What it’s really like to live on the beach – and a #giveaway

By Liz, who can’t tear herself away from the windows these days

Those of you who know me well may remember times when I would wistfully talk about how I would love to live right on the beach, with an office overlooking the ocean – a place where I could constantly create in that amazing water energy. 

Usually, after I said it, I would say something like, “I have no idea how that’s going to happen because I don’t think a multi-million dollar mansion on [insert waterfront area] is in my budget right now.” 

Well, it still isn’t – but somehow I manifested an ocean-front place to live anyway. You guys – don’t ask me how I did it. But here I am. 

I cannot believe I live here. This is the view from my desk.

This will be either very good for my writing career, because I’ll never leave my desk, or it will be very bad because I’ll be staring out the window the entire time. 

I’m a complete beach bum. I’ve been this way my whole life. If you stick me in a chair on the sand with a book and a boogie board, I’ll stay on the beach (and in the water) until someone kicks me off. After having lived a decent drive away from it for so long, having it right at my fingertips is amazing. 

I can’t say enough about having my sliding door open all night, hearing the waves and smelling the salt air. Taking 2-3 walks along the boulevard with the dogs every day. Every time I’m feeling kind of cranky, or overwhelmed, or need a break from working on something, I just step outside for a few minutes and I feel like a new person. 

So all I really wanted to do today is show you pictures of the new spot, since you had to hear me talking about the move so much. I knew life would be way better on the other side!

It really is true – everything’s better in the salt air. 

Readers, what’s your happy place? Leave a comment below. I’ll send one commenter a special gift 🙂

92 Thoughts

  1. The beach is definitely my happy place and also a place to work out any issues I may have just by walking or sitting and listening to the waves does wonder to my inner peace. We moved to SW FL 6 years ago. While not on the beach we are less than 2 miles away and in the evenings when cooling off in the pool we can hear the buoys or something in the harbor ringing. Thank you for this chance. pgenest57 at aol dot com

  2. I love sitting beside a mountain lake. Beautiful view and so soothing.

  3. Gloucester, MA is my happy place. Years ago we got a little condo a block from Good Harbor Beach and the Atlantic Ocean. I’m not a huge fan of loud, busy weekend beach days – but being by and near the ocean helps me breathe. Seeing the sunlight sparkle off the deep blue sea makes me feel connected to the rest of the world. I know that no matter what time of day or year, there are others drawn to the same view, taking a minute to breathe and just be.

  4. Liz, it’s amazing and beautiful. I’m jealous! I live ten miles from the beach and don’t go nearly enough. Congratulations. Julie and I will have to meet you there for a walk on the beach.

  5. Congratulations, Liz! After traveling for years, living in different countries, and wishing I never had to climb aboard another airliner, I’m blessed to live in a historic 1906 building at the top of the hill country in central Texas. Small-town quiet agrees with me, and exiting our front door to walk my dog along Main Street lifts my spirit. BTW: My wife and I tell friends we’re “loft living in the country.”

  6. Hi, Liz! I have a number of friends and a few relatives who live on or very near beaches mostly in modest houses or condos, (not that I would be opposed to a mansion, were I given one!)
    I have been landlocked for far too long.
    It all looks wonderful. I am glad for you.

  7. What a wonderful new home! Hope you enjoy it for years to come. When I retire, I’d love to live near a beach.

  8. Like you, we often talked about how we would love to live in our happy place. For us, it was the mountains. It was a place we took vacations, a place that was always relaxing and a place we dreamed of some day living.

    After retiring and thinking we had all our ducks in a row, it was ME (Ms. Can’t Stand Change) that suggested that we make our dreams a reality. Did we really want to trade off everything we knew and that was paid for to start over in a place we had only taken week long trips to? When the answer came back YES, we took the plunge. We downsized, sold out and built our dream home on a fabulous small acreage that fit us to a tee.

    Five years later and I still have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. Best decision of our lives for sure. It’s still as peaceful and beautiful today as it was on our first vacation to the Ozark Mountains. Now we don’t have to pack a bag to get her and we don’t have to get that let down feeling because we don’t have to leave.

    Glad you were able to make your dreams come true. Pray that you, like us, continue to live your dream.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  9. Congratulations on your new digs! Your post is inspiring me to jump in the car and head north to my happy place, one particular lake in the High Peaks region of the Adirondack Mountains. I open the car window somewhere north of Saratoga Springs and wait for that first hit of pine-scented air to know I’m “home.”

  10. Wow, that’s amazing!! So happy for you!!! I can just imagine hearing the waves at night. I’m not far from the ocean but don’t get there near often enough.

  11. Congratulations! My dream would be to live in the Texas Hill Country…it is my happy place. I love the history and beauty of the area. cking78503(at)aol(dot)com

  12. Congratulations, Liz! What amazing pictures. Beaches are nice, but I’m a mountain girl. We are vacation-house shopping for a place in the Laurel Higlands and put in an offer on a place just outside Ligonier (I call it a condo without neighbors on land we own). Fingers crossed!

  13. Outside is my favorite. We live near a state park that I go to when I need to reset. I also love going up north and being by the lakes.

  14. I am so happy for you, Liz! The universe always delivers, it’s not our job to ask how, just say thank you.

    My happy place right now is the woods. I love to write surrounded by nature and critters -not so much the Maine black fly, but ya know, it’s all good!

    1. AMEN on that, Kait! It’s taken me this long to figure that out about not knowing the how… And I hear you on the black flies!

  15. My happy place is also the beach. Especially in Newport, on the central Oregon coast. We go there once a year to rejuvenate. A close second is Orcas Island in the San Juans. Congratulations on making your dream come true!

  16. My Happy Place is Pine Point Beach in Scarborough ME. 🙂 i even got married there!

  17. Your post is a coincidence for me. The happy place my mind has retreated to almost all my life is sand dune overlooking Lake Michigan, watching the sun set behind the tiny buildings of faraway Chicago. There is a gentle breeze, and the lake is calm. My dog is beside me. And this morning, wakeful in the early hours, I went to the dune in my mind for the first time in a long time. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Oh, Liz, I’m so happy for you that your dream has come true. I’m more of a mountain or woods person. But I’m delighted that we retired to Lancaster, PA, which is absolutely beautiful. We have created our own little woods around home. We have squirrels, chipmunks, woodchucks, rabbits, opossums, skunks, raccoons, loads of birds, and an occasional fox, coyote, and deer. And no, we do not live way out in the country. We live in suburban neighborhood. Love it, here!

    1. That’s so cool, Ginny. I love the little wild friends too. I used to have a lot of them at one of my old houses. Possums were my fave!

  19. Congratulations, Liz! I have always lived near oceans and still love the beach life. When we decided to downsize, we started to look for locations we could afford to like, but everything was so expensive that we looked for 6 months inland. God brought us to the ideal place in the mountains, up high so we have panoramic views of Tuscany-like scenery below and beyond, and when it is dark, we have open sky and distant lights from southern California towns. We also became avocado and tropical fruit ranchers and have been blessed abundantly, and try to bless abundantly in return. Life is great. On occasion we have to drive 1/2 an hour to get our beach fix, and that fills our hearts and minds for a spell. May you be blessed in your new, fabulous home! Luis at ole dot travel

  20. Congratulations on finding your Shangri-la. My happy place is on my patio. I have two bubbling fountains that run on solar energy and at night it lit up with solar lights and fairy lights. Ther is beautiful flowers planted in containers all around and a beautiful arbor with flowering vines. So very peaceful.

  21. Thank you for sharing the striking pictures of where you are now living. Honestly, their beauty is mesmerizing! I experience my own happy place whenever I take a trip through the little town where I grew up. I see the roads that I used to walk to go to school every day, and I see the church that my family attended and the neighborhood where I grew up.

  22. I love the beach, or water in general, really. The pictures from your place look amazing! I’m jealous.

  23. Liz, like you, I thought I’d never have the dollars for a place on the beach. Where open windows bring breezes and the sound of surf, where sand between my toes happens every day. And then, I did. May you find the joy, the peace, and the fun. Take good care.

  24. Wow, how awesome, Congratulations!! Dreams do come true if we are persistent . I am so very, very happy for you, you finally live where you have wanted to live. It looks beautiful and very peaceful. May you continue to write even more books, now that you are where you belong. Have a great day and a great rest of the week. God Bless you and your family. Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures of the ocean .

  25. I love your new spot! The pandemic has shown to not wait if possible, life is so very short. My happy place varies, but I do like the quiet of the woods and the view over a lake.

  26. How wonderful! I’m so glad you managed to achieve your dream . . . perhaps you’ll write some “how-tos” for others.
    I’m happy with my little house with a little pond and a BIG linden tree . . . and hickories to keep the squirrels fed. I’m glad I made the move from the condo (and others’ noise and smoke) well before the quarantining for COVID. I’m surprisingly content.
    I did read that Dr. Seuss (Geisel) had to cover up the beach-view window in his writing room in order to get any work done. I hope you don’t have to. <3

  27. My happy place is my Sister’s house in Michigan! She lives in a townhouse that backs onto a wetland that can’t be built on and she has a beautiful view from her house and deck. She’s also about four miles from Lake Michigan. I’m hoping to move there in the next year or two.

  28. I’d love to be at the beach full-time and most of my vacations and retreats have been at one. For now, I have a garden to look at, soon from a deck. Thanks so much for the photos. Happy smiles for you achieving your dream place.

  29. My happy place is Edisto Beach in my home state. I absolutely love it…walking on the beach and reading and talking to my sister or whoever’s with me. There’s nothing better!

  30. I have never wished for a beach place to live because I am not an ocean girl. But I love the mountains and when we lived on the ocean in Papua New Guinea I prayed that the Lord would someday put in the mountains. Years later we lived in southern California surrounded by mountains. I loved it, but the move from overseas to the states was a hard transition. Our son was newly divorced and moving in with us and I was over whelmed and worried about him and his two children. So it took a few months before I actually realized one of my prayers was answered. My other prayer was to live close to at least one of our children. Well, that got answered too, our lived with us. Of course there are a ton more details about prayer I learned but the biggest one was being content in whatever God had for me. I have a deep respect for the ocean and even learned to snorkel in Papua New Guinea, beautiful and the most relaxing thing I have ever done in the ocean. I guess the beauty would be to have both, live in the mountains but be able to see the wonder of the ocean. I use to watch rain come across the Bismark Sea to our cove and loved the coolness it brought but knowing all long as soon as the rain left the steamy hot humid heat would hit. My happy place is anywhere really because I have learned to enjoy all of God’s earth and the people everywhere. By the way, we now live in northern Mn., 75 miles from Canada and the only reason is because our daughter and family call this home and she will become our care givers. They had an old cabin on their property and borrow money to fix it up…they live in a single wide trailer and chose us to borrow for us instead of them a bigger place. They are content also and we get to live right next door to another of our children. I am working on a book about forgiveness and often dream of a month long retreat in the mountains with a fireplace over looking a beautiful lake. Your post gives me hope. Blessings.

  31. I live in SoCal, not near the beach, but I love that I can always have windows and my door with a screen open to let the sunshine and breeze in. Although I occasionally like to spend time reading at Starbucks with vente Strawberry refesher, I’m most happy reading at home with a cat – or two- snuggled up to me.

  32. I am SO happy for you! And it really is an amazing view, and building. My happy place is seeing water without a doubt. I don’t have that now, but I do see Boston, and that makes me happy. Congratulations!!

  33. Wow, that is stunningly beautiful! My happy place is definitely a beach with a good book of course! Thanks so much for the chance!

  34. Where is this? For thirteen years, my happy place was sitting on the balcony of the house we rented every year in the Florida Keys looking at the ocean and hearing the birds and smelling the smells and reading a good book with my dog and Hubby Dearest there. Alas. No more.

  35. I enjoy looking at nature. We feed the stray cats and kittens in our neighborhood. The food is put right outside the back door on the wheelchair ramp. I enjoy watching them come and eat. There are two kittens. It is so relaxing watching them play. Thank you so much for sharing.

  36. Home is my happy place. We moved here last year. It is our multigenerational ranch/farm. I never planned to live on a farm or ranch but it is so nice here. I look out my window to see a horse looking back at me or hear a sheep at my front door. How cool is that?

  37. For me, it is the ocean. I remember on past cruises just sitting for long periods of time just watching the water as we sailed further long. So relaxing!

  38. Congratulations on your new home! I grew up on an island so I know what you mean about living near the water. I’m not living close to the ocean anymore, but there is are lakes and a river close by. Those are my happy places now.

  39. An after thought after looking up your books. My daughters youngest, 13 now loves cat, she has 7, among them four new babies, 7 weeks old. Ava Jo is known as the cat whisper, she treats them as if they are human and they follow her everywhere. They are outside cats because her dad and older sister are allergic to cats. Our joy of living next to them is watching her grow through the way she treats her cats. They teach her a lot. Thanks for being a cat lover too.

  40. Love your view, wish I lived on the coast! I live near Puget Sound, so water views are always a happy place.

  41. I love the beach or a water view. Being handicapped not an option any longer. My happy ace is with my husband of 51 rears. He is my caregiver and lives in sickness or in health daily. That is years not rears lol.

  42. Good morning, Liz! First of all, congrats on your new digs! I found this column quite by accident this morning in a newsletter from Edith Maxwell, and was happy for you and your new home. The view is stunning, and hopefully will spark much creativity. I have read Murder Most Fowl, and have just recently purchased Gone But Not Forgotten. My first love is quilting and I know how you feel regarding creativity. The mojo takes vacations every once in a while. We are so happy for you. May you have continued success with your writing and much happiness in your new home. P.S. I know you must get many ‘suggestions’ for ideas for new stories, but would love to see one of your mysteries with a quilt shop theme. Quilt shops and cats go very well together! Take care, Liz.

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