Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sandy Calls with several possible Cottage Finds!

We were excited to hear from Sandy. She emailed us a few listings and we made plans to go to Tybee for a quick trip. We decided we wanted to stay on the north quiet end of the Island and starting looking for a cottage to rent. We knew our budget would not be enough for beach property. We were hoping for something near or on the marsh since we love birding and kayaking. We found Mermaid Cottages.com and proceeded to look through the cute cottages on the web site. We got even more excited as we looked at the pictures of the cottages. We decided on a one bedroom on the marsh. Fiddler on the Creek...even the name was cute! All of the cottages had their own personality and name. Most were pet friendly which we found interesting. We have family and friends who like to take their dogs and they always struggle finding a nice place that will allow pets. We planned on staying 3 days and making the most of our time with Sandy. We called Sandy when we arrived and she asked where we were staying...she was surprised we were staying on Campbell since she lived very near by! We agreed to meet after lunch. She suggested we try the North Beach Grill near the lighthouse beach. She mentioned they had awesome Carmel Cake. We had lunch and made sure to take Sandy a slice of that cake she had suggested. We had not met and had only talked on the phone but we clicked right off. She was surprised we thought to bring her the cake and she surprised us with a CD of her singing group the Girl Friends! We quickly toured a variety of properties and most were pretty dismal. We had pretty much given up the search and would be leaving the next morning. Diane Kaufman owner of Mermaid Cottages pushed us a little further down the slippery slope by calling and offering us an " free " night at Fiddler on the Creek since we were there and it wasn't booked...how nice...but we probably would go on back home. Sandy changed all that when she called with what turned out to be the perfect Cottage for us...So we had lots of help sliding down that slope...John, Sandy, Diane, and then it dawned on me that some of the cottages on the Mermaid Cottage site looked familiar. I have been a long time fan of Southern Living, Cottage Living and Coastal Living Magazines. Diane mentioned that many of the Cottages had been decorated by Jane Coslick and they were featured in many of these magazines...that was WHY they looked familiar! Well that was the final push that nudged me over the edge into middle age Cottage Crazy!

Now we had thoughts of all the additional expenses that accompany a second home...especially one seven hours away that we could not use but a few weeks and weekends during the year. I started thinking about renting the Cottage. Mike was not a fan of the idea at first. We talked to Diane and decided we were up for trying it. I was concerned that we needed to make our Cottage stand out since we were not right on the beach. It seemed to me the way to go would be to at least talk with Jane Coslick about what working with her would entail. We made plans to meet Jane. We had decided to paint the entire inside of the Cottage white...it was currently quite dirty and every room was a different color. We also had some mold on the bathroom ceiling and it would have to be replaced not a job for novices. Sandy introduced us to Eric from Coastal Handyman Services. Eric was a jewell! We hired him by phone based on Sandy's recommendation. He replaced the bathroom ceiling and started the painting before we even closed on the Cottage. When we arrived for our first visit the Cottage needed a heavy duty cleaning but the ceiling was already replaced and the painting had begun. We brought a bed and a couple of chairs so we could camp out at the cottage while we cleaned, cleaned, cleaned, and cleaned some more. We were exhausted but as things cleaned up and smelled fresh again we were more and more sure that we had done the right thing. The light coming in the Cottage was awesome and we had a nice partial view of the marsh and could see when the tide was in or out...sounds silly but that and being able to see herons, egrets, and wood storks was just so cool. We brought our bikes and were able to ride on the beach. We took time out for lunch at the Sundae Cafe...the oysters were to die for! On the way back we noticed a nature trail that led out to a long walk into the marsh. The trail was named for Sally Pearce and we were amazed at how much public access their was to the beach and marsh on Tybee compared to other places like Kiawah and Sanibel Island. The beach even had old fashion wooden porch swings every so often on the beach. We walked up to the north beach and watched the sunrise each morning. Since the swings were there we didn't need to take chairs. We drank our coffee in the swing and watched the birds start to wake right before the sunrise. It was quiet, beautiful and much warmer than it was back home on Windy Gap Mountain in Virginia. Our only problem...we had to head back home after three days and we didn't want to go. We met Eric and discussed the painting and a couple of additional projects that the home inspection had turned up. Eric promised to call with an estimate and we reluctantly headed home...

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