Laura Haley-McNeil

3/4/18, The Beach House

Hello, Everyone!

It’s March! Spring is almost here. Every year, I buy a limited ski pass. Because of my day job, I can’t take off too much time from work, so I only ski a few times a year. Everyone else in my family is self-employed or retired so they have season passes and ski from November through April. I have at last used up all my ski passes and am now ready to focus on a summer, or spring, vacation. I had wanted to travel to Spain and Portugal but am having trouble justifying the expense. If I’m going to cross the pond, I have to visit both countries. I see no point in only visiting one when the other is next door. And I studied Spanish, though I haven’t spoken the language in decades. I had thought to hire a tutor to help me relearn the language, but am having trouble finding the time and then there’s the expense.

As I struggled through this dilemma, I learned that my niece’s boyfriend’s family owns a beach house in Alabama and they rent the house. It’s near the beach, which isn’t a plus for me as my husband isn’t fond of hanging out on the beach. I’m originally from California, so whenever I can get near the water, I’m heaven. The house is about 3 hours from New Orleans, another favorite city of mine, so I’d want to visit there, but would have to stay there because 6 hours driving back and forth doesn’t leave a lot of time to accomplish research or touring or just hanging out in the French Quarter. As I reviewed the amenities of the house and tried to plan an itinerary, thought of the movie Nights in Rodanthe. If you haven’t seen that movie, put it on your list. I haven’t read the book, based on a story by Nicholas Sparks, but the movie was well done about two wounded people who heal in a marvelous way. the themes of the book are love and sacrifice. Am I enticing you yet? I never expected the ending so I don’t want to spoil it for you, but the movie is definitely worth watching.

What really intrigued me about the movie was the beach house. It’s an amazing structure. I have to think the front team for the movie must have searched the coast high and low to find this perfect house. It’s so amazing it’s almost a character itself. I started thinking about this beach house in Alabama and thought what a perfect place to set a story. The south is one of my favorite places to visit. I love the food and I love the people. The history is filled with stories of very interesting people. Already my mind is churning with ways to make this story work. About twenty years ago, I actually wrote a story about a beach house. though, I threw it away, I still remember parts of it and am now considering reviving it. a trip to the beach house is just the inspiration I need to make this work.

I hope your 2018 has an amazing start and that you have a vacation to look forward to. have a fabulous week!