I Hate Hotels…So, We Rented a Houseboat

During our four-night stay in San Francisco, we spent our first two nights in the city proper, at the Parc 55 Hotel. They totally screwed us over and put us in a smoking room, which reeked, making us feel like we reeked, too. No fun, especially for the price we were paying per night.

It’s a humongous hotel, fulllllllllll of foreign tourists and people visiting the city for conferences. Each trip up/down the elevator was crowded and stuffy. OK, so the location was handy, but that’s about where the charm ended.

For our last two nights, we rented a houseboat in Sausalito, California — just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Fran. (Via VRBO.com — a brilliant site for hotel haters, along with homeaway.com).

The view from inside the houseboat. At night, we had a view of the the houselights twinkling across the bay in Tiburon.

The view from inside the houseboat. At night, we had a view of the the houselights twinkling across the bay in Tiburon.

While the weather was less-than-ideal — it was always too chilly/rainy to sit on the patio — but the complete privacy, the full kitchen, the gorgeous marina views (both day and night), and the four-minute walk to downtown Sausalito made for a perfect mini-vacation. I spent a lot of time mentally patting myself on the back for coming up with this idea (or for marrying the person who came up with the idea — I can’t remember who between us originally suggested the idea).

Plus, the Redwoods (see previous post) were about a 20-minute drive from the houseboat, and Napa is allegedly only about an hour (we ran out of time for that, as much as I like wine.)

This was the entrance, after you parked.

This was the entrance, after you parked.

Even in crappy weather, Californians were out in their sailboats. Here's our view from the patio.

Even in crappy weather, Californians were out in their sailboats. Here's our view from the patio.

Sausalito is great for walking -- the drivers are gentle, and we saw a seal lion swimming around each time we were out and about.

Sausalito is great for walking -- the drivers are gentle and yield to pedestrians, and we saw a seal lion swimming around each time we were out and about.

We also found a great dive bar — Smitty’s — which was a nice contrast to uber-wealthy Sausalito. We knew we had finally found “wacky California” when a guy started playing table shuffleboard with his feet. And wow, I love good California beers! (Food there is excellent, fresh, creative and always a bit overpriced, kinda like California in general.)

Just a cool photo of me taking a photo of Brendan inside the houseboat, reflected by the bedroom mirror.

Just a cool photo of me taking a photo of Brendan inside the houseboat, reflected by the bedroom mirror and the sliding glass door.

4 thoughts on “I Hate Hotels…So, We Rented a Houseboat

  1. DKN says:

    ooh! What fun re boathouse! You two certainly know how to make the most of travel. And I love the bottom pic! VERY cool.

  2. sue says:

    how neat!
    if you’re like me, being spoiled with all of the affordable and charming mexican boutique hotels has completely raised my standards and ruined me for future u.s. travel. 🙂

  3. Joy says:

    It was permanently moored, and didn’t have an engine or anything, so I don’t know if it’s been a houseboat for a long, long time. So no, no swaying or anything. Our Mexico City apartment sways more.

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