When my sister and I floated the idea of using "air bnb" she was concerned. The basic concept behind air bnb is that homeowners in cities and around the world sublet their homes for a night, a weekend, a week, or a month.
My sister lives in downtown Philadelphia. Because her husband was having a houseguest, we decided to find somewhere else to stay. It was a little difficult to find a hotel, so we decided to try air bnb. There was one available apartment. It was a cute studio. We emailed the owner and she and my sister exchanged keys on Friday afternoon.
Fast forward to Friday night at 10:30pm. My brother-in-law took us to the neighborhood where we'd be staying. My sister directed us and when we'd found #732 we removed our suitcases from the car and went to the front door. Of 732. The house was gorgeous. A completely renovated three story townhouse. We were secretly patting ourselves on the back.
Then the key didn't work. It would go into the lock and then not turn. So we called the owner. She said, "sometimes you have to pull it out, turn it to the left and then try again". Okay.
Five minutes later - no luck.
The worst part was that in the middle of our ordeal, a very inebriated neighbor woman came over to see exactly what we were doing. Three decently dressed women, suitcases in tow, trying to jam our way into a house.
|my extremely patient brother-in-law|
|my mom, the criminal in training|
So we called the owner back. Again. She told us she'd call her neighbor to see if she could buzz us in. Perfect. My sister buzzes the call button. Lights immediately come on in the third floor. A very sleepy fifty-something woman comes on the line. My sister explains that we were friends of her first-floor neighbor and can she buzz us in. The woman very firmly states that no one lives on the first floor. oh, crap.
My sister looks at her receipt. It was #744. So, we take the walk of shame (waving goodbye to the inebriated neighborhood watchdog) a half of a block further. All I'll say is that we immediately wanted to return to #732.
I took a few pictures, but nothing that really captured how we were feeling.
|just take a look at my mom's face - priceless|
We lasted about five minutes. One of us said, "why are we staying here"? We called a cab and took our ride of shame. We showed up, back in my sister's apartment. The houseguest wasn't arriving till the next day. Thank the Lord.
I think we'll stick with hotels from now on. And try to get the room number right.