For a family that typically travels and rents vacation properties 2-3 times / year, finding ourselves at home for over 12 months felt VERY long and isolating. To say that it was a breath of fresh air to get away to Osterville is the understatement of the year!
Simply put, Ralph's house was perfect for us. We had more space than we needed, but by having spare bedrooms (one with a desk, keyboard, and monitor!) we were all able to work and do school remotely without being on top of each other. The internet was stable, too.
In terms of the living spaces, we have rarely - if ever - come across a cleaner or better outfitted rental property. The kitchen had all the basic necessities - plus others we didn't expect to see. We typically travel with knives and kitchen equipment since we love to cook, and we were pleasantly surprised to find we needed nothing extra in this home. There was even laundry detergent, and nice shampoo in the shower. The living room furniture was covered and clean - even the garage (equipped with so much gear that we are dreaming of coming back when it is warm enough to spend time at the beach and in the yard!) was spotless! And the beds, bedding, and pillows were as comfortable and relaxing as they looked. Felt like a retreat, really - and the decor was a perfect balance of seeming 'beachy' without hitting you over the head with an anchor or a lobster trap, as so many Cape rentals do. ;)
Location? If you want to be *on* the beach - this is not the house for you. HOWEVER, if you want a location that is - in many ways - *better* than being on the beach, you may have found your ideal rental home. We found we could walk to the beach in a scenic 30 min stroll, and there are bikes provided that would cut that time down to almost nothing. (Parking pass is offered if you prefer to drive). What I liked about the bit of distance from the water was that it was a residential area. It didn't feel crowded, or touristy - we like to just feel 'at home' when we are on vacation. Yet, in less than 5 minutes, we could cruise through the village on foot, where we found amazing take-out food (and cute eateries we look forward to dining in, post-pandemic), shops, and the all-important ice cream parlor (2 to choose from!). We even found ourselves motivated to make a daily 20 min hike (away from town) to visit the french Amie bakery, for pastries that were worth every step. (Just get there early!)
Overall, this house is a residential oasis. We felt relaxed, at home, and luxuriously 'away' for the first time in a year - all at the same time. We played board games (some provided!), watched movies (digital streaming available, too!), read novels on cozy chairs basking in streaming sunshine coming through the bright windows, and walked to comb the beaches for SO many shells. We ate fabulous food - both of our own making and from nearby restaurants.
It was heaven. We can't wait to go back - but almost don't want to post this review, since we fear it will never be vacant, again!
Thank you, Ralph - you are a quintessential host, and have been so gracious to answer all our questions, and provide such key advice to make our trip the best it could be. We look forward to renting again, soon.