The Mystery of the Last Worst Place

August 1, 2016

Our family has enjoyed beach rentals for years. We’ve rented many houses and condos, of varying qualities, in different places. It's always a mystery, what you're going to get. Some have been awesome. Others okay. But, they’ve all been reasonably acceptable places to stay for a week or two on vacation.

But, this… This was the worst.

It was a 2-bedroom, 3-bathroom townhouse-style condo with a garage on the bottom. It was within walking distance of the ocean and had a tiny view of it from the master bedroom deck. The pictures online made it seem very nice. It was a little cheaper than what we normally spend on week-long rentals. It was around $750 when we usually dish out about $1,000. But, it was pet friendly and close to the beach. What more could you ask for?

Well, more than this.

So, while Ethan and I were getting tattoos, Joe, Abby, and Brownie checked in. What Joe didn’t tell me that day (it came out a few days later), was that they arrived to a mess. Desperate to welcome us back from our adventure to a nice place, Joe worked extremely hard.

The carpets hadn’t been cleaned or vacuumed. Joe spent two hours and filled up six canisters in the vacuum cleaner before giving up. The master bedroom comforter was covered in dog hairs. The rental agency actually had to come and replace these. The living room futon mattress was gross, too. And there was only one other chair (not cushioned) in the living room, so there was nowhere else to really sit. Dog hair nestled in all the corners of this unit.

Over the next few days, we had to call the rental agency twice more: the popcorn ceiling in the living room started to form bubbles because there was a leak (they did nothing about this) and the futon broke - it no longer sat upright. I was actually excited that the futon broke because I expected them to bring a new one. No. They brought another frame from another unit. When I talked to them about how gross the mattress was, they said they could bring the other mattress over. Well, it was even more disgusting than the first one! Finally, the agency gave us sheets to cover the mattress instead.

The place was a disgusting nightmare!

And it was bare bones, more than I’d ever experienced at a rental before. There were no bathmats, no large pots, no measuring cups, no iron or ironing board. We’d hoped to save money by eating meals at home, but it was hard without a basically stocked kitchen! Another insult was the fact that we couldn’t adjust the thermostat - the owner had it locked.

From all his endeavors fighting the dirty carpets and dog hair, Joe got sick immediately. The next day, he had to go to the doctor. They said it was allergies. (This was what prompted him to come clean about all his cleaning). By the next day, he had a fever. Two days later, so did I! I hadn’t been sick like that in a long time!

It was the last worst place and we couldn’t wait to be home.

“Some wandered in the wilderness,

lost and homeless.”

Psalm 107:4