Saturday, May 3

Saturday Morning Musings: George Clooney, Gloucester and Oceanfront Style

I have always been drawn to water….sort of like a horse in that way. I am always happiest when I am at the beach or out on a lake or when I can jump in a pool. It instantly puts me at ease. My love for water is undoubtedly tied to the years I spent in Gloucester, MA where my grandparents lived when I was a kid. My grandfather was the President of Gorton's…you know the fish stick people. I can still hear the jingle in my head but I am not so sure he really does look that trustworthy.

Gloucester itself is one of the best towns in the country (in my humble opinion). It's an incredible mix of fishermen and fabulousness - if you can imagine! It was also the location of a massive storm in 1991 that was written about by Sebastian Junger in the book The Perfect Storm and then made into a movie staring the newly engaged George Clooney.  Probably once a week, I use the line from the movie when Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio screams to George Clooney "Your headed right into the middle of the monster!!!" That seems especially appropriate this week. Poor George. He just had no shot against that giant wave or a pretty British attorney apparently. 

I digress (it's Saturday after all).  My grandparents bought a house in Gloucester on Hesperus Avenue and I will always remember the drive there and how when we got close my Dad would turn off the radio and roll down the windows so we could smell the ocean air and hear the seagulls. Here's a picture of the house from above. 

I have strong memories of climbing down on the rocks with my parents and my siblings, late nights on the screened in porch listening to the sound of the buoys ringing and playing kick the can with the few other kids that lived nearby. It really was an amazing place. Here's a picture of the little island off the coast of their house called Norman's Woe. 
And here's a picture of me and my sister Shannon in living room with Norman's Woe in the background. She's the pretty one btw! Also living in London, but alas not a lawyer. Also, not marrying George Clooney. That may be in part due to the clothes my mother made for us. I am fairly certain this was a tablecloth before it became dresses. 

My grandmother had great style and taste and the house was elegant and formal without being stuffy. It didn't hurt that every room had a gorgeous view of the Atlantic Ocean. They moved to Florida in the 1990s and I have pined for Fiddler's Green (the house had a name!) ever since. It has been sold a few times and one of the owners did fantastic work including a wrap around porch and a garage. I hope it is always taken care of and well loved. 

Someday I hope we will own a waterfront home - not likely in Massachusetts since my husband hates the Red Sox with a passion but maybe somewhere near where we live in Washington, DC.  I spend a lot of time daydreaming about how I would decorate that house.  Here's one house I absolutely drool over. It's by a builder in Cape Cod called Polhemus Savery DeSilva (try saying that 10 times fast). 

There isn't a room in the house that doesn't have stunning views of the ocean. And I love how the decor makes that the focal point in every space. I also really love their use of pastels with just a few spots of bold color here and there. It's pretty much perfect in every way…to quote Mary Poppins. Here's another one from the same builder.

I am pretty sure I'd be a better person if I woke up in that bed every morning. Here's one that I am not sure I can believe. It's Richard Gere's home in Bridgehampton, NY which is on the market for $56 MILLION DOLLARS!  Can' you believe that? I mean it's gorgeous but I am pretty sure you can buy a small country for that amount of money. Heck, you might even be able to buy George for that amount of money. 

Here is one that is currently for sale in Gloucester for $4.8M which, you know, is way way WAY outside the realm of my possibilities, but a steal compared to Richard Gere's place. 

So now you know what I am dreaming of.  Oh…I almost forgot about the one part of Gloucester that was a NIGHTMARE instead of a dream.  This totally bizarre place called Hammond Castle which was like a mile down the road from my grandparents house. It was one FREEEAKY place that I still don't fully understand. Apparently some dude in the 1920s built it as a wedding gift for his wife.  Why? No one will ever know (or maybe they do…but it's still so weird). I know you are going to say that you think it looks pretty but trust me SUPER creepy!

My sister (the pretty one) and I used to lie in our beds at night and tell horrible ghost stories about that weird castle which we could see from our room. Here's a picture of that pretty space that my mom just shared with me. 

Safe to say the ghost stories scarred for life.  I wonder if someone told George Clooney scary wedding stories when he was a kid?  Anyway...the Man At The Wheel told me to go start my day. And I trust him!