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A Magical Cottage and a Dog Named Duke 

Exterior patio with tables, chairs, umbrella and brown rug

A Magical Cottage and a Dog Named Duke 

When attending the University of Nevada, Reno in the 80s, I lived in a rental near the campus, and I walked past this beautiful 1920s home with the magical garden many times. So when its garden cottage popped up on Airbnb, I knew we had to stay there. 

The pictures let us know it would be a wonderful place to stay and it’s owned by Patty Melton, a local artist and writer, so I knew it would be quirky and fun. We booked it in January when we started our adventure to make sure it would still be available in September, when northwest Reno is at its most beautiful. 

Retro teal coffee maker and toaster

We stayed there for three weeks and it was everything we hoped it would be. It’s a teeny-tiny studio apartment, containing one of the most comfortable queen-sized beds we’ve ever slept on. There’s a large smart tv in the combination bedroom/living room, where we could catch up on Netflix and Hulu. For a small place, it has a decent amount of storage space, which is good as we spent much of our time there going through boxes deciding what was coming with us to Portugal. There was also a very efficient washer/dryer, along with plenty of detergent and dryer sheets. 

The cottage was full of original art by Patty and her friends, as well as stacks of books on Nevada and its fascinating history. Patty’s husband, Wayne, is an author and former journalist, so there were plenty of contributions by him as well. We loved all the personal touches throughout. 

Large yellow hot air balloon in the sky above some trees
The Great Reno Balloon Races happen every year the second weekend of September.

The very small kitchen was also incredibly efficient and so cute it has inspired us for what we want in our new kitchen. It has a matching microwave, toaster and coffee maker, all in retro teal. There’s also a toaster oven and a dual burner cooktop, giving us plenty of cooking options, though Clay did most of the cooking on the barbecue, which gave him a chance to flex his charcoal skills. 

And that brings us to the magical deck, flanked by sunflowers and leading to the enclosed dining area. When we booked the Airbnb at the beginning of our adventure, we didn’t yet know about the need for a comfortable workspace, so I was a little concerned leading up to our time there. That outdoor dining room was absolutely lovely for a workspace and the enclosure meant we could work out there no matter the temperature, including rain. 

Working outside also gave us extra access to the cutest Airbnb dog we’ve ever met, Duke. We would leave our door open in the morning when we had coffee in hopes that Duke would run over and say hi, which he did most days. And then he would come sit at the table with us when we worked. It’s not an exaggeration to say that we love him. 

Small white dog on the lap of a woman wearing a black shirt and wearing glasses.

We also loved the small deck above our apartment, where we were able to have coffee and watch the hot air balloons that come out every year for my birthday. And the Great Reno Balloon Races

Being so close to the campus and fraternities did mean some late night bump-bump music noise, but overall we were very happy with our three weeks at Patty’s lovely cottage. It would be a great place for people visiting their kids at school or even locals looking for a staycation. 
If you’d like more information on the cottage, visit: Tell them that Jackie and Clay sent you!

Jackie Shelton, APR, is a strategic communications veteran who, after 30 years still has a hard time focusing on one particular aspect, so she has stopped trying.

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