From the promotional material and photos, this looked like a charming get-away site - remote, on the coast and in this quirky area called "Point Roberts" which is in the US but you have to go through Canada to get there. Well, as it turns out, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - going on in Point Roberts except for the locals churning out feel-good stories about how much fun it is. As it turns out, the locals are mostly US/Canadian citizens who like the advantages of living in the US while in Canada. There is no economic engine in town except for tourism, but how do you attract tourists? Simple, construct a myth of fun and lesiure and build cabins next to your house to rent out. Then take some great photos and write some killer copy and the renters will flock to your door.
That's how I got there. The ads were so compelling I abandoned a notion of going to the San Juan Islands for three days and signed up for this property in Port Roberts.
I prepaid for three days and left after the first night. Here's what happened:
The owner was nowhere in sight - not at home to greet our arrival.
The owner left confusing directions in the house - there are two cabins and I wasn't sure which I had rented...or if I was in the right place.
The grounds were scattered with the owners tools, trash, work in process, etc
The cabin we were in looked great in the pictures, but had many, many flaws - unfinished details, glass blocks everywhere in the outside walls of the house, etc.
The bed was filthy and it was apparent that the sheets were not clean.
The "loft" was a playform suspended over the bed with wires - looked scary.
The outdoor seating area was filthy, could not sit without washing the chairs.
The owner showed up after we went to bed, noisy arrival.
The renters in the other cabin arrived after dark and launched into "Staircase to Heaven" played badly.
The kitchen was ill equiped - no paper towels or napkins, cabinet doors too big to open, etc.
We took a walk down the road and were told by the owner at the end of the street that we couldn't get to the beach through his yard - there was an unmarked trail behind the house were we were staying. We found the beach trail and it was straight down with multiple switchbacks to a stone beach full of driftwood and rules against bonfires. Climbing back from the beach was something out of the Seal Team manual, not for me - and I'm in good shape.
We looked for a place for dinner and nothing was open. We finally went back through the border crossing into Canada for dinner - which was great - and then back through the crossing again to get back to our rental. I wondered what it costs US taxpayers to have a 24 hour border crossing manned for a four square mile piece of real estate? And a Post Office that mainly exists for Canadians to avoid duty on shipments by having PO boxes in Point Roberts.
So we packed up and left after one night. I called the owner and let him know that we had left. He didn't offer to refund the remaining two days, but did later only keep two of the three days we had paid. I would not recommend this property to anyone or Point Roberts as a destination to anyone.
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