Friday, March 20, 2015

Our very first airBnB experience…

One of our very good friends travels a lot for business; and after a while he lost the charm of staying in crisp and professionally managed hotel rooms and longed for the feel of a home. So he decided to explore staying in accommodations listed in airBnB, the lived in homes, neighborhood coffee shop, smell of breakfast and brewing coffee. He shared his good and bad experiences with us over dinner one day and convinced us to give it a shot.

So for our most recent family trip to NorCal, we stayed at Brenda and Kirk’s home. It was a wonderful experience. We rented three rooms from them which are beautifully decorated, each with a destination theme. There was an Asia Room that my parents stayed in, the Africa Room with two twin beds where the kids stayed and DH and I stayed in the Southwest Room. Kirk is a well-traveled photographer and his pictures and memorabilia from the trips was part of the beautifully curated rooms.

Sunset views from the living room
The African Room
The Southwest room
The rooms were comfortable with good views of the harbor but the most fascinating part of the house was the common areas in their beautifully designed home. The living room has huge windows with clear view of the water. We often sat on the floor in the corridor leading to the stairwell from our rooms from our rooms to the stairwell, reading books, writing journals or just sitting there meditating on the calm and serene.
Our Favorite corner in the house, which was in the middle of it all :-)
We were able to use their kitchen and dining room as well which was particularly helpful for making the early morning cuppa chai, Indian style. We drank tea at the breakfast nook; girls ate cereal there and read; we planned our day watching the rays of sun gaining victory over the foggy clouds. It was the most fun part of the vacation, better than the site seeing and that does say a lot about those mornings.

The incredible mask collection 
I think it would take a very generous heart that can create warmth like that for the strangers that they just met through the internet. Kirk is the most delightful host, wonderful conversationalist and story teller. He was never in our way but just a text away if we needed his help with anything. He drew us elaborate sketches and guided us to local beaches and restaurants and grocery stores, something that is not accessible during a hotel stay. We were able to see elephant seals and their pups, stroll among the redwoods and even splash in the chilly beach water, all with his help.

It is very tough to put a price tag on such an experience; you can’t even begin to compare it to a regular hotel. There was a certain level of personalization and consideration in this stay that conjures up a feeling which is much beyond that MasterCard can buy. But for the practical mind that counts every dime, I think it is worth every penny. 

A cozy tea corner upstairs close to bedroom for early morning sips

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