Kansas City, KS
If I had to picture my ideal couchsurfing experience, it would probably be something like this:
Cool guy in a nice apartment. Go out for some craft beers and a meal, ideally brewed at the restaurant. Get some kind of tour of the city from someone who knows it. Hang out with his group of friends, maybe see a concert or local show. Go to a low-key bar and talk.
Anybody want to guess how my night was last night? I'll give you a hint: I did all of those.
We started by going to McCoy's, a place here that brews their own beer. I got some of the best mac and cheese I've had in a while, and an oatmeal stout that was brewed right there. Then we went on a quick tour of Midtown and Downtown and Colin (who is going to be a history teacher in the fall) gave me some of the history and talked about the buildings. We picked up some beer from a sweet liquor store and went over to his friend's house, where about 30 people were getting together for a "living room show" by a musician (Ryan Webster). After he finished playing, everybody stood around and talked for a while, and then everyone went to McCoy's and had some good beer on the patio to finish off the night.
It was kind of awkward at first for me, because everyone knew each other, and many of the conversations were about mutual friends and where they are now, or shared experiences, or mutual interests that I don't share. But once I got into a conversation, everything went smoothly from there - and I'm sure the liquid courage I'd drank earlier didn't hurt either.
I'm not really sure how to describe the group. Colin (the guy I stayed with) described himself as a yuppie, and that might be an accurate description of the group as a whole. At one point the girls were inside doing a clothing exchange while the guys were outside talking about their weekly alcohol tastings, and which scotch was their favorite. I heard mention of Settlers of Catan at least once, and I was also informed that I had to try the Boulevard specialty beers that someone brought.
I'm curious how to find people like this in other cities, because this was pretty much ideal. There was talk on both sides (from me and from them) about me coming back and visiting, or hanging out if I ended up in KC when I'm done traveling. Colin mentioned at one point that the thing that sold him on my profile on couchsurfing.org was that I mentioned multiple times that I liked good beer. In his words, "Surely serial killers drink Bud Light." Maybe that's the key.
I'm also kind of concerned that my couchsurfing experience can't get much better. I doubt any other experience will be this good. I guess that's good in a way, because it means I wasn't scared off by a bad first experience, but I feel like it's unfair to my future hosts, because it can't live up to this experience.
So what do you guys think? What would be your ideal couchsurfing experience? How would you go about finding it?