“It’s a great day for chili”

I bought a pair of Keen water shoes in 2010 to go to Lollapalooza with my friend Alex.  They were the nicest pair of water shoes I have owned yet.  I have enjoyed using them often since I am living in Oregon now. They have been my go to shoe for all the kayaking trips I get to go on working as the Full Charge Bookkeeper for Next Adventure   This job has a lot of adventure perks. I plan to go on them all. So far I have being skiing on Mount Hood, taken every guided hike and I have taken every guided kayaking trip they have to offer.

I have been out to Ross Island, several times- it is on the Willamette River. I have been out to Rooster Rock which is on the Columbia River Gorge.  I have been to Sauvie Island which is in the state of Washington but feels like really far north Portland.  I have come to expect some kind of challenge to happen during the trips because so far every trip has had something happen to make it a somewhat difficult experience.

Off all the challenges I have dealt with, the trip to Sauvie Island sticks with me the most.

Our group started off having a good time, we were moving along, taking in the nature when we encountered water only 2 inches deep.  This would take hours and hours to get out of.  The mud underneath was so soft we were unable to get out and stand in it to pull the boats.  I tried and the mud went up over my knees to mid thigh.  We turned our paddles into oars and inched our way along.  It was miserable but there was no other way around it. Not everyone was going at the same speed. It is important to stay together as a group.  After a considerable amount of time pulling ourselves along it was time for a break.  I hitched up with the high school girl.  She had just had surgery on her foot. Under no circumstances should her foot get wet.  She came on this trip because it had already been paid for. Not only was it her Aunt’s birthday, it was also her Mom’s weekend to be with her.  She sang Journey songs with me and taught me the new slang way the kids say “bitch”  = “batch of cookies”  I think it’s cute! I’m going to start using it. We also played silly games and asked each other fun get to know you questions.  Thank Jah this group was awesome to be stuck with!

P1020944After an hour of chillin’ in the mud, waiting for the other people to catch up, everyone voted to move inward and go from there.  It would take another 30 min of inching along just to reach the shore.  I am going to need to get out of my boat to help the high school girl get her boat the closest to shore as possible so she could get out while keeping her foot dry.  I’m going to have to pull her boat which will require me getting into the mud. The mud was soft like gray clay. The minute I stepped into it, it came to above my knees . I lifted my leg up to take a step and bloop..my shoe came off 2 feet under the mud.

Oh Fuck!  I turned right back around and plunged my arm in that crap to find my $100 pair of shoe.  Seriously, it was not to be found anywhere.  I plunged and plunged my arm around, it was hopeless.  I pulled that girl to shore and the sweetest gal that was on our trip came back out in the mud to help me look.  We crawled around on all fours…. both of us grossed out – words can’t express the feelings we had.  After a solid 10 minutes of trying, we didn’t recover the shoe.  I would have to spend the next 5 hours with one shoe only.

 

The mud proved too much for the group to get through so our guide decided the next course of action. We would pull our boats across a cow pasture which had stickers galore on the ground before making our way closer to the river to drop back in and paddle back to where the van was.  We were tired and the tour guide ended up having to pull some people for awhile.  We were also out of drinking water.  Thankfully a boat had noticed how long we were stuck and tossed us some bottled water.

Finally we make it to shore.  Loaded up the van and headed back to town. We didn’t make it back to the shop until 7:30p.m. (2.5 hours later than planned).

I stayed to help the tour guide wash the mud off the boats before putting them back.  Then I gave her a ride home since she needed one.  Dang. What a trip.

Three days later I received an email from the Willamette RiverKeeper asking for volunteers.  The Willamette RiverKeeper is the only non profit organization here in Portland dedicated to clean up of the Willamette River. The river is large and dirty.  It divides Portland into east / west sides. It’s the reason we have twelve cool bridges. I’m glad someone cares enough to keep it clean. Especially now that they try to market it as safe to swim in during the summer. They were offering a Keen shoe gift card worth $150 in exchange for a four hour shift.  Whoa- just what I needed and just in time.  It’s like the universe stepped in right away to support me ❤ Therefore- Sign me up and put me wherever you need me.

New Seasons 1They signed me up to be stationed at a New Seasons Market in Beaverton. I was tasked with selling chili outside the store.  It cost $5 and the money would go towards keeping the river clean ( and I get my shoes back )  I stood outside for 4 hours.  For 3 of those 4 hours I shouted at people walking by  “It’s a great day for chili” .  It was indeed a great day for it.  It was cloudy with the feel of rain in the air. I am a vegetarian and so was the chili.  I had it for lunch, it was delicious.

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I got my shoes back as well as a pair of much needed rain boots.  It rains in Portland 8 to 9 months out of the year.  Maybe not all day everyday but often enough to use rain boots.

 

I can’t believe it worked out.  What a crazy way to loose my shoe and then get them back plus some.  I wouldn’t trade this story for anything. I have learned that painful moments end up making the best memories when you get to look back upon them.

Thanks Earth School.

 

Providence Bridge Pedal- Cheaters Never Prosper

Portland Oregon goes by many a nickname.  One of them is Bridge City.  Portland has 12 bridges that span the Willamette River.  Each with their own unique design and purpose.

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I have lived by the Broadway Bridge since I moved here in 2011. Once over this bridge, you will continue to be on Broadway street which runs through the heart of downtown to the south part of the city.

 

The first year I arrived my co-worker’s husband told me about a fun annual event in town. Once a year they close the bridges and only allow bikes to utilize them.  Normally cars dominate (there are tiny bike lanes ) . Once closed, the entire space is available to bike riders. There is an option to walk however that only includes one bridge – the Marquam Bridge. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still cool.  The Marquam Bridge gives you the best view of the city.  Calling it a bridge is a bit deceiving. Its more like a highway ramp/ overpass. That’s how you get the good view 🙂

The event is called Providence Bridge Pedal and I am definitely going to check it out.  Portland is such a cool city!

Research showed I was late to the game.  I didn’t have time to register and pay.  I didn’t have time to get any gear.  I barely had time to think of what I would need.  I haven’t done anything like this is so long. It has to be at least 15 maybe 20 years since I have been on a bicycle.  Ooops

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I called some bike stores around town and found a place downtown on the west side that had a single speed bike left (with a basket).  I will take it 🙂

 

I found the route online, determined I could sneak in behind a business that was just a few blocks away from where my full time job was. Only because I knew a bit about the area that I figured it would be a less risky spot to slip in. This way if I needed to exit quickly, I would be somewhat familiar with my surroundings. It doesn’t feel good to cheat. Being poor sucks. Being unprepared sucks. I vow to pay next year ( and do ).

I didn’t blend in at all. I didn’t have proper biking riding attire. I had some random snacks and a water in the basket of the bike. I was the only person as far as the eye could see that was not wearing a helmet. There were hundreds, maybe thousands of people who participate in the event.  It bears repeating. I was the ONLY person without a bike helmet. As I moved along with the crowd, no one spoke to me.

As I rode along, having a great time, there was a moment it occurred to me were getting further and further from the city.  The road I was on started to have a lot of space between the random businesses. Mind you, I have only been living here for a few months and I have no idea where things are.  All I know is that I was riding my bike down the side of a long road so far that I started to have dreams of calling a taxi. After a few minutes , serious cyclists started to pass me.  They had proper gear and signs on their backs with the number 10. I had plenty of time to think about what that could mean.  Suddenly I remembered some information I had glimpsed at since I didn’t technically pay to register.  There are options for the event.  You can walk, or ride over 3 bridges, 5 bridges or 10 bridges.  The 10 bridge option is about 25 miles long.

What the heck have I gotten myself into?!?!?!  Here is just another example of how Cheaters Never Prosper. I had no choice but to continue. I was tired and the taxi dreams were getting stronger.

Turns out we were headed to the St. Johns Bridge.  The furthest bridge North. Fun fact: it is the only suspension bridge out of the bunch. They had closed the on ramp for the bridge which made it convenient to access. At some point, I got off my bike to walk up the on ramp. It was a steep incline okay, I was tired and soar already. I had a fixed speed bike.  I didn’t even know what that meant before I had this adventure LOL

Then another shameful thing happened. I saw a man peddling fast going up the ramp, passing me by with not one, not two but three individual kid pod carriers behind him. Whoa, new goal.  I had come so far, I was so unprepared, I was so tired that it wasn’t motivating enough to get back on the bike.  I did stand there in awe of his moment.  I silently gave him praise and wished that I was in better shape.  The moment has stayed with me 7 years later.

I got back on the bike at the top of the ramp, rode over the bridge, headed back down towards where I started and couldn’t have been happier to be heading back. The ride back was fantastic.  They closed part of the Highway 405 which is a major thorough fare.  The event starts at 5:00 a.m. because they want to start opening back up the bridges at 11:00 a.m. You can imagine the delays in traffic this event causes once a year. It’s a big deal and I really wanted to do it. I was doing it.  Even if it meant sneaking in with my rented fix speed bike.

I started at 8:00 a.m.. It took me 3 1/2 hours to finish from where I snuck in ( rental due back by noon). I ended up riding over 6 of the bridges. In no particular order (corresponding pictures ) the Marquam Bridge, the Broadway Bridge, the Steel Bridge, the St. Johns Bridge and the Freemont Bridge, and the Burnside Bridge.

 

 

I never want to ride my bike to the St. Johns Bridge ever again. Kuddos to you if you do.  I would however do the Family ride which includes 6 bridges and the 405n Highway.  Be safe out there!  Bridge Pedal

 

The Best Things To Do In Portland Oregon

photo-1436505743955-a98c0d3eb1a8I have been living in Portland since March of 2011 and I am still loving it. Portland isn’t a big town.  It is a dense town, which means you get a lot of options in a small radius.  Portland is made up of lots of neighborhoods (each with their own flavor). As a local, it is common to stick to your part of town since you can find everything you need in your neighboorhood.  Overall Portland is known for its nature, coffee, beer, food and strippers.

Over the last seven years, I have had several friends visit, which has prompted me to find all the fun things in town to do.  I also run an Airbnb, so I am constantly offering suggestions to guests.

Getting around town

  • The public transportation in Portland is reliable, efficient and affordable.  The TriMet system is the organization that runs the Max (aka: the light rail), the bus and the street car.  It costs $5 for an all day pass.  You can use your ticket to ride any of the options for public transportation.
  • You can also Rent Bikes. If you do get a bike, I encourage you to ride it around the Eastbank Esplanade.  Bikes are allowed on the bus, light rail and street car.

 

 

  • You will need a car if you want to go to the Gorge, the Coast or Mount Hood.

West Side/ Downtown of Portland

oPortland City Grill is located on the 30th floor of the Bancorp tower otherwise know as Big Pink.  UnknownBig Pink has its own Instagram page dedicated to it. If you are driving, there is a parking garage right next to it.  PCG will validate your parking for up to two hours.  There is also a max stop right in front of it.

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Powell’s Books Store.  Quintessential Portland. Give yourself some time to be in here. There are many rooms to explore and gifts to consider.

 

 

portland-parks-m25d0img24312-sPark Blocks.  Have you seen the movie that was filmed in Portland, What the Bleep Do We Know?  There is a scene explaining quantum physics using a basketball.  It was filmed in the Park Blocks.

 

1486700177406Portland Art Museum.
The first Thursday of Every Month is free from 5:00p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

 

 

img_6381Portland Saturday Market– Where local artists come together to sell you their creations.  Happening weekends, March through Christmas Eve.  This is a great place to shop whether you’re a local or a tourist.

 

1297969442-screen_shot_2011-02-17_at_11.02.55_amGround Kontrol.

The places where you can drink and play video games. All ages until 4:30p.m. daily.

 

 

Places to Eat :

Piazza Italia– my favorite Italian restaurant

Cool Moon Ice Cream– right next door to Piazza Italia

Thai Peacock– my favorite Thai restaurant

Voodoo Doughnuts if you must– I think they are over rated.  Don’t buy the hype.  The one downtown always has a line out the door.  They only take cash.  There is a location on the east side you can walk right into most anytime. I saw someone get married there once.  There was a line that day since they shut down the store for a few minutes.

Alder Street Food Carts or the Food Carts on SW 3rd Ave between SW Washington and SW Stark Street.

Mother’s Bistro– Quintessential Portland Breakfast.  “Call your Mother”

Shopping on NW 23rd Street. A street lined with shopping.  Where us locals  to buy clothes when we aren’t thrift shopping.

 

 

East Side of Portland

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LaurelHurst Park is great because it’s in the middle of the city.  It’s big, has a lake where you can see ducks and birds, etc.

 

 

 

images-1Mount Tabor is an inactive volcano.  Once you’re at the top, you get a great view of the city. If you are visiting in August, be sure to check out Soap Box Derby Races

 

 

 

Places to Eat:

Blue Star Donoughts on Mississippi

Salt and Straw on NE Alberta.Right next to Bollywood Theater

Bollywood Theater– best Indian food in town.

Cruz Room– great tacos.

Por Que No Tacos on Mississippi– Mexican food tacos.

Screen Door– great for breakfast

Dicks Kitchen – healthy eating

There are too many to list!!

You aren’t going to get bad food in Portland.  We like it locally sourced, organic, infused, muddled and flavorful.  If you are Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free or Dairy Free, you are still going to eat well in Portland ❤

 

 

In General

images-1Japanese Garden– Cost $16.95 admission.

This place was recently remodeled and expanded.  It is serene, peaceful, never gets old to visit.  It’s a glimpse into another culture that is not far from the city.  Located in Washington Park.  You can get here with public transportation.

 

 

 


“Amazing View” @  Pittock Mansion

I have never paid to go into the mansion.  I just go around the back to show my friends the free view.  If going inside to see a restored to the time period house interests you then click on the link to get all the information you need to go.

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Portland International Rose Garden in Washington Park
There are over 10,000 rose bushes of approximately 650 varieties. The roses bloom from April through October with the peak coming in June, depending on the weather.

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Vista House in the Gorge. You have to take part of the Colombia Scenic Highway to get here.  Breath taking views as you look east and west. A special place we have just 20 minutes east of the city.

 

stelprd3823422Multnomah Falls 

At the base of Multnomah Falls, the Historic Multnomah Falls Lodge awaits to offer a place of relaxation, a fine meal, the perfect gift, hiking or visitor information, or possibly an espresso or tasty treat to accompany your hike or day trip.

 

 

So there you have it.  There are more places to see, eat and drink of course.  I think the ones I have listed should not be missed. Come enjoy all the things Portland has to offer, stay with me in my Airbnb, we will have a good time 🙂

Safe travels to you!

 

Airbnb: Getting Harassed by a Russian Guest: Part 1

I have been a host for Airbnb for 2 years and I have hosted over 350 people. People are people and patterns have revealed themselves. I have encountered all kinds of situations and behaviors – I thought I had seen it all. There is a first time for everything.  Lessons Consequences Choices Wisdom

Albert booked last-minute and sent a message saying he was landing at 11 pm. I took this to mean that he would be headed over straight from the airport and would be arriving around 11:30pm maybe midnight. My check-in window is from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. however I always let guests check-in later since I have a lock box and they can self check-in. Most people have Respect and come in as quiet as possible or at least apologize for waking people up. Not this guy.

20180612_0808551415496442.jpgAlbert, showed up at 3 a.m.- drunk and woke up the house wearing shoes while clopping up and down the stairs. I went downstairs to use the restroom and check out what was happening. I found Albert on the stairs with a deer-in-headlights look on his face. I asked if he was wearing shoes.  He said yes.

I asked why, it’s a house rule (with a penalty fee for agreeing with them and then showing up and not following them).

 

Airbnb: These are my House Rules. Do you think they are reasonable? There is also a friendly reminder sign on the front door. 20180501_195549.jpg

It appeared he had just arrived.  Clearly he hadn’t read anything nor was he aware of the details so I felt compelled to point out the bathroom and guest area in the kitchen so he could get a glass of water.  As I headed back upstairs to go to bed he had more questions. I am a bit grumpy when rudely woken up in the middle of the night. He wanted to know where he could smoke a cigarette. Well….like the listing states there is no smoking cigarettes (tobacco) on the property. He got a quizzical look on his face and said he didn’t read that. Could he not step outside?….no. Could he not go out back?…..no. He argued and debated and I was growing more grumpy. It wasn’t the time for it.

He got out his phone to pull things up. At a glance, I could not tell where this information was located on his phone nor was I going to wake up enough to sort it out. When my eyes opened enough to read it was 3:09a.m. I instructed him to turn off the lights when he was done and we could talk about it in the morning.  Airbnb: I am a host not a 24 hour concierge desk

Before I went to bed, I sent some messages through Airbnb to document the situation.  I knew that I would be calling first thing in the morning to see what my options were.  I have attached all of them for your viewing pleasure. Start from Left to Right in each row.

Someone needs to learn the difference between a House Manual and House Rules.  I even write in the manual to look at the rules for people who are slow or lack attention to detail.

I am an early riser.  I called Airbnb at 7:30a.m. to explain what was happening.  I was assigned a case manager who assisted with me in the process of changing a reservation. He called Albert several times to inform him it was time to vacate- Albert didn’t answer (shocker).  So when the case manager called me back, I said yes I was willing to knock on the door so they could speak on my phone.  Time for Albert to go.  He required me asking him when he was going to leave, he was just chillin’ in bed so I was forced to call Airbnb back to confirm it could be immediately since Albert was trying to say he had until check out time.  Why would he possibly want to stay any longer?

In the past, the guest leaves, I get to keep all the money since they violated the terms and conditions of the agreement.  This time I compromised and let him out of it by agreeing to let the reservation be altered to just one nights stay.  I also cancelled the request for the penalty fee for wearing shoes in the house.  I was willing to let him off easy just to get rid of him so I could move on to the next guest, who would be nothing short of awesome in comparison.

With Albert gone, I hung out with my other French guest, who had cooked us a delicious dinner the night before.

I had the best guest and the worst guest at the same time.  Good thing I like to focus on the positive. Back to the happy place.

Until I received a message from a kind stranger informing me that Albert was trashing me on Twitter, I mean really having a go at me. To the point where a kind stranger could identify me, reach out to me and let me know what was happening. I thought I was free and clear of his harassment.

Time to remember the Twitter password.

Part 2 coming next……

 

 

 

 

 

Portland, OR is the biggest DIY town I ever met.

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and I am smarter for it.

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I was born in San Francisco and grew up between Colorado Springs, Colorado and the Bay Area. At 21, I decided to leave Colorado Springs and move to Austin, Texas, where I will spend the next 15 years of my life (minus a 3 month stint dealing Blackjack in Vegas). I moved to Portland, Oregon from the ATX.  I have been living in Portland for eight years now and counting. I will move again.

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I don’t remember much about the way things worked in the Bay Area or Colorado Springs. Colorado Springs, at that time, was small, conservative, and surround by the military.  People were probably friendly enough in both places.

 

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Living in Austin taught me about “Southern Hospitality”.  There is something to be said for living with constant sunshine and hanging out outside all the time – it makes for friendly outgoing people.  People who are ready to take the time to answer your questions, call someone if they don’t know or let you follow them because they happen to be going in the same direction. I loved it.  Help with a smile.

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Living in Portland has taught me to be even more resourceful. It is not as sunny around here and it makes me wonder if it contributes to the mentality.  Not many people outside and not many people willing to help you do what you could do for yourself. I hope you have access to the Internet.  You need directions some place? … look up the address, and put it in your navigation.  Don’t have that… Use a compass and a map. There is a gear store nearby where you can purchase those items if you don’t have them either. Figure it out. Solve your problems. No one will be phoning a friend or escorting you around here. It forced me to be even more resourceful.  I have an abundance of gratitude for that.  It is a nice skill to have.  Waiting on other people sucks.

Is it easier for people to just tell you every detail of how things work ( insert anything you have questions about)? yes.  What about the long game though? Teach a man to fish…..

I like to say that the lessons hardest learned are the ones not easily forgotten. People don’t learn from other peoples mistakes.  You have to get your hands dirty, get involved with life and learn from your own mistakes. Mistakes are great teachers. Knowledge = Power.

After all, Life is either the greatest adventure or it’s not.  You choose!

 

 

 

 

 

Airbnb: The Bright Side

Fun can happen any minute of any day – if your open to it.

Have you ever seen the Jim Carrey movie where he has to say yes to everything?

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Well that was my life on Tuesday.

What started as a regular day for me, turned out to include spontaneity, cocktails, and new music.  I got up, ate breakfast, prepared food for work and left on my bicycle for the day. There was one guest scheduled to self check in around 3:00p.m and the other room was free.  Of course, I was hoping someone was going to stay…. I just had no idea how awesome she would be and the adventure that awaited me.

 My day changed at 10:21a.m.

This fun girl sent me this message :7685ae60-b366-402c-bd07-03a6a79abb53 “Hola, Julie! Wanna go to Washed Out tonight? I was a bit bummed I missed him in Seattle last night, but there’s no point wallowing in regret when you can move your butt and run down your dreams. My dream is to dance to Eyes Be Closed. With a new bud. Tonight. If it seems suspicious that I’m a new Airbnb member, yes I did make that account 10 minutes ago. But there’s no time like the present. So if you’re down, I will hop on the 2:20 Amtrak and see you a little after 6. PS, long time bicyclist here too, is it worth the extra $10 to throw my roadie on the train to get to your neighborhood (don’t have much of a grasp on Portland’s scale) or better to walk from the train station? Anywho, hope to meet you soon. And not kidding, will totally take you to this show if you got the inclination. ”

How perfect is this message? How could I possibly refuse?  I said yes before I knew anything about it!

Then I began to research.

Turns out Washed Out was playing at The Wonder Ballroom , one of my favorite venues, which is 2 blocks from the house. No need to worry about parking or anything since we can walk.

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The set was exactly one hour long.  They were entertaining, they did a great job with their visuals ( I was impressed). I danced almost the entire time.  I didn’t realize they did the Theme Song for Portlandia!!!!! After eight seasons the show is ending and let me just tell you that the people in Portland are okay with that. portlandia_dvd_release

The band has a new fan.  I have a new friend. Goodbye Portlandia.  My new friend and I have an annual date together to see Washed Out when he comes to Portland and those times she can stay with me for free ❤

Gotta love Airbnb.

Airbnb: The Hosts feeling matter too.

imagesMost people think that  “The customer is always right”.

The Airbnb experience is a unique situation.

Individuals are not big business. Individuals are not always in a position to come up with a solution that will make the guest happy no matter the cost.

Yes, you are the guest.  Yes, you paid to be in someone’s home. Yes, I want you to be comfortable. You also agreed to abide by the house rules.  You agreed to adjust your behavior in the way that is being required of you during your stay.

If you aren’t going to follow the rules, if you aren’t going to provide communication or be responsive to the host’s communication, then you should expect a conversation that will be holding you accountable.

It is tough to deal with people who avoid conversation or don’t acknowledge what you’re saying or they blame the other guest or they don’t change their behavior after some communication. images1.png

If you don’t like confrontation or accountability, then be a great guest. Don’t break the rules. Don’t give the host a reason to find you for a “conversation”.

I do my best to be tolerant of the way people live.  Some people operate with more awareness and thoughtfulness than others.  I personally don’t say anything to my guests when they walk around loudly, close doors loudly, have loud conversations, listen to their tv loud, come home late at night or leave at 3:00 in the morning.  The only time I ever say anything to anybody is when they have broken one of the house rules. Airbnb: These are my House Rules. Do you think they are reasonable?

You would think that people would be on their best behavior considering I have home field advantage. Would you believe me if I told you how many people break the rules inspite of that ??

 

Airbnb: Why pick a place thats details don’t fit the best into your travel plans?

People fascinate me.  I am a cultural anthropologist at heart.  I should have majored in Sociology instead of International Studies.

Some of the details for the two Airbnb rooms in my house are:

My Check In time is 3:00p.m.- 10:00p.m.

My Check Out time is 9:00 a.m. Airbnb: Respect the Check Out Time!

Full Kitchen use is not available neither is access to the washer/dryer.

There is a penalty fee of $50 each time you do not lock the front door when leaving the residence.  Airbnb: These are my House Rules. Do you think they are reasonable?

I live in the Inner NE part of Portland Oregon.  It is 1-2 miles to the west side of town where Downtown is located however you have to cross a river with one of the thirteen bridges so it can appear further to people who aren’t familiar with town.  A mile is a mile though right? Airbnb: Location the category that isn’t fair to hosts for guests to grade.

If these details do not fit the best into your travel plans then please do not pick my place while harboring negative feelings.  Instead, find a place that works for you.  There are a plethora of options out there.

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30% of guests ask to check in after 10:00 p.m. Checking in later is usually a non issue.  I most likely will be sleeping however I can leave a key in the lockbox and the porch light on.  The house has lots of signs around for good communication purposes.  They help strangers ( I mean guests ) navigate the space.

70% of guests ask if they can check in early. I normally only let repeat guests do so. I have been known to make a few exceptions however it is rare.

50% of guests ask if they can check out later. During the week it is not an option for me since I need to turn around the room for the next guest and get to work.  If  it is a Saturday, then I will give you an extra hour or two if I like you and you have been a nice guest.  If it is Sunday then guests get lucky and can have until 12p.m. due to my weekly volunteer gig.

Please don’t mistake me.  I understand that the answer to an unasked question is always no however it seems that people just don’t read the details of the listing before they pick 5 Top Things Airbnb Guests Should Do and then they try to work around the established boundaries.  I can tell by their language when they harbor negative feelings about it. It happens frequently enough I am writing about it.

Perfect Example coming atcha.

Review left by guest -“Location was great! The room was nice. The check in after 3pm and check out before 9am was kind of a bummer.” “I had to plan my flight around the check in and out which was a bummer and couldn’t spend an extra day in the city” Is this person serious?  This screams lack of personal accountability!!!  It triggers me ( I will work on that). I can’t get over the fact that he blames the check in and check out times on his ability to make travel plans.  

Airbnb: The Downside to Hosting

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People Lie.

People use your stuff without asking. Airbnb: What is the reason guests use host’s personal things without asking?

People are loud. Loud talkers. Loud TV watchers. Loud walkers.

People keep erratic schedules. Which type of Airbnb is right for you? Shared Room or Private Room or Entire Place.

People are dishonest and try to sneak in other people.  Airbnb Hell: The Worst Guest I’ve Had To Date.

People have left my property unsecured aka: not locking the front door when leaving the house, giving anyone the ability to walk in at anytime while I am at work and can’t do anything about it. Airbnb Lesson for the week: If you lie about reading the house rules, show up and violate them, then your stay with me will come to an end.

People have burned holes in duvet covers- I even found poop once on one ( they flipped it over so it was a surprise when I pulled the covers back).Unknown

People do not read the listing and then access areas not available to them forcing me to lock them up and label everything. Then some people complain about the labels. Airbnb Observation: I’ve decided if you do not like these signs then you do not like communication.

People don’t read the labels and throw the trash in the recyling. People recycle things that aren’t recyclable.

People create more work for me by not acting with mindfulness and awareness.

People are unwilling to help themselves.

People say they read the rules and then show up and don’t abide by them.  Then when it’s time to be accountable they cancel the reservation and decline the request for payment. Airbnb: These are my House Rules. Do you think they are reasonable?

People show up with more people than in their reservation. 5 Top Things Airbnb Guests Should Do

People plan poorly. They don’t have time to clean up after themselves. They pack at 3:00 a.m. right before their flight. They wake up 10 minutes before check out time and barely have enough time to brush their teeth.

People don’t respect the check out time and require being rushed out. Airbnb: Respect the Check Out Time!

People think they can pay their way out of things. The “Hotel Mindset” won’t serve you well when using Airbnb.

People are allowed to leave a review even if they cancel their reservation. Let’s take a side bet on how many of those are going to be positive. Airbnb: Guests who cancel their reservation can still leave a review. How is that reasonable?

I still host because the good outweighs the bad and I can do anything for 24 hours. Just keep swimming, I tell myself as I wait for the jerks to leave and the sweet respectful guests to arrive.

 

 

 

 

Airbnb: Repeat Guests are the Best !!!!!!!

I consider it one of the utmost compliments when people choose to return to my place considering all the options out there.

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Whether or not the trip was the best (for me) the first time around. It will be great the second. Guests are already familiar with the vibe of the house and the way things flow.  They require less managing 🙂

We have gotten past that initial meeting and “stranger” level of conversation. We will get to learn a little more about each other (depending on the length of the stay and schedules aligning.)

Chances are subsequent visits will include food. I’ve been known to make Banana Bread, Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, Lemon Pound cake, Smoothies, Strawberry Aqua Fresca, French Toast, Breakfast Tacos and/ or extra of whatever I am making.

I have had 7 repeat guests. 4 of them stayed twice and 3 of them have stayed multiple times. 1 guest has stayed five times with me. I love it !!!!!!!

One of the repeat guests moved here (yeah- we’re friends now and hang out from time to time). I met another repeat guest out for drinks when she was in town visiting friends, I have received fresh duck eggs from an organic farm. One girl even told me about a work opportunity… My current job! Another former guest tries to get me to go out with him constantly however I am not interested. That part is tricky….. I make sure all guests feel welcomed and liked when they are in my home. It just puts me in an awkward position, when they invite me out and I don’t want to go.

I am no stranger to awkward positions and if that’s all I encounter to get guests to come back.  Bring it on!

I look forward to seeing you again. It’s a small world.  They need to change that saying – six degress of seperation to four.

 

Airbnb: Guests who cancel their reservation can still leave a review. How is that reasonable?

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Life isn’t fair

Airbnb Policy

“As of 01 June 2017, to comply with local laws, we now allow reviews for trips cancelled on or after the day of check in. ”

If a guest is cancelling their trip after they checked in then chances are it isn’t going well. One time I had a guest make a reservation for 1 person and then in his messaging kept saying we. We means more than one person so when I reached out for clarification and to mention the reservation needed updating to reflect the actual situation, he wrote back saying he couldn’t afford it. He cancelled. (and for the first time ever I gave someone a 100% refund.) Lately though, I have had people check in, then break the house rules and when the penalty fines have been imposed they just cancel and leave. What kind of review do you think is coming my way from them? Guest messes up, doesn’t want to deal with the consequences. Do you think anyone will ever say they were the problem? (that’s a rhetorical question since we all know the answer is NO)

After a guest has finished their trip or cancelled after checking in, they get 14 days to leave a review.
They have the ability to give 1 to 5 stars in categories like:

5-star

  • Accuracy
  • Check In process
  • Cleanliness
  • Communication
  • Location
  • Value

How is it possible for someone to judge you on these things when they didn’t actually stay in the residence? Airbnb: Location the category that isn’t fair to hosts for guests to grade.

I have a strict cancellation policy. Straight from the Airbnb website….

Cancellation Policy: Strict. Cancel up to 30 days before your trip and get a full refund. Cancel within 30 days of the trip and get a 50% refund of the total nightly rate, as well as a full refund of fees.

Forced policy upon hosts by Airbnb -“We’re adding a 48-hour grace period to the Strict policy to encourage bookings
Starting May 1, guests will receive a full refund if they cancel within 48 hours of booking a reservation with a Strict cancellation policy—as long as their check-in date is at least 14 days away. This gives guests the confidence to book, but still guarantees you’ll have at least 2 weeks to get another booking in the rare event that they cancel.”

If your listing falls below a 4.6 star rating then Airbnb will send you messages threatening to deactivate your listing. They threaten you by saying they will not showing your listing in people’s searches.

If they continue to implement rules like these, they are going to lose good hosts. Only Entire Place’s will be the option since sharing space has become easy for guests to manipulate to their advantage.