(the staircase down to the sand dollar laden beach)
(our rental property which comfortably slept 13)
(inside Seabrook--no, we didn't have to drive to see this)
I decided that I'm going to take the next couple of weeks and write about places that you could still book this summer, in case you're like me--without any concrete plans. Depending on what coast you live on, these could be long weekend getaways, or a week (or longer) vacation. The first destination I'll write about is one that is so off the beaten path, that even people who live in the state of Washington, where this is, don't really know about it. The place is called Seabrook, and it's on the Pacific Ocean, about two hours from Seattle. It's a planned community, built by the architects that designed Seaside in Florida (remember The Truman Show movie--Seaside was the town). And while some people, myself included, are totally turned off by planned communities, Seabrook is tasteful and so thoughtfully done, I was an instant convert. It's kind of like you've landed your family in a Leave It To Beaver episode, but it feels honest and not creepy. I swear, as Clara was riding her bike around (which her grandpa had just taught her to ride with no training wheels, since Seabrook is so chilled out that you can actually do that), the Jack Johnson song that goes "this is how it's supposed to be" kept running through my head. As for how it all runs, the concept here is that Seabrook is managed and operated, but the homes are all individually owned. You find one that suits you online (there's such a range in size, decor, price--but generally they are done nice enough, and I saw 2 bedrooms that sleep six for $250 a night), and book it directly through Seabrook (although I have seen the owners book it directly off their own site too). What I like so much about this place is that it is all about creating community. There are no back yards--the intention was that you would meet neighbors if you had to hang out in your front yard. It certainly worked. Within a half an hour of our arrival, Matt was at the neighbors house, borrowing something, and doing a shot with them. We were there with our entire family (well, 13 of us) and we were all able to take walks together, or separate, around the town (there's a little cafe, a market, bike rentals, shuffleboard area, community fire pit), and down to the beach. Everything we could ever need was there--kids toys, beach toys, games, videos...kitchen stuff, nice towels and bedding. Tomorrow I'll write about the Olympic National Park, which is a 30 minute drive from Seabrook, and is one more reason to visit this part of the country.
(we stopped at a wine shop in Olympia on the way down, plus at the farmer's market, and a Costco in Lacey--all right off the I-5 Freeway, on our way to Seabrook)
(this is the way to the beach through the woods)
(it was the 4th of July, what can I say--my husband and his brother love fireworks)