Our first priority once settled down at Hospedaje Nina was to find a place that cost less than $15 per night. Since we were going to be here for a while, we budgeted our rent to be under $10. For one person, this was easily doable as most of the hostels around the town charged between $7-$10 per person per night. But we were a team of two. We walked all around town and spoke to lots of people trying to find the best deal. Right as we were about to return to Hospedaje Nina we found a large white and red sign that said Apartment for Rent. Below it was one of Jon’s favorite restaurants: Round Table Pizza. “Jon, this is a sign. We have to check it out!” I exclaimed.
Excited, Jonathon went right up to the door pretending he was fluent in Spanish hoping it would assist in finding the perfect home. A lovely older lady greeted us at the door. Her name was the same as the building, Hospedaje Elizabeth. She yelled for her oldest daughter, who was very sweet and spoke a little bit of English, to help show us the apartment. We walked through the resturant and up the stairs to a hallway with rustic wooden floors, filled with hanging clothing. Behind the drying clothes were several hostel rooms filled with empty bunk beds. At the end of the hallway was a bright pink room–the apartment. We stepped down the small set of stairs into the kitchen/dining room. The kitchen was much bigger than the little kitchen I had in Monterey (Jon’s place didn’t even have one), so we were both very impressed with it along with the very large dining table (neither of us had one of those in the States). Just past the kitchen, was the living room with one large couch and three comfy reclining chairs surrounding a television. A TV?! We were not expecting such a luxury.
We loved the open floor plan of the first room, but realized that this living area was not just for us. It was a community living space for four rooms–a bit like college dorm suites. We looked in all four of the rooms, as they were all empty, and picked our favorite one: the bright blue room with a large closet, overlooking the balcony of the streets. I loved the bright blue walls along with the linens of the bed which were white and bright red. The room itself was much bigger than the one we had at Nina as well as the bathroom with a nice shower and large sink area. The room also included cable, wifi internet, cleaning service of our room, bathroom and living room as well as complimentary laundry for our clothing and linens.We both smiled at each other, we loved it. We finally felt safe unlike the last uncomfortable 48 hours we experienced on our journey here. We asked Elizabeth how much for one month and how much for two months. Her answer:
We told her that we would talk about it together overnight and then come back in the morning with our decision before we checked out of Hotel Nina. She smiled, gave us hugs and said, “Esta bien, hasta luego!”
We walked out of the building, looked down the street and realized that Hospedaje Nina was just two buildings down from Hospedaje Elizabeth. How serendipitous. We walked down the street out of view from Elizabeth and hugged each other– we found our home. We walked up to our room in Nina and Jon instantly began crunching numbers: