Amid COVID-19, we visited Morro Bay with Airbnb precautions

In April my spouse and I were set to choose our grandsons, ages 6 and 9, on a getaway to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and a close by vacation resort. COVID-19 and the shutdown crushed our strategies. As summertime approached I had hopes for a beach front getaway with them, but COVID-19 remained a grim deterrent to travel. Crowded inns were being out of the query. I turned to Airbnb to discover a holiday vacation rental where by we could stay on our have.

It was reassuring to understand that in reaction to COVID-19 the world’s most common vacation-rental web site mandated a new protocol for sanitizing and disinfecting rental spaces “informed by tips from the U.S. Facilities for Sickness Handle and Prevention.” (See box.)

I released a research for Airbnbs in seaside locations near Los Angeles. Apparently I was not the only just one most of the best rentals had been by now booked. I expanded my research farther north and arrived up with a possibility.

The peaceful coastal city of Morro Bay is finest recognised for its significant rock, the remnant of a extended-extinct volcano. On the San Luis Obispo County web-site
I found a list of social-distancing outside functions ideal for the boys, together with recognizing otters and other wildlife. I pitched a Morro Bay journey to them as a maritime model of San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

I bookmarked a a single-bed room, one particular-and-a-half rest room condo on the waterfront. I messaged the host, Beach front-N-Bay Getaways, a neighborhood rental-administration corporation, to question about COVID-19 safety safeguards. They certain me they followed Airbnb’s rigid cleansing protocol. They also defined the rental had keyless entry and that higher-touch products these as decorations and video games experienced been taken out.

Readers take in the sunset about Morro Bay.

(Paul Boorstin)

The value was better than I’d prepared — $466.43 a night time, such as cleaning and support payment. But I figured we would not be investing funds on restaurants, searching, whale-viewing excursions or other things to do that may place us in proximity to a group.

I reserved the apartment for two evenings. (After our excursion I identified that if I experienced booked on the Seaside-N-Bay site instead of on Airbnb, I would have saved about 10%.)

To further guarantee a virus-no cost rental, I introduced together my individual disinfectant and cleansing provides. I packed sheets and pillowcases as an extra precaution. For food items safety, I requested groceries for supply from the area Albertsons.

On the a few-hour travel to Morro Bay we stopped for a picnic-lunch break at the vista place in San Marcos Go (Freeway 154) among Santa Barbara and the Santa Ynez Valley. An hour later on we arrived at the apartment. I snapped on latex gloves and grabbed my cleaning and disinfecting supplies. “Don’t come in until I deem it’s protected,” I instructed my grandsons.

As I stepped into the spacious dwelling/eating/kitchen area space, I was distracted by the stunning watch of the bay and the rock — and the condo’s cleanliness.

However I disinfected every significant- and small-contact surface inside as effectively as on the barbecue-geared up balcony. When changing the pullout couch into the boys’ bed I sandwiched the blankets between two brought-from-dwelling sheets, then opened all the doors and windows. 1 blast of fresh new sea air immediately dissipated the disinfectant smell.

At last it was time to have fun. The boys grabbed binoculars and built for the balcony. The initial detail they searched for was the source of the raucous squabbling that echoed throughout the bay. It was a raft overflowing with 800-furthermore-pound California sea lions. “They’re not social distancing,” stated the 9-12 months-previous.

They spotted kayakers, stand-up paddleboarders and sailboats just a several yards absent. And then … could it be? Was that dark item floating on a kelp mattress a sea otter? They named us to the balcony with these excitement, I swear the furry critter turned its head to see what all the commotion was about.

A sea otter snoozes while floating in the kelp in Morro Bay.

A sea otter snoozes when floating in the kelp in Morro Bay.

(Danna Dykstra Coy / Morro Bay Tourism)

The up coming morning we strolled together the Morro Bay waterfront. Most outlets and eating places were open. Several folks ended up carrying masks, but not more than enough to accommodate me. The boys savored exploring the assortment of outdated boats and the Jules Verne-ish deep-submergence rescue automobile at the absolutely free outside Morro Bay Maritime Museum.

Across the road, just offshore from a indication that proclaimed “otter nursery,” they have been thrilled to place a mother otter and her way-way too-sweet pup lolling on their backs amid the kelp. The animals didn’t blink an eye when three lumbering sea lions hoisted their bulbous bodies out of the water and onto a nearby dock for a snooze.

When the early morning fog gave way to crystalline blue sky, we piled seashore equipment into the car or truck and drove to Morro Bay State Park. To the north of the towering landmark, at Morro Rock Beach, surfers rode waves I deemed far too challenging for my grandsons — or me. I rummaged in the trunk for the kite we’d introduced together on earlier seaside holidays devoid of liftoff results. In the brisk wind, today was the day. The bobbly eyed squid kite shot substantial into the air and danced to the boys’ delight.

A young visitor attempts to launch a kite on Morro Rock Beach.

A young customer makes an attempt to start a kite on Morro Rock Beach front.

(Paul Boorstin)

Afterwards we walked to the south side of the rock. Below boulders line the channel that the Military Corps of Engineers dredged in the 1930s to make a harbor. A handful of site visitors lolled on a sandy beach with gentle waves. We built our way down a rocky path and located an uncrowded location to spread our seashore blanket.

The boys busied by themselves building sandcastles, but the apparent h2o beckoned. We swiftly learned it was a good deal colder than at the beach in Santa Monica. The boys wiggled into their wetsuits. Because there was no lifeguard, I donned mine. As we swam and frolicked in the drinking water, we spotted two playful dolphins.

When we brought the boys home the upcoming working day, the initially detail our younger grandson reported to his mom was, “We swam with dolphins, but really do not get worried. We social distanced.”

Airbnb cleaning protocol

Airbnb hosts who commit to its improved cleaning protocol generate an “Enhanced Clean” designation on their listing web page.

This suggests the host has dedicated to do the following prior to just about every visitor remain:

  • Sanitize each and every high-touch area, down to the doorknobs
  • Comprehensively thoroughly clean place by space applying AirBnB’s comprehensive cleaning checklist
  • Clean all linens at a large-warmth/temperature environment
  • Use cleaning materials permitted by wellness professionals, such as disinfectants with 70% liquor or additional
  • Don mask and gloves even though cleaning
  • Comply with neighborhood regulations and safety recommendations that call for supplemental cleaning

If visitors feel that the host has not complied with Airbnb’s commitment, their recourse is to generate a destructive critique and give the host a reduced ranking for “cleanliness.” This can direct to Airbnb getting rid of the host’s “Enhanced Clean” designation.

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