When the author of an internationally selling book invites you to her vacation rental, you pick a weekend and go.
It’s that simple.
I packed my camera gear and new buddy Charlie (my Phantom 4 drone), called my vacation rental makeover bestie Alanna Schroeder of The Distinguished Guest, and bee lined it to the airport.
Alanna picked me up in her family bus filled to the brim with new sheets, duvets, towels, robes, and more for our weekend makeover project, and we road tripped our way down the California coast to just outside of Templeton, California.
How did we get ourselves into this project?
We met Lynne Martin, author of Home Sweet Anywhere, and her hubby Tim at the 2016 HomeAway Summit in Austin, Texas last May. Their genuine sweetness and vivacity for life immediately connected with my own adventurous streak, and I was soon checking my travel calendar for when I could jet out to their place in California.
Lynne and Tim have a little history with vacation rentals…they sold their home after retirement and spent the next five years flashing their passports around the world and staying in vacation rentals, experiencing each location like a local.
After being chased by the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Bloomberg, and several book publishers, Lynne happily wrote about their extraordinary retirement decision, the lovely people they met, and the delightful adventures they experienced, unintentionally inspiring a movement and fueling the idea for other couples to follow their same path in retirement.
What I love most about Lynne and Tim’s unconventional life, though, is that they stepped outside of what was expected of their “retired grandparents” status. They purposely set aside the need to know where they would be in a year or five years and solely focused on embracing each day as it came.
We may not all have the same free spirits as Lynne and Tim, but we can all be inspired by their story to stretch ourselves in our own lives.
Back to the makeover story…
Lynne and Tim had built their own vacation rental property to now have a home base between their travels, designing it to incorporate all of their favorite parts of vacation rentals they had visited over the past several years.
But Lynne knew she was still missing something at their place. She realized those missing elements, her weaknesses, were Alanna’s and I’s strengths, and she needed us. When Lynne showed me her HomeAway listing for her property, I agreed…she needed us.
Alanna knows how to create an immediate feeling of being welcomed into a space. She brought Lynne and Tim new linens and amenities and transformed the Creekside Cottage from just another beautiful California property into a truly welcoming gem, a place to relax peacefully by the creek after spending the day exploring central California’s wine country.
My task, what keeps me up at night with excitement, is creating photos and video that convey the same welcoming feeling over the Internet.
Not an easy job, but someone has to do it. And I love it.
The Martin’s photos when they first listed their Creekside Cottage property on HomeAway:
And a few of my favorites from the shoot:
Charlie (my drone) and I also created this little social media teaser video for Lynne and Tim:
Creekside Cottage is Alanna and I’s second vacation rental makeover together, and I am sure there will be more coming. (See our first makeover, the Hermosa Beach vintage cottage here.)
Did you know that you can sleep in the same sheets and dry off with the same towels as Lynne and Tim’s guests? Besides booking your own stay at the Creekside Cottage here, you can order your own sets from Alanna. Simply order the sizes you need at The Distinguished Guest.
Oh, you want Alanna and I to come to your property?! We would be delighted. Email me, and we can work out the details.
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