Reviews Sept 2017 - August 2018

Home in Monterey Beach, New Jersey USA --September 2017


What better review to begin with than with the gem of a house where we started it all!  

We knew that in order to plan this great adventure, we would need a place away from the distractions of home.  We also knew we wanted to be at the beach.  (All work and no play makes for a dull weekend, as we all know.)  Don searched extensively for a place that included a sizable table so that we could both work on it.  Who knew it was going to be such a beautiful weekend that we could work and eat on the picnic table on the deck?  October is definitely the time to be out here.  And the house couldn't have been more perfect for us-- two bedrooms, ours  with a queen bed, overhead fan and plenty of closet and drawer space; a brand new kitchen that we want in our own house with new appliances, counters and cabinets; a cute and cozy living room, a deck on which to work; bikes!  The list goes on!  And the location was great- about 2 blocks from the beach or bay, about a mile from restaurants and shops (there are closer ones but many places were closed for the season.  Lava Java was open so we were more than pleased! http://lavajavahouse.com/ )  We plan on making it back to this house for sure!  Check out their VRBO listing and tell them LiveAbroadReviews.com sent you!  LAR gives this listing 4.5 Boba Teas out of 5- if you're looking for curb appeal, this may not be the place for you but it checked all the boxes for us!

  VRBO.com #697621 

Mountainside Apartment in Sorrento, Italy--February 2018


Sorrento in May is still pretty crowded with tourists and their gargantuan tour buses on the small-town roads so we were more than happy to be up in the hills, away from it all, with stunning views of the Mediterranean.  Just a short 15 min walk down a trail brought us to the city but that same short distance brought us peace and tranquility in this gem of an apartment- the  Ulivo . (There is also a winding road for vehicles.)

A one bedroom on the second floor, (considered the first floor), it had a good size bathroom with a shower and tub and an interesting fold-up kitchen that worked out fine for meals.  We were there a week and only did breakfasts and one dinner without issue. The living room/dining room was a nice size, with a table for  6 and a large-screen TV on the wall.  But we barely used that room because the deck was so wonderful.  And that view!  Nothing better than a breakfast of coffee, fruit and bread out on the deck while taking in the beauty of the Mediterranean Sea.  Or enjoying a nightcap and taking in the stars. Our host  Francesco was also extremely generous and allowed us access to the lovely pool in his hotel in town.  We spent a restful afternoon lounging, swimming and enjoying the outdoor bar,  And the view from just across the street from the front of the hotel features none other than Mt. Vesuvius in the distance.   Truly special.   LAR gives this listing 4 Boba Teas out of 5- the distance to town may not be everyone's cup of espresso but the views were just breathtaking! 


Beautiful Condo in San Francisco--March 2018

the view of the bay from our living room

We couldn't have asked for a more captivating views from our SF stay.  Located in the hills of Glen Park, our condo had a view of the bay just past the baby grand piano in the living room and one of the bedrooms upstairs.    The surrounding hills and Twin Peaks could be seen from the kitchen window and Master BR. The condo had 2 sets of stairs so it's not recommended for those with mobility issues. It has a big, updated and well-stocked kitchen- perfect for the long-term stay.   The MB was large and comfortable with a TV  and DVD player.  The 2nd bedroom had a bed and a futon so there were beds for our two adult kids but the space was tight.   The neighborhood worked out well for our morning stroll although it would have been great to have a kitchy coffeeshop nearby-- maybe we just missed it? The owners were responsive and helpful. A quick $10-15 Lyft brought us anywhere we wanted to go- the Castro, Downtown, the Mission District and Dolores Park, the Haight.  At the end of our adventures, it was nice to be able to escape the hustle and noise of the city and take in those views!    LAR gives this listing 5 Boba Teas out of 5- We would stay again!


Apartment in Miami--May 2018


A quick weekend down to Miami and this first floor apartment suited us just fine.  Blocks from the beach (Ocean and 76th street) and some terrific cafes (including the Buenos Aires Bakery- they moved soon after-- find it!), we were close enough but away from the lunacy that can be South Beach.  A lock box gives you a key so our late arrival was not an issue.  Note there are about 4 steps up from the entryway to get into the apartment so it's not wheelchair accessible.   The kitchen was beautiful and recently renovated-- we were sorry we weren't there longer to do some serious cooking!  A nice large living room with terrific AC-- definitely needed by this time of year.  The bedroom was on the small side with no window except from the adjoining bathroom.  AC unit in the BR as well was a plus.  The bathroom was a bit tight for two but worked out fine for our short stay.  Small step into a recently renovated shower.  An open closet area was also available with an iron but no ironing board.  LAR gives this listing 4 Boba Teas out of 5.  https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/18489872

Exquisite Victorian in Greensboro, North Carolina-- August 2018


Update-- We had the pleasure of staying here again in November of 2018 and our stay was just as wonderful.  Cheers to our excellent hosts! 

We here at LAR don't throw around often the word "exquisite"  but this home is deserving.    Impressive and lovely, this home took our breath away-and we're a sucker for a wrap-around porch!  We were also amazed to find out the majority of the first floor was ours, and what a first floor it was-- large and beautifully renovated eat-in kitchen with a "standing desk" (really a counter with bar chairs but LAR loves any place that can be turned into a standing desk!) by the window to take in the back yard arbor and porch.  Washer and dryer perfect for longer stays.  The formal dining room features a fireplace and leads to a lovely, comfortable living room in the front of the house with a large screen TV.  The MBR is a nice size with a fireplace (not sure it works) and  has a pretty but creaky antique double bed.  The attached bathroom is a beauty- freestanding bath tub, fire place, vanity area, double sinks, closet, separate toilet area-- checks all the boxes and beautifully so.   There is also a separate stall shower for those so inclined.  And wait-- we had available to us upstairs 2 additional bedrooms to sleep 4 more!   There are 3 grad students in apartments upstairs but with separate entrances-- we rarely heard or saw them in the 5 days we were there. The downstairs area was not shared with them .  Did we mention the front porch?  A true beauty and perfect place to sip a sweet tea (or for us, a Boba Tea!) at the end of the day or book our next adventure (wifi was a bit spotty on the porch though but hotspot saved the day).    The location is fantastic-- a mile from downtown and 2 blocks from Tate Street with restaurants, coffee shops, convenience store, the Weatherspoon Museum and  the University of NC Greensboro.  (And did we mention a boba tea place?  We swear it's not a prerequisite for our lodging but it does make life just a bit sweeter!) . Our plans include a longer stay in Greensboro in the fall-- this Victorian Beauty is on our list again!  LAR gives this listing 5 out of 5 Boba Teas!  https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/2449778

NYC living- Labor Day Weekend 2018


Living in NYC has always been a dream at LAR-- we're just a couple of Jersey kids who would head into the city a couple of times a year but never really had that true NYC living experience..... until now!   Located in the East Village in Alphabet City, in this apartment we were away from the tourist traps and taking in quirky cafes and restaurants, shopping in bodegas, walking everywhere, and taking advantage of events at night instead of having to slog back to Jersey before it got too late.  One of the biggest luxuries of staying in NY-- a place in the middle of the day to take a nap, take a breather and recharge for the night ahead.  Worth the price of admission and this apartment did not disappoint.   It was stylish, immaculate, well appointed and just so darn cool!  Exposed brick, little balcony out back and a rooftop patio for serene breakfasts in the morning and a drink under the stars.  OK, this place is not for the vertically adversed-- it's a 5th floor walkup (consider it a free gym!) and the stairs to the rooftop patio are sturdy but steep... but it's oh so worth it.  Our host was perfect- helpful, great communication, flexible with our arrival and departure.   We've bookmarked this place for sure.  LAR gives this listing 5 Boba Teas out of 5, which is about how many BT we had over the weekend.  Each.  (did we mention NYC has Boba Tea?  just in case you didn't know...) .  (: