minutes of going back and forth between my window and my bathroom mirror.Throughout the whole experience, I imagined myself as a ping pong ball bouncing side to side — which incidentally is another activity NBA players and coaches can pursue outside of quarantine.When I arrived a week ago, the thick, sweaty humidity felt anything but inviting. I had gotten used to cool breezes in the coastal hikes of Malibu during the hiatus within a short drive of where I live in Los Angeles. But at this point, I’m willing to settle for any air that isn’t indoors. On the NBA campus, outdoor activity is encouraged (when you’re not under quarantine) because coronavirus spreads less readily than it does in small indoor spaces.The Coronado Springs Resort where I’m staying has a lake with a walking trail just under a mile in length that I hear is well-trafficked. For the last five minutes of my step, step, turn, repeat routine, I thought of how warm the sun would feel on that route and how the rush of air would brush my face during a run outdoors. That’s assuming, of course, that my first act of liberation isn’t immediately leaping into the pool.SCHEDULE CONTROLI’m naturally a night owl, and a career as a sports journalist has only slid me further down that scale. The first few days of quarantine, I jumped up like a shot to get breakfast, but as the week went on, I found myself trying to grasp a few more winks while allowing my breakfast to cool in a bag outside.Disney catering has taken great pains to deliver meals to us in quarantine as safely as possible, and part of that is the schedule. Breakfast is served sometime between 7:30 a.m. and 9 a.m.. Lunch is served between noon and 1 p.m. Dinner is served a little after 6 p.m. Employees wearing a lot of protective gear drop off food in bags, knock and then depart straightaway before opening the door.These are undoubtedly normal times to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. But these windows are somewhat urgent since I have limited refrigerator space and no microwave. I’ve let breakfast or dinner sit for hours while I work, sleep or exercise. Zoom calls with teams can be scheduled in these hours. I frequently make the mental tradeoff of allowing meals to go cold so I can finish whatever I’m working on.COVID-19 testing also takes place in a window. On our first two nights was after 10 p.m., which is a long time to wait for the most important part of your day. The NBA found a way to move this up to between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., which helped. But I find myself tapping my toes and looking out my window around 3:30, unwilling to start new tasks and anxious to get my mouth and nose swabs done. Once I’m out of quarantine, I’ll be able to schedule testing windows like others on campus.This is not to say the bubble has tremendous scheduling freedom. Teams are feeling some of that especially when it comes to practice times, which vary wildly. There’s seven practice locations for 22 teams, and each venue has to be cleaned vigorously. This leads to some practices being scheduled at 8:30 a.m. and some ending at 10 p.m. with little apparent pattern. Seeding games will have smaller windows but a similar feel, with games being played all day.Celtics coach Brad Stevens said of this: “If somebody had a 10 a.m. slot or noon slot every single day, that’d be an advantage. Ultimately, we’re all all over the place, and that’s just part of it.”My issue isn’t one of unpredictability, but rather one of rigidity. I’ll celebrate when I can eat a 10:30 a.m. breakfast that’s still warm.CAMARADERIEDuring their 36-hour quarantines, players shared stories of how they were still able to communicate from down the hall. At 2 a.m., Clippers guard Reggie Jackson said, he heard Patrick Beverley yelling “Yoooooooo!” through the walls, prompting everyone to their doors.My sense of fraternity is much more limited.The neighboring room has food delivered to the door three times a day, just like mine. The occupant is either a silent monk who is fasting until we are released, or is more likely no one at all. I’ve never seen anyone emerge for any reason. The food delivered to that door sits for hours in the Florida heat until it is replaced by a fresh bag for the next meal. Disney catering has yet to identify this discrepancy.Because of the motel-style set-up of the rooms where I’m living, I can’t actually see other media members — most of whom I know at least as acquantances — or where they are stationed. I have a rough idea based off of texts and social media, and dialogue about our mutual quarantine experience is ongoing. Many are writing, like I am, about their experiences so far. But not being able to see them in person reinforces the isolation we’re experiencing.Again, this is not a cry of hardship — only an acknowledgement of how wonderful it is to see other people, especially friends. That’s a feeling almost everyone in this country can certainly relate to after the last few months off and on under pandemic-related lockdowns.While we will be asked to abide by social distancing guidelines and we are not permitted in each other’s rooms, I suspect many media members including myself will be content to stand six feet apart, at least in earshot and seeing range of a living, breathing human being.BASKETBALLWell, of course.So much of my life takes place in gyms and arenas, accompanied by the soundtrack of sneaker squeaks and ball bounces. There will be a strange, dystopian quality to the precautions we had to take, which I will write about in future posts, but it will be basketball, and in the midst of a totally original enterprise of a satellite campus restart, even the most mundane familiar details should prove comforting.It’s hard to even relate what I’ve missed about the game as an observer to how players and coaches and other NBA lifers must feel. The NBA was deeply conscious during the hiatus about how players would struggle feeling disconnected from the game, and made mental health resources available.There’s a lot to sort about the ethics of the return of sports, which critics say are social luxuries in the current time of crisis. With COVID-19 cases still on the rise in the United States, it’s a reasonable point of view. And everyone within the bubble understands, or at least should understand, that only a few mistakes could undo all the work the NBA has done to try to finish the season, crown a champion, and recoup revenue.But for just about all of the people here in Disney World, basketball isn’t just a game, but a livelihood. There are sacrifices they are willing to make in a continued pursuit of the career they’ve built for years. Many of these people only know this way of life, with peaks of big events, schedules of late nights and lots of travel, and a passion for basketball that isn’t just a side project, but has enabled them to live comfortable lives. I think of the words of J.R. Smith, who was out of basketball for nearly 18 months before signing with the Lakers in June.“I was gone for a while and for being somebody who has been around the league predominately for most of their adult life, when that’s kind of taken away from you, it kind of gives you that culture shock and you obviously don’t understand what you lost until it’s gone,” he said. “So, for me more than anything, I just want to appreciate the moment for what it is and whether it be next year or never again, I just want to enjoy every possible moment that I get.”Enjoy every moment — it’s good advice. I’ll think of that next time I look out the window, waiting to experience the greater world of the bubble for myself.– Kyle GoonEditor’s note: Thanks for reading the Lakers Purple & Bold newsletter. Sign up here for the newsletter.From the BubbleNewcomers find a groove – How J.R. Smith and Dion Waiters have blended into the Lakers while in the bubble.The Missing Morrises – We learned earlier this week that both Markieff and Marcus Morris haven’t been spotted in Florida..Wearing new hats – It’s a new way to work for the Lakers’ coaching staff, and a throwback vibe for the players mixing on the Disney campus.Finding new pursuits – What it’s like to be without family, and how the Lakers have tried to fill their time.Behind The Alliance – Jim Alexander tackles why the 11 pro sports franchises in L.A. are banding together for social justice.Jersey messages – From “Black Lives Matter” to nothing at all, NBA players share their sentiments about social justice messages for re-opening night.Lean on Dion? – Rajon Rondo’s injury could mean the newcomer has a bigger role than previously expected.If you missed our first installment – I described what it was like to prepare for and enter quarantine here at Disney World.Follow along on Instagram – I’m sharing stories from the bubble in a different way, and you can check it out here. Dear reader, after remaining in the same 300-square foot room for some 125 hours as of this writing, my deepest dream is to take a flying leap into the pool that I’ve been gazing at outside my window. I want to wake up when I want, eat when I want, and feel air that has not been circulated through these four walls a thousand times. I want to physically see a person who is not testing me for a possibly deadly disease to see if I’m a threat to the people already inside the NBA bubble — walking around with less freedom than normal life, but certainly more freedom than I currently enjoy.What I actually need courage for is staying put, at least until Sunday night.Let me be clear: This is a worthwhile and necessary process recommended by medical experts. If I could potentially be carrying COVID-19 into the NBA Restart, a months-long effort of literally thousands of people, I want to know and take every reasonable precaution. I don’t want to put anyone’s health at risk.But after five negative tests, hours of Zoom calls and trying to find ways to preserve and consume the incredible amount of food that Disney catering piles at my door every day, I’m starting to feel the itch to get out and see the world — well, within the bounds of the Disney campus.While the experience of quarantine is still fresh, here’s what I’ve seen and heard about on the outside that I’m looking forward to when it’s safe for me to emerge from my weeklong hibernation: Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Editor’s note: This is the Friday, July 17 edition of the Lakers Purple & Bold newsletter. ‘Bubble Dribble’ focuses on a look inside the NBA’s bubble. Sign up here for the newsletter.LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — On the fifth morning of my weeklong quarantine, I woke up the same way I have every day so far: A knock on my door between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. Breakfast was served.After a few minutes of lying in bed deciding whether to sleep on, I dragged myself to the door and gathered the two bags containing a massive breakfast, which included a sandwich, two hardboiled eggs, Canadian bacon, juice, milk, yogurt, fruit, cottage cheese and a slice of bread in a sleeve.The sleeve offered this quote from Walt Disney, the namesake of this resort: “All of our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”
You can imagine even the quirky Brian Wilson entering the Dodgers clubhouse for the first time in August with a bit of trepidation.Wilson, the former Giants closer who owns a dastardly beard and interesting vibe, had come to resurrect his career with his former rival. But the awkward transition was comforted by a friendly face in the corner of the clubhouse: Juan Uribe.The former Giants teammates, who won a World Series together in 2010, bonded again instantly. Their must-see pre-game dominoes tilts filled with cash, loud voices and swear words in two languages, commenced.“You play dominoes to be calm mentally and relax and get ready for the game,” Uribe said. “It’s a way to do it where everyone can see. For me, this guy is a good guy and a good teammate. “He likes winning like me. He’s a guy you want on your team.”Wilson didn’t talk to Uribe before he signed with the Dodgers, but they picked up where they left off in a hurry. “I’ve always known what kind of caliber teammate Uribe is, and I knew he’d be a great fit here,” Wilson said. “As soon as I found out I was coming over, the friendship is basically the same — laughing, joking, having a good time. Playing some serious dominoes.”This isn’t about dominoes, of course, but they do have that in common. And dominoes are more entertaining to watch than a player working on a crossword puzzle.This is about a friendship between an infielder from the Dominican Republic and a pitcher from Massachusetts who together helped win the ultimate prize in baseball. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Reuniting feels so good, even if it’s in Southern California — where Wilson lives in the offseason — and not Northern California where their friendship was born. They’re trying to team up to win a World Series again, this time with the Dodgers.“He knows about winning,” Uribe said. “That’s a guy you want to be on your team.”Uribe will be relied on heavily for his postseason swagger as he and Carl Crawford are the only two Dodgers starters with World Series experience. Jerry Hairston, Nick Punto and Skip Schumaker also have World Series experience.The Dodgers last made the playoffs in 2009 and last won a World Series in 1988.Wilson is a big story not only for his personality, wit and beard, but because he’s pitching again after his second Tommy John surgery.The Giants didn’t re-sign him after the 2012 season, in which he pitched in just two games but still was with the team for its second World Series win in three years. He hadn’t pitched since April of 2012 before returning to the mound for the Dodgers last month. The Dodgers gave him a chance, and he’s seemingly been there forever, even with a getaway-day black suit complete with dark pink shirt and black shoes with pink trim and skeleton heads.It’s about the people and pitches, not the shoes or that scraggly beard. Even when Wilson faced the Giants in September, he didn’t get emotional.“Not at all. It’s another team,” Wilson said. “Everybody wants to think it’s something it’s not. It’s hitters that I’ve known for a while. It’s me getting my three outs or whatever my team needs me to do.”Uribe hit a career-high 24 home runs in 2010 in the Giants’ World Series championship season. He struggled in his transition with the Dodgers, hitting just .204 with four home runs in 77 games in 2011 and .191 with two home runs in 66 games with the Dodgers in 2012, all the while battling injuries.He’s so well-liked by his teammates, that even when Uribe was the victim of the hidden-ball trick against Tampa this season, Adrian Gonzalez was the first to present him with the third-base bag and a shoe taped to it as a prank. Uribe can laugh about it all, especially because he’s hitting and seemingly has his groove back. Wilson already has the Dodgers’ back like he’s been bleeding blue forever. After the Dodgers clinched the National League West in Arizona, he came to his team’s defense. Arizona Senator John McCain was one of many people to complain about the Dodgers’ celebration in the Diamondbacks’ pool. McCain tweeted the Dodgers were “No-class act by a bunch of overpaid, immature, arrogant, spoiled brats!”Wilson tweeted a stinging — and funny — response: “Senator McComplain knows a thing or two about coming in second and watching someone take a plunge in the pool (I mean poll) #PooLITICS.” For Wilson, he’s simply happy to be pitching again. He led the National League with 48 saves in 2010 but didn’t have a contract to pitch with any team when the season started in April. He worked out on his own and was confident he was ready in August. The Dodgers were ready for him, especially if he can live up to his Twitter Avatar, which demonstrates he’s proud of two things:“Twitter of a world champion, and a world champion beard.”He and Uribe don’t have a beard in common, but that doesn’t mean Uribe doesn’t understand that unruly abundance of black facial hair that should have its own name. “It’s good. I like it,” Uribe said. “Some people don’t. But I like it. Fans do, too.”They’ll like Uribe and Wilson even more if they can bring another World Series title to Los Angeles.
DES MOINES — The restrictions are lifted and Iowans are able to visit their dentists again, but the experience will be quite different for most of us due to the pandemic.Dr. Jeffrey Chaffin, chief dental officer for Delta Dental of Iowa, says don’t expect to just pop in for your usual six-month check-up. “You should expect a call before you go into the office to see whether you’ve been sick or exposed to COVID-19,” Chaffin says. “Temperature (taking) would be pretty common in most dental offices as well, and fewer people in the office, the dental waiting room is going to look different to support social distancing.”Many dentists will also ask that only the patient comes to the office, without other family members. Most dentists and hygienists wore masks and gloves before coronavirus swept in, so now, they’ll be taking even more precautions. “Dentists may wear different types of masks, like the N95 masks which a lot of folks may’ve heard about which is actually a respirator, or they may use traditional masks along with a face shield,” Chaffin says. “They’ll take a little bit longer to clean up afterward as well.”Until there’s a vaccine for COVID-19, Chaffin says there will always be some degree of risk with any type of contact, but dentists are doing all they possibly can to ensure the health of their patients. “We really suggest that while it’s safe to visit a dentist, for very high-risk people, they have to look at everything they do within their lives and assess that risk,” Chaffin says. “If somebody has some type of disease and they’re really high risk, they will want to put off visiting the dentist as well as doing a lot of things that they normally would have done in the past.”There are about 1,700 practicing dentists in Iowa who operate out of around 2,500 offices and many of them have already reopened. “Other offices have waited,” Chaffin says. “They had a May 18th number in their heads so they’re trying to get all the new PPE that they need and they’re training their staff on new procedures. We’re seeing some offices open last Friday, some throughout this week, but many are waiting until May 18th, next Monday.”Most dentists in Iowa are also small businesses and Chaffin says while a few have permanently closed during the pandemic, the majority are either open now or will be soon.