Beach Houses

It’s that time of year again…

…the time of year when my parents take their annual vacation to Edisto Island.


Growing up, Edisto was the pinnacle of our summer. We have taken our summer vacations there every year since I was a toddler, and it is one of my favorite places on Earth. When I graduated high school and went off to college, one of the hardest parts was having to give up my two week summer vacation at Edisto every year.

Edisto is one of the most relaxing places I’ve ever been. It is almost completely untouched by commercialization, and you won’t find any hotels or fast food restaurants. Edisto is a quiet, family-oriented island. There are no outlet malls, no jumbo souvenir stores, no calabash seafood restaurants, and absolutely no mini-golf courses.


Houses are a huge part of what makes the beach so unique. Over the years, we have stayed in many different ones, and each one has had different character.

The first house I remember (albeit vaguely) was The Sweat. Probably named that because it DID NOT HAVE A/C!!

What were my parents thinking? Honestly, I’m not even sure. It sounds like misery to me.

It was a really old beach house with hardwood floors and a huge screened porch. Eventually, though, it began to get a little run-down, and my parents decided to look for a different rental.

The Bee’s Hive was another one of those older beach house that didn’t have A/C that we started renting after The Sweat got too rundown. My main memory of this house is the night of the bugs. I’m not sure what happened that night, but all of these prickly caterpillars hatched out and they were crawling all over the house and we just kept finding them…it was like a nightmare!

I know we stayed in one or two different houses after that (the year of the Duplex shall not be mentioned—it was rough—and then there was The Marvin), but the next one that I really remember was The Sun Spot, which is actually across the street from the house we rent now. I loved that house because of a few different reasons. 1) It’s where we realized that if we vacationed a little later (in early September), we could rent a beach house for TWO WHOLE WEEKS for almost the same cost as renting a house for one week in peak season. 2) The house had a loft, which was always where I got to sleep. I loved that loft because if I looked at the window across from my bed, I could see out to the ocean. 3) We first invited our friends, the Greers, to Edisto when we were staying in that house. Catie, Joseph, and I used to wake up before everyone else in the house and head out for bike rides. We made a lot of great memories in that house, including playing penny-poker in the loft (we got in trouble for gambling). Fun fact: I also wrote my first “novel” in that house.

Next up was The Langley. I don’t remember what year this was exactly…2007 or 2006, maybe. I just know that Sneed was in college, and he brought a friend from college: Dave. Sneed and Dave stayed for the first week of vacation, and Dave made the entire trip about 100x more fun that we had ever expected. He was a natural-born comedian, and he kept us laughing the entire time. I remember that he could eat… A LOT! And Mama just kept cooking and cooking, and he just kept eating. The Langley has sense been remodeled, and I don’t think it looks as good, but we sure had some good times in that house.


The year after that, we first began to stay in the Still Hope. Over the years, this house has started to feel like a second home to us. It has every aspect of a beach house that we want—it’s elevated, it has a screened porch, and it has that old, rustic beach-house feel. I love to sit on the back porch and drink my coffee in the morning or curl up on the comfy couch after a long day on the beach. As a family, we’ve created a lot of priceless memories in that house. I’ll never forget when my sister Luci announced that she was pregnant with her first child. One year, on theme-meal night, Mama made Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon and we had French night with French music and French wine. Mama even made us “borrow” some flowers off the neighbors’ bushes for table decoration. That was one of the best meals I have ever eaten, and I’ll never forget it (it was right around the time that Julie & Julia came out).

Having the right beach house can really make a vacation, I think. The newer, bigger houses are beautiful, but I’m happy with our older house that has wood paneling and creaky floors. It has character, I think.

Let me know what you think. Comment below!!

Bye y’all,



  1. Oh Emma! You made me laugh and cry as I remembered those fun, eventful times at Edisto. You should somehow get word to Carolyn about your blog; I think she’d be interested in just how special her beach house is to all of us.


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