San Francisco Dreaming Part 2

Free Today on Amazon

When I visit San Francisco, I usually stay with friends. However, on my last visit, I wanted to try something different.

As a travel writer, I’d been interested in the website It facilitates private homeowners to offer anything from crash space on the couch to the entire house. I liked the idea and had wanted to give it a try. I looked at the listings for San Francisco and found a condo in a good location at the right price, $85 a night. It had good reviews for all categories, including cleanliness.

To make a long story short, it was not a good experience. The location was great. The condo was not. Cleanliness was an issue, but the worst part was the smell. The owner was obviously a smoker who smoked indoors. He appeared to have tried to cover the smell with candles and air freshener, which only made things worse.

Here’s the review I posted on airbnb:

I had a very mixed experience staying in this condo. First, the pros. The location is great. I loved the view. Public transportation is right outside the door. There is a well-known pharmacy across the street and a nice, natural food grocery store down the block. Cole Valley is close walking distance with lots of good restaurants. For the most part, the place is quiet, though you’ll hear sirens from the nearby medical center. Since the apartment is on the third floor, it was nice having access to an elevator. Now, the cons. The apartment was not very clean, especially the kitchen and bathroom. There were grease spots on the stove and the fridge had spill stains. The microwave oven was crusty and stained, and I had to clean it so I could use it. The bathtub had dark stains and soap scum.  Also, there was a strong smell of cigarette smoke. On a lesser note, cable and HBO are listed among the amenities, however the host told me that the cable was out, and he offered as an alternative an antenna on the TV that received a few local channels. In the bedroom, there was a second TV that didn’t work and blocked access to the window and the other side of the bed. Despite enjoying the convenient location, I would not stay here again.

I tried not to be too nitpicky. I don’t want the owner to lose business, but the place has lots of room for improvement. It was not worth $85 a night. I probably won’t be using airbnb again. I can’t trust the reviews. And I can get a decent hotel room for slightly more.

I’ll be returning to San Francisco shortly. I’ve signed up to attend the San Francisco Writers Conference in February. It’s at the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins Hotel, a very pricey hotel at the top of Nob Hill. I’ll be staying a couple of blocks below at a hotel I can whole-heartedly recommend. The Golden Gate Hotel is a charming bed and breakfast. Clean, reasonably priced, and best of all, serves up a really yummy continental breakfast. Plus, there’s a big orange tabby, Pip, who will probably wander into your room.


Pip hung out in my room last year. He’s a friendly kitty.

In the meantime, I’ve found some San Francisco themed Kindle freebies to enjoy. Plus, a book titled, “How to Pack Like a Rock Star,” which is actually about rock stars packing their luggage. Can’t resist that and since they travel so much, they probably have some good tips.

  How To Pack Like A Rock Star by Shaun Huberts
A photo-driven adventure book combining a nerdy-cool ‘how-to’ book with humor, comments and advice from all your favorite Rock Stars on how to pack your suitcase. Town to town, tour after tour; who better to listen to about packing a suitcase than someone who spends their days living out of one? Sooner or later the world will learn that Rock Stars are the real packing professionals and this is your inside source! So if you too are planning on living a life out of your suitcase then this could be the simplest, most effective, and by far most pleasurable way to learn how!

  San Francisco Values by James K Turner
Today’s plunging real estate market may seem brutal, but it’s nothing compared to the heady bubble days. Just ask real estate queen Ella Barker. She’s at the top of her career, a master of San Francisco’s hysterical housing market, and now some maniac comes along and starts slaughtering real estate agents? Why, this is outrageous under any circumstance, but it’s more than just a little distraction in a market where a child’s future earnings are mortgaged, Open House lines stretch for blocks and prices go up by the hour. Then Ella gets word the most expensive home ever in San Francisco is coming on the market, so she sets out to do whatever it takes to rake in the mega-commission.

  Wait For Me by Elisabeth Naughton
After a tragic accident left her with no memory, Kate Alexander struggled to fit in with a husband and world that didn’t feel right. She’s had no reason to question what friends and family have told her, not until her husband is suddenly killed and she finds a photo of a young girl in his office. A girl who can’t be anyone but a daughter Kate didn’t know she had. Ryan Harrison lost his wife in a plane crash five years ago. To cope with the pain of her loss, he dedicated himself to his job and to raising their daughter. Now a successful pharmaceutical executive, Ryan has everything a man could want—money, fame and power—but he’d give it all up in a heartbeat for just one more day with the woman he still loves. As Kate begins to dig into a past she doesn’t remember, evidence leads her to San Francisco and puts her on the path toward Ryan, a man who sees in her the woman he loved and lost.

  Complete Story of the San Francisco Horror by Samuel Fallows
This book has first hand interviews, photos and descriptions of the tragic event that shook the world in April 1906. Anyone who has any ties to San Francisco and California should read this wonderful non-fiction story! (Amazon review Dean Phelan)

Descriptions provided by Amazon

Disclaimers and Disclosures

I found these books via Amazon’s Kindle eBooks store. Resources for free Kindle and other format eBooks are listed in my sidebar.

These freebies are limited time offers, so there is no guarantee any of these books will still be free when you click on the links. Grab them sooner rather than later.

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