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Monday, August 10, 2009

Seriously, A Bed and Breakfast?!

When Uncle Junior and Auntie Lillian came to visit, they came up with a brilliant business idea for me. They suggested I open a “bed and breakfast” here in our home. To take it a step further, they said I should couple that with my very own tour guide operation. They agreed that it made sense since there is an endless stream of out-of-town visitors that come to stay with us (and many more that want to but we just cannot accommodate). It’s true. In the last two months we have had 14 people stay in our place at different times. There were several overlaps too but luckily everything worked out fine. Some guests stayed overnight, some stayed a couple of days, and others stayed a week or three. Some guests needed a place to sleep and a good home-cooked meal, some needed a weekend of activities, while others needed the whole “touring-LA-for-the-first-time” experience.

I gave this suggestion some thought. There are certainly reasons why it could work. For starters, it helps that our home is configured in such a way that it can accommodate guests. We have two guest bedrooms and a guest bath located in a totally separate section of the house. Since it is a designated space just for guests, it makes it easy for people to feel at home here. Our house is also “visitor friendly” – as my cousin Ches (who recently stayed with us) said, he doesn’t get bored on days we just stay in. Our home has wireless, high-speed internet and (thanks to my husband) we have several spare PCs and Macs all around the house. We have cable t.v. with over 500 channels (plus the Filipino channels too). My husband has an ample collection of anime and Marvel superhero comic books (which apparently guys of all ages like) and I have a very extensive book and magazine collection (which the ladies find more appealing). We have computer gaming systems. We have a state of the art massage chair (that is almost as good as having a personal masseuse). We also have a tiny garden (everyone gets a kick out of our lemon and fig trees) and a patio ideal for outdoor barbecues. We even have a separate refrigerator for guests to use. Not only that, we have a finished garage that makes packing balikbayan boxes (a must for our Pinoy visitors) really convenient!

Another plus is we live in Torrance, a quiet suburb of LA. And as we know, everyone likes visiting LA. Of course it helps that SoCal weather is relatively mild all year round and that our home is always breezy given that we live so close to the ocean. For our guests that don’t drive, our home is within walking distance to several stores and restaurants. And for those that do drive, we are right off the freeway exit, and somewhat centrally located. Torrance is accessible to most major LA tourist attractions. We are pretty close to beaches, parks, outlets, theme parks, shopping malls, and many other tourist destinations. We are also located just 20 minutes away from the airport.

But the biggest factor that makes this idea feasible is I enjoy having people over. No matter what the other conditions were if I didn’t like entertaining, I don’t see how this could happen. Luckily, I take after my parents and like having people in our home. It's great that Jojo is okay with it too. I like fixing up our home and making sure our guests have everything they need. I like cooking for guests, entertaining them, driving for them, and showing them around. Of course, I can’t lie and say I like having guests all the time and of course there are certain people I like having as guests more than others (I won't name names!). But overall, I enjoy having people come spend their vacation with us.

I also enjoy putting together vacation itineraries. Whenever I have guests coming, I get excited thinking of things for them to do. I have my list of places that are “musts” to visit, shop, and eat in while in LA. I am happy to put together an itinerary for those who have been to LA and are looking for more out-of-the-ordinary-and-less-touristy activities. And I am equally excited for those that are visiting for the first time and want to do all the kitschy things that LA is known for. I like guests that enjoy shopping because obviously I do too. I like guests who enjoy out-of-town day trips because there are so many beautiful places to visit. But, honestly, my favorite kind of guest, is the guest who likes to eat and is willing to try something new because there are just so many wonderful places to eat in here in LA.

Anyway, it’s nice to daydream about this business idea. Our very own bed and breakfast. Who knows, maybe one day I will get it started, and I may find that this is indeed that dream job I have been waiting for!


Jin said...

It's an great idea! I would like to visit there, to take your tour programs and to eat your cooking!
If I visit you, are you going to give this wonderful service to me?^^
Last year I visited Victoria in Canada and stayed a beautiful Bed and Breakfast. I think it's really good idea to do this business!

joyeee said...

Hey dets, Now that you come to mention it...i think its a great idea!:) You're really good in entertaining people and I have to admit, I never get bored even though at times we just lounge around the house. There's always something fun to do!!! You should give this some thought. That way, it would help you earn as well:) You get to do what you want and benefit from it too!:)

Joanne said...

Hi Jin! It is so great to hear from you! =) I can't believe it's been so long since we last saw each other. How are you??? And yes, please come visit us here in LA. You should have come here when you were in Victoria. California is not that far away. Jojo and I would love to see you. And of course, I would take you around and cook for you. Don't worry, for a good friend like you, I won't charge you anything =)

Hey Joybee, it does sound like a good business, no? The thing lang that won't make it work is I would be too embarrassed to charge people. Most of those staying here are my family and friends - and I can't charge them! So, this is a nice thought but I don't know how to make it work! =)

joyeee said...

we'll find a way to make it work!:) and people will understand... siyempre you also need to earn and stuff right? its not as if you'll charge so high...maybe even lower than hotel price but we should go into it and see! Even if i stay there, i'll pay too dets...and im your sister so what more the others! haha:) I'm sure it'll be so worth it for everyone!:)

leslie ty said...

i totally agree have the BEST place! I feel so at home whenever i visit you...i have an additional twist with Auntie Lilian's suggestion...why don't you have a reality show too...the plot will be how you will start to turn your home to a business! =) it will be super cool! =)

Auntie Lillian said...

Hi Joanne, happy to hear that you are giving the "B & B" idea some thought. I still think it is workable. If people know that this is an official business, then we won't mind paying the reasonable charges ( and at the same time people won't feel "nakakhiya" ) After all, there are added utility and food bills - sounds fair and good to me. You'll put your organizational skills to profitable use. You go, girl !!

Joanne said...

Hey Les, I'm not so sure about the reality show ... baka walang manood =)

Thanks for the idea and the encouragement, Auntie Lillian. We'll see how it goes ... =)