Posted by: beachchairandabook | July 31, 2012

Beach Towns, My Heart and the Sea



A few weeks ago, on the way back from Hampton, two friends and I took a detour and stopped for seafood outside of Colonial Beach, Virginia. All three of us are beach lovers, and since we were so close to the town itself, we decided to take a look.  As it turned out, that Sunday was the second day of the Colonial Beach Blues Society’s Rock and Blues Festival.

Across from the beach vendors sold handcrafted seashell and glass art, roasted nuts, cotton candy and colorful, tie dyed beach wear. As we walked, looked and listened, I was reminded of why I love a beach town. Here, in no particular order, are my reasons:

  1. You don’t have to ask “where do locals eat (or drink)?” Every place is local!
  2. Instead of Prada, Michael Kors or Beyonce’s signature scent, the reigning fragrance is undiluted sunscreen.
  3. A sundress is as dressed up as it gets.
  4. The small shops and their beach-themed wares. Even though the nearest palm tree might be four states away, you can take home sea-shells, starfish, “welcome to paradise” wall art made from distressed wood, tropical glass and tableware as reminders of life at the beach.
  5. The long, wide pier that stretches from the beach and out over the water. People fish from it, families walk on it. Live music might be played from it but there is no one trying to sell a fake tattoo or a pirate hat.
  6. The cottages and beach houses where you can trek sand, sleep on the screened porch, cook corn on the cob and crabs, watch a beautiful morning sun with a cup of coffee and in the evening marvel over a spectacular sunset with friends, your favorite drink or an ice cold beer.

I have absolutely nothing against the carefully crafted luxury of certain beach resorts. They serve their purpose. I’ve been there, done that and will do it again.  But my heart and soul surrender to the pull of small waterside retreats where serene, relaxed, real life is lived all year round.  In each of them, I’ve found this verse on engraved on seashells, plaques, notecards and picture frames: “My heart will always be in a cottage by the sea.”  That’s the truth. It’s the reason why, in nearly every room of my house, there’s a picture of a palm-shaded beach cottage with a porch, a small table and two chairs facing the water.

Where is your sanctuary?



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