To most of us, the holidays mean gatherings with family and friends. This Thanksgiving Ilene and I had the pleasure of experiencing airbnb for the second time where we enjoyed family and made new friends.
Destination: Tacoma, Washington
Reason: Thanksgiving with family!
Although my brothers both offered their homes to us for our holiday stay, we chose to use airbnb to find a place to stay, instead. We had an ulterior motive; we wanted to look at homes in downtown Tacoma since Ilene and I are getting close to quitting our jobs and retiring. What better way to find out if a neighborhood is a place you’d like to live?
Last summer we’d used airbnb for a stay in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah on our way to Yellowstone Park. We had a great experience with the apartment and wanted to try a room instead of a full house this time.
I jumped up on airbnb app on online and created a search for single rooms in the downtown Tacoma area. The home we chose was an 1880’s style Victorian home that gave us easy access to downtown Tacoma, and—BONUS—we later found out it was just down the street from Bing Crosby’s boyhood home. Hat tip to IMDB.com while watching the classic White Christmas on Thanksgiving; a holiday tradition.
Cheri, our hostess for the home, has posted some great photos of the house and we found them to be extremely accurate. She had tips about the neighborhood and things to do close by, so naturally it seemed this house was just what we were looking for.
We checked availability and made a reservation, within the hour Cheri contacted me with information about the house, code for the door, where to park, and her contact information.
The day we arrived she sent us an email that she might be in a massage therapy session when we were due to arrive and asked us to let ourselves in and make ourselves at home. As luck would have it, however, she was finished with the session and greeted us upon our arrival. She gave us a tour of the house, again encouraged us to make ourselves at home, and just gave us a warm welcome to Tacoma.
Over the next several days we met Cheri’s roommate, Kerry, and had several conversations with her over coffee. We learned a bit more about he neighborhood, downtown Tacoma and the type of home we stayed in. The best part was making a new friend and learning about the culture of the downtown area.
The days were hectic, as most holidays are, but we managed to see our hosts several times and on the day of our departure we spent quite some time chatting and promising to get back together.
In the past we’d stayed at a hotel downtown and I can tell you I don’t remember anyone at the front desk, we didn’t meet any of the guests, or have to share a bathroom. Yes, we had to share a bathroom, but it was worth the time with new friends in an interesting home, in an interesting neighborhood.
We’re sold on airbnb after this trip. Traveling in much more than just seeing a bunch of sites with wildlife, landscapes, or history. We travel for all those plus the chance to meet new people, who quickly become friends.
In my next post I’ll cover some of the sites in downtown Tacoma. Until then, happy travels!