Tucked near Shoal Creek in Austin's cozy Allandale neighborhood, Jay and Jayne Crawford's Chicken Coop Tiny Cottage is more than just a sleepy vacation rental, it's the number one Airbnb in Texas.
According to Airbnb's "number one most hospitable Host" list that came out this month, the Crawfords run the most welcoming stay the Lone Star State has to offer. It was a surprise to the Crawfords, who have been running the Airbnb since October 2014.
"I knew we've been doing well but I just never would have dreamed," Jayne said. "I didn't ever imagine we would be number one, so that was a great surprise."
Jayne and Jay Crawford have been renting on Airbnb for the last six years. (Jayne Crawford)
Though there are no chickens to be seen, the rental sits in the couple's backyard. Before they had ever imagined entering the hospitality business Jay, who owned an insurance business, used it as an office before retiring. Jayne, a retired elementary school teacher, came up with the idea to rethink the space while on a beach trip with some friends.
With a love of travel herself, Jayne said she and her husband transformed the space into a rental she would be happy to stay in when far away from home. Growing up in a family of neat freaks, Jayne prides herself on her tidy nature.
"My husband will tell you that I'm very particular, especially out there, because when I travel I don't like surprises," Jayne said. "That's the way I grew up, you clean things and leave it nicer than you found it."
In order to be named "most hospitable" in Texas, the couple had to meet certain criteria: achieve 100 five-star ratings in cleanliness, check-in and communication; gain at least 100 reviews and gain the greatest number of reviews in Texas.
The chicken-themed stay has more than 360 reviews, which is among the most in the nation and maintains a perfect five-star review in five of the six categories, the remaining rating four-point-nine.
The house is only 160-square feet but the garden gives you plenty of room to roost. (Airbnb)
So what makes this Airbnb so cozy?
Jayne says it's the little things like spare toothbrushes, contact solution, chocolates on pillows, snacks on deck and that famous Southern hospitality that keeps people coming back. Before COVID, Jayne said she used to leave homemade brownies for guests.
"I've kind of found over the years that the more you offer people, the more grateful and the better they treat your place," Jayne said. "We pretty much try and think of anything that you would ever forget or I have forgotten on a trip."
The small, farmhouse-style property will let you live the Austin lifestyle with the neighborhood walkability and proximity to downtown for around $70 per night. Jayne said they have renters come and stay year after year like clockwork, so if you want to stay it would be best to book a few months in advance.
The couple asks everyone who stays to sign their mural before leaving. (Airbnb)
The garden is the pride and joy of Jayne Crawford. (Airbnb)
In addition to the money they get from listing their extended home, which covers the "ridiculous" Austin taxes, Jayne greets every group that stays and said the people who stay with her are a delight.
"I try and pop out and meet everybody when they first come just so that they know who's here and if they need anything, we're always available," Jayne said. "The people that rent from us, they're phenomenal, they're just wonderful."
Make sure when you stay to admire the garden personally attended by Jayne herself and sign the chicken mural so you can permanently commemorate your stay in the capital city.
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Eighteen kids and three adults are dead after a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas—a small town an hour and a half west of San Antonio—on Tuesday afternoon.
Abbott said the suspect, an 18-year-old male, is believed to have been killed by the police. The Uvalde Police Department said the shooting began at 11:43 a.m. Tuesday.
“What happened in Uvalde is a horrific tragedy that cannot be tolerated in the state of Texas,” Abbott said. “He shot and killed—horrifically, incomprehensibly.”
Texans are grieving for the victims of this senseless crime & for the community of Uvalde.
Cecilia & I mourn this horrific loss & urge all Texans to come together.
I've instructed @TxDPS & Texas Rangers to work with local law enforcement to fully investigate this crime. pic.twitter.com/Yjwi8tDT1v
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 24, 2022
According to University Health Hospital officials, a 66-year-old woman and 10-year-old girl arrived in critical condition. Uvalde Memorial Hospital reportedly received 13 children for treatment and two individuals who were already deceased. At the time, it was believed 14 had died in this shooting.
The shooter prompted a lockdown at the elementary school of just under 550 students, with San Antonio Police sending SWAT, and Eagle chopper and Crime Scene Investigators.
According to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, President Joe Biden has been briefed on the tragedy and “His prayers are with the families impacted by this awful event, and he will speak this evening when he arrives back at the White House.”
At 19 deaths, it is the deadliest shooting at an elementary school since 26 at Sandy Hook Elementary lost their lives. This is the U.S.'s 213th mass shooting of 2022.
“Especially here in Austin, there's a really, really high interest in electric vehicles and keeping that zero-emissions goal in mind,” said Rachel Reid, a spokesperson for General Motors. "And then just like anywhere in Texas, trucks are something that people use in their daily lives for things from carrying different furniture or anything from a job site or even just having the family in the backseat and being able to carry something along with them.”
Pickups play a major role in Texas culture, so much that the Texas Standard notes auto companies sometimes approach their marketing strategy by the regions of North, East, West and Texas. So, here’s a look at the pickup options in the coming years if you’re looking to go electric.
Production site and release schedule
The Silverado is being made at the company’s first fully dedicated EV assembly plant in Detroit, Michigan. Known as Factory ZERO, it’s named as such to reflect the company’s vision of a world with zero crashes, emissions or congestion.
The Cybertruck, meanwhile, will be produced at Giga Texas. At the recent opening of the factory in southeast Travis County, CEO Elon Musk addressed delays on the truck and said it would be out in 2023.
Orders are closed for the 2022 F-150 Lightning, but 2023 versions are just around the corner. They are being produced at Ford's EV center within their Rouge Complex in Dearborn, Michigan
The Silverado has an estimated MSRP starting at $39,900 with a reservation cost of $100. Depending on which feature options are added, the truck could end up costing around $80,000.
The Cybertruck also requires a reservation cost of $100 and a final price varies by the number of electric motors. So the price ranges from $39,900 for a single motor and $69,900 for a tri motor.
This year’s F-150s ranged in price from $39,974 to $90,874.
You’ll have to be at the wheel and alert no matter which car you choose since no vehicle is fully autonomous.
Chevrolet has compatible roads that drivers can use their driver-assisted technology, known as Super Cruise which includes adaptive cruise control, lane centering and hands-free operation with an attentive driver.
The Cybertruck order site doesn’t appear to have many details on what its tech will include, but Tesla has previously made plans to launch a new self-driving computer with the pickup.
The more expensive Lightning models have Blue Cruise available, which is Ford’s hands-free driving system that can be used on prequalified sections of divided highways. It includes a driver-facing camera to ensure the driver has their eyes on the road and Ford has said there’s potential for future enhancements.
Charging time and range
If you’re looking to take some road trips outside of Austin, then this is one of the critical factors you’ll consider while EV shopping.
The Chevy is estimated to reach 400 miles of range. With a 10 minute charge on a fast charger, it’ll be able to get about 100 miles of range.
It will vary by battery pack, but the Environmental Protection Agency shows the Lightning as capable of traveling between 230 and 320 mile range.
It’s yet to be realized, but Tesla is currently boasting the highest of the three with up to 500 miles of range on its Cybertruck.
Screens and storage
Of course, there are things you can do to keep busy while charging.
Generally, Tesla screens can display navigation, apps and a media player where you can access the radio and streaming services.
When it comes to loading up the vehicle, the Cybertruck flexes enough storage in the back for a motorcycle that you can transport up with a ramp.
The Silverado has a screen above the wheel that functions as a traditional dashboard and another larger screen. Chevy also replaced the space up front where an internal combustion engine would be with a “frunk.”
The Lightning also has a frunk, with Insider listing it as one of the reasons it’s perfect for road trips.
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