This past weekend Crystal and I made the journey to Erie, PA to knock #11 of her 30 By 30 list. Instead of staying in a hotel, we decided to Couchsurf. I found a married couple that agreed to let us crash at their place, and we were set.
We arrived in Erie a couple hours early, so we drove around a bit and found the venue and some places to eat, and made our way to the house.
Turns out I copy and pasted only part of the address, so we initially ended up at a sketchy apartment building that smelled like... well... a mix of marijuana, B.O. and pet urine. We realized our error when we went back to the car to check for the phone number, and continued on the the REAL address.
We arrived and walked up the steps to a small bungalow, a couple blocks up from the waterfront. We were greeted by our host, and her very excited and friendly dog, Levi. She explained that they only have 2 bedrooms, both of which were being used, so we'd be sleeping in the living room on an air mattress. (No problem, that's cool with us). She also said they'd leave the door unlocked for us, since the concert will likely go late. Things were looking good.
The concert ended around 11:30, and we made our way back to the house. We opened the door to see an air mattress, sheets and pillows laid out for us. Not too shabby. We set an alarm for early the next morning so that they wouldn't feel like they were trapped in their room.
The night went by without too much excitement, other than the cat walking across my face a couple of times. We got up early, deflated the mattress and folded the sheets and got ready to head out. Our hosts were still sleeping so we left a quick "thank-you" note and slipped out. A successful stay.
Overall it was a good experience, I think it's safe to say we'd probably do it again. It also gave me some ideas for what I'd do if we hosted some weary travellers. It was nice to sit and chat for a bit when we first arrived. Find out why she left Montreal and decided to settle in Erie. Find out what her interests are, what she does for a living, and how she met her husband (who was napping in the other room). The only change I would make for next time would be to find a place where we get our own room. Sleeping in the living room was awkward. We felt like we were in the way, and I can't imagine feeling like they had to stay in their room the entire time was fun for our hosts.
Overall a good experience and one we might do again. (I haven't confirmed that with Crystal yet)