We are a family of five, with three boys ages 5, 14 and 18. We also have a whole heap of animals: 3 dogs, 1 cat, 3 parrots, 2 mice and 2 guinea pigs. We live in a comfortable 3 bedroom house, in a pleasant, friendly neighborhood with a fair sized yard, trampoline, creek in the back.
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
Our neighborhood is about a 6 minute drive to downtown Santa Rosa, which is a great small city on the edge of one of the most lovely wine regions in the world. We are 20 minutes from the Russian River, a popular holiday destination with a beautiful redwood forest that you can hike through, and about 40 minutes from the coast, with miles of unspoiled beauty to explore. This area is known for artisinal produce: cheese, wines, etc and there are dozens of wineries you can visit for tastings, as well as restaurants, shops, galleries and so on.
The adults and 5 year old are heading out of the country for a month between mid December and mid January. The two teen kids will be at the house some of the time, and with their Dad (who lives nearby) some of the time. They really don't need anything - can feed themselves, mostly stay in their rooms on their computers etc, but we are looking for a responsible person or couple to live in the house during that time and mostly take care of the animals and keep the place in fair order, as well as be friendly when the boys are there. You must be comfortable with all the various pets we have, and willing to learn about the quirkiness of parrots, if you don't already know! None of the other pets are troublesome, though one of the dogs does need eye drops every day. They are 2 bassets and a small-ish shnauzer. When the kids are home we'd like you to be home in the later evenings and through the night (by about 10) just in case, and generally be the responsible adult presence, though when they're gone you can obviously be out and about as you please. They are super nice kids and won't give you any trouble. They might have friends over from time to time, but when they do they hang out in the garage (which is the older kid's room) and you probably won't see much of them.
You would be staying in the master bedroom of the house, with an ensuite bathroom (with shower, not bath). You will be responsible for groceries and food prep for yourselves, as we won't be here, but the kids will have their own food and will be responsible for prepping and cleaning up after themselves. The house is one story, about 1,500 sq feet, easy to take care of for the most part, with a few of the normal quirks that older houses have. There is a full size washer and dryer, dishwasher and a water filter, TV and playstation (no cable, but you can watch Netflix, Hulu etc).
This is a really lovely area to be in, with access to pretty much anything you want and need by car, and about an hour drive from San Francisco if you want to explore the city. You will have the use of one of our cars and you will need a valid licence - it's pretty hard (though not impossible) to get around without one here. Downtown Santa Rosa is a sweet place with many places to eat and hang out, but it's not huge. There are a variety of movie theaters, hikes and malls within a short drive. We like to go to Sebastopol, which is about 15 mins drive directly West - it is a small, more 'hippy' town, with places like The Hopmonk Tavern for live music, lots of yoga classes, and various foodie options.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
2 hour/day, 5 days/week