Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Home Exchange

I sipped a glass of Cabernet at the bar while waiting for my ex-colleague to join me for dinner at Rex Cafe tonight. The couple sitting next to me asked for entree recommendations - so we struck up a conversation. It turned out they were from Australia (the guy) and New Zealand (the girl, she wore braces, too!), but live in Hong Kong. They are in San Francisco on vacation, and they got free lodging via Home Exchange! Just like what Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet did in the movie, the Holiday. In fact, HomeExchange.com did indeed sponsor the movie. Now, how cool is THAT!! The couple they are exchanging homes with owns three properties in the States, in San Francisco (Pacific Heights), Napa Valley, and New York City (must be a nice life!). We had a nice chat - I told them how much I loved VB (Victoria Bitter, an Australian beer) when I spent a week in Sydney last summer. They told me how many similarities they found between San Fran and Sydney, and that he travels to Beijing for business all the time, and that they plan to visit China next year during the Olympics. All in all, a very cool, collected couple.

So guess who paid the annual fee of $99.95 and became the newest member of HomeExchange.com as soon as she got home tonight? :)

I'm flying to Belgium at the end of July, then taking the train to Spain. It'd be great to stay in a local residence, rather than in a hotel, for obvious reasons:
  • Hotels are expensive.
  • Staying in a hotel screams "I'm a tourist!". Staying in a local residence spells C-O-O-L.

I hope someone on that site wants to visit San Francisco!


chinderella said...

Kristen, where are you going in Spain? I'll be in Madrid from July 23rd to August 4th if you need someone to go around with!

Kristen said...

What a coincidence! I'll be in Spain (Madrid/Bilbao) from July 28th through August 6th. My only commitment is to be in Bilbao on August 4th for a wedding. Other than that, my schedule is rather fluid. We should definitely meet up!