September 23, 2013

Airbnb: Awesomesauce, with biscotti

Our stay in the Wrightsville Beach area of North Carolina was my first experience in using Airbnb, a website where you can rent space in people's homes, or rent their entire house.  You can find anything from a nice little futon in someone's living room to palatial mansions with sculpted gardens.  And Airbnb has gotten pretty big, so you can find places to stay all over the world.  People leave reviews of the properties they're staying in, which sure does help in the decision process.  Also, the website is super user friendly.  I was a fan of the website as soon as I started my search. Prices are plainly stated and easily understood, pictures and information provided by the hosts are well-organized and easy to sift through, and the site even includes a map with the general location of the property.

Chris and I ended up renting a tiny apartment that was a part of a home on the outskirts of Wilmington, North Carolina.  The apartment itself was just perfect for 1 or 2 people.  It had a full kitchen, wifi, a TV with cable, and our hosts even provided plenty of coffee, tea, and their homemade biscotti that was f-ing DELICIOUS. I could have easily lived that weekend on beer, coffee, and biscotti alone.

The couple, Susan and Clancy, were just freakin' lovely.  They invited us into the main part of the home and gave us iced tea, and they proceeded to tell us that the intracoastal waterway was just a 5 minute walk away, and we could use their fishing equipment and 2-person kayak if we would like.  Susan walked us down to the waterway access point, and I was amazed at how beautiful the waterway was.  I picture the intracoastal waterway as being a muddy-colored wide swath of water filled with barges and cargo ships.  Well, I was a tad off on that.  The waterway was lined with lovely homes, and the only traffic coming through consisted of recreational boats.

That evening, Chris and I decided to try our hand at fishing.  Well, Chris tried his hand at fishing.  I just drank bourbon. It couldn't have been more beautiful.

The next morning, we just had to try out the kayak.  I love me some flat water kayaking.  

Getting the kayak into the water was its own barrel of fun.  There was a test that had to be passed before we could be rewarded with paddling awesomeness - we had to get the kayak through about 10 yards of limb-sucking, shoe-stealing muck.  Poor Chris had white street shoes on.  I was wearing heavy-duty water sandals, so I ventured forth, dragging Chris in the kayak through the oyster shell-filled muck, and with each step prying my feet back up to the surface to take another step.  My shoes were Keens, which are pretty sturdy suckers.  But the mud still tried to go all clepto on me and steal them.

Once we actually made it into real water and I climbed into the kayak with my shoes still somehow affixed to my feet, we were off!  Right into a sand bar.  I can't say that's the only sand bar we ran ourselves into, but we did have a grand time tooling around the waterway and a nearby channel that connects with it.  We paddled by a small marina, another couple in a canoe, mini islands covered in oyster shells, and more beautiful waterfront homes.  Unlike the mud, this did not suck.

Back at the apartment as we packed up to leave, Susan stopped by to wish us well and gave us another big bag of biscotti.  I jumped up and down like an excited puppy at the prospect of getting to shove more of this biscotti down my gullet.

I was a huge fan of this place, and of Airbnb for giving us an option that didn't involve a generic hotel room with a jacked-up price for the holiday weekend.  I would pick Susan and Clancy's place over the beachside Holiday Inn any day.  We stayed in a real home that was wonderfully cozy and comfortable.  Our hosts were fantastic.  They made amazing biscotti and have great taste in coffee.  And they have private access to the intracoastal waterway AND have fun toys to go with it.

If using Airbnb means that I can stuff my face full of biscotti while I kayak along the intracoastal waterway after 2 days at the beach,  then I'm sold.  Airbnb, I think I love you.


  1. Sounds awesome. I'm gonna give Airbnb a look for my next trip, solely based on your recommendation.

  2. Let me know what you think! Also, if you plan to go to the Wilmington area, I have a place to recommend :)