Exchange Reviews

January - December 2008

This was our 16th exchange and it was terrific! We ...

Sandra from Oakland, United States said

This was our 16th exchange and it was terrific! We were able to combine it with a short stay in Manhattan, a major plus. Fayetteville is a lovely village with easy access to beautiful parts of New York which we had never before visited. Donna and Mark were wonderful, enthusiastic hosts. This was their first exchange and they made us feel very welcome by arranging for us to be picked up as we arrived on the train from Manhattan and giving a comprehensive tour of their fabulous home and charming town. We even got a tour of several nearby towns, lakes and special sites in this part of NY state. Take a good look at the photos posted on their listing -- the house is even better than shown in the pictures. It is uniquely decorated and provided with all the appliances and comforts one might desire. The beautifully landscaped yard with decks, BBQ area and swimming pool is all quite luxurious. Upon returning to our own home we found it well cared for and thoroughly cleaned. To sum it up, this exchange was all positive and no negative.

What we said about Sandra's house:

This was our first actual home exchange and what a terrific exchange it was, in fact it could not have been better! Bob and Sandy were truly a delight to work with planning our stay prior to our arrival. They even arranged for good friends of theirs to pick us up in San Francisco and deliver us to their home. Anything we may have had questions on in the house, they had sticky notes posted with an explanation. (Great lesson to learn, I'll do the same from now on.) The pictures of their home on their website truly does not do it justice. Their view is absolutely breathtaking. Picture sitting on their porch with a glass of wine and viewing the cities of San Francisco and Oakland, the Golden Gate Bridge, the bay and ocean, and so much more. The house also far exceeded our expectations. It was extremely clean and tastefully decorated. Also worth mentioning, where they live is very easy to get on an off the thruway. They also belong to a tennis, pools and exercise club that's part of their neighborhood. We enjoyed that as well. Our vacation was literally just perfect and through this exchange, we feel we developed a great friendship. They're a wonderfully interesting couple. I loved every minute listening to their past exchanges, a good 10+ years. In fact, it's easier to say where they haven't traveled with this program than where they've been. We view ourselves very fortunate to have picked their home for our very memorable vacation. Donna and Mark

January - December 2009

Donna was the first person I spoke with when we ...

Teresa and John
Teresa and John from Old Toronto said

Donna was the first person I spoke with when we joined the home exchange program less than a year ago. She has been amazing since our first email, giving me advise on how to do house swaps and her excitement to discover new places through this program has been very contagious. She is truly a pro exchanger. This labor day weekend we finally got around to our own exchange. Mark and Donna's house is beautiful, every little corner of it has something for you to admire, enjoy, and relax. Their house is filled with color, my favorite is the unbelievable mackenzie childs vanity in the upstairs bathroom. I can't say enough about their yard and deck. My kids loved their pool - we joked that we took kids to Syracuse and came back with fish. My husband and I enjoyed relaxing in their hot tub after the kids were asleep. The deck has beautiful lighting, and the yard is filled with mature perennials. They have an adorable guest house, and Donna does not forget one detail, from the basket full of toiletries in case guests forget anything to water wings and toys for the kids, high chair for our baby, and stroller (though she does not have any young kids at home, she rounded all these things up and left them all laid out for us). When we came home everything was perfect. I think Mark even fixed one of our kitchen cabinets (have to check with them, but it seems like it closes even better). It has been great getting to know Donna, and I appreciate her spirit and joie de vivre. I am so glad we met!

What we said about Teresa and John's house:

We just got back from a wonderful weekend at John and Teresa's home in Toronto. First, let me say that I now feel like Teresa is one of my good friends. She was gracious every time I emailed her with questions regarding our upcoming exchange. Mark and I felt like we were simply staying at a cherished friend's house, and what a nice feeling that is to have on an exchange. Their home is simply gorgeous and they have decorated this house with love and it shows! The color scheme is simply perfect, very warm and inviting. They also have gorgeous furniture, which once again shows off the warm color tones they chose for each room. The location of their home is awesome. They live on a really sweet street and at the end of the street is the subway station. We never used our car while we were there and made it downtown in 10 minutes. At the end of their street you will find wonderful restaurants. Looked like, from a quick observation, just about any type of ethnic food you may want. We really enjoyed the Thai Restaurant located around the corner from their house. We are looking forward to doing this exchange yearly as they have family in our area they like to visit our home again. Upon arriving home, you would of never known they were there. It was a fantastic exchange all around. If you want an exchange in Toronto, you should stay here!

January - December 2010

Who knew Syracuse,NY could be so much fun? I ...

Pamela from Scottsdale, USA said

Who knew Syracuse,NY could be so much fun? I was welcomed by Donna and Mark with a lovely glass of wine and a quick tour of the Fayetteville area. We had a lovely dinner out side and Donna gave me tour information and ideas for the area to NOT MISS! The home is a MacKinsey-Childs showroom and the back yard is outstanding with a great pool and hottub. My experience with this exchange was nothing short of wonderful and I would recommend this exchange to anyone that is open to new experiences and wonderful scenery. FYI- do not speed in central New York!

What we said about Pamela's house:

This was our 14th exchange. We keep saying they can't possibly get any better from what we have already experienced...but, yet again, this one did. Pam's house is beyond gorgeous. I dare you to find something she is missing and/or lacking here. We certainly couldn't. Simply beautiful. Decorated with unique furniture and artwork to die or. We joked that we got a workout going from one end of the house to the other. We could only dream to have a mastersuite such as hers. The backyard is simply wonderful and very private. We spent the majority of our vacation lounging on her patio furniture and in and out of her pool. Great size pool for laps too. The area in which she lives is as gorgeous as her home. We did fun day trips to Cave Creek, Bartlett Lake, Prescott, Jerome, Phoenix area, all beautiful. Old Scottsdale was one of our favorites for restaurants and pubs. Also fun are the many bike paths near her home. The paths are fairly flat and curvy around spetacular lakes, parks, and canals. You can go for miles on bikes easily. Pam was also great to work with. We had the pleasure of meeting her, she came in one day early to our home. She's a beautiful person inside and out. I'd do this exchange again in a heartbeat! Don't pass it up.... Donna and Mark

January - December 2011

What can I say, the private swimming pool took us ...

Barbara and Bob
Barbara and Bob said

What can I say, the private swimming pool took us back to our childhoods. The decks are extensive with nice gardens. The master is quite comfortable. We walked nearby beautiful Green Lake and Round Lake. Green and peaceful. Niagra Falls was a 2 1/2 hour drive from Syracuse where we stayed the night. MIss the Wind of the Caves and do Maid of the Mist twice. Thousand Islands with it's Boldt Castle on Heart Island and the wooden boat museum in Cape Vincent were highlights. We flew to NYC one hour from Hancock Airport in Syracuse to see an off Broadway show and sights. The commute to and from airport was easy. Mark and Donna are good hosts. They provided an extensive array of brochures for local points of interest as well as a wealth of knowledge associated with New York sites. Thank you. Barb and Bob from Washington State.

What we said about Barbara and Bob's house:

First let me say this was our 22nd exchange, every time I say...they can't possibly get better! Well, yes it did. Barb's and Bob's house is fabulous. Half the vacation we just sat in their backyard looking out at the Olympic Mts. over the water saying this can't be real. Their decorating throughout the house gets an A+, gardens are phenomenal...A+ again, and you cannot beat Washington's scenery, from the mountains, to the ocean, to the Cities. We toured Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier spent a night on the coast at a Seaport town called Ilwaco (awesome beaches), and had fun hiking around Olympia. We had the pleasure of meeting Barb and Bob last year on a previous exchange we did in Washington, and had a blast hosting them at our house one night prior to this trip. They are truly a wonderful couple, genuine and fun to be around. A plus was digging for clams in their backyard, best steamers we have ever had. We even enjoyed rowing around their cove. Every window of the house looks out on the water, it truly is breathtaking. There isn't anything you lack here. Oh.... and the privacy is what we loved the best. All you hear are the birds, no cars, just nature. Incredible. If you are thinking of going to Washington State for a vacation, and you really should, work on an exchange with this place. It'll be one of your most memorable trips!

January - December 2011

We visited this home exchange in September, 2011 when the weather ...

Phil said

We visited this home exchange in September, 2011 when the weather was beautiful making exploring the area so pleasant! We got to meet Donna and Mark on our first night, over dinner overlooking beautiful Lake Cazenovia! They are the most delightful people and really go out of their way to make sure your stay is memorable. Their home sparkles with personality with furniture, pottery and glassware from nearby MacKenzie-Childs, where you can take a free tour of the country farm house. We stayed in the adorable guest cottage that overlooks the swimming pool and hot tub! It's your own private resort. The cottage is well lit with double windows and a bay in the living area. The decor features exquisite linens and furniture that are yet country comfortable. The main house has everything from a gourmet kitchen to tvs everywhere! (For anyone that has never been to Niagara Falls, you could fly there first, as we did). Once in Fayetteville we had a car exchange and explored the Finger Lakes region. Dripping with Old-world -resort-charming, Skaneateles and Cozenovia were our favs! We were so impressed with the cleanliness of the roadsides! Never did we see a piece of trash! All the people we interacted with along the way were just the nicest you could find! Pristine hills, lakes, tidy yards, refurbished and restored homes without cookie cutter developments and strip malls to mar the views! Cooperstown, home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and a Farmers Museum are well worth the little bit of extra time. The drive is stunning and the town is lovely. All walkable and, the Hall of Fame and Doubleday Field, the first baseball field, still used today, are "must sees" for sports fans. You can spend an entire day here. Phil and I relaxed so much at "home" that we didn't do everything we had planned, but, isn't that what vacations are all about! We definately want to revisit this exchange and explore more of the area. Donna is great at lining that up for you!

What we said about Phil 's house:

We cannot say enough about this exchange with Trish and Phil. First, if you are in the midst of emailing these two, you will soon realize how witty they are. I had the pleasure of working this exchange with Trish for months. Every email I would get off the computer and say to my husband, that lady is a riot! Southern charm at its best. Trish and Phil arrived to our house the night before we left for their home. We had such a lovely dinner at a nearby restaurant on the patio overlooking Cazenovia lake on perfect summer evening. Trish and Phil are such a lovely couple and we hope to continue our friendship with them. Hopefully we can convince them to do another exchange! We certainly want to return. Their home is so much more than the pictures portray, much bigger too! It is exquisitely decorated throughout the entire house. There are just so many beautiful things to look at placed in just the right places. The layout of the house is well thought out. We even had fun using their elevator to get from ground floor to the third when doing laundry. Their furniture is very comfortable, kitchen has everything and more, and we loved having breakfast on their screened porch. We spent almost all our time outside by their private pool, landscaped beautifully too. What fun it was to sit on a raft in the pool and watch the nightly news on their outdoor TV. We kept commenting that the location could not be more perfect. You really don't need a car to go out to dinner or drive for drinks. Fun restaurants are like 3 houses length down their street, right on the harbor. The beach is a mile tops and what a beach it is! The town's beach is simply beautiful with white glistening sand for miles. There are some cool coastal towns all within an easy driving distance and so many shops, galleries, etc. to tour. We have to admit, once we saw their beach that was it for us. If you are looking for a beach vacation, this is it! Donna and Mark

January - December 2008

We have done over 17 exchanges and this was one of ...

Sally from Cathedral City said

We have done over 17 exchanges and this was one of our favorites. Donna, the host, was incredible. She knew we were getting in late and had prepared a lovely meal that we could just heat up. The home is in upstate New York. The home is sooo charming with flower boxes all around the outside and a great pool in the backyard. The inside of the home is decorated beautifully. I'm an Interior Designer and she gets an "A+" in decorating. Fayetteville is a charming village and every morning we had breakfast at "Hellars" where you can get a full breakfast for $3-$5. The owners, Donna & Mark left us so many ideas of where to visit in the area. The entire kitchen table was covered with brocheres and flyers of great places to visit. We went to Thousand Islands, Niagra Falls, the Italian Festival in Syracuse, the Gorge, finger lakes, wine tasting. We had a wonderful time. My sister and her husband met us there and vacationed with us part of the time. The home has a separate little cottage and has everything. They stayed in the cottage and Philip & I(Sally) stayed in the house. It was truly a wonderful exchange. Thank you, Sally

January - December 2009

Wow,what a great place to visit, and we only ...

Carla from Sandy Springs, USA said

Wow,what a great place to visit, and we only did a tenth of what was available to do(if that much)! First the lodgings - we felt so welcome by Donna and Mark. We had met them when they stayed in our home in Blue Ridge, GA. We were given our own comfortable, cheery, private quarters and told to make ourselves at home. The pool and the hot tub were divine. Donna had tons of information on local sights, so we were able to plan our outings quite easily.The area - beautiful, beautiful. Before our trip, anyone who knew we were going to Syracuse said

January - December 2008

Delightful hosts and home. We held our family reunion there ...

Richard from Englewood said

Delightful hosts and home. We held our family reunion there and everyone enjoyed the beautiful pool and huge deck. If you like dogs, you'll LOVE Hoover and Cody - we insisted they stay 'home' while we were there. We are hoping to make this an annual visit.

January - December 2008

Because our plans were last minute, Donna and Mark were ...

Steve from California said

Because our plans were last minute, Donna and Mark were unable to come to our house, but were kind enough to let us stay in their cozy guest house after our visit with young family in the area. What a great location! We walked along a portion of the old Erie Canal not five minutes from the house; visited Seneca Falls, the site of the 1848 convening of women seeking equal rights; went to the Onondaga County Historical Museum with its depiction of the abolutionists and brave contributors to the Underground Railway in Syracuse; saw Harriet Tubman's house on Rte 90 near Lake Cayuga (and the Mackenzie-Childs factory); and drove to Cooperstown to experience the wonderful Baseball Hall of Fame. We also drove west for a couple of hours to enjoy Niagara Falls. It is beautiful country, farmland and Finger Lakes and glorious stands of trees, in full autumn splendor at the time of our visit. Donna and Mark are exceptionally warm and thoughtful, and if you've ever wanted to see upstate and/or central New York, you will not want to miss this exchange.

January - December 2011

First -- Donna and Mark, our hosts, could not be ...

Boyd from New York said

First -- Donna and Mark, our hosts, could not be more welcoming, warm and caring. It was a joy to spend time with them on our exchange. Second -- Their home is wonderful! My wife and I stayed in their guest house which had everything we needed for our privacy and our comfort. The door opened onto a beautiful, huge deck with a hot tub and a pool. Who could ask for more? Third -- The house is in a lovely community, very quiet but close to almost any shopping you would want. The area, though, is stunning. We visited Skaneateles Lake, a lovely, upscale summer resort. We drove down Seneca Lake to Watkins Glen, one of the most beautiful of all the NYS State Parks. On the way back we visited some of the wineries along the lake. We drove north to Alexandria Bay, the entrance to the Thousand Islands. Every place we visited was beautiful and worth it. We actually did not have enough time to do all the things we would have liked. I guess we'll have to return. Donna and her husband, Mark, made us feel like welcome guests for our entire stay. Donna is so thoughtful and thinks of everything -- she has a small basket in the bathroom filled with the little things we so often forget on a trip. She put together some suggested day tours, complete with driving instructions and photos. She even stocked the refrigerator with a few things to welcome us -- things like fruit, milk, coffee, muffins, bagels and cream cheese. My wife and I have done more than 15 exchanges so far and we have yet to find more warm and hospitable hosts than Donna and Mark. And you'll know if she likes you if she takes you to visit her beloved horse, Monty. We look forward to seeing them again at our home and theirs. This was a wonderful exchange!

January - December 2010

After a week in New York city this place was ...

Joe Shirely and Lil Joe
Joe Shirely and Lil Joe from Port Townsend said

After a week in New York city this place was an oasis from the crowds... comfortable and friendly and that includes Mark and Donna. Plenty of helpful tips and a wonderful location for sight seeing one of the most beautiful areas of the Empire State, we did Niagara Falls, the Finger lakes, the 1000 Islands, all so easy to get to, jsut go to the corner (state rt 5) and go left to find all major highways... and then of course there is WEGMANS food store( I am a professional chef and i loved it). We also had enough down time to enjoy the wonderful built in pool, our 9 year old love it and so did I. THANKS AGAIN

January - December 2011

Donna and Mark are wonderful hosts! We were very comfortable ...

christie and jim
christie and jim from California said

Donna and Mark are wonderful hosts! We were very comfortable in the guest house and absolutely loved the area around Fayetteville. Lots of lakes, waterfalls, forests, villages and finger lakes. A wonderful week! Thanks so much for the hospitality, Christie and Jim

January - December 2010

We spent a week in Donna and Mark's charming little ...

Jay and Betty
Jay and Betty from Florida said

We spent a week in Donna and Mark's charming little cottage and enjoyed the experience tremendously. Everything we needed was available to us for a comfortable stay. We especially enjoyed our day trip to the Thousand Islands and touring the "castles" of bygone eras. The Mackenzie-Childs tour was unique and jaw-dropping and a must see. We went to Cornell University in Ithaca to have lunch with my nephew--much to see on campus. Just driving through the countryside was a treat for us. You won't run out of sightseeing excursions here or just relax with a book in their beautiful yard. We look forward to hosting Mark and Donna in our home--they are an awesome couple.

January - December 2010

Donna and Mark were gracious hosts... we stayed in their ...

Lise and Bob
Lise and Bob from Florida said

Donna and Mark were gracious hosts... we stayed in their very cozy guest cottage (next to the main house). It was nicely decorated and comfortable. The hot tub just outside on the back deck was a huge plus! We devoted most of our stay to visit family and friends. But we did see a few sights... Green Lakes State Park, the Erie Canal (in nearby Kirkville), the Camillus Erie Canal Park (on the opposite side of Syracuse), the city of Oswego, and the village of Cazenovia. We are surprised that other reviewers missed Green Lakes State Park. At less than 5 minutes from the house, Green Lakes is an area treasure and popular hangout for locals. The park has miles of excellent and easy hiking trails (which are open to cross-country skiing in winter!), 2 beautiful lakes, swimming and boat rentals in summer, and biking year 'round. The cottage is located in a quiet neighborhood near the center of Fayetteville, with convenient and easy access to shopping and restaurants. There are endless opportunities for scenic drives around Syracuse... one of our favorites is the Hamilton Turnpike/Fabius Village drive that passes by Highland Forest Park, with mile-after-mile of farms with old barns, quaint old houses, and horses. We have visited the Syracuse area several times in the past, and our stay in the guest cottage made this one of our favorites!

January - December 2009

What a great exchange! Wineries, hiking, Niagara Falls, Thousand Islands, ...

Robert from Boca Raton, United States said

What a great exchange! Wineries, hiking, Niagara Falls, Thousand Islands, and more in this central NY location. The hosts, Donna and Mark are wonderful and helpful and the house is beautiful and setup perfectly for the exchange. We had the best time and look forward to seeing our new friends every year. Strongly recommended! Rob & Les

January - December 2011

Our family had the pleasure of staying in Mark and ...

Richard and Rehana
Richard and Rehana from Orlando said

Our family had the pleasure of staying in Mark and Donna's house and cottage on the 4th of July weekend. Their house is lovely with all of the Mackenzie Childs furnishings. My brother-in-law came in from Toronto for a family reunion and had the privacy of the cottage. With the hot weather, our kids were glued to the beautiful in-ground pool while the adults stayed in the hot tub. Besides enjoying the deck and pool, we ventured to Skeanteles for an afternoon strolling the quaint streets, buying hard cider and wine at a local vineyard, and touring through the beautiful NY state countryside and its many farms We loved the Dinosaur restaurant in Syracuse (15 minutes away) which I saw on the Food Network. Great place to eat a plate of ribs!! We also a fun day touring the Thousand Islands in a boat on the Canadian border. I wish we had more time since there are so many more things to see in the area. Again, thanks Donna and Mark for your hospitality. We had a great time! Rich nd Rehana

January - December 2010

Donna and Mark went out of their way to make ...

David from Columbia, United States said

Donna and Mark went out of their way to make sure our stay was perfect! First of all, they counseled us on the best time to visit their area to see the fall color and thanks to their advice, we were there at the height of the color. The home is lovely and so comfortable. And the pool cottage offers a very private retreat. We had planned to use the hot tub quite a bit during our stay, but the area offers so much that we were on the go most of the time. Hard to decied on a favorite actiivity, but for me, it was probably the Erie Canal. The canal is just a minute or two from their house so Jeannine and I walked several times on the tow path. There is so much history in the area and the canal is such a big part of that. The Finger Lakes wineries were a surprise to me. I hadn't expected to find such a wonderful area with excellent wine and even better views. We drove to Watkins Glen along the Western shore of Seneca Lake - spectacular area. And the walk through Watkins Glen is a must. Very beautiful and so different from home. We also toured Niagara Falls, then returned to Syracuse by way of a drive along the southern edge of Lake Ontario. I highly recommend an exchange with the Newmans. You'll love their home and the area. There is so much to do and to see and so many wonderful memories to be made - we'll have to return!

January - December 2010

Donna and Mark were incredibly generous and hospitable in allowing ...

kent from Melbourne, Australia said

Donna and Mark were incredibly generous and hospitable in allowing us to stay in their cosy and very well appointed guest house recently. Whilst there we were able to make a day trip to Niagra Falls and another to Watkins Glen and the Finger Lakes. In addition we walked around the local unique Green and Round Lakes. We regret we didn't leave sufficient time to explore the many boutique wineries in the area. Sitting outside with a beer in the pouring rain in their hot tub, is a memory I will treasure. D&M thanks Kent & Cecilia.

August - August 2009

Syracuse, New York - August 2009 - 3rd Home Exchange. This ...

Dave and Kelly Sinkbeil
Dave and Kelly Sinkbeil from White Sulphur Springs said

Syracuse, New York - August 2009 - 3rd Home Exchange. This home was the best, it had everything including a guest house. We used the hot tub every day and the swimming pool felt so good on those hot days. Kelly's sister Jo joined us from Wyoming and we toured the Finger Lakes area with a detour to a couple of the local wineries (this is a must). One evening we did a marathon walk around the Taughannock Falls State Park and stayed in a local B&B. The Corning glass museum was great. The highlight of the tour was the 1,000 Islands region - a dinner cruise on the Uncle Sam Boat Tour was the best way to see this area including Bolt Castle. The ribs at the Dinosaur in Syracuse were so good we went back a 2nd time. King salmon fishing in Lake Ontario topped off the great week.

What we said about Dave and Kelly Sinkbeil's house:

We just got back from staying at Dave and Kelly's Sunrise Lodge (second week in August 2009). This was our 9th home exchange and I have to say one of our best yet! The lodge is located in the most beautiful territory. It is furnished tastefully, has plenty of room for a crowd, beds are very comfy, the hardwood floors are to die for, and Kelly's kitchen has everything you could ever imagine or need and then some. There are tons of books, movies and games to play if you feel like just hanging around there. Dave mentioned to make sure we didn't miss the stars at night and boy was he not kidding. I've never seen so many bright stars as well as shooting stars. We loved waking up to the sunrise and mist over the mountains. Their cabin is right in the middle of the Lewis & Clark National Forest with mountains, streams, and beautiful trees everywhere. We did a few days trips around their area to Sluice Box State Park, Memorial Falls, and a cool fire lookout tower nearby. If you like to hike, fish, ski, snowmobile, and tour state parks, this is the place to go. This exchange also offered us the chance to go to Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park. Glacier blew us away with its beauty. We have never been to a park as phenomenal as this. This truly is a must exchange if you can make it happen!

September - September 2015

I visited Mark and Donna's charming home on Labour Day ...

Lesley and Jim
Lesley and Jim from Canada said

I visited Mark and Donna's charming home on Labour Day weekend 2015. I think it was the hottest weekend of the summer so I spent a lot of time in the pool. The back garden is stunning and totally private. If it had been cooler I would have enjoyed the hot tub too. Donna and Mark are experienced exchangers and it shows! They have several driving tours in the neighbouring countryside all mapped out. I did "tour 1" to three picturesque villages in the Finger Lakes area, culminating in a visit to MacKenzie-Childs - the source for many of the artifacts and furnishings at Mark and Donna's place. Fayetteville is close to Syracuse and is a historic small town. Many of the homes date to the 1830s! I enjoyed biking along the Old Erie Canal which has a bike path on the former tow path. This part of New York State is awesome for cycling - almost all the roads have broad paved shoulders and there are some great hills to climb! I'd highly recommend a visit to Donna and Mark's home!

July - July 2015

We really spent an amazing vacation in Fayetteville beginning of ...

Louise and Robert
Louise and Robert said

We really spent an amazing vacation in Fayetteville beginning of July 2015 and our stay far exceeded our expectations. The house is well-equipped, nicely furnished and located on a quiet street but a few minutes from all services. We fell in love with Fayetteville and can only recommend this exchange with Donna and Mark. My sister and husband stayed in their lovely guest home and said it was better than any hotel! Out of all our exchanges (almost 15) Donna is the host who was the most helpful in providing brochures and even suggesting very elaborate day-tours with directions how to get there. We followed her advices and were really satisfied with her suggestions. Better than any guide book....! We spent lots of time in Skaneateles (a must if you go to Fayetteville) such a quaint town by the lake with beautiful mansions, interesting boutiques and restaurants. We were in Cazenovia on the 4th of July at the Arts and Crafts and we love the atmosphere of being in that beautiful town on that special day. We did not have enough time to see the Finger Lakes Wineries as she had suggested, because their back yard was to appealing.... We spent time everyday relaxing in their gorgeous back yard, swimming and enjoying the hot tub later at night. Donna and Mark have very interesting exchange books of all of their trips and Donna even made a great slideshow of their stay in Magog (Eastern Townships in Québec). They left our property just impeccable and we hope to do more exchanges in the future with people as considerate as Donna and Mark!