Monday, August 25, 2008

Staycation at Seabrook

Okay, so it wasn’t technically a staycation; we drove for 3 ½ hours to get there, but it was in-state.

So we loaded up the truck and we moved to Beverleee…no wait. Packing the CRV and driving off with a big red wagon, a folding, three-seat couch thingy, and a giant umbrella strapped on top of the car felt rather like we needed a granny up there to complete the picture. I guess I’d rather resemble a Beverly Hillbilly than a Joad from the Grapes of Wrath.

So Ma and Pa and our 2 chillin’ drove and drove the highways and byways of Washington state, through (de)forests and a plethora of inky-dinky towns, the existence of which is proven only by a tavern or a sign post.

Our destination was Seabrook. A Stepfordesque town in the middle of the woods by the sea. This little clump of houses calls itself a town, but so far it’s still only partway completed. There are many signs planted in clumps of scrubby beach trees and bushes announcing that “this spot is the future site of…” Someday, there will be a pool and a retail center and a grocery store, and who knows what else. For now, though, it’s a few streets of super-cute houses alongside empty, muddy lots that are in the works to build more homes. There are no yards. Every house is completely enclosed with a short, attractive wood fence. There’s just enough room for decks and porches and hot tubs. The well-tended green spaces are all shared, just like the bikes and the sports equipment.

We stayed in the plush and trendy, barn red Hodgepodge Lodge. With Crate and Barrel plates and Reed & Barton flatware, this is a house furnished by folks who like to shop. It was very comfortable and not too breakable; we just moved a few glass doodads into the closets no one uses.

A fun bonus: we placed a blowup mattress in the walk-in closet for our son. He’s almost 3 and he loved having his own little room.

The best parts of the trip? The outdoor hot tub and the master bathtub. Deep, hot water. Pure heaven for me. We also loved the plethora of sporty beach bikes available for anyone to grab for a lazy cycle around the development. Extra goodies that make it even better: Moseying over to Crescent Park, picnicking at benches under the big white tent. Playing on the swings and climbing toy, and playing volleyball, badminton, soccer and kid-size baseball with all the provided sports equipment, followed by ambling over to the little café for dinner. Then, ambling back home and watching the Olympics in the “media room.”

The downside to this trip was THE FOG. Grey, wet, clammy, hot, fuggy, muggy, view?-what-view?, effing, flipping, incoherent roaring fog. It pretty much ruined the whole trip for me. We never actually saw the beach, even though we played on the beach, walked on the beach, jogged on the beach, built a ginormous sandcastle on the beach…we did it all in an eery, grey world with no depth perception and no way to judge size or distances. Seagulls standing in an inch of water looked as big as cars. Humans swam in and out of sight in just a few steps. My brave friend Jen ran up and down the beach for exercise and had to use the giant sandcastle as her only landmark. Even that was easy to miss if you were too close to the water or too close to the dunes.

I only walked on the beach and left all the fun-having to the friends and family that were with us. I grumped and bitched and snapped at everyone until, after a serious amount of ragging from 2 excellent friends, I realized that the fog had triggered a major SAD moment for me. Ooh, thanks. Once I realized that the fog was corrupting my perception of everything I had a much better time. Unfortunately, that realization came too late in the weekend to prevent a nasty moment between my hub and me. We got over it.

With no way to guarantee sunshine, I don’t know if we’ll ever go back to Seabrook. In another 5 or 10 years, it is going to be something really cool. Right now, it’s pretty spendy and you can’t really go anywhere on the bikes, just around and around. I can see its appeal for sure. The house are so darn cute; no two are alike! It’s safe. Kids can pretty much ride around without fear. Several houses take dogs.

If you can handle the weather, it’s a great destination when you want to stay close to home and still get away. But for now, I’ll just stay home and not pay for the fog we get in our own back yard.


Yokel (TKS) said...

I didn't know anything about this, Suzanne. Sounds interesting. I'm a fog person, myself, so I would have liked it, except that, interestingly enough, the muddy unimproved lots would have been my SAD trigger. Cute looking places to stay, though!

THB (Ellen) said...

At least it didn't pour with rain the whole weekend. THAT would have been sad. We've had so much rain this summer in New England that a lot of vacations have been real washouts.