Each time Mark and I complete a house sit (or a few weeks later :-)), I write a little overview of our experiences. Our conclusions of previous sits in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Florida and California can be read here. I am almost a month late with this one – blame the extremely busy times we have had on the East Coast visiting friends, family, doctors and dealing with a bunch of unexpected developments in combination with our usual jobs – but I think most of you will still remember sweet Lola from Sebastopol!
Ever since Mark and I introduced ourselves to the owners – who had invited us to lunch – and to Lola, and received a tour of the house a couple of months before the actual assignment, we looked forward to this particular two-month sit. When Lola greeted us, her tail almost fell off from all the wagging and as the weeks of our stay progressed, our connection grew deeper and deeper. We involved her into our lives as much as possible, especially during the weekends, and took her with us on a three-day-trip to Yosemite National Park. She enjoyed every minute of it. Why go on hikes without a dog if you can have one with you? Being located in Sonoma County does not leave any excuses to sit at home and skip days of exploration. There is so much to see and do around here.
I have written plenty about our excursions and about our daily lives in Sebastopol before, so I am going to keep this blog post short. Except for the weather, which was a bit disappointing in Northern California this winter and spring, especially since we drove across the country mid-October with high hopes of resuming life in warmer climes, we had a fabulous time in Sebastopol and would have loved to stay longer. Yes, we miss Lola. Yes, I would like to repeat sitting in the hot tub at night while listening to the owls and the frogs and watching the stars. Yes, we would love to enjoy some sunshine on the porch and watch the deer – and Lola – frolic in the yard. And yes, we do consider a return sit. Maybe even sooner than expected!
Best feature(s): The home is built by the owners themselves and one of them is a master carpenter – the interior of the house is incredible! It is roomy and comfortable and we enjoyed hanging out on the deck – weather permitting – and watching the birds attack the feeders.
Sebastopol is an open-minded and artsy town with lots of events. The beach was a 20-minute drive away and town about 10 minutes. The restaurant and bar scene is great!
Best gadget(s): Hot tub. Heavy-duty blender. International decorations – we felt right at home. 🙂
Surprise(s): The owners left us a free pass for the local movie theater and an entrance pass to the dog-friendly regional parks. Both came in very handy! They also left a coupon for a sushi meal and a two-hour spa visit (the last one I didn’t use – no time!). We discovered heaps of mint in the garden – yummy in tea and mojitos. Deer were present in the neighborhood, every day.
Downside(s): The location was far from a big airport (usually not a problem, but Mark needed to fly out twice and we had family visiting from Belgium during these two months). The stove was dated and unreliable to cook certain dishes – the flame was either too high or too low. We worried the dishwasher would break, so did the dishes by hand. Not a bad thing, since it is much quicker and uses way less water!