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A Plan!

Yes, we actually have a plan. OK, it's not our first plan, but this one has actually stuck for a couple weeks now, so it's probably fair to share it.

Phase One: Quick Trip to St. Martin

Steve and I finally agreed that we need more content in order to publish our first book, the Restaurants of Grand Case. For one thing, it would be awfully lacking in photography at the moment. The challenge was that Steve didn't want to go back to St. Martin right at this moment, he wants to wait until Nov/Dec, when it gets crappy here. But we agreed we need more content so we can publish before High Season.

Answer? I'll be going with my mom. It's actually perfect because she's in the newly retired, likes to travel target market that is one of our key demographics. She's also a good writer in her one right, and someone with a creative twist. So, Vicki will get to have her own viewpoint in the book. What should we call her? Retiree extraordinaire? We'll need to come up with a way to reference her demographic... something other than geezer ;). 

I asked her yesterday if she wanted to go, and by the end of the day we had our plane tickets booked for Aug 2 - 16th. Perfect. I'll get home just in time for our home theater to be installed :). No, really, it's good that we go sooner rather than later so we can finish the book content by end of August, and hopefully have it formatted and ready to go by mid to late September. 

If possible, we'll also be collecting research for our Beaches of St. Martin guide. I'm hoping we can get that out around the same timeframe as the restaurants, but we'll be starting a little more from scratch, so it remains to be seen if 2 weeks is enough to get both done. 

Phase Two: Winter in the Caribbean

So... we haven't officially moved to the Caribbean as we originally threatened, but that doesn't mean we don't plan to spend extensive time there. In fact, our current plan is to up the ante from what we did last year. Instead of two months, we're shooting for four or six months, depending on how well our guide is doing.

The question is where to spend those months. We could easily spend half if not more in St. Martin, and build out our hotel, activity, spa, shopping, and other guides, or just put together the big kahuna St. Martin guide. Or, we could try to cover a bunch of islands, maybe do one per month. 

From a personal perspective, it's not as comfortable/stable a way to spend the winter, nor is it as economical - we could negotiate a far better deal if we agree to rent a place for multiple months. But if we look at it from a business perspective, the more islands we can cover this winter, the more books we can market for next year... and every additional book means a cumulative revenue stream. 

So... no firm decisions on where specifically to go this winter, but I think it's fair to make a call that we will be going somewhere for most if not all of the winter. If all goes well, and if we can make a sustainable business of Lucinda's List, then this will become our model. Live in California when it's beautiful; travel the Caribbean when it's not. 

Will this plan stick? We shall see, but so far, it's stuck far longer than anything else. We've made up with our house, and decided to keep it, at least for the foreseeable future. We're even investing in the basement. It's already finished, with french doors out to the backyard, and surprisingly good light. Up until now, it had been an overpriced storage room with old furniture.

Now, it's our office... and soon to be our home theater. Yep, we are taking the plunge. Got a big ole comfy sectional from Macy's, sold our souls at Magnolia for a projector and screen... and speakers, and blu ray player, and universal power supply, and oh my God how it all adds up! Steve must have slipped me a roofie. But we did it. It should all be done mid August. Can you believe the long pole in the tent is the F@#!ing screen? Oh yeah, they custom cut it. For a standard size. Ludicrous. But yes, by end of August, we will be screening blu ray films on our 92" screen. Steve wasn't sure that would be big enough, so I had to get medieval on him.

I was a little hesitant to invest in more stuff for our house, but if we're going to keep it, and be here all day every day, I decided we might as well treat it like a home and not a short-term rental. So we've made up with the house...

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