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There are moments in life where you feel appreciated, recognized for uniquely who you are and what you stand for, understood – I call that being ‘seen’.  As in, I see what you do, who you are, the care you give, how hard you are working, how hard you have it right now, that you are in pain, that you are happy, that your plate is full, that you are glowing, that you are lonely, why you did what you did, I understand.  I see you.

We received a review from a guest, a fellow blogger that gave me goosebumps.  There are choices that we’ve made with the House, very personal choices, gut feeling sort of things.

Little things, some that take a lot of time, some that felt like taking a big risk, some scary, some that are fun and express a bit of us.

For example, I started off using paper napkins for breakfast service and after a bit (after setting our own dinner table with linen napkins,) changed to proper ones.  Yes, they take more time to wash, hang on the line, and replace upstairs (sometimes finding their way to an iron,) but they are more special and better for the environment.  I found great silver flatware and vintage New Zealand dishes, Crown Lynn.

We use local coffee, grind the beans ourselves.  We provide an honor bar, for those wanting a glass of wine on the front porch.  New Zealand chocolates, the highest grade linens we could find, magazines, daily newspaper, books to tuck into in the lounges.

These are the things we love about unique places to stay when traveling. I’ve enjoyed nights in boutique places throughout the US and Europe and remember all of their details.  Wines in swank and welcoming lounges in the South of France.  A huge dining table to share food in Greece.  An intense CD library in Spain.

We also made design choices, such as louvered walls to allow sunlight in, and exposed baths.  Big risky decisions.

This kind woman, on a year long journey with her partner, saw these details in our House and in effect, saw us.  They sacrificed for a year, working hard to save money to travel around the world.  Their story is here.  Join me in following them.  I look forward to hearing their view of the world and what amazing things they encounter.

I never took the time when traveling, to review the places I stayed – now a regret of mine.  It is one of the kindest gifts that we receive from our guests, when they take the time to sit and write about their experience.  In the year we’ve been open, we’ve received only one negative review and it upsets me deeply (funny that it happened during the same week as this wonderful one.)  But it also delights us to read the comments and means the world to us that each and every one of them took time out of their lives to give public feedback.

In the end, that’s just what anyone wants, right?  To live their life in their own way, make a bit of a mark, and be surrounded by those that see them.