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Old 11 Apr 20, 02:07 PM  
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WileyCoyote
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Bayous to Beaches. Oct 19 Day 18. Universal Horror Houses ainít got nothing on this one. Bradenton

Friday 18 October

Yesterday is HERE

I woke up feeling like



At 6.30 we were both watching the news and weather. Cyclone 16 or Storm Nestor as it will become, is heading this way and the forecast looks ropey.

We decide to visit the Vineland Outlets at opening and then make our way to the Gulf a bit earlier.

Breakfast is included at the hotel.



Itís very busy and a very small area. It also seems to be occupied by people determined to overfill their plates - even though its a buffet - and then leave most of it on the tables.

The staff were lovely but just couldnít clear the mess up fast enough.

We cleared a space ourselves - it was pretty functional but not the greatest experience.

I do wish people would just go back for second helpings ... I hate the waste. I looked back at my notes and it just says - grimy- that must have been how I felt.

We have all our stuff in the car again so we agree to do a split run - I will go out first so I can queue for the Disney store (can you even believe that, queuing to get in to a store at opening ) and have a quick look in a couple of other places, then Andy will go out.

We parked up at 0930 and I walked over to Disney where a sizeable queue was already forming

I still cant believe I stood in that queue - I got in on the ď3rd waveĒ - they let so many people in and then stopped - I made a note that I was in at 1003.

I was a bit shell shocked by the experience . People grabbing armfuls of stuff but I couldnít really see the big deal so by 1007 (yes 4 minutes) I walked out - empty handed.

It was a truly disheartening experience and I did question my sanity a bit.

I stopped at the Ralph Lauren store but came away empty handed and went back to the car to tag team Andy who set off for Nike and Adidas.

I sat in the car and wrote up my trip notes. It wasnít the most successful shopping ever and we were on our way by 1130 . Deciding that a stop at Ellenton would be the best idea.

We had a decent run and were parking ourselves in the foodcourt by 1.15.

Chinese for me - sesame chicken and Orange chicken



Gyro for Andy



He said not as good as the one in New Orleans.

As always we wonder how these outlets stay open as itís always so quiet - although the ones at St Augustine had felt even quieter .



These were the busiest we had ever seen them and yet even so it was incredibly empty by Orlando standards.

We had a nice couple of hours and picked up a few bits ( pics to follow in the next day when they were unpacked).

We were feeling more mellow now but conscious of the weather turning, we headed off to Bradenton around 3pm.



It had all` seemed quite fine up until now.The traffic had been good and the weather had stayed dry but about half way it all turned.



The rain arrived, the wind picked up and we somehow ended up on a diversion going round goodness knows where.

As we pitched up to the house we were a bit stressed after the drive and also quite disappointed by the neighbourhood of the house. It just wasnt what we imagined. The outside of the house wasnt quite as stunning as the pics, it looked very uncared for... we should have walked away then



This is what we were expecting inside ...



Our first impression as we walked in was that it felt musty and definitely had no wow factor - unlike the photos.



After looking at the first bedroom , I started to think maybe I had arrived at the wrong house.



But no this was definitely it. The rain had really started to come down now so we brought the cases in and looked around a bit more.

Ive done it before when you walk into a place a bit tired and you immediately think, no i dont like this, so I talked myself round that it would be better in the morning - the view was lovely, there was a pool and the lounge looked comfy enough to wait out the storm the next two days.

But I wasnt very impressed with the bedroom at all and nor the kitchen - there was a dead cockroach -



but hey, they are common enough in Florida so I was trying not to be negative. We decided that if we gave it a quick once over with some cleaning products ourselves it would be ok.

As I just typed that, I canít believe we even thought that was ok ... that we needed to clean a place ourselves that was costing us over £150 a night.

I took some pics as I intended to contact the owner when we got back.

The rain was only intermittent now and we headed off for the nearest stores. And It all just went down hill rapidly.

When we got to the supermarket, we started to shop, picking up cleaning stuff and wine.

Then in the middle of the aisle I stood and looked back at the pics I had taken and started to cry.

The house was was dirty and looked nothing like the pictures.

It was a dreadful end to the holiday. I felt so responsible as I had booked it.

I felt completely scammed and also incredibly stupid.

Putting a brave face on, Andy suggested we ate now but all the places nearby looked jam packed or just not very appealing.

It was raining on and off but not too bad and the only place I had pre loaded on the phone was in AMI... as I had been imagining that whole gorgeous sunset watching the dolphins business that Iíve seen in everyone elseís trippies.

So we set off for AMI.




Itís very pretty but Rod and Reel is like the furthest place and Andy was increasingly less impressed at the drive the further we went. We finally found it and made it down the pier.

By now we were so fed up and hungry we stuck it out and braved the pier walk. Place was packed and we got a table in the middle where everyone bumped into us passing by.

It was all very fraught and going horribly wrong. A table by the window came free so we moved. We did see some dolphins. This cheered us up.
Not the view I had planned tho ...



A proper storm had started now. Thunder, lightning, 4 horsemen of the apocalypse etc etc . Our meal was really slow to come out and we noticed all the locals had left before ours arrived - they clearly had sense.

I had a burger. I was so upset by now I didnít even take a pic.
Andy had shrimp





We then battled the rain and wind to get back to the car. I was impressed I didnít slip off the walkway




We were now leaving in the dark, pouring rain and a thunderstorm. Less than ideal walking down a wooden pier with no jeffing edges ! It was like being in an episode of ninja warrior hanging on and not sliding off.

We got to the car both soaked and set off back to the house.

The rain was absolutely lashing down, and there are hardly any street lights on AMI .

At one point it was like we were in a scene from Jurassic Park.. you know, pitch black, wipers going on super speed and I half expected some Godzilla Gator to rear up in front of us. It was totally tense and it was a relief to be off the island.

Not such a relief to be back at the house, where even closer inspection of the house made it worse.





We also couldnít lock the front door for some reason so put all the suitcase in front of it.. at least that way if someone broke in they would fall over them all on the way in.

It was so grim, the en-suite bathroom was not clean



We opened the kitchen cupboards and they were not pleasant.



I was annoyed to see that the linen cupboard had some lovely clean and new looking towels but the ones put out for us were stained.



I looked again at the other rooms... fixtures and fittings had been stripped and the nails still left in the walls. Andy went off to look around the garage but didnít report back his finding till the next day thank goodness.

I messaged the owner via Airbnb and also messaged Airbnb to say we would be leaving the next day.

Thanks to last minute. com I found a room at the Wyndham Grand in Clearwater for roughly the same price we were paying here and snapped it up. At least it couldnít be worse than this.

A couple of hours on and no reply from the owner and now I was getting mad. I started to google what to do and there was one site that gave great advice.

Make sure you message the owner only via Airbnb so they can see the correspondence. Raise the dispute or notify Airbnb within 24 hours. And importantly, take photos with some way to date them ( hence the pics of the news ) and take screen shots of the listing in case unscrupulous owners take them down. This last bit was really important so I could show the place was mis represented from reality.

I had a whole Feedback thread running when we got back, including the video I sent to Airbnb and posted on YouTube. They wouldnít let me post it on my review though.

I left an honest opinion on Airbnb. I gave the owner plenty of chances to reply. He just said. Sorry you donít like the place. Thatís it... even when I sent our pictures. Not an apology, nothing. I mean how the hell can you not apologise for how dirty it was !

The longer it went on the more angry I got. I could not believe how duped I felt.

Airbnb were offering a refund (although that saga ran on while) so at least we knew most of our expense at the Wyndham would be covered.

But I hadnít wanted a hotel stay at the end. We had wanted place where we could cook, do the laundry and chill out but this definitely wasnít it.

We didnít eat or drink anything so we wouldnít need to use the bathroom and after sitting up for hours, conceded that we needed some sleep but couldnít contemplate getting into any of the beds.

It couldnít be any worse in the morning after all , right ?

But you know it can

I didnít even have any cocktails. Thatís how desperate today was.

A side note :

Iíve thought long and hard about this post. I keep looking at the reviews and thinking how did I get it so wrong. Only one other person has echoed my thoughts in their review. But our pictures donít lie.

Iím totally bemused. Some of the house pics have been changed since our booking but you still wouldnít expect some of the ones you will see tomorrow ... Certainly confused by what other people have said but cíest la vie...

Edited at 02:14 PM.
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Old 12 Apr 20, 05:18 PM  
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Working for hol
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That's so sad, I am really sorry you had such a horrible experience. Had a couple like that ourselves over the many years we've been married, Twice even moving to a different country just to get away.
I love reading your trip reports, so packed full of goodies.
Hope the rest of your trip makes for happier reading xx
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Old 12 Apr 20, 06:25 PM  
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Lizzim
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My Ďlikeí feels wrong but Iím glad you posted. We had a similar experience with an Orlando villa back in 2017, the owners even refused to refund the deposit we had paid for a stay in 2018 as apparently there wasnít anything wrong (we had booked directly with them)
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Old 12 Apr 20, 09:31 PM  
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What a day! Iím so sorry to hear about your accommodation the photos look awful and I can totally understand your disappointment thankfully you found an alternative for your last evening (I do understand that isnít exactly what you wanted). I am even more sad for no cocktails I hope you have a much better upcoming day xx
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Old 13 Apr 20, 03:31 PM  
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WileyCoyote
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Originally Posted by Working for hol View Post
That's so sad, I am really sorry you had such a horrible experience. Had a couple like that ourselves over the many years we've been married, Twice even moving to a different country just to get away.
I love reading your trip reports, so packed full of goodies.
Hope the rest of your trip makes for happier reading xx
Thank you for the kind words. Isnít it awful when somewhere is so disappointing. It does definitely improve

Originally Posted by Lizzim View Post
My Ďlikeí feels wrong but Iím glad you posted. We had a similar experience with an Orlando villa back in 2017, the owners even refused to refund the deposit we had paid for a stay in 2018 as apparently there wasnít anything wrong (we had booked directly with them)
I remember you said this on my feedback thread... itís just so isnít it. I still canít reconcile myself to it even 6 months down the line . The more I look at the pics, the more upset and cross I get. I canít believe we thought we could just clean it ourselves until I read back what I wrote. What planet were we on

Originally Posted by Sparksy72 View Post
What a day! Iím so sorry to hear about your accommodation the photos look awful and I can totally understand your disappointment thankfully you found an alternative for your last evening (I do understand that isnít exactly what you wanted). I am even more sad for no cocktails I hope you have a much better upcoming day xx
It was so Happily things did improve The photos only partially capture it. We took a 15 minute video. Itís terrible viewing
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Old 14 Apr 20, 08:21 PM  
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KarenG
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I was laughing at parts with your storytelling!

But the place was filthy. Not acceptable at all. The photos looked like it hasnít even had a cursory clean for quite some time

I always do the bookings too and always let out a sigh of relief when they are in line with expectations, because as the Booker you do feel responsible (wrongly I know but I understand how you felt!)

Itís somehow worse at the end of the holiday, too
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Old 14 Apr 20, 09:11 PM  
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Sorry you had such a crappy villa experience and rubbish day, thatís such a poor show from the host
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Old 16 Apr 20, 07:12 AM  
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WileyCoyote
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Originally Posted by KarenG View Post
I was laughing at parts with your storytelling!

But the place was filthy. Not acceptable at all. The photos looked like it hasnít even had a cursory clean for quite some time

I always do the bookings too and always let out a sigh of relief when they are in line with expectations, because as the Booker you do feel responsible (wrongly I know but I understand how you felt!)

Itís somehow worse at the end of the holiday, too
It was even more insulting that AirBNB continued to insist for some time we had to pay a cleaning fee I was like you are joking we had to go out to buy cleaning products
I did feel that night the holiday was ending as a disaster which was a real shame as itís been so fab. In a strange way, this hiccup helped turn it into a great end as we travelled on the next day and had a lovely unexpected finish in Clearwater

Originally Posted by CrispyA View Post
Sorry you had such a crappy villa experience and rubbish day, thatís such a poor show from the host
Hi there. Hope you are all doing ok? It wasnít great at all was it. I totally get it must be a pain if you are an owner and you have picky guests moaning but to not respond to the pictures we sent at all ... very poor show
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Old 17 Apr 20, 08:00 PM  
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Goldia
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I was not looking forward to reading today's post. Such a shame that the house didn't live up to the expectations. It's very interesting to see the photos of what you booked and what you actually got. I'm sad that this happened on your road trip as it had been fun up until this point.
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Old 18 Apr 20, 09:01 AM  
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Oh Amanda, thatís my worst nightmare. You were brave even staying one night, Iím not sure if I would have been brave enough what a difference between the sets of pictures.

Will it put you off booking accommodation through AirBnB again?
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