Sunday, July 27, 2008
Well, I just tried to leave a comment on VRBO.com. Here's how it works.
1) Go to the page of your rental - here's ours: http://www.vrbo.com/124069
2) Scroll down to where it say "view comments from previous guests"
3) Click on "add a comment to this guestbook".
4) Follow instructions.
And then guess what?????????? They email your own comment to you...and you can either delete it or click on a button that will forward to the owner for their approval. So, since I'm leaving a negative comment, I'm sure the owner will not approve it. Now, if it isn't approved, the negative will still show up - people just can't read it. That's helpful..to the owner, not to potential renters! Wait, here's the best part: the owner can "terminate" the guestbook at any time...getting rid of comments and any negavie counts...and then "reset" the guestbook and start all over.
And since this owner has zero comments, I'm sure that my 1 negative will be gone in no time!
http://www.homeawayconnect.com/guestbook.cfm?pid=124069&cid=5 - it's still there for now...check it out!
So, just be careful when looking at comments...especially if an owner has none! You now know how they can do this! And please, be extra careful if for some reason you would want to rent from this owner...feel free to leave a comment if you want her name - I'll gladly share!!
Friday, July 25, 2008
Do they work? Yup, they do!
And I'll tell you the real reason my family uses them. It started when we were kids. We lived in Michigan and would often take the pop-up camper to Florida during winter break. Well, mom got car sick on long car trips. Dad had heard of these as being a way to avoid car sickness. I think that maybe the build up of static electricity leads to car sickness in some? Anyway...he bought some shortly before one of these camping trips. But, being that it was winter in Michigan, he told mom he was going to wait to put it on until we hit warmer weather.
Off we went...before we even got out of the state of Michigan, mom said to dad something along the lines of "if you didn't tell me you hadn't put those on, I would think you did. I don't feel sick." Which is when dad told her that he actually had put those on! She couldn't see them because of the camper. He just wanted to see how she reacted with no preconceived ideas. Ever since, they've always had them on the car.
I have one sister and a couple of nieces who tend to get car sick. So, I keep these on my car for those times we go somewhere. On the plus side, I don't get those nasty pokes from static electricity!
Want to know where to find them? We always get them at NAPA Auto Parts...here's a link to the item: http://www.napaonline.com/MasterPages/NOLMaster.aspx?PageId=470&LineCode=NBH&PartNumber=S206&Description=Static+Strap
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
The place was quite nice. Just a few issues that were worth contacting the owner about (the satellite TV didn't work in 2 of the bedrooms...and the air conditioning could not keep the house cool during the day). The other issues were not worth calling about (food left in the house from previous tenants, a full trash can on the desk, empty beer bottles outside on the mountainside, a chip in a bathtub faucet, a bear foot on a wooden toilet paper holder comes off).
We packed up on our last day...checked the list of what we needed to do (turn the thermostats back, make sure there is no food, only 2 bags of trash left, all linens left in laundry room,etc). Did it all! Went home happy.
Deposit was supposed to be returned within 7 days. On day 9, my sister sent an email inquiring as to the status of the deposit...and was told it was being kept! We supposedly were disrespectful of her house and nature...Er, not true at all! Anyway, to make a long story short...we sent a letter back, certified mail, stating that she was not entitled to our deposit. The things she stated were that way when we arrived. She took the word of her cleaning lady (yes, the same one who did not previously report the damaged toilet paper holder or the chip in the faucet, who did not pick up the beer cans left by the previous tenants, who did not take care of the food that was left, and did not empty the trash can on the deck) and claimed we did all this!
She is sending back our deposit. But now, she claims that we inquired about about the return of our deposit the day after we left! Really??? We left on June 21. June 28 was 7 days. We inquired on July 2...
So...if anyone is thinking of renting in the Blue Ridge area of northern GA, let me know...and I'll let you know the name of the person we rented from.
Happy Vacationing to all!
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Let's see...I have to go look later at some of the family newsletters I sent out to remember what we did. I do remember that this was one of the nicest houses we rented. (Much better than the place we at a later time - we now call it the waterfall house!) It had a pool table in the basement. Lots of porches and chairs. Good view. Plenty of seating room for relaxing. Good sized kitchen for cooking. Good closet/dresser space. Clean. The drive was fine. It still was a bit away from things but not too bad.
I do remember one of the places we ended up at a lot was Fred's Trading Post...yup, just a little general store in town - but it had basic groceries and more. It also had mini golf nearby.
That's all I can remember now - I'll post more later!
Thursday, July 10, 2008
I do remember that this house was way up a mountain...and that the last bit of road actually had a very steep incline...and we didn't enjoy that. Now, the house we stayed in was not actually the house we originally rented..but the owners pulled a switch on us in the last few weeks. We wanted the other house because it had a nice large dining table - and we really need that with nearly 20 people trying to eat at once! And the worse part about this switch? We passed the original house on the way to the house we were in...it was just before that very steep incline! And, we could look in and see the nice large table...on the way to our small table.
Oh, well...we still enjoyed ourselves!
I especially remember the small kitchen. I believe we had the kids sit at the kitchen table while the adults sat in the family room to eat. If you needed to open the oven door, you couldn't walk past it - no room! We definitely we crowed in this place!
In spite of the small place, we still had a great time! As always, it's fun to see family you don't get to see very often. The food was great and we one again did the "each family cooks one day". That's almost the best part of the vacation. Trying to find something new to make. We have started a "Nederhoed Vacation Cookbook" that we now add the new recipes to each year.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Because the condo was so large, we were all able to stay together. This was our goal when searching for a place to stay. In order to keep costs down, we wanted to be able to cook instead of eating out. After all, we didn't get to see each other very often so we wanted to break bread together.
Speaking of kitchen duties, we decided that each family would take one day and cook breakfast and dinner. That meant for our five day vacation, we only had to cook one day! Sounded like vacation to us!
We did manage to see a few of the sights in Gatlinburg. We took in a arts & crafts fair at the convention center. Some of us went to Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum. We visited Ober Gatlinburg. The kids enjoyed this. I rode the ski lift with one of my daughters. We did the Ripley's Moving Theatre. We drove through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. We rode the go-karts and played miniature golf. And we did some shopping. The days just flew. My Dad saw a black bear near the trash cans. When he told us about it, one of my brother-in-laws grabbed his video camera and followed it out to the woods! But, he made it home safely. When we watch that video, we enjoy how the camera was shaking and how out of breath he was tracking that black bear.
Before we knew it, it was time to head home. But, the good news was we knew we were doing this again in two years. And, we had decided to return to the Gatlinburg area since there was so much to do that we hadn't done yet.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
The years went by. All my sisters and my brother had grown up. We were starting families of our own. But, we were split between two states: Michigan, where we all grew up and Florida, where mom and dad had retired and moved to. Then in 1994 our mom passed away. All of a sudden, we weren't sure if would still see each other as often with mom gone. So, we decided it was time to start a family reunion.
We get together every other year for a family reunion. We decide on a place to stay. One of the things our destination must have are condos for rent large enough to accommodate about 20 people.
I will tell you the cities we have visited, the places where we stayed, the attractions we have seen, what we liked and disliked and whatever else I can think of that would be interesting.
If we can help you find a new location for your very own reunion, wonderful! If you have a suggestion for us, please leave a comment. Feel free to let me know where you have been and how your family enjoyed it.
Here's a list of the places we've been so far with the larger family group:
1994: Gatlinberg, TN
1996: Gatlinberg, TN
1998: Pigeon Forge, TN
2000: Beech Mountain, NC
2002: Luray, VI
2004: Murphy, NC
2006: skipped this year...instead my sisters and my brother went to FL for Dad's 80th birthday
2008: Jasper, GA
Monday, July 7, 2008
Five of us... You get it.
Voluntarily taking vacations together every year... Do you still get it?
And we look forward to it!
We've been doing this since 1994. On even numbered years, we include the husbands and our kids. On those odd numbered years, its just us girls.
Stay tuned. My next post will take us back to how this all got started in 1994.