Am I Living in a Seinfeld Episode?
There Will Be Light
Two days last week, I worked at Alki Surf Shop while my husband, David, zipped over to Randle, WA, to do some work on our AirBNB house.
Shortly after I opened the store, a woman I didn’t know walked in and said, “I’m not stalking you, but you left your BMW lights on.” It turned out I’d parked in front of her house. She is also an aficionado of vintage BMWs, and didn’t want me to return to find my car with a dead battery. The woman’s name was Megan, and I discovered we both own businesses on Alki Beach.
I locked up the store and walked with Megan back to my car, opened the door and started the engine without a problem. She waved goodbye, I locked up my car and headed back to the shop.
Fast forward to the end of the day…
I walk back to my car and see the lights were still ON! OMG. Earlier, when I checked and saw my battery was in good shape, I forgot to turn off the lights!
But, to my delight, the engine started right up!
Sheesh. Old people. ¶
Chewing the Digital Fat at Alki Surf Shop
Our visitors are both local and from around the world. Later that day, Jim and Suzanne Skerjanc from Bellingham dropped in, and somehow, we started talking about cell phone service.
Jim and Suzanne told me about their spotty AT&T service, and how they recently switched to Verizon. And yes, this was a spontaneous conversation!
Suzanne said, “We were with AT&T, and just didn’t get a signal anywhere. I mean, at my work there was like zero signal. I had to go outside and it was still sketchy. Jim’s a realtor, so he’s all over the place—and, I mean, he HAS to have a signal.”
Jim told me he would be driving down a main road, and bam—his calls would drop. He noticed the bars would go to zero, then a half mile down the road, they would come back. And it happened all over the county.
When they switched to Verizon, it was completely different. They now have cell phone service everywhere they go.
“We have full service now. It’s like being in the middle of Seattle,” Jim told me. “Since we switched to Verizon, we have great, reliable coverage all the time.”
Hearing about their experiences made me proud of my connection to Verizon as a brand influencer. Maybe #BetterMatters, but in their case, #BetterWins! ¶
By a huge percentage, the guests at our home on AirBNB are nice and responsible people. It’s interesting to see how different age groups behave almost stereotypically. “Grownups” treat our house as their own, and leave things in great shape. Millennials, on the other hand, generally seem to have a different idea of what it means to leave a place neat and tidy, or to treat our home with care.
When we first listed our house, my friend, Reg Saddler said, “Well, you know what people do with AirBNB houses, don’t you?” (And being a newbie, I said, “No!?”) He went on, “Terri, people make pornos in them!”—which kind of freaked me out!
Last year we hosted a boudoir photographer, whom we found to be a respected commercial photographer, and totally legit. Nothing too crazy has happened so far.
Generally, when we hand over the keys, we meet our guests face-to-face, and I believe the personal connection helps ensure a positive experience on both sides. That is, most of the time.
Recently we had a group of guys make a reservation for a bachelor’s weekend. The person who booked the house specifically said to me, “We will be clean and respectful.”
Beside filling huge garbage bags with empty booze and beer bottles, and then ruining and tossing five of our plush, hotel-grade towels into the trash without a word, this group burned through all of our firewood. And they also burned a batch of stripped maple saplings that David was seasoning to make into furniture.
Long pieces of beautiful wood leaning against the wall opposite the wall of split firewood would appear different to sensible people, but they were clueless. I could only think: “Morons.”
And to top it off, they also deposited a blow-up sex doll in with the rest of their trash. I mean, WHO DOES THAT? EWWWWW!
If we’d known the fiancee, I would’ve been tempted to tell her, “RUN, BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!” ¶
MISSION: Litter-ally Accomplished
Some of you might remember my last new year’s eve and day were crazy. A small part of it had to do with a postcard offering a trial box of OKO cat litter from the Mud Bay Pet Store.
We regularly receive OKO postcards and I usually recycle them. But recently, one arrived, and I decided to give it another shot. So I tossed it into my briefcase in the event I was near Mud Bay in the Capitol Hill neighborhood
Last Sunday I was near Mud Bay AND I had the postcard with me! So in a deja vu moment, I pulled into the gas station next door to the pet store, walked in, and bought something, then asked if I could leave my car in their lot while I shopped at Mud Bay.
And once again, Mud Bay didn’t have the trial size of OKO cat litter available.
I asked, “Do you guys EVER have the trial size of this product?”
They said, “No.”
Apparently the manufacturer makes no effort to ensure their retail outlets carry the items they’re promoting.
To put an end to my quest, I bought a large size of litter because we were running low. And to my surprise, Mud Bay offered to subtract the value of the trial size. So the box ended up costing only a few dollars
I felt guilty spending only three dollars on a large box of litter, so I also bought an interactive cat toy and some hamster treats for our son’s and daughter-in-law’s pet teddy bear hamster.
OKO cat litter is odd. It’s made from paper and sort of tubular in shape. I liked the concept, but it’s difficult to sift. Our Maine Coon, Hunter, is going along with it, but our silver tabby, Grey, is avoiding it. It was good to be able to try it. Now I know. ¶
Grownup Kids are FUN!
Last week, our oldest son Andrew, and daughter-in-law Diana drove to Seattle from Monterey, CA. Since they were supposed to arrive Sunday night, our family decided to delay celebrating Father’s Day until Monday, so everyone could be here.
But on Sunday afternoon I received a phone call from Andrew saying he and Diana would arrive in Seattle in time for Father’s Day dinner!
I love our oldest son, Andrew. He’s such an amazing kid! He also has a knack for creating minor chaos 🙂
Hearing his updated ETA, I needed to make sure our youngest son, Charley and his girlfriend, Sheela, were going to be available in a few hours, then cleared it all with David. When it looked like we were all on the same page, I switched into high gear, trying to figure out how we could get a dinner reservation on such short notice. So I called Marée Bistro, a neighboring business on Alki Beach.
Remember Megan, the woman who told me I left my lights on? Well, Marée belongs to Megan and her husband, Andy. They said they’d be happy to save us a table, which was great!
After we closed Alki Surf Shop, our group walked a few blocks to Marée and enjoyed some amazing dinners.
We ordered lots of different entrees, including a Galantine de poulet (like a free range chicken roulade), wild boar (tender and delicious!), hangar steak, a savory tart, steak frites; plus some yummy sides including a frisée salad and a tasty assortment of charcuterie.
It was a fun and festive meal and wonderful on every level. After dinner, we walked out, and were greeted by an incredible crimson sunset. It was the perfect end to a great weekend.
All of which started with Megan telling me I’d left my lights on. ¶
The hamster photo was captured by Diana Horsfall, using the Canary home security system, courtesy of Verizon. The doll photo was sourced on Pixabay. Other photos in this post were shot by me, using the fabulous camera on the Samsung Galaxy 7, courtesy of Verizon Wireless.
More about Terri:
- Visit her store Alki Surf Shop
- Terri Nakamura on Twitter
- Alki Surf Shop on Twitter
- The Horsfall House on AirBNB
- More by Terri Nakamura