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Just had sort of friends over for the weekend.
Old 03-09-2010, 06:51 AM   #1
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Just had sort of friends over for the weekend.

I'm a member of an automotive forum and had a fellow member give me a call from New York City about a month ago. In the middle of the conversation he mention's about a deal he and his new wife got on a Bus trip (Megabus) from New York City to Toronto Ontario Canada for $20.00 per person return. He later asks me to recommend a reasonable priced hotel and since I knew he married last year and were saving up for a house I would save them money and have them sleep over at our place from Friday to Monday. Towards the end of the conversation he mentions his sister may be coming along also if that was a problem of which I said...............................not a problem.
From the time I picked them up at the bus depot, 45 minutes away to the time they left, my wife waited on them hand and foot. It was like they were at an all inclusive hotel. We drove them around, made them meals and rarely did they offer to help and when they did we replied, "we could always use help", of which usually last 2 minutes, then they returned to there laptops.
For the last dinner on Monday I mentioned that my wife will be back at work and most likely tired from working all day.... and since I'm not a cook I thought it would be a good jester for all of us to do the cooking since she'd been cooking for 7 (we have two kids) people during the last couple days. I told them that we could base the meal of what ever food we already had at home and just stop off at the local grocery store and pick up what ever else was needed to make the meal. Since they're oriental the sister suggested oriental dishes so off we went to the grocery store. Go figure that the sister lived on her own with two teenage kids therefore was the only one that knew how to cook. Low and behold when we get to the cash register nobody brings out cash to pay even after the married couple bought munchies, so I foot the $55.00 grocery bill.


Ok, rant over; they're home safe and sound.
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:19 AM   #2
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Lesson learned - unfortunately
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:45 AM   #3
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You know, I've always wanted to visit Ontario....

Had you met them in person before? At least you have a good story out of it.
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:54 AM   #4
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So, I guess that means that not all educating is done in school.............

Years ago we allowed a niece to stay over night. She showed up with a boyfriend, rather late on a Sunday night. When it was time for us to go to w*rk the next morning, they were both sound asleep. Not feeling comfortable leaving a stranger in the house, we woke them up and hustled them off.
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:37 AM   #5
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Even after that experience, I'd offer my guest room again (not to them - but would definitely try again.) My friend is part of a dance community (they go to dance camps & dance weekends, etc) and that is part of the fun - staying with people you only "kinda" know. Some experiences are GREAT, and others not so great like your story. I hear the GREAT ones make it all worth it. My limit is a couple nights hostessing anyway!
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Old 03-09-2010, 09:07 AM   #6
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My limit is a couple nights hostessing anyway!
The kids, DW, and I will be over Friday night, say 6:00pm ish?
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This Thread is USELESS without pics.........:)
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Old 03-09-2010, 09:52 AM   #7
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Next time you go to Wal-Mart or a bus depot, look around and consider the fact that very nearly every person you see has a computer and is on the internet these days.

I know of a few people on this board who privately mentioned that were somewhat surprised when they met others in person, too. Not to say that you would see our members hanging around Wal-Mart wearing sloppy clothes and unshaven - -- oh wait! with all of our LBYM efforts, you might!
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:37 AM   #8
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Uh oh...a member of your automotive forum, huh. Do you think he'll tell the rest of the members of your hospitality during their stay?

You might have to run for cover if someone else calls wanting to stay at 'My Dream's' abode or you may have to tell them your house burned down!

btw...I might be headin' up north this summer...hint, hint...
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:54 AM   #9
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Interesting stories- I think a lot of us have experienced similar issues with house guests, whether strangers, relatives, or new acquaintances. Part of the problem may stem from the fact that they fell they are mentally "on vacation"- but you are in your normal routine at home...

We have had really good experiences with most of our house guests, some so-so,but we haven't had any go really wrong- because we aren't afraid to speak up and issue assignments- "kids, help set the table", "John, would you run to the store, we are out of milk, and if you want more beer, you might want to grab some while you are there" , Jane, you need to run the vacuum around the living room and clean up your kid's mess from last night, the Jones' will be here in a couple of hours and we want the house to look nice for them, too.," etc...
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Old 03-09-2010, 12:19 PM   #10
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My house guests are usually pretty well behaved. They keep the place tidy and lend a helping hand if needed.

The exception is DW's aunt and uncle. They treat our house like it's a B&B. The first time they stayed at our house, they left their bath towels on the bathroom floor after taking their shower as if we were supposed to pick them up and wash them everyday. We left the towels on the floor.

But I don't think I would invite anyone I barely knew to spend the night at my house anyways! Wow! Canadians are really friendly folks!
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Old 03-09-2010, 12:40 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
You know, I've always wanted to visit Ontario....

Had you met them in person before? At least you have a good story out of it.
Yes we have and I heard the next bus is leaving in a week to Toronto Ontario Canada......so jump on.
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Even after that experience, I'd offer my guest room again (not to them - but would definitely try again.)
And so would I but I'm somewhat host shy at the moment, so it won't be for some time.
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Lesson learned - unfortunately
That's one way of looking at it, but I'd do it again, since it's just who we are. Therefore, what have we truly learned.
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The kids, DW, and I will be over Friday night, say 6:00pm ish?
Do you want me to pick you up at the bus depot also.
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Do you think he'll tell the rest of the members of your hospitality during their stay?
btw...I might be headin' up north this summer...hint, hint...
He may post some picture but there was no mention of this trip on the forum.
bbam1, maybe you can get a ride with FinanceDude, I heard he's an ok Dude.
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But I don't think I would invite anyone I barely knew to spend the night at my house anyways! Wow! Canadians are really friendly folks!
I've spoken to this person on and off for about 4 years now via the forum.
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Old 03-09-2010, 12:45 PM   #12
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I'm not too far south of you across the border, east of Syracuse NY.
Can I bring my 2 dogs?

All kidding aside, I'm actually sorry to hear you had this experience. Live and learn, eh?
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Old 03-09-2010, 12:51 PM   #13
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We ran into some of the same issues with some good friends - they came to Europe and it turned out they were the types who need a schedule imposed on them and/or someone to provide a tour. They weren't self-sufficient traveling like I and my husband. Needless to say, the expectation gap caused some strife - especially for my husband and I. Next visitors will be told explicitly what we will and won't do....otherwise it's too hard. Lessons learned...and I keep in mind how I felt when I visit people and try to be as unobtrusive as possible - assist with the bills, etc. Or, don't stay with them and just meet for a meal or some entertainment.
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Old 03-09-2010, 12:53 PM   #14
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We had visitors over from Australia who did the same. They were really friends of friends, but we offered them accommodation for a week.

Turned out that we paid for everything, all the groceries, running them all over town.

The big kicker was on the last night we went out for dinner, we thought they would at least offer to pay for us. Even better, somehow we ended up paying their share as well, they did not even break out the credit card to pay their portion of the bill.

Needless to say they will not be allowed back.
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Old 03-09-2010, 02:20 PM   #15
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Over Christmas my 20-something nephew came out to AZ to visit us with his new GF- who had never been outside of NJ. DW and I decided the best Christmas present we could give them was a "suggested" itinerary, a couple of (pre-booked) hotel nights from our frequent-flyer programs, and a gas card...off they went to Grand Canyon, Sedona, Painted Desert, etc.

We saw them for five nights during their 10-day trip, only a couple of them consecutively. Worked out great!
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Old 03-10-2010, 06:13 AM   #16
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Having 3 active and friendly dogs 45 to 120 lbs with run-of-the-house has so far meant that even relatives prefer to stay at the Motel 6 just up the street.
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Old 03-10-2010, 09:41 AM   #17
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I am member of the SERVAS hospitality network for more than 30 years now.
While some guests are nicer than others (and some hosts are more friendly than others) my experiences as guest and host have been very good.
It is possible to host strangers at your home and spend enjoyable time together.

Some ground rules for guests like taking the hosts as they are, not to expect anything except a place to sleep and some communication unless it is offered to you by the host and to be polite and low maintenance.

The best rule is not to stay less than or longer than 2 nights unless the host offers it to you. 2 nights is less attractive for freeloaders than one night and allows some communication with the host. And it is not too long if guest and host are not a good fit.
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:01 AM   #18
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Having 3 active and friendly dogs 45 to 120 lbs with run-of-the-house has so far meant that even relatives prefer to stay at the Motel 6 just up the street.
I have a tiny apt. A couple of my very poor friends are planning a visit and I'm thinking of paying for their hotel room and renting a limo. for a couple of days. We'd probably eat out while sight seeing and I'd have them over for dinner a couple of times. I'd also leave them on their own for several days to see the stuff I don't want to. Could be less expensive in the long run.
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:02 AM   #19
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Hmmm, better figure out how to say "no" ... they'll be back.

Have a friend who would turn every dinner party into a weekend visit. After two of these, I told him the beds are located at the closest hotel (they live less than an hour away). He got the hint. We still get together a few times/year. And golf weekly.

Need to set boundarys.
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:50 AM   #20
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One cousin's husband who came to visit with my cousin drank a certain beer, so my stepfather had to go to the store and her hubby came along. Stepfather put the beer on the counter and cousin's hubby made no effort to pay at all (everything else the parents offered like meals and room and rides not expecting payment, of course), so stepfather just walked away leaving the beer there....I was glad he did that, frankly, cause the last time this cousin came she STOLE 5 pricey hardly used at all silk nightgowns from my mother (she was 15, but can you believe that one?).
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