OUR FIRST EXCHANGE BUT NOT OUR LAST!
Amy from Olivebridge, NY, USA (listing #606)
I am happy to report that our first home exchange was a success! My family had plans in New York City for Memorial Day weekend and we were hoping to set up a trade through Digsville. With only a month or so before the holiday weekend, and unable to finalize a swap, I was not looking forward to the prospect of staying in an expensive NYC hotel. Then I got a newsletter from the Digsville website and noticed that the founders lived in Hoboken, NJ- directly across the river and thought, "Hmmm, maybe I should try them."
Helen and Joe, luckily, were interested in swapping for the weekend (to the Catskill Mountains), so, all through e-mailing, we arranged our trade.
I felt somewhat trepidatious about how our house might appear to Helen and her friends, who would be joining them. Would it be appealing, comfortable, warm and inviting? I straightened up all the rooms, got rid of all the junk and got it looking like what I considered presentable enough for people who'd never seen it. I also made up a scrapbook of newspaper clippings I'd collected about the area, typed up a "suggested itinerary" for them and left copious brochures on local sites. I left the key and hoped for the best.
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As far as being in Hoboken, it was great. First, we were lucky enough to meet Helen, Joe and Lily, who were still home when we arrived. It was good to see the face of Digsville! We got a tour of the house and its idiosynchracies. We toasted our exchange with a lovely bottle of wine they left for us and we were off, each to our own adventures.
Helen and Joe's house was quite comfortable and is within walking distance of the ferry to the city, which is only a 15-20 minute ride. I discovered, too, before we drove down, that there is a special ferry that goes directly from Hoboken to either Yankee or Shea Stadium. Since we had tickets for a Mets game, this was perfect. It's a great ride with a wonderful view of the city and its historical landmarks. We spent most of the weekend in the city but did manage to have a couple of meals in Hoboken. Helen and Joe recommended several of their favorite eateries. I'd like to check out Hoboken a little more, and hopefully we'll have a chance to on our next trade.
When the weekend ended and we arrived home there was a lovely note and small bouquet of picked flowers on our dining room table. Apparently the Bergsteins and their friends had a great time in the Catskills despite the daily rain. They managed to do a lot, and even tried some of my recommendations. They said they'd swap again, any time! Well, we're game! It was encouraging to hear from Helen that our house is "definitely swappable." We already have plans to repeat the experience this summer and fall.
Thank you, Helen, for creating this wonderful website and for helping to make travel so affordable, easy and enjoyable. Amy
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This article has been generously contributed by Amy from Oliverbridge, NY USA, a member of Digsville - the global home exchange community. Visit http://www.digsville.com - to find a great place to stay.
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