The Bicycle Thief
The sound of the radio greeted us as we walked through the front door of the tiny two-story apartment located in Arnprior, Canada. Immediately, it felt like home- a feeling we hadn’t had in quite some time. A faint smell of cinnamon danced in the air as we slowly took in our surroundings.
“It’s so cute, Mom!” the middle child squeaked.
“It is amazing,” I returned as I closed the door and glanced around.
The big girls ran upstairs to look for their room as I checked out the cozy living room and kitchen. The small sofa, draped in a white blanket, overflowed with colorful pillows. Quilts hung in the corner by a clock designed out of an old red ladder. I fell onto the couch smiling. The toddler whined for me to pick her up, and we snuggled for just a little while before heading upstairs to check out our room.
It was small like everything in the apartment. The queen-sized bed was raised slightly off the ground by a wooden platform. The ceiling slanted down sharply connecting with the tiled floors. A small dresser stood against the wall directly in front of the bed. Two wooden crates hung on each side of the bed making the perfect place for me to store my books and journals. One small red lamp sat on one of the crates creating the perfect reading area. It’s perfect. Every quirky detail feels magical.
Instantly, I regretted my decision to only book the place for a month. It was a new listing on Airbnb so I was hesitant to book it in general. It goes against my Airbnb rules to book a new listing. With no reviews, I knew it was a risk but the price was unbeatable so I took a chance. We definitely got lucky.
My goal was to slow it down, stick around in one place for a while, and save money. We found fast travel exhausting and expensive at times. It was also taxing on my emotions. Switching houses and hotels week to week with a toddler is freaking exhausting.
Over the next few days, we spent time getting to know the small town of Arnprior a bit. I am not a small town girl but something about this town is so inviting. We walked to the thrift shop and managed to grab a bunch of winter gear for less than ten dollars. We stumbled upon a bookshop right afterwards. Anyone that knows me knows that bookshops are my happy place. To make it even more perfect, the bookshop is connected to a coffee shop. Coffee and books anyone? I couldn’t help myself and bought two books.
I struggle with loneliness as a single mom and it can be difficult not having adult conversations. Luckily, our little home is attached to a much larger home and the host is wonderful. She greeted us our first morning and has made sure to answer any questions and address all of our needs. This is truly what I love about using Airbnb instead of a hotel. You meet the best people and develop lifelong friendships.
We decided to extend our stay until the end of December. That gives us two full months here. We still have the issue of the middle child’s braces needing to be tightened every eight weeks so will at some point have to go back to Austin, TX for a few days to a week. I wish I could come up with a solution for the braces because flying back to Austin every two to three months is slowing us down and adding unnecessary expenses. For now, we are going to enjoy our little home and explore this community, save money, and work on healing.