So as I'm taking my bath this morning, I decided to soak for a while. As i'm lying there, i'm thinking, and thinking...
This whole plan of building a Bed & Bistro is going to be a huge challenge. There are a LOT of decisions to make. The restaurant is one part, then cottages are another.
First off, do we want to have this run as a ch∑z p@nisse model, where there's no choice of the menu and all guests simply eat what's served? Do i want to have a prix-fix menu that offers 2 or 3 different options for each course, but not so many that i can't pull it all off by myself? Do I ask people for a credit card in advance, to charge for no-shows, like they do at Charlie Trotters? Do I just serve an evening meal? and only on weekends?
What do we do with the dogs when we want to have guests in the restaurant? The dogs clearly can't remain in the house. Once I'm open for business, they can't even come into the house, ever. This is a problem. Do we solve it by building another cottage just for them?
UGH ---- don't get me started about the cottages. Obviously, we want to be eco-friendly, and we need to follow local laws and regulations. I need to figure out how to blur the line between the luxury i want to offer and the environmental efficiencies that are available substitutes... which are usually NOT luxurious. I can use LED lighting (which is much 'greener' than incandescent and even better than CFL!) but it's very different than CFL light. Do we want to go so far as to have composting toilets and solar showers, like http://www.smellysmallholding.com/ AKA http://rayers.free.fr/ Would we attract people to a "green" venue, such as http://www.georgiamountaininn.com/. The big question is "How much ''green'' would a guest be wiling to tolerate?"
Then there's the fact that we're out "in the sticks". Can I trust solar power to be as reliable as a hard-wired plug? The initial financial outlay for all the panels, circuitry and storage cells is very high. Will i ever recoup the investment? Can I trust a solar water heater to be good enough for a decent hot shower? Or should I tell my guests that a luxurious hot shower is a thing of the past, making them feel guilty? Do those cards they put on the beds of hotels really make a difference about people hanging up their towels?
NOT TO MENTION, by the way, that i don't think that much of what i've just mentioned above is even permitted by health codes. I certainly don't want to put all the time and money into building a super-efficient, eco-friendly, greener-than-green cottage only to be told that we can't allow guests to stay. (By the way, I've really come to dislike the word "green" for describing "having a low environmental impact" but the term has its use, i suppose.)
If the environmentally-savvy things are against the law, maybe i should go about changing the laws. Is that something i want to undertake? Hopefully I'll be lucky, and the fact that where we live is 'unincorporated' so it doesn't fall under anyone's jurisdiction.
Finally, i hesitate to mention - yet agian - that the infrastructure of civilization is simply inaccessible out there. Namely, we can't get high-speed Internet unless we have a satellite. We have decided it's worth procrastinating that as long as possible, because of the expense. The idea right now is to have the cottages spaced as far apart as possible, which means that wireless won't be easy, either. Will our guests be okay with stopping by the main house and using our dialup connection? (They might... After all, I'm sort of getting used to it!)
Today I learned: The best spot in the library to access the Internet is the worst spot to sit. There is a table in the back where you can sit comfortably (instead of balancing the computer on your lap), and where you can reach an outlet without an extension cord, but it's within urinal-cake smelling distance of the mens room.