Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Surfin' Christmas!

(Editors Note: Time off re-charges the battery! I have so much to tell that the break for Christmas has obviously restored my thinking. Look for our posts from here forward to be a bit more regular.)

What do you get when you cross total relaxation with an architectural lesson? Seaside, and WaterColor Florida! Overwhelmingly our family wanted to head to the surf for Christmas, so we packed everyone up and headed to WaterColor. The community is truly remarkable! We had a FANTASTIC time!

My love for architecture and design was totally satiated by just wandering around the development. The history is worth repeating.  Way back in 1946 Robert S. Davis purchased 80 acres along the shore of Northwest Florida as a summer retreat for his family. Two  generations later the kids decided to transform that 80 acres into and old-fashioned beach town of wood framed cottages. They hired Andres Duany and his New Urbanism movement which seeks to end suburban sprawl. The result is charming!

Enter huge paper producer The St. Joe Company who owns hundreds of thousands of acres of timber land around Seaside, and WaterColor was born. Same type of architecture; same basic theory of eliminating urban sprawl; add Southern architecture with a lot of screened porches; and build it all on 499 acres, and you have WaterColor. Think of an oyster that encloses a pearl and you have the idea of WaterColor cloistering the much smaller Seaside right in the center!

Few people drive. Everyone rides bikes! Norman Rockwell himself could pop out from behind a tree to paint a melodic scene of Mom, apple pie, and down home family hospitality! It's a great place to unwind...

We count ourselves privileged and very blessed to have spent some wonderful family time down there! Very hard to come back to reality and get in the groove for 2012. Happy New Year to everyone!

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