Just like the rest of us, the end of the year is an extremely busy time for John O’Donnell. This year, in particular, he’s been overseeing our company’s holiday rush, traveling around the country with our new Chief Merchandising Officer Chris Knott, strategizing for 2017 and more. While his schedule doesn’t leave a lot of room for relaxing, John tries his best to find a night or two for quick getaway. His go-to resource for those last minute getaways is Airbnb. If you don’t know much about the company, Airbnb is a homestay network that connects people with unique long and short-term renting options. The company started in 2007, just a few years after John launched Ingram Insurance. It began when two roommates started what they called “AirBed & Breakfast” on the living room floor of their San Francisco apartment. Visitors had the opportunity to stay on three air mattresses and receive homemade breakfast in the morning.
What we love most is that the origin of Airbnb is much like the idea behind John’s Blue Room, the place where our founder has welcomed all kinds of friends and family members throughout the years. When the doors open, it’s not just a room or a home, it’s a place where memories are made and adventures are taken.
Airbnb has since grown from that living room floor to 191 countries and 34,000 cities, and it provides the access to unique accommodations for anything that John is in the mood for. After scouring the seemingly endless options that Airbnb has to offer, John has narrowed down his list to four places he wants to check out in the new year.
This one is right up John’s alley, since it’s close to two great golf courses – the Mesquite Golf & Country Club, which is an 18-hole championship course with 5 lakes (challenge accepted) and Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort, which was ranked by Golf Digest as “One of the Best Places to Play.” After a long day on the course, John can cool off in the home’s salt water pool and spend the evening sitting by the fire pit. Sounds ideal, doesn’t it?
John wants to check out this location with a friend or two. It’s near the Sustainable Vine Wine Tours, which takes guests on tours of small production, family-owned vineyards, barrel rooms, etc. When the tour is over, it’s easy to Uber to Downtown Santa Barbara and grab delicious food along State Street. Oh and did we mention the home is a short distance away from the Santa Barbara Golf Club? Yeah, this is a front runner for sure.
There are some days when John feels the need to go completely off the grid (we can relate). This is the place he’s going to pick when he wants just that. The home itself doesn’t have television or WiFi (don’t worry, he’ll set his fantasy team before he loses service). It’s only 15 minutes away from Joshua Tree if he’s looking to do some outdoor exploring, and when he can’t handle the quiet any longer, he can head to town and grab dinner at Pappy & Harriet’s for a burger, beer and live music.
While Orange County isn’t too far from John’s home, it’s a great spot for a quick getaway. This 1920s cottage is located on the Balboa Peninsula, super close to a rental spot where John can pick up a paddle board and enjoy a day on the ocean. This location is on John’s list to go to during one of those extra warm winter months.