Greetings from Avalon, NJ!
JG and I have taken a pseudo long weekend away (Friday afternoon through Sunday night) thanks to the generosity of our friends with a beach house here. The weather’s great and a seafood dinner is on tap for tonight, but, oh, let me tell you about the house.
Our friends are pretty well off and they’ve always been really great about sharing what they have, like hosting fun parties and helping people move (i.e. yours truly). When they heard that I was concerned about not having vacation time with JG by myself, their first reaction was, “Borrow our beach house! Let us know when you want it!” Needless to say, we were stunned at the offer, and gladly took them up on it.
When JG and I drove up the street to look for the house, we were expecting one of those single-story, we’re-just-sleeping-here-in-between-beach-trips houses, because honestly, even though our friends live comfortably, beach property, even a couple of blocks off the water, is freaking expensive. Plus, we know that they don’t rent the house out, ever, so it wasn’t like they were bringing in extra money. We crawled along the street, craning at house numbers, and oh my goodness. There was #249.
A beautiful, yellow house with its own driveway welcomed us, and we gaped at the wide, wrap-around porch and picturesque wooden rockers. JG unlocked the door, and we explored what we learned was a 5-bedroom, 5.5-bath house, complete with a full kitchen (granite countertops, gas range, pull-out trash bin, oh my!), outside shower, one-car garage, two living rooms, a wet bar, and master suite perched on its own third story. Our room, the “green guestroom” was leaps and bounds nicer than our room at home, with a king-sized bed and full bath with a double sink (!). Best of all, the house is decorated with fish of all kinds – ceramic, glass, wind chimes, tile mosaic – local art of Avalon scenes, and family photos. It is Beach House to the nth degree, and it is unbelievable that we get to use it.
As we walked back out to the car to grab our stuff, JG breathed, “I feel like we’re on Cribs…” We had no idea what we were stepping into, and it is by far the nicest place we have ever stayed. I’m not sure what this place is worth, or when it was built, but there’s a house next door for sale, and they’re asking for a cool $2.8 million. Oh my goodness.
So, what’s the appropriate thank you gift for friends who let you borrow their several-million-dollar house?