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October 9, 2019

getting there half the fun, or not, relying on WIFI & a dingbat


Our cell phones do not get service while outside of the United States.  No phone calls or text, only email or ‘what’s app’ while WIFI.  Note to anyone who enjoys normal cell service:  DO NOT EVER SWITCH TO T-FAMILY MOBILE THRU WALMART.  Enough said.  

I have no great photos of me trying to
 get in touch with Flighty Airbnb Lady,
so I thought I would share this gem.
  Us visiting a fish distillery.
If you recall, I suspected that our last minute airbnb reservation was most likely going to disappoint.  Would they have enough beds?  Bedding?  Every time I communicated with the lady, she managed to gloss over my concerns and focus entirely on the fact that we needed to be discreet.  No one could know that we were using this apartment as an airbnb unit.  I kept emailing her back, ‘Yeah, yeah I get it.  We will follow your instructions, but by the way about the number of people that the place sleeps . . .

I also kept reminding her that I would struggle to communicate with her while in Canada.  I could email her only while I had WIFI.  Every time we were in the hotel I sent her messages inquiring about how we were going to get into the unit.  I was looking for important details, like, um - THE ADDRESS!  She did not respond. 

We also hoped to be able to get into the place a bit early because we did not want to spend an entire day moving stuff from the two hotel rooms, to hotel storage followed by time to do some awesome sightseeing (that did not involve scaling a mountain in the rain), and then drag ourselves back to the hotel storage and then haul stuff to the airbnb.  I was also considering the food that I did not want to stick in storage in our coolers and hope that it stayed cold without a fridge.  Tank hoped the food would spoil, so we could eat every meal at a restaurant like ‘normal’ vacationers.  

A glimpse of the packing task.
She finally got in touch with me to say that we could get in the place early.  No address though.  It was like we were secret agents on a covert mission.  At last she explained that a driver would meet us at a Starbucks around the corner from our hotel.  It ended up being right next door to the airbnb.  She emailed me a time that he would meet us and we set to work packing our stuff and preparing to leave the hotel.  (It is implied here that packing our stuff up after several days is a CHORE).

Thankfully Starbucks has WIFI, so I could let her know that the driver did not show up as scheduled around 12:15.  He was over 30 minutes late.  When he arrived, he took our big bags, all of the big boys, and Coach into his SUV and drove them into the basement parking garage of the airbnb.  I waited downstairs with the younger three kids until Coach came down and let us in.  

Coach ended up arranging with this driver, who was super nice and was merely hired by the dingbat’s company and did not know her personally, to drive us to the airport a few days later.  This helped alleviate the stress of following the very specific directions about how we would exit the building (take this elevator and not that one) so as not draw suspicions that we were renting a space there. 

BECAUSE GOD FORBID ANYONE KNOW WE WERE STAYING IN AN AIRBNB THERE - DRILLED INTO ME, I TELL YOU!

12 comments:

  1. We got burned on an AirBnB in Hawaii, and it's made me totally afraid to use it again. It was only two adults, so I can't imagine the stress of having to deal with it with kids. Thankfully I was able to reach out to a friend of a friend and staying in their guest house.

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    1. Every other experience has been positive. This one really took the cake. It was UNREAL!

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  2. It's almost spy-like. Maybe you were part of a big secret government operative. You so fancy.

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    1. Seriously- it felt so dodgy and very berve racking standing in a starbucks (the kids waited outside to help with crowd control) and hope and pray that we had accomodations for the night. We had lots of stuff- like LOTS. Food plus Irish dancing stuff plus most of us were staying there for a week, so yeah . . . stuff.

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  3. Sounds like there was a rule that owner's aren't allowed to rent out their units. I read an article about an AirBnB host that was filming his guests...I've been gun shy about trying it ever since.

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    1. For sure this building had that rule. I was willing to roll with it but how exhausting that she would only communicate about this rule vs answering my questions. Ugh.

      And that is super creepy.

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  4. This experience sounds exhausting. I can't even imagine the stress/worry about what happens if the dingbat really fell through.

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    1. You got that right. Irish dancing requires a parent to be singularly focused - and I am NOT. If I had been able to figure out our travel plans 5 months in advance, I could have booked the rooms accordingly. After a few weeks, everything reservation-wise gets mumbled up in my head and then I sort of forgot where I left off. Fast-forward to me desperately reserving an airbnb. The next part is comedic . . . in hindsight.

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  5. My husband and kids were in Alaska in August, and my husband texted me once without wifi. Once. The cost was $28.30. Isn't that nuts? Speaking of nuts, that's crazy about the air bnb!

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    1. Our phones will not even give us the option of making a phone call. Oddly enough phone calls could be made to my phone - or a few slipped in. Of course the one phone call I did receive was from Lad just as Curly was about to get on stage to compete. Was the house on fire? Nope. My 21 year old wanted to rat out his 13 year old brother for something STUPID. I got strange looks from other, more 'focused' Irish dancing moms when I yelled into the phone, 'LEAVE ME ALONE!'

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  6. I'm glad it all worked out! I would have been a stress ball the entire time.

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    1. Well, we got into the place. After you read the rest of the story you can tell me if you think it all worked out. And yes, there was stress. I had stress about the day of dancing (as always), stress about the airbnb, and stress about what the Hell was going on at home with the window well flooding the basement, etc. Airbnb was the tip of the iceberg.

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