We took a trip to Lancaster, PA and stayed at someone's house through that website that connects empty rooms with travelers.
The house and the room looked fantastic on the website. It really looked good, like it was from a magazine. But underneath everything, there were hidden issues which irked both of us. I soon realized that we should have done more research and asked more question. When we arrived and went up to the room, we were greeted by a well made bed with decorative pillows on it. I moved the 3 pillows onto the floor, because they took a lot of space and were particularly useless to us. We plopped ourselves on the bed after a long day of driving, and low and behold, the bed was subpar. It creaked when we shifted. It was an older bed with one of those yellow foam pads that you buy from Joann's. Ugh. It was a full size bed, which I knew ahead of time and warned hubby about it.
When we started unpacking our things, we had no where to put our things. The tables were filled with knick-knacks, decorative plate, pictures of people we do not know (nor care to), a porcelain elephant, a few decorative vases and three table lamps. Basically all things that you find in a home goods store or what you see on HGTV. Pretty, but not practical for a couple who wanted to be able to unpack their things. There was a dresser, but it was filled with things. To clear up some space, we took some stuff off the table and put it in the corner so that we could at least put our necessities like glasses, toiletries, drinks on it. Interestingly, when I moved the things off the table, the knick-knacks stuck onto the paint slightly. Luckily no paint came off with it. I wiped the surface and there was just a thin layer of dust.
On the dresser was also a bowl of toiletries. I was glad to have brought our own, we always do. There was a half used bottle of mouth wash and an almost finished tube of toothpaste. Um... would you use it?
The only real surface we had was an empty dining chair in the corner.
There was only one outlet easily available to us, and the rest of the outlet were hidden behind dressers and tables. We could move it, but the problem was we would have caused a temporary mark on the carpet. Luckily I had brought a power strip with us so that we could plug and charge all our electronic equipment. I had seen somebody do this, and it was such a brilliant idea that I adopted it.
Hubby reads at night before he goes to sleep. Turns out that there was no reading light. Yes, there were three table lamps, but in order to move it, we had to redecorate her room a bit. We took an excursion to Wal-Mart and bought us an LED clip on reading light for about $6.00. Ugh. Note to self, bring a reading light on trip.
The first night we were there, besides the bed sagging towards the middle, it was almost fine. Come 5:30 am, the sun in the room was so bright, that hubby had to turn the direction of the shade from one angle to another in order to continue sleeping. In addition, the a.c. in the house had been turned off, and we were hot and uncomfortable. I hate being hot.
The second night, when we came back from our excursion, as we were pulling in, hubby noticed that our host's bedroom windows were open. That was the first sign that we should have go to Walmart and buy ourselves a fan. She was not home when we got home, so we went straight up to the bedroom. The room was hot. We ended up opening the window. It was not a hot night, but it was still a little bit uncomfortable and stuffy. Hubby and I also concocted a way to block the sun in the morning with a dress I had worn the night before. Ta dah. Magic, no more sun in your face at 5:30 am.
Yes the room was priced reasonably, $59.00 per night, but as hubby said, we did pay in other ways. For three nights, we paid just under $200.00 (there was a $22.00 service charge). So if I were to do this again, would I? I think I would, but I would ask a few questions before staying - like, what kind of bed is it, is there a/c in the bedroom, can we control the thermostat. This is probably more important in the winter because both of us are always freezing in the winter. So going to a house where they set the house at 50 degrees at night will just not work for us.
The second morning, we came downstairs to get our caffeine fix for the day. Turns out that the Keurig was not working. It worked the morning before. Note that hubby gets really grumpy without coffee. Crap. I read the LED display, and it said "descale". I left a note with the host saying that I think it needed to be descale, and I hoped and prayed that we didn't break it. That evening when we came back, the gallon of vinegar was out and the Keurig manual was opened to "how to descale". The next morning, there was a note of the Keurig that said that the coffee machine should be working again. Yoo hoo.
So what happened on the third night? It was a bit better, but still uncomfortable. When we came back to the house, the a.c. was on and our host was not home. Again we went straight up to our room to unwind. As I was sleeping, our host came back probably around 11:00pm and after that, the a.c. was off. Crap. Another night with no a.c. Surprisingly at 5:30 am or so, I heard our host's door open, and the a.c. turned back on. I guess she was getting a little bit hot.
Well, there won't be a fourth night, thank god, our next stop is the traditional hotel. Good riddance.
This makes me think of our two guest bedroom in our house. No, we don't rent it out, but because we are just outside a metropolitan city, our place can be a hot commodity for friends, families and relatives to say, "Oh, can I crash at your place for a few days... for FREE?" I really don't mind having people over, but it can be a pain in the ass because I have to walk around on eggshells even in our own house. Everything needs to be tidied, cleaned, and presentable. I'm not saying that we live like slobs or anything, but sometimes I just don't clean because I don't want to.
The small amenities such as a power strip may just make our guests feel more at home. Unfortunately the closets are mostly taken over by our clothes, so we have a wing chair (that is the bane of my existence + another story) and a dining room chair in the bedrooms so that our guests can use it to put their stuff on. Is it worth buying a dresser? Probably, if I can find a half dresser, that's what I would get. But hey, we're not charging our guests for the rooms, so what do they have to complain about right?
Quilt and Bitch