So remember yesterday how I said I was staying at this awesome cottage on a 500 acre working farm in Central Virginia? And you may have seen some of the views from the front porch or the farm animals that Lark and I encounter on our daily walks. Yes, it’s a work week and yes, I’m working by day. But to work from here? Let’s just say it doesn’t suck. At all.
Any of you wonder how I found this awesome place? It’s not like I know Buckingham County, Virginia very well. And I’m not (yet) friends with the Dixon’s who own the place. So how does one find a charming 250 year old cottage with a Viking gas range and Waterworks plumbing fixtures, nestled off the main roads out in the countryside of Virginia? Using technology, of course.
I hopped on a website called VRBO.com (it stands for Vacation Rental By Owner, in case you were wondering). Are you thinking of heading to the beach? The mountains? Taking the kids to see Yosemite? Or Niagara Falls? Why rent a hotel room (which they are almost always so tiny these days), when you can have a whole house or condo? The Hubbs and I used VRBO for our “epic” trip with the bonus daughters back in May. We wanted to take them to the mountains here in Virginia for a couple of days, so we stayed at a condo in Wintergreen. Then for the second half of the trip, we headed to the beach and the Outer Banks and used VRBO again to book a beach house.
So when I decided I was going to treat myself to a little get away and spend some time working from out in the country, naturally I turned to technology once again to help out. Mostly because I seem to decide these things at 11p.m. And people aren’t usually too keen to take my calls inquiring about lodging around that time. But it also makes it easy to see pictures of the properties (hello, Viking range in the kitchen – I spotted you from across the room on my laptop) and you can see user ratings from other folks that have stayed there before contacting someone about a property.
You can reach out to the owner via email through the site to ask questions, but they also include a phone number, so if you’re one of those crazy folks that plans things at a normal hour of the day, you can ring them up. I just entered the dates I wanted to travel, a general location and clicked go. I could have added things like ‘historic property’ or ‘accepts pets’ (I did add that one) or chosen a minimum number of bedrooms or maximum spend per night, but I didn’t want to limit what I would get to choose from too much. When I found this place, I knew it was perfect for me and sent in a request for booking. The owner sent back the rate (I was staying a day over a week, so got a little break) and I sent my payment, using my credit card, right through VRBO’s site. It couldn’t have been easier. And remember when I told you about Ebates and that you could save on all kind of things you buy on the web, not just shopping for stuff from store websites (and I’m here to report that I’ve gotten back over $85 in rebates, just from Christmas shopping last month)? Well, you can get a rebate through Ebates on your rental through VRBO. Crazy this technology stuff, don’t you think?
And now here I am, sitting in front of a roaring fire (a real one that I built myself – those years as a Campfire Girl have finally paid off) with dinner in the oven and a dog laying on her bed in front of the fire. Well, not right in front of the fire. This crackling, flaming wood thing is new to her (we have a gas fireplace at home) and she’s not quite sure what to think of it still. But we’re working on it. She’s inching her way closer each night.
Does all of this relaxation talk have you thinking about a trip? I’ll give you more deets on this place on Friday, but for now, go check out VRBO.com (they have no idea I’m writing about them today (or ever), so tell them I said hi) and come back and let me know what you booked. Oh, and you’re welcome.