Dear cherished guest of our healing hut,
A thousand humble thank-yous for selecting the House of Hansen for your Airbnb stay.
Whether the goal of your trip is business or pleasure, you can certainly find it in Carmichael, the Paris of the West. Much fun is to be had at our hotspots, like, uh, the park.
This reservation may be the best decision of your existence.
As a resident of 18 years, I can tell you with confidence that there is much magnificence to be uncovered between these walls.
We’ll start with the entryway. As you emerge from your minivan, you’ll notice the front windows pulsing to a beat. The aura of my home will soothe any initial concerns over the shaking windows. With a boldness you haven’t felt since you were in your 20s, you’ll lead your significant other and/or nasty children to the threshold.
There you’ll find a doormat with a big “H” and an excessively huge door (my parents were apparently expecting my sisters and me to be pushing eight feet).
Upon opening that door, Chuck Hansen’s 2012 single “Christmas Time Is Here” (available on iTunes) will blast you right back to Minnesota if you’re not steady on your feet. The sounds of God’s instrument, the baritone sax, will put you in the optimal mood for embracing the house.
Shoes are very optional here. You may keep them on, but you’ll get a better read by taking them off.
Glance up as you scale our stairs,. You’ll find a handful of small, hanging lamps. The circles located inside are bouncy balls courtesy of my sister Bianca, who made a game of tossing them up there.
As you proceed from room to room, you may notice that a few doors lack that “je ne sais quoi.” Ah, yes, doorknobs! Your rotten kids aren’t to blame. If you want to enter those rooms, stick your hand through the holes where the knobs should be, pull, and hope someone doesn’t yank your grabbers from the other side.
Should you decide to crash in 1013 (labeled by my little sister when she attempted to implement a housewide mail service), spend limited time in its closet. One night my sister threw up in there, told no one and went back to sleep. A crusty patch remains.
You’re welcome to do the same if the need arises, but aim for the same spot at least.
If a night in the playroom tickles your fancy (it’s nothing like the one in “Fifty Shades of Grey,” so pull it back), you should note the chained board on the ceiling. That’s an indoor swing. One of the chains broke so often we decided to retire the swing.
As you explore the house, you’ll eventually come across the sound booth, padded with purple foam. A fun game is to scream in there as loudly as you can, but the police will probably come because it is definitely not soundproof.
If you last the first night and aren’t transfixed by a sighting of the little girl who walks around our pool, you will be awakened by gentle clucking.
“What blissfully quaint country life is this?” you’ll wonder.
Nay, refreshed traveler, it’s merely our neighbor’s chickens.
If they haven’t flown over the fence and into our backyard (in which case you’ll have to catch them), head on down for some breakfast.
But be not attracted to our industrial-sized coffee machine. It is the same brand found at Walt Disney World’s Grand Floridian – and greatly detested! Its daily cleaning process is unbelievably drawn-out. So we use the $10 red teapot next to it instead.
What else can you find in the House of Hansen? A tiny pair of wooden Danish clogs, a five-foot tall King Kong movie poster, a braid of hair pinned to a corkboard, emergency musical instruments hidden in each room, a “moon egg” from Chinatown that’s been soaking in water in a Tupperware for the past seven years and two gas masks swiped from a farm in Chico.
Thank you again for choosing the Hansen residence, and enjoy your stay in charming Carmichael.
—By Sonja Hansen