Belize Trip Begins

And I'm off! Another great adventure begins

On my way to the first flight of the trip - N Gate at Seatac

It was all a rush getting last minute stuff done, fetching Ike and Adam from the ferry on Wednesday afternoon and making sure everything was in order before heading out the door yesterday morning.

Ike and Adam are such sweet guys, very calm and quiet which is exactly as I had imagined them, judging from the emails and calls we had prior to their arrival. Buddy, my scaredy cat cat even came down to meet them! So I know everything will be fine and I left there feeling much better about the whole thing!

Of course, the first part is always a schlepp - Ike took me to the Airporter shuttle and we made good time to the airport, arriving early so I had time to sit and relax over a glass of wine and some lunch and people watch! The flight to Burbank was absolutely jammed; not a spare seat anywhere and lots of yelling kids and mothers talking over them so it was pretty noisy. Fortunately it's a short flight!

We went to breakfast at Aroma

There had been a slight hiccup in the plans with Ryan and we decided that rather than me stay at the house with all the roommates being present (as opposed to them being gone last time I was down) I would get an Airbnb just around the corner from him. Also, he was working late so Uber picked me up and deposited me at the new digs.

I was a little perturbed as we drove up. Lots of older cars parked around. A bag of trash on the doorstep and I wondered if I had the wrong address as I watched my ride leave. Knocking on the door (no porch light) I was greeted by a "who is there?" When I answered asking is this the Airbnb the women yells out to someone as she continues talking on her phone! But she opens the door and in very heavily accented English she says "come, come" gesturing with her hands! I followed her through a dark, rather sloven house to the back door where I was greeted by a large, dark-skinned man wearing a yarmulke so maybe he is Israeli?

Fortunately, the room is not in the house, but it does leave a lot to be desired! So I just remind myself that I am just sleeping here and won't be spending any time. The very extended family that appears to live in the main house is very noisy! Loud TV last night and noisy young kids and yelling women this morning.

A good breakfast at Aroma this morning with Ryan and Rascal. And will spend the day at the house catching up on stuff, posting more pix into EyeEm and maybe more will be chosen for Getty Images (which are not online yet!) That was very exciting to have three chosen! Heck, there might even be some money in it! What a concept.

The Airbnb Project


daisy copyWell! That was a mission fraught with delays and frustrations! What I thought would be a simple process turned into a long, drawn out project that of course, cost me far more than anticipated. But the good news is that it is done and live on Airbnb!

At the start, I knew I would have to do something about the bathroom. The house was built in 1984 and it has the original tub and shower enclosure with awful sliding glass door. When it was installed, they somehow didn't put enough braces under the unit and there was a dip in the bottom. With the hard water we have here, even before I moved in, the minerals had etched the bottom so it never, ever looked clean! So I had assumed I would need to replace the entire unit - that is something that had held me back from doing it years ago. Many thousands of dollars! But I heard about tub refinishing! In two hours, the tub looked like new!

Danelle helped me get all the fittings and doors off before Michael the Miracle Method tech showed up. He taped everything off, worked the magic and a couple of hours later, he was done! It was a bit fumy for a couple of days, but well worth it! Later in the week, Danelle and John came back down and replaced the old fittings with bright and shiny new ones! Not without some hassles, though. Parts didn't fit which necessitated a trip to Port Orchard an hour away, only to be told that the unit was too old and I would have to get a new mixer! Well, that wasn't going to happen, and between us, we did a work-around and everything works and looks great! I did end up under the basin replacing the lines there (also too old to reuse!) so John wouldn't have to make another trip to the house.

Of course, all this cost more than I planned, but it is something that had to be done before I rent it out at the beginning of next summer (that's the plan at the moment, anyway).

Buying the linens was easy, other than the design choice. So I am really happy with the way that turned out.

Home-away-from-home for my Airbnb guests

The next thing I battled with was the blind installation. The first ones I ordered online and they didn't fit! I'm pretty handy with a tape measure, so sure I measured correctly! But that set me back a few days as I tried to find others that would work. Home Depot had what I needed and they cut to size. So off I went to Poulsbo, 25 minutes away, and chose the ones I wanted and the guy working there cut to size.

When I got them home, I was all set up. Screwdrivers, drill, tape measure etc. And damned if I could figure the things out! But then, after about half-an-hour of battling silly little end caps, I saw the guy had cut the wrong end of the blind so there was no room for the end cap to slide on! Sheesh!

So back to square one! I used Home Depot's app and found that the Poulsbo store didn't have any more that could be cut to size. I would have to go to Sequim, 45 minutes away. Sunday morning, off I went and success! Back at home, drilled and screwed and less than half-an-hour later, the blinds were up and working!

But damn, it looked so bare! So off I went again and bought the drapes, installed the rods etc. Done!

A couple of weeks before, Mardelle came down to give me some ideas about how to lay the room out - she is quite the design fundi! We decided it needed a couple of small chairs just like the ones I had seen at Habitat for Humanity a few days before. On my next trip to Port Townsend, popped in but of course, they were gone! And anything new was far too expensive for me to splurge on, so last week I went into the local Goodwill and voila! One very cute, excellent condition chair that fits perfectly!

Yesterday, my neighbor Joe, came over and helped me get it upstairs. That made the room complete and I did the pix and posted to Airbnb.

So that part of this adventure is done; now I just need guests!

Come on over!

Close to Home


Actually AT Home!

flowers0001My latest adventure isn't actually taking me anywhere! It is going to bring adventure right into my home in my new Airbnb venture.

It's something I have mulled over for a while and finally decided to do it. In some ways, it's exciting; in others, scary! I'm not used to having anyone, let alone strangers, in my home as I have lived alone (except, of course for Hinckley and Buddy) for several years. On the other hand, it will be fun to meet new people and of course, the added income will be very helpful. But the process seems secure and Ryan has done it with his guest room with no issues, and he uses the service when he travels, as do Mardelle and Jim.

So I am biting the bullet and getting things prepared. It's not just a matter of putting clean sheets on the bed! The bathroom is being spruced up, something I have wanted to do since I moved in here 11 (yes 11) years ago! MiracleMethod came in and in 2 1/2 hours made the tub/shower look like new! And with all new fixtures that Danelle (Susan's daughter) and John installed, it's magic! I know, lots of exclamation marks because it is so amazing seeing the difference.

Then the bedroom. New duvet cover, sheets, pillows, window shades. With Mardelle's help, decided how to set the room up; where to put the small chairs I hope to score at Habitat for Humanity today; where to put the coffee maker, microwave and small fridge so they are unobtrusive but handy. Some airbnb people offer use of the kitchen, but I don't want to do that except under special circumstances, hence the small appliances in the room.

As soon as the setup is complete, I will post pictures and the link to my airbnb page.

Wish me luck - and nice guests!