How to Make Your Child Happy – Sleeping in a Treehouse

In the race to be coolest dad, the hunt for new treehouses is on! Last January I took my daughter to a treehouse adventure for her 6th birthday. This weekend I treated my son for a night stay in a treehouse for his 5th birthday. This time the treehouse was a little bit further out of the safe area of San Francisco, this treehouse is located in the Santa Cruz mountains in between Santa Cruz and Watsonville. Right in the middle of the Redwood tree forest, you can find this Redwood Treehouse.

Tweet this: Happy Child - Sleeping in a Treehouse @airbnb

The drive up is hard, especially as we did it in the dark, and relied on our GPS to get there. Big mistake, as the GPS did send us over the long road, through the woods, where the road was not paved. Without blankets or a lot of food and water in the car, being on the road where nobody drives made me nervous. Eventually we made it.

The treehouse sits deep into the woods, where we needed to walk for 4-5 minutes over a small unpaved trail to get there. For Mr. D this was a little scary. Thank god for the iPhone having a flashlight build in, so we could find our way to the treehouse. And then, after 5 minutes we saw this...

Redwood treehouse on Airbnb entrance bridge at night
Redwood tree forrest treehouse at night

These two pictures were taken with a tripod and a ultra long exposure time, since it is very dark in the woods after sunset. The Redwood trees are so high, that even at sunset the darkness comes really early.

The treehouse is cozy, and has room for two, who will easily fit. In the picture below you will see that there is even a kitchen, and next to the table there is a door which leads to the bathroom with a toilet and a shower. Outside, there is even a hot-tub, one we didn't use, since we were late.
Treehouse in the Redwood trees forrest , picture from the insideIn the morning we were enjoying the sunrise from our bed. We woke extra early at dawn to experience the sun bringing the light in between the trees, waking up the forest.

The picture below is made by Mr. D who really wanted to make a picture of me with the treehouse.

Dennis Goedegebuure at the Redwood treehouse rented for a night at Airbnb

Redwood treehouse on Airbnb entranceThat was another treehouse adventure with one of my kids. Next year I will take the two, to give Fiona a break with the baby. That will be fun! Now on to look for another treehouse! Which one do you think we need to go visit?

Redwood treehouse inside

Thanks Airbnb for Giving me the Chance to Build Lasting Memories with my Kids

If it wasn't for Airbnb, we probably would have never started this family tradition. Where else can you find fun places to stay for a short staycation? I have my eye set on one of these Modernist Marvels, sleeping in a train or in one of these cool Airstreams. Hey, I'm Dutch, don't judge our love for Caravans! Enough to explore on Airbnb before we go checking on all these Exceptional Treehouses.

The ability to stay in these cool places with my kids is helping me to build lasting memories of cool things my kids did when they were young. As my daughter was drawing a picture from the treehouse after her holidays break, instead of her Christmas presents, it shows how important and valuable these moments are for kids. If I keep up the tradition to go to a different treehouse every year, they will cherish these memories for the rest of their lives. That is worth much more than the next Barbie doll or Choo Choo train made in China.

Thanks Airbnb!

On our way back to San Francisco, we made a quick stop at Casa del 17, which is a road restaurant next to highway 17 in between Santa Cruz and San Jose. You can find these wooden statues there...

Casa del 17 - a bunch of happy faces

Sleeping in a Treehouse

Feel free to Tweet this experience:

Since I joined Airbnb a couple of weeks ago, I have been steadily checking the boxes on my on boarding process. The final on boarding action I need to check off my list, is to actually book and stay with an Airbnb host in their property. So I made a plan...

Build Lasting Memories

When I was young, I went on summer holidays with my family. I can still remember flashes of these, stopping at French wine houses to buy wine, on which European citizens still needed to pay duty when crossing the borders, Spending countless hours playing on the beach in the water with my brother or finally getting my own tent when camping. Those memories last a lifetime!

Having small children myself now, I want to spend sufficient time with them, so that I'm able to build similar lasting memories. However, that is not always easy, busy life, not a lot of long vacations and a new baby on its way.

So what better opportunity to spend time with the kids while staying in an awesome place. Airbnb is not only good to find your vacation rental for a longer stay, there are plenty of great listings in which you can just stay for a night, or two.

Pajama Party in the Treehouse

As our CEO Brian Chesky just recently mentioned in a TV show about Airbnb;

"We want to provide incredibly local and personal experience when you travel. people love homes and that's why you live in them. What if you can feel at home anywhere in the world?"

So for my daughters 6th birthday, I arranged the ultimate birthday party adventure. What better adventure is there than staying in this Treehouse close to San Francisco...! It was magical and resulted in a family plan to pick a treehouse to stay at every year. Now my son of 4 can't stop talking about how much he would like to stay in a treehouse for a night together with Daddy!

A Treehouse for Every Year

So to keep this tradition going, Jools and I made the plan to go visit a different treehouse every year, and try to sleep a night in the Treehouse. Luckily for Dad, there are a great number of Treehouses around the world, with a good selection of tree houses available here in California!
Feel free to Tweet this experience:

Treehouse at the Sunset time.

Evening Pajama party in a treehouse, Bo-Jools

Airbnb Treehouse near San Francisco at Dawn. Sunrise above the Bay

Morning sunrise at Airbnb Treehouse Burlingame

Two Mushrooms at sunrise

Mushroom in the morning sunlight

My Review

For my daughters 6th Birthday, we rented Doug & Linda's treehouse. It was an unbelievable experience, and probably will stick with her for the rest of her life as a fond memory of her childhood. Although it was raining really hard upon arrival, the treehouse is built solid and can stand the wind and rain. The host, Doug, was very friendly, and had the treehouse ready for checkin an hour earlier than normal.

We had cake and hot chocolate while lounging in the treehouse with the rain falling on the roof, making that cozy noise. Pajama Party For The Win! Waking up, the sky had cleared, and we experienced a beautiful sunrise above the Bay of San Francisco. We enjoyed the breakfast supplied by our hosts, and spend more time in the garden on the swing, finding mushrooms and enjoying the nature.

The Treehouse is an absolute recommended experience for anybody who ever wanted to sleep a night in a Treehouse, or just as an adventurous overnight stay while on a trip through California. It's just a great vacation rental for anybody on a holiday in the Bay Area!

Feel free to Tweet this experience:

Happy New Year 2013

And with is 2013. Happy New Year to everybody, and all best wishes.

Moet & Chandon Champagne, White Star Label

Boris & Patrick Visit Airbnb

Almost 7 years ago, I moved to San Francisco while working at eBay. The first summer living in the US, I hosted a BBQ for a group of Dutch Internet entrepreneurs at my house who were visiting the Valley. Part of that group Dutch Internet entrepreneurs were Boris Veldhuijzen Van Zanten & Patrick de Laive. At the time they were looking for funding for one of their startups, Fleck. Boris & Patrick were always in for some fun which could generate the attention from the right people. Eventually they didn't got the funding for Fleck, and sold the assets. Maybe better, as they continued to work on other great concepts, one of these the technology news website and conference: The Next Web.

Over the years The Next Web has been growing in audience, exposure and breaking stories. It will just be a matter of time for the team of The Next Web to become the #1 Technology blog on the Techmeme leaderboard. A position taken for years by Techcrunch. So with that in mind, it's always nice to see how Boris and Patrick has been able to keep their feet on the ground, and make the time at the last moment to catch up over beers at the Airbnb office today. It's always great to keep good relationships alive and kicking!

Boris & Patrick - The Next Web visiting the Airbnb office

How @BetaBrand Jacked #HoodieGate and got Millions in Free Publicity

Struggling to get the attention from mainstream media for your brand? Launching a new product, but no blogger will pick up your story? What if you could get millions of free publicity for your brand? BetaBrand got massive attention for their Executive Pinstripe Hoodie.

Betabrand executive pinstripe hoodie

Hoodie Gate

On the first day of the Facebook IPO roadshow, a video appeared on the Bloomberg website, in which Michael Pachter, an analyst for Wedbush Securities called it a sign of immaturity and a lack of respect for the future investors. Here is the video from this article:

“Mark and his signature hoodie: He’s actually showing investors he doesn’t care that much; he’s going to be him,” Pachter said in an interview on Bloomberg TV. “I think that’s a mark of immaturity. I think that he has to realize he’s bringing investors in as a new constituency right now, and I think he’s got to show them the respect that they deserve because he’s asking them for their money.”

These comments resulted in the starting sign of Hoodie Gate, in which major media TV-stations, newspapers and websites all jumped on the new angle on the Facebook IPO news. Finally something else to talk about than what has been discussed for months, Facebook revenue potential, user growth, and off course the Instagram acquisition. Hoodie Gate was born.

Major news sites, like TheNextWebThe New York Times, The Atlantic, MSNBC, CNet, Forbes, PC Magazine, Portfolio and many more. If you search for Hoodie Gate on Google News, more than 750 articles can be found from websites which jumped on the news to milk it for more pageviews!

Hoodie Gate Google News more than 750 hits

Hoodie Gate Google News more than 750 hits

NewsJacking for Free Publicity

A couple of months ago, I listened to an interview of David Meerman Scott, the writer of the book NewsJacking
(Amazon link) on Copyblogger. (listen to the interview yourself here). What is NewsJacking? I would encourage you to read the book, written by DMS.

But think about this:

What if you could “inject” your name or brand into a national or international story of your choosing, becoming part of the story yourself?

This is exactly what happened with one of the products from BetaBrand; the Executive Pinstripe Hoodie was quickly making its round on social media websites like Twitter and off course Facebook, how meta!

How Meta: Executive Pinstripe Hoodie Ads on Facebook

How Meta: Executive Pinstripe Hoodie Ads on Facebook

It came to my attention through a quick post on Business Insider. The New York Times is reporting the company launched the hoodie just 2 days after Hoodie Gate started:

On Thursday, Mr. Zuckerberg’s sister, Randi, posted on Twitter a link to a pinstripe hoodie that a clothing label had unveiled immediately after hoodiegate began.

However, BetaBrand confirmed in a tweet to me the company started working on the hoodie before Hoodiegate started, and based on the comments on teh product page, you can see comments back to February.

Although Betabrand calls  it a happy coincidence, the way their Executive Pinstripe is taking over the second paragraph in any story about the Facebook IPO is an amazing example of how NewsJacking could work and when successful can get a company or brand major free publicity worth of thousands maybe even millions of dollars.

For Betabrand it was possibly a very successful week, with great sales growth for at least one of their products, the Executive Pinstripe Hoodie. Hopefully for this company, they will see spil over effects into their other categories. And with Facebook's IPO still a week away, Betabrand can ride Hoodiegate for more sales, free publicity and brand building to the max!

And with customer service like the one displayed, I'm confident the company is looking at a successful future. I'm rooting for them, and have ordered my Executive Pinstripe Hoodie, with local pick up in San Francisco...


I would like to think the whole Hoodie Gate scandal was pushed in this world by an attention seeking stock analyst who saw an opportunity to make a larger name for himself not focussing on the actual news and potential of Facebook's IPO and it's roadshow, but focus on the unrelated news of the Hoodie. However, as described by the New York Times, it has become a fashion statement of East Coast vs West Coast.

The hoodie in Manhattan prompted, as Mr. Zuckerberg may have expected, a gush of approval and disdain. Hoodiegate, it came to be called, and it began to show signs of a culture war between the two coasts – Wall Street versus Silicon Valley.

Hopefully this West Coast - East Coast; Wall Street vs Silicon Valley has a better ending than Tupac vs Biggie!

Happy Easter 2012

Happy Easter! Inspired by a funny email, the egg painting has taken a different turn this year with Easter. Some of the eggs look scared, almost like if they know what's coming... A pan of boiling water!

Happy Easter Eggs

Terrible accident in this years Easter bunny race

The easter bunny race was stopped after a terrible accident. The pink bunny fell from 2 stories high, which can be seen in the short clip below. Right before the end of the clip, the pink bunny is going towards the edge, but was it an accident, or did the blue bunny push the pink bunny, to make sure he would win this years easter bunny race!

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Tacky Christmas Sweater – Ugly ones on Sale

The day before Thanksgiving is probably your last chance to get yourself that Ugly Christmas Sweater for the Ugly Christmas Sweater office party next week! And believe me, this year there are going to be even more Christmas Sweater Parties than last year. The Craze is complete! It's the season...Now also in the UK!

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

Are you ready for The Ugly Christmas Sweater Party?

According to my monthly traffic displayed below on the articles about the Ugly Christmas Sweaters, traffic is several multiples vs last year.

Ugly Christmas Sweater party traffic

Top Christmas Sweater Keywords

It's interesting to see the keywords people use when they search for an ugly sweater to wear to the office Christmas party. And although the top keywords driving traffic have not changed that much, only in the amount of visitors these were bringing going up, the long tail has grown significantly. Where in 2010 Q4 only 423 keywords containing the word Christmas were driving traffic, in 2011 that number has grown to 706 keywords, where the quarter is not even finished yet!

Top keywords for 2010 Christmas Sweater season were:

  1. Sexy Christmas Sweaters
  2. Outrageous Christmas Sweaters
  3. Ugly Christmas Sweaters
  4. Ugly Christmas Sweater Party
  5. Sexy Christmas Sweater

Top keywords for 2011 Christmas Sweater season are:

  1. Sexy Christmas Sweaters
  2. Outrageous Christmas Sweaters
  3. Funny Ugly Christmas Sweaters
  4. Sexy Ugly Christmas Sweater
  5. Sexy Ugly Christmas Sweaters
Long tail keywords being used this year are:
  • Naughty Christmas Sweaters
  • Funny Christmas Jumpers
  • Hideous Christmas Jumpers
  • Tacky Christmas Sweater

Christmas Sweater Parties now also in the UK

Where last year the search referral traffic to my site was primarily concentrated in the US and a little in Canada, this year the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party seems to be breaking though in the UK and Ireland too. We see that also in the keywords being used in the search referrals, as Tacky and Jumper are more used in the UK than in the US!
Ugly Christmas Sweater Party invitation

So get ready and buy your But Ugly Christmas Sweater before Thanksgiving to have it shipped to you in time for that crazy Chistmas Sweater party next week!

No items matching your keywords were found.

Santa Yoda made out of Lego

To promote their website which sends out Star Wars themed holiday greeting cards, Lego and Lucasfilms are building a giant Yoda dressed up as Santa made out of Lego on Union Square in San Francisco. The website can be found on

Building Yoda dressed as Santa from Lego

Building Yoda dressed as Santa from Lego

Giant Yoda as Santa from Lego on Union Square in San Francisco

Giant Yoda as Santa from Lego on Union Square in San Francisco

Smaller Yoda as Santa looking over the Geek activities

No items matching your keywords were found.

Santa Yoda in Lego
Lego Santa Yoda

Large version of these pictures of Santa Yoda Lego can be found on my flickr stream under creative commons.

No items matching your keywords were found.

No items matching your keywords were found.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Season is here

It's that time of the year again. With the Christmas time in December, now it is time to start searching for that Ugly Christmas Sweater for the company Ugly Christmas Sweater party. And where else can you find these Outrageous tacky Christmas sweaters than on eBay! Because who would buy a sexy ugly christmas sweater for full price...? Two years ago I wrote a post on how you would look sexy in that Ugly Christmas Sweater, as I had access to the internal eBay search data and spotted the trend of the Ugly Christmas Sweater parties. For a year long, I worked on seeding the story with our PR team, to prepare for the 2010 Ugly Christmas parties. I used the example in my presentation at the Blueglass Conference in Ford Lauderdale, and wrote another story on why you should be early in the game for the most hideous Christmas Sweater on eBay.
Ugly Christmas Sweater Party invitation

Feel free to use the image above here as you Ugly Christmas Sweater party invitation

Ugly Christmas Sweater Season is here

From my internal Statistics I can see the season for the Ugly Christmas Sweaters is here again.

Ugly Christmas Sweater seasonal traffic
Last year, up to $1.5 million in Ugly Christmas Sweaters were sold on eBay, where there was no merchandising on the homepage nor other places were done.
So get you Ugly Christmas Sweater as soon as possible before they are selling out.

No items matching your keywords were found.

Apple Google Doodle


Obviously this is a parody, and the below Google Apple Doodle is not affiliate nor endorsed by Apple or Google

With Steve Jobs resigning as CEO from Apple, Google is about to honor Steve with a truly Apple Google Doodle...
Apple Google Doodle

Update: Oct 6, This Google Doodle parody was published after Steve Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple. Today, the parody is less funny with Steve passing. Still, Google did pay tribute to Steve with the link on their homepage. Very classy!