I know we are venting and using the blog as our release value so please enjoy the rant!
Her AirBnB website clearly stated kitchen privilege (which was a prerequisite a year ago when I made the booking) and despite her demands to observe her new rules, we successfully negotiated our right to cook our evening meals, and no others mind you. Pork chops and Pasta and Cheese were on the menu our first evening. She proceeded to step in moment by moment with comments such as "we are not used to such smells," "I have not fried on the stove before," and "are you planning on doing this every evening." She opened windows, moved things around and out of our reach, and pretty much made our evening meal an event to be forgotten..alas not. After dinner we cleaned up, washed and put away everything, and shined up the new cooktop to its like new first appearance. She then proceeded to repeat all of our actions after we left as she moved about in a huff.
We settled into the solarium later in the evening to watch an few episodes of Lost and had the adjoining door between there and the living room slammed shut a few times. We took this as a notice that our sound was too loud. She could have simply asked. Ugh. Obviously not our fashion as we are very respectiful of our guest home. This is the third time we have rented with the owner present and will possible be our last. .
The following morning we ate cold cereal and kept to ourselves as much as possible, having to move all of the evening laundry she has laid out on the table and hung from the ceiling in the solarium after we had retired. Following breakfast and as we were prepared to depart for the day she reminded us that she currently enjoyed a 90% guest review rate and then proceeded to go into specific detail about the Finnish girl who stayed six days and was a total disappointment. Alas...she did offer us free passes to one of the Shakespeare venues and that was quite nice.
We made a point to be gone all of our first day, ate out in town, and only made a cold salad in the evening. Upon returning we were informed that she was having family over for dinner the next evening and the kitchen could not be used as she was "going to prepare a chicken." She said we could use the oven if we liked.
We all felt sorry for her since it was shared that her husband has suffered a severe stroke and that things "simply weren't the same anymore." She was obviously tired and distraught. He was a lovely old man, had lost most of his sight, and appeared to be a bit confused at times. Although pleasant and welcoming, he pretty much needed to be looked after from her perspective. There were times when she was quite pleasant...others quite stern. It was like living with my "mother" most of the time. Always on the edge to not make a mistake.
For our two days in Stratford we tried to stay out of her way and out of her kitchen. We didn't chance asking about a laundry facility although the website stated there were some available, and we adjusted our schedule to coincide with theirs. We are fully prepared for her to be less than pleasant in her review following our stay. We normally are the first to review in the AirBnb platform and always have a pleasant and positive response from our hosts. This time around we are going to wait and see if she states something negative before posting our review. If she says nothing, neither will we...let sleeping dogs alone. If she takes the Low Road, we will be prepared.
We wish her well, and hope she chooses soon to stop being an AirBnb host.