Like many of you out there I went south last week.
But, alas, I haven't much money these days so my southward trip extended to frigid Buffalo where I was visiting a friend.
That means I missed the first episode of the new series Inside Paradise.
You and I can both catch the second new episode of Inside Paradise which premieres on Travel + Escape on Thursday January 23 at 10:30 p.m. Got that?
Of course this one is a reality show --what other kind of series is there these days.
But the catch is different.
This one is from the perspective of the islanders who must make their yearly incomes during the four extreme months of the year. The other eight moths together bring in only 10 per cent of the total tourist dollars.
It's all set on the tiny island of St. Martin --I'm completely unfamiliar with this one but it sure looks like a nice place to visit.
And the participants are a nicely selected gaggle of entrepreneurs.
First up there's gregarious and much married Jeff who owns among other things a $5 million yacht which he rents out for $45,000 per excursion.
One of our first sightings of Jeff is at a fancy dinner party where he tries to drum up trade with two of the island's more influential real estate brokers.
One keeps riding him with her demands (which are not that outrageous considering the fee he demands) --she want to know if a certain billionaire can bring along his own chef on board and dispense with Jeff's.
Well, we all travel with our own chefs, don't we?
There's profound silence for about a minute before Jeff says flatly "No!" There's a point at which loyalty to his staff kicks in.
Then we meet property manager Jennifer who runs eight properties on the island and must ensure all are occupied during the prime months --that means literally being on call 24/7.
She checks everything out even a local underwater event which involves feeding ravenous sharks.
Then there are Dimitri and Ottie who run the beach rentals on Orient Beach --one day one of the rides malfunctions and they're about to lose a day's take.
Danika is an event planner and weddings here can be stupendous --after all captains can arrange weddings at sea.
Roel is the young and swaggering distributor of most of the liquor on the island and we watch as he tries to get one resistant pub owner to instal draft beer.
Dino is one of the island's most important chefs and one night a highly rich and influential couple simply walk out. He must woo them back or risk losing a huge chunk of change.
Executive producer Mitch Azaria (for Toronto's Good Earth Productions) has been quoted as saying no Caribbean island is as wholly dependent on tourism as St. Martin.
Of course some of the simulated cliff hangers are hokey. But I watched the first three preview episodes and can recommend this one.
It may not cure me of my fixation with all things Buffalo but it comes pretty close.
THE SECOND EPISODE OF INSIDE PARADISE PREMIERES ON TRAVEL + ESCAPE THURSDAY JANUARY 23 AT 10:30 P.M.
MY RATING: ***.