Idyll-by-the-Sea® One in Seaside, Florida|
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10 Great Getaways: #6 Surf's Up
Jackie the German Shepherd Dog spends his winters swimming in the Gulf
of Mexico, chasing balls on the sand of the Florida Panhandle, and
exploring the pine forests that surround the idyllic town of Seaside.
He sleeps in a luxurious four-bedroom beach-front home. Luckily,
his owners, Carol and Jerry, willingly share this little piece of paradise
with other dogs.
"People don't believe we allow dogs because it's such a nice house,"
Carol says. "But a well-behaved dog it just as much a member of the
family as anyone else."
Located right on the beach in Seaside, a pastel-colored town where the
The Truman Show
was filmed, Idyll-by-the-Sea has many
amenities for canine guests -- from dog biscuits in the welcome basket
to a special doggie shower (with warm and cold water) on the deck.
Dogs are allowed on Walton County beaches on mornings and evenings
with a permit. The sugar-white sand and calm, blue waters make this
one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Nearby Point Washington
State Park offers leashed dogs plenty of room to roam and nice afternoon
-- Phil Davis
Article Copyright © 2001 by Fancy Publications Inc.
A Seaside Utopia in Florida
In the movie, "The Truman
Show," Jim Carrey's character, Truman, lives in a utopian community,
unaware he was being filmed 24 hours a day. That visionary village really
exists. Seaside, Florida, where much of the movie was filmed, lies on
the Gulf of Mexico in Florida's panhandle, tucked between Grayton Beach
and Seagrove Beach. Pet owners can't rent Truman's house (though you can
photograph its exterior), but lucky dogs and their owners can stay in
a gorgeous waterfront $2-million plus vacation home. It's virtually the
only Seaside rental that will accept pets.
Idyll-by-the-Sea is a vacation rental cottage (it's really too luxurious
to be called a cottage) owned by Carol Irvine, Jerry Jongerius and their
German Shepherd Dog, Jackie. They are happy to rent their little Shangri-La
to owners of perfectly behaved pooches. The home's hardwood floors tolerate
sandy paws and dog sheets are provided to protect the furnishings. And
Idyll-by-the-Sea is well furnished, indeed. You can tell the owner's
business is antiques and interior design. The beach house is a comfortable
mix of new and old, with just the right touch of whimsy for a relaxed feel.
Thankfully, there's not a shred of Salvation Army style that pervades many
rental units I've leased over the years. Of course, the rental fee reflects
this. Idyll-by-the-Sea goes for $724-$874 per night.
Downstairs, the house has four bedrooms (thick down mattresses, fine
linens, remote-control fans and lights, and a fireplace in the master),
each with its own bath; a hot tub and hammock on the screened porch;
and a lovely herb garden you may take advantage of in the small yard
enclosed by the ubiquitous Seaside fence. While Iggy was exploring
the courtyard, we discovered it was not fenced all the way
around. Our escape artist bolted and headed right into traffic on
Hwy 30-A. I got quite a tour of Seaside's back yards while chasing my
Back at the house, we headed upstairs to survey the main living area
(it's upstairs to catch the breezes and the view above the vegetation
along the dune line). The stairs lead to a comfy sitting area.
Accoutrements include fireplace, board games, TV, VCR and tapes (yes,
even The Truman Show), and a custom davenport/chaise/bed that's to die
for. Enclosing this room is a wall of windows framing the Gulf view.
The sitting area is separated from the dining area and fully equipped
kitchen (a dishwasher's a must on vacation, in my book) with a
fantastically carved wood frieze along the ceiling. Outside is a huge
porch -- with eating table and enough lounging chairs for man and
beast -- where we spent the majority of our time. Yes, there are a few
casual restaurants in Seaside where your dog may help you enjoy a
sandwich, but we couldn't tear ourselves away from our Idyll, choosing
to eat virtually every meal on the lovely second-story porch, stirring
in the sea breeze as the final delicious ingredient to our feasts.
Idyll guests may opt to purchase passes to Seaside Swim and Tennis Club.
The pass also gets you equipment for the croquet courts, where you may go
enjoy the nearby shade while you whack croquet balls through wickets
under the broiling Florida sun.
Architecture buffs will want to be sure to bring plenty of film and
fresh batteries for their cameras (you can't get unusual-sized
replacements in the village, I found). Not a camera buff? Not to
worry; you can hardly take a bad photo in Seaside. The sherbet
colored homes, the unique fences bordering each property, the
architectural details all make for supremely satisfying pictures.
And the town, consisting of only 80 acres, is eminently walkable.
Besides the fanciful vacation homes, Seaside also has some charming
shops, including an open-air market, selling wares from clothing to
beach toys. Grab your leash, your dog and your camera and explore
the charming brick streets. Maybe you'll snap an award-winning photo.
-- Wendy Ballard
Reprinted with the permission of the publisher
Article Copyright © 2000 by DogGone