I decided to take off the first week of the year, so I found us this amazing house on AirBnB and it’s right on the beach, literally IN the sand, less than 50 yards from the waves. I love the house so much, you guys, even though it feels like it was assembled from pieces of lesser beach houses, like it’s some kind of freaky Franken Beach House where the shabby-chic white-washed pine ceilings don’t exactly go with the weird panels in the bathroom that are clearly painted-over grasscloth wallpaper. But the whole place is beautifully renovated and has a lovely, well-equipped kitchen that looks straight out to sea. Our view to the ocean is phenomenal from just about every room in the house, obstructed only by the mini-excavator perched atop the giant sand dune next door, where they’re pouring the foundation for a new house.
Pacific City is already my new home at the beach. It’s not super commercial. There aren’t any of those kitschy gift shops or places to where tourists can buy life-sized wood carvings of black bears catching salmon. It’s just the place you bring your family year after year after year. It’s the Kellerman’s of beach towns, where nobody puts Baby in the corner. It's a drive-on beach; big 4x4's with trailers carry dories out to the sea at seemingly random intervals and there are ALWAYS surfers. It makes me a happy camper.
I think I love it so much because I grew up feeling like Santa Cruz was in my blood, we were there so often I feel like I grew up there. Being on those beaches always made me feel like a lighter, younger, happier version of myself, even when I was only ten. Some of my best memories happened in the Pacific. So I’m hoping it’s not too late to keep bringing my kids here every chance I get until they know that climbing the mile-high dune at Cape Kiwanda is the secret to eternal youth.
Alex is somewhere on the hill in this picture from 2015:
The house itself is a tribute to the beach house my parents owned while we were growing up (although subtract half a million for it being the Oregon Coast and not California, a fact that only makes me love it that much more). Same wicker furniture, same shell-shaped brass reading lamp, and this framed print, which I feel like I've seen a million times if I've seen it once:
(And obviously me in a bathrobe taking the picture.)
The washing machine is the loudest one I've ever heard and there's so much sand in every crevice of this house that I'm sure it would fall down without it and I mentioned the bobcat in the back yard, right? But still. This place is perfect. We're not even half-way done with our time here yet and I already can't wait to come back.