Ten years ago, I moved a few blocks from the ocean in a Southern California beach town. I am sure it was a coincidence, but that was the exact moment that my number of yearly houseguests skyrocketed. As a result, I have learned a thing or two about being a host. To be clear, I LOVE my houseguests. I am amused, though, when they spend a ton of money, time and energy to visit, and then have no plans. Zero. They just stare at me and ask what I want to do.
Here is my real answer, “Well, it is a Saturday. Normally, I would lie in bed and read the paper for an hour or two; have some quality time with my husband; sit in a chair at the beach; pay some online bills; and then have a few cocktails at the local wine bar. I am guessing that most of these activities would be inappropriate for your four-year-old. So, what do YOU want to do.”
After my first couple of years hosting, I created a Southern California Tourist To-Do List for my guests. I send it to them before they arrive to help them communicate their vacation hopes and dreams. Does it work? Sometimes. Other times, my guests are like lost sheep. I will keep trying, though.
It occurred to me only this week that perhaps I should post my Southern California to-do list somewhere public. A place where it could help others seeking travel advice. You know, like my travel website. (Sometimes, we don’t see the things that are right in front of our eyes.) It now lives here on www.maureenssuitcase.com.