The Summer Rental and my Airbnb BFF

Mrs. H gets an idea…which leads to a summer rental and her Airbnb BFF.

Last summer I had an epiphany after a very large ailing maple tree was cut down at Tahilla Farm. The epiphany went along the lines of tweaking the architects plans to take in a wider view of the landscape. My idea was a long shot but it worked. Unfortunately, I was a bit short on the math in regards to timing. I packed up the house, sent the contents into storage thinking that we would return to Tahilla in May/June 2015. I was delusional and off by five months with a more realistic date given to me of October 2015.

It was clear a summer rental was needed and hopefully one close enough to Tahilla so I could stay in touch with the day to day goings on. My search efforts from Vietnam were frustrating. The Internet lagged, dates were impossible and the accommodations were depressing. I find it hard to work with depressing and lagging Internet service.

And then..a glimmer of hope as I tuned into the rental website, Airbnb. I had used this site last year to find rental accommodations in Sydney and had pretty good luck. I wasn't sure if I would find something in our small country town within a reasonable distance of our home for the entire summer. But…as luck would have it, the rental gods were with me.

I found a log cabin, up a hill (which feels like a mountain), in the woods, within potential walking distance to our house (if I was feeling particularly energetic).

The owner and I chatted back and forth via email, getting to know each other, as you do when you are about to rent your home to a stranger. It is one of those situations that could go very wrong or very right, for both parties. We connected by phone last week, he was in London and I was in San Francisco. By the time I hung up the phone I was ready to be his Airbnb BFF…like.. really.. forever.

I have been in this little cabin on a hill (which feel like a mountain) for nearly two weeks and am absolutely smitten with it. Within a few days of my arrival, my son, Connor, arrived from Australia for a three week visit. We are both loving the atmosphere and vista. Some days I have to remind myself that we have a house under construction that I should be visiting. The cabin is that 'kick back' friendly kind of living…the kind I love. It has provided me with all sorts of ideas for Tahilla. I love that too.

I will describe it to you as I describe it to my friends and family who will be visiting over the summer. Are you ready?

It's a bit tricky to find the street, but when you do, 
 drive slowly up the hill (which feels like a mountain). 
The neighbours ask for 10mph…please oblige.
Keep on driving…

until you spy a cabin in a field of foxgloves.

If you arrive in the late afternoon you will catch them in their glory.

I will be there to greet you. 
When you arrive be ready to relax.
I promise you will, it is that kind of place.

The decorating style is playful and charming.

Love books? You will love this cabin..
in fact, you may never want to leave.
Think sabbatical…a long one. 

You know the afternoon light I mentioned earlier?
It gets even better when it settles into the house.

Afternoon and morning light. 

Feel free to pull up a chair and read a book anytime you like. 

or throw yourself (gently) onto the couch and settle in. 

 I promise you will be intrigued by each and every book. 
My Airbnb BFF has a spectacular library.

He asks that you enjoy his books,
and you will.

For you arrival, 
I snipped a few budding peonies at Tahilla Farm 
and brought them back to the cabin.
The fragrance is out of this world.

I swear they wink at me as I pass by...

My Airbnb BFF has thought of everthying right down to comfy beds.

and the bedside table book stacks…

Especially fun when you want to spend time reading in bed 
which you are more than welcome to do. 
Read for as long as you like.

You can sleep in and come on down to the kitchen when you are ready.
Coffee will be brewing. Just grab a cup and help yourself.

Daydreaming out the kitchen window is allowed any time of day.

 Feel free to daydream inside as well. 

It is hard not to..seriously, really hard not to. 

And when our day of exploring is done and we head 
back to the cabin on the hill (which feels like a mountain) 
we can grab an India Pale Ale chilling in the refrigerator...

or whatever drink takes your fancy,
and mosey onto the porch to put our feet up.

 Watching the sun set over the mountains is a favourite pastime.

After all…

we will not want to miss any moments that take our breath away. 

And that my blogging friend is a little insight into our summer rental and my Airbnb BFF. I should qualify this by saying I have elected to call him my BFF…he has no idea of this, shhh!  Have you used Airbnb before? It is worth a look if you find yourself travelling around the world and are looking for accommodations. There are a few options available, you can find a host with extra rooms to rent or rent an entire home as I have done. You have 190+ countries to choose from. I rented an apartment when I travelled solo to Sydney and was very happy with the accommodations, just as I am with this situation. You do have to read the fine print very carefully. Each situation is unique and extra charges do have a way of adding up. Some people enjoy travelling to new countries and staying with local families to fully appreciate the culture. Others might be looking for the most economical way to travel. There seems to be something for everyone. It just depends on your travel style and if you are willing to travel outside the normal channels. 

On that note…
sending you best wishes from the cabin on the hill (which feels like a mountain).

More to come on Tahilla Farm…things are humming along!
Thank you for all your comments and suggestions.
Love them all!

Jeanne xx

All photos taken by me,
Jeanne Henriques.
More photos on my Instagram page.


  1. Looks like a charming place to spend a summer! Good find.
    Oddly, I just used airbnb for the first time last week, to rent a room in Maine when I go up for a cashmere-assessment event in August. But a few years ago I used the similar VRBO (vacation rental by owner) to rent a tiny studio in Paris, and it was a treat. SO much nicer to go "home" in the evening, and become familiar with a neighborhood, instead of staying in an impersonal hotel.

  2. Oh my gosh how beautiful! All those books! Looks like a wonderful place to spend the summer. Enjoy and good luck with the remainder of the work on Tahilla.

  3. Love the book stacks ..... Quite an eclectic collection ..... Your homeowner is very well read! Yes, I could settle in here quite nicely for the summer amongst the books and all the other collections and "thingies" this person obviously loves. Sometimes it's amusing just what little it takes to make us happy.
    Looking forward to seeing Tahilla finished and your move-in.

  4. You found a library in paradise...enjoy your summer there. I used Airbnb some month ago the first time
    and was really satisfied. If you choose the right one it can be nearly home away from home

  5. Good for you Jeanne! What a find...

  6. Hello Jeanne,
    You found a treasure here and how conveniently located to Tahilla Farm. It is perfect and the decor is interesting and unique. Your new BFF looks to be a very interesting man with diverse interests.
    We have used Air BNB frequently and always have been satisfied. Your sage advice of reading the fine print is spot on.
    Thanks for sharing your space and hi to Connor.

    Helen xx

  7. What a wonderful place you have found to lay your head at night...and all those books...oh my! ;)

  8. Hi Jeanne -- you have struck lucky -- and looks as if you will have a great neighbour in the future.
    We've used AirBNB occasionally and our young are devoted fans. My last experience was a great house in LA a month ago -- perfectly equipped and situated --- but the art...!! Some of it was seriously spooky and creepy. Not sure I'd have wanted to spend the night there on my own. So glad your host clearly shares your tastes. Hope buidligns works still going according to plan. x

  9. This looks like absolute heaven to me...truly. I can't wait for you to meet your new BFF in person!

  10. Jeanne, you have such a lovely way of using words! I think of you at Tahilla and its contrast to Saigon, As for the remodeling,being behind schedule seems to be the norm in these parts. The sense of urgency we so often feel in other parts of our life does not exist which can be exasperating but may be a good thing! It looks like everything is coming along beautifully and the end result will be stunning. Enjoy your moments of tranquility.

  11. Jeanne,

    You found your perfect house to spend the summer! A comfortable, book filled house, surrounded by mountains and flowers. Could you ask for anything more. This place looks magical!

    I hope that you enjoy your time there and with Connor and your time watching the Tallia farm become a reality.

    Thanks for sharing your adventure!

  12. "You will love this cabin..
    in fact, you may never want to leave.”

    For all you have written, yes, we might stay long.
    A beautiful cabin.

    All the books I need and a beautiful sunset and I will imagine dawn also.

  13. i know this comment is a few months late but i had to write, i llloovvve this cabinet , this is my paradise, endless and endless heaps of books and mesmerizing views :)
    Jeanne by any chance could you please provide us with the link on Airbnb, pleaseeeeeee

  14. Greeting!
    I am really impressed for your post. We specialize in MV Summer rentals. Looking for luxurious vacation rentals & Martha's Vineyard Summer Rentals. This is your cherished time and you want it to be perfect. We know the Martha’s Vineyard houses and owners and we can make a custom match for you and your family to the just right, perfectly special MV vacation rentals.


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