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Information for Guests

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The Important Stuff

What happens at Rancho Relaxo stays at Rancho Relaxo -- with a few key exceptions for legal, health or safety reasons.  These exceptions are described here in a little more detail, but here's a quick summary:
  • Sorry - no pets.
  • No smoking.
  • Maximum Occupancy: 7 guests (over the age of 2)
  • You are responsible for any damage or loss while visiting.

Preparing for your Visit
  • Check-in / Check-out
    • Check-in is at 3:00pm on your day of arrival.
    • Check-out is at 10:00am on your day of departure. 
  • What to Bring
    • Towels and Bed Linens. Beds are:
      • BR 1: Queen
      • BR 2: Twin and Full
      • Sleeper Sofa:  Queen
      • Note:  If you're not equipped for these sizes or don't want to mess with it, ask us about a linen service.
    • Paper products. You may consider:
      • Toilet paper
      • Paper towels
      • Napkins
      • Kleenex
      • Note: We generally have some of all of these, but we can't promise anything. You may want to check first before purchasing.
    • Dish soap, dishwashing detergent and laundry detergent/fabric softener
      • Note: Again, we try to stock this, but we can't guarantee that the last guest didn't run out on their final use.
    • Water
      • The water system at the beach has to fight a lot more minerals than inland water systems.  As a result the water is "hard".  Rancho Relaxo has a water softener, so expect "softened" water.
      • If you're picky about the water you drink, bring a filtering pitcher or purchase jugs/bottles of drinking water at the grocery store.  It's less than a dollar a gallon, so just to be on the safe side, pick up a gallon before you arrive.
        • PRO TIP: We use a cheap filtering pitcher.  The water out of the tap is drinkable, but we strongly prefer filtered water for making coffee, tea, etc.


First things first:  Arriving
  • Check-in
    • Check-in is at 2:00pm on the day of your arrival.  We cannot allow you access before then as we need to allow time for the cleaning crew to get in and out.
  • Getting in
    • Once we've received your final payment, you'll receive a keycode for the lock box.  The lockbox is on the second floor on the back of a post facing the door.
    • PRO TIP:  If you're arriving late, it can be pretty dark trying to see the numbers on the lockbox.  Try using your phone for additional light.
  • Hot Water
    • The front door key also opens the laundry room downstairs. In the laundry room is the water heater -- you'll want to turn the heater on when you arrive.
    • The laundry room is available for your use. Please lock it when you are done.
    • Depending on how long the water heater has sat without use, the hot water can start to smell sulfuric.  This is typical in beach homes in the area.  Run the hot water to see if it's a problem and if you notice the smell, go to the outdoor shower and run the hot water for 15 minutes.  This will eliminate the water that has the smell and you shouldn't have a problem.
      • Note: Don't forget to shut off the water!!!
  • Heating & Cooling
    • Air conditioning can be used at your discretion. We recommend setting it to 76 during your stay and returning it to 80-82 when you leave. We tend to shut it off at night when there's a nice breeze, but we leave it on at 80-82 when we're not there to keep the humidity down.
    • If you're going to open the windows, shut off the AC.  Please be kind to the environment (and our electric bills!).


During Your Stay
  • Orientation & Navigating the Island
    • The front door faces east and the beach is to the south. The island runs east-west, which is odd if you think of the larger "east coast" picture
    • The main road on the island is NC Hwy 58, which is also known as Emerald Drive within the city limits of Emerald Isle.
    • Ocean Drive runs along the beach and separates the ocean front homes from the 2nd row.  
      • Note: Ocean Drive is not a thru-street.  You can navigate for a ways, but it's broken up with pedestrian- and bicycle-only pass-thrus.
  • Garbage & Recycling
    • The large green rolling can is for garbage.  The round black can is for recyclables.
    • Garbage days are Monday & Friday.  Please take the garbage can to the street on Sunday and Thursday nights.
    • Recycling day is Wednesday.  Please take the round black can to the street on Tuesday nights.
  • The Beach
    • Beach access is down the block, take a right and it's directly to the right of the brown house on Ocean Dr.
    • We provide a canopy for use on the beach. If you use it, you're responsible for making it sure it doesn't get damaged/lost/stolen (or confiscated by the city). We provide a number of buckets that can be filled with sand/water and lashed to the canopy with the stake ropes to hold down the tent. Stakes don't work on the beach -- it may be helpful to look at other canopies on the beach to see how they are stabilized.
    • If you have someone that could use a wheelchair to get to or around on the beach, call the Emerald Isle fire station -- they provide beach wheelchairs free of charge. There's a beach access about 7/10ths of a mile east of Joel Ln that's a ramp to/from the beach
    • We provide two children's life jackets.
  • Rinsing Off & Sand Removal
    • The outdoor shower is available to you. It works best if it's not competing for water pressure, but has both hot and cold running water. If you use it, please remember to turn off the water at the house (behind the shower) before departing.
    • We keep a hose attached to a faucet at the south-east corner of the house (near the stairs).  Stand on the concrete pads under the stairs and hose off there so you don't have to worry about the sand on the sidewalk when you're done.
    • PRO TIP:  Grab a bottle of baby powder/talcum powder and if you're dry, apply the baby powder to any areas that are sandy.  The talc absorbs any moisture that's causing the sand to stick to your skin and with a brush of your hand, the sand comes right off!
  • Drying Off
    • There's a clothesline mounted on the top floor behind the porch swing. You can extend it to the post at the far end and wrap the line around the disc at the bottom of the reel (to keep it from extending further).
    • There are clothespins in a bag on the door knob of the front door.
  • Grilling
    • There's a grill downstairs which you are welcome to use. We try to keep gas in it, but can't promise it. If you use it, make sure you roll it away from the house and anything flammable.
    • If there's no gas for the grill, you can swap tanks at most area gas stations for around $25.  Leaving a tank with gas in it for the next renter is good karma.
    • Please don't move the grill upstairs.  This violates city safety codes and you could be fined.
  • Hammock
    • We have a hammock in the laundry room which hangs on hooks on posts near the stairs on the ground level.
    • Use it.  Enjoy it.  Put it back when you're done.
  • Bugs
    • The occasional insect is a beach reality. We regularly treat the house to keep it from being a problem and we leave ant traps to manage between treatments. There's additional bug killer under the sink if you need it, but we doubt you will.
  • House Stuff
    • We have four bikes -- men's 26" cruiser, women's 26" cruiser, and two 20" BMX bikes. There's a bike pump if needed. We provide one child's helmet. Please bring your own if you intend to ride.
    • Rancho Relaxo gets basic cable and has a DVD player and a Playstation 2. Some DVDs and games are provided, but you may want to bring your own.
    • Rancho Relaxo has internet access. Open your network and wireless settings and look for a wireless network named RanchoRelaxo. It is an open access point and requires no authentication. If you require security on the wireless, call the owner for an alternate configuration.
    • There's a single phone in the house, shared between upstairs and the owner's quarters. Feel free to use it for local and domestic long distance (you're responsible for any charges for international calls, 900- numbers, etc.).  The phone number is (252) 679-2483.


Eating
    • Groceries:
      • If you came on the island from Cape Carteret, you drove right past the Food Lion. Due to typical rental schedules, you'll want to avoid trying to shop on Saturdays after 1pm or Sunday afternoons in the summer.
      • It's often quicker to drive to the Lowe's Foods in Cape Carteret (58 to 24, turn right, left at second light), especially during peak times.
      • Best bet -- shop at the Piggly Wiggly in Swansboro (or Maysville) on the way in.
    • Local restaurants are good, but usually packed during the summer. Typical waits are often well over an hour.
      • Family restaurants: 
        • Rucker Johns (by Food Lion)
          • Our Review:  If you need the big chain restaurant menu and feel, this should fill the gap.
        • Hwy 55 (by Food Lion)
          • Our Review:  Great little diner with good food and great milkshakes!
      • Seafood: 
        • Jordan's (at the stop light near the pier)
          • Our Review:  Not much on decor, but the food is very good and the beer is cheap.
        • Frost Seafood House (Salter Path)
          • Our Review:  Popular place.  Good -- not great -- seafood, but amazing breakfast!
      • Sports Bars: 
        • Ballyhoo's (one block west of the pier).  They have food, too.  Typical pub fare: sandwiches, fried stuff, etc.
          • Our Review:  It's a sports bar.  It can get loud.
        • Paddy's Pub (Mangrove St -- 2nd stoplight on Hwy 58 heading off the island)
          • Our Review:  Simple bar with good music and lots of room to dance.
      • Fine(r) Dining: 
        • Island Grille (Atlantic Beach)
          • Our Review: Our favorite restaurant in the area!  It's not fancy and is always crowded, but the food can't be beat. Expect $20-35 entrees and expensive drinks, but it's excellent!
          • PRO TIP:  Monday & Tuesday nights are B1G1 nights for their featured entrees.  Get your reservations in early!
        • IceHouse (Swansboro)
          • Our Review: Hands-down the best waterfront dining in the area.  More expensive than most, the IceHouse has large portions and delicious food.
      • Others are good too. If you find a favorite, let us know!
    • For buying fresh seafood, Captain Willis can't be beat.  Look for the red awnings on the south-side of Hwy 58 near the pier stoplight downtown.
    • There's an ABC store next door to Food Lion and another that shares a parking lot with Lowe's Foods in Cape Carteret (behind the Walgreens).  If you ain't from around here, that's a liquor store and the only place you can buy anything harder than beer & wine (which are available in grocery stores).


Checking Out
  • Check-out time is at 10:00am on the day of your departure.
    • The cleaning crew has been advised that the house is available for them to clean as of 10:00am.  They will not enter until you have vacated.  If you are not out by 10:00am, you will be responsible for any fees or charges associated with delaying the cleaning crew.  
  • Remove all garbage to the large garage can and roll it to the street.
  • Put all recyclables in the black recycling can and put it next to the garbage can at the street.
  • Make sure you don't leave any food behind!  The ants will love it, but the next visitors won't!
    • Please wipe down any food preparation areas you used, just to get the last crumbs...the ants will find anything.
  • High-Season:  Set the AC to "Cool" and 82 degrees.
  • Off-Season:  Set the thermostat to "Heat" and 65 degrees.
  • Make sure you have all of your stuff.
  • If anything is damaged or lost during your stay, please notify us immediately.