Saturday, February 28, 2009


Being gone for nine months makes you want "a homey place", an abode that makes you feel comfy. Kinda like crawling into a warm sweater on a cold morning. We have had some really cool places to stay this year. We haven't talked about a lot of them because they just aren't as “cool” as the places we visit. The Pearl Palace Hotel in Agra with it's wonderful owner Mr. Singh was great but did it compare to the Taj Mahal. No way. So you haven't heard about the goods and bads of our accommodations. Till now.

We are currently staying at "The White House", a detached house associated with Sandi's Bed and Breakfast in Rotorua, New Zealand. The place is great. Here's a rundown:

The place is huge. Maybe as large as the three floored house in Haarlem in the Netherlands. When we book places we generally know the size, usually quoted in square meters, so we have to do the conversion to square feet. I do this. lisa isn't nearly as anal as I am about numbers. Size is usuallly mentioned with places booked through services such as Homelidays or other travel accommodation sites. When you go to an individual you don't get as much: not the pics by room, not the details of internet access, etc. With Sandi we had a few details but not a lot. Not enough at the beginning to know we had a special place.

Everything works: The stove, the windows, the bathroom (sink and shower), the DVD player was simple enough to figure out, etc., etc. Our place in Coogee, a suburb of Sydney, had blinds that didn't work, screens that fell out of the windows. We have had ovens that we couldn't figure out or never got hot enough. Here we also have a really big refrigerator. In Venice we had one a little bigger than a cooler; same as in Krakow, St. Helens, Dubrovnik, Korcula, Montepulciano. Big kitchen, little frig.

Here at The White House, the girls have their own bedrooms for the FIRST TIME in their lives. Our first night here they separated at ten o'clock, Avocet to one bedroom with a double bed and Siena to one with a queen. We were scared they would be up throughout the night in our room scared because of the change. No way. They really liked having the rooms to themselves. But this blog isn't about Si and Av, it's about this cool place. I go on.

The thing that makes a place great is how it makes you feel. We just left a three bedroom apt in Christchurch that was very spacious and very efficient but its style was minimalist and lacked warmth. Our great place in Montepulciano in Tuscany was picturesque with great views but we didn't feel as good “together” as we do here. The walls have adornments of paintings or wall hangings that are appropriate and match the room. The living room has an alpaca rug. The window treatments match the carpet. The dining room table has a tablecloth that doesn't look like it came from the Salvation Army. The carpet is clean. The beds have comforters that match the colors of the room. The linens are quality. But it also has that unique intangible that just makes you feel good. Kinda like our rooms at home that we have made into our own. Those rooms make us feel good.

Thanks Sandi. Your place makes us feel good.

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