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Hello Houses

September 15th, 2014

I meant to do this as a Friday Favorite and completely forgot.  When my mom and I were in Seattle last week we rented a small bungalow in Alki Beach instead of staying at a hotel.  For many years now, we’ve been renting homes/apartments through Home Away instead of staying at hotels. Not only are they more comfortable, I like avoiding funding large corporations even when traveling. In case you’re headed to Seattle and are looking for a great little house, here’s the listing for this place.
alki beach bungalow 1
Another bonus is that they’re often much cheaper than a hotel and much more comfortable. I like having the option to prepare some of my own food on vacation, especially breakfast.
alki beach bungalow 2
Another great thing about staying in homes is that you get out into the neighborhoods and get to know the places you visit a little more intimately. Every evening we walked through different parts of the neighborhood and looked at gardens. We ate at local restaurants and shopped at local grocery stores.
neighborhood gardens 1
neighborhood gardens 2
neighborhood gardens 3
The gardens in the neighborhoods were especially lovely, we walked for an hour or two every evening down along the beach and zig zagging through the streets looking at plants, peeking in courtyards and enjoying the plants that dominate real gardens in the Seattle area.
neighborhood gardens
neighborhood gardens 1 (1)
neighborhood gardens 2 (1)
Nothing makes you feel like you know a place better than staying in a home and being immersed in non tourist dominated things. This was my second time staying in a home in the West Seattle area and I know my way around the streets and I even have a favorite coffee shop.

Have you ever rented a home when on vacation instead of staying in a hotel?

7 Comments to “Hello Houses”
  1. Nebraska Dave on September 15, 2014 at 9:14 am

    Susy, I can’t say that I ever rented a house but a cabin in the woods, yes. I wasn’t so much a hunter but fishing was my interest. Those rustic cabins with the smell of pine forest just out the door while bacon aroma was coming from frying in the skillet on a frosty morning makes for memories that live with me all the rest of my life. My mother was the pen pal queen of the world. She had over 100 penpals some that she had written to since she was 16. So when we went on vacation we were never more than a short day’s drive from one to the next. It didn’t matter where we went on vacation, we were always welcomed into one of her penpal’s home. It was a great way to be integrated into the home life style of many parts of the country and world. My parents traveled all through Europe, Australia, and New Zealand with penpal visits in every place. It was a way to not only see the sights but to know the people as well.

    Have a great homecoming day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  2. whit on September 15, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    Glad you enjoyed your stay and made it home safely. West Seattle is a favorite spot of ours as well, the beach, the atmosphere, and the view can’t be beat. And then there’s the ferry to Vashon Island from there.

    We visit family in Pacific Beach, WA each summer, renting a small cottage each time we go. We were reminded last year why we like b&b, condo rentals, or house rentals over hotels when we drove down to AZ. A few nights we were uncertain where we’d end up, so we took our chances with handful of chain hotels along the way. Every single one we stayed in had no elevators, which made hauling 2 large ice chests, 2 suitcases, and other assorted bags unpleasant. Not to mention lack of ice machines, fridges, or other guest amenities. Small, family owned rentals are the only way to travel!

    Have a great week.

    Reply to whit's comment

  3. Sarah on September 15, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    I rented a tiny studio in paris for 5 days instead of a hotel, and it was wonderful. It was on a courtyard and we’d pass by the locals hanging out every evening. The first night when we walked by a young man told us, “bienvenue a chez vous” – not being able to translate quickly enough we just nodded and he said in a French accent, “It means Welcome to your home!”

    Reply to Sarah's comment

  4. Ms. Tweetley on September 15, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    Being a long time Seattle resident, it was wonderful to experience the city through your eyes. Thanks for the postings.

    Reply to Ms. Tweetley's comment

  5. Myra S. on September 16, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    We’ve stayed in cabins in Grand Marais, Michigan a couple times. Great experience! Wonderful to be able to cook and do laundry in a real home rather than be cooped up in one little room. For some reason, cooking and doing laundry seems like a vacation when you’re not in your own house. Glad you had a great time with your cherished mom in Seattle!

    Reply to Myra S.'s comment

  6. Debbie on September 16, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    I used AirBNB to book houses and flats when staying in bigger cities and I love it. A few years ago I attended a convention in Philadelphia, I was able to rent a studio apartment in a nice residential area for only $75 a night. I had my own kitchen, my own door, and my own bed and it was only a block from the nearest bus stop. In addition, I got to experience the city like a local and was able to engage in neighborhood events and foods that were definitely off the beaten path. There was a free outdoor movie in the neighborhood park and it was awesome to sit in the grass and hear people cheering at scenes of the movie that were filmed in their city.
    Others at the conference were easily spending $200-$300/ night on their hotel and they never really got to “feel” the city other than the area around the convention center and super tourist areas.
    I highly recommend renting a house/ flat. You’ll save a ton of money and will really get to know the flavor of the area where you are staying.

    Reply to Debbie's comment

  7. Jennie on September 17, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    We are big fans of AirBNB- and when my husband and I went on a scouting trip to Vashon Island in May we stayed in a little apartment where our (now) friends live on a small farm. We just found and bought our house here- but as we are transitioning we are staying here with our two little ones– it has been a great way to build community- and we are even thinking of building a tiny house on our new property to rent out. What coffee house did you like in West Seattle?

    Reply to Jennie's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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