The funny thing about moving out of the city is how your point of view changes. We gave up our sweet digs in the Roosevelt neighborhood over a year ago for a pretty amazing opportunity to “work from home” managing an inn just steps from the ocean. The Pacific Ocean. The Olympic Peninsula. Mountains. Wind. And water. In all of it’s ubiquitous forms. I didn’t expect to change much when I moved out of Seattle’s cozy, and busy embrace.
Things have changed. We are employees of a small business. Really small. 10 rooms. My partner and I are in fact the only full-time employees. A lot rests on us, but this is not a stressful job. Our job is to make sure our guests enjoy their time on the beach. For the most part this is easy. Keep the rooms clean, replenish towels and toilet paper, and recommend local places worth a visit. Together with the owners and a rag-tag (in an endearing way) group of handy helpers, we’ve spent the last year polishing up the rooms to the point of being quaint and cozy without feeling harsh and sterile. This is a real beach spot. All of your senses are overwhelmed with the presence of the Pacific. Like it or not, that tumultuous beauty is always there.
Pacific Beach is special. It is not a sea-port with a history filled with jewels and and busy grandure. This town is from logging. From fishing. It also stands shoulder to shoulder with Tahola and Moclips. This is a colorful and gritty (again, with endearment) beach town filled with people who move out here for a reason. It’s different here. Island-like. Every business is a small business because PB is too small for corporations and franchises to even take notice.
At first John and I felt like we had been let in on a huge secret. No one knows about this place! A town of our own! To build as we see fit! Mold in our palms! We could make this place GREAT! If only we had ___. Or a __!
We learned Pacific Beach is already great. Towns are not built by people with crazy schemes and deep pockets. Those are just buildings. Storefronts. Facades. Villages and towns are made with people. The quality of those people directly affects the foundation of a town. Sturdy, interesting people with a good dose of weird are holding Pacific Beach together. The paint is weathered, but if you were battered by an ocean every day and night you wouldn’t look so shiny and new either.
I cannot say Pacific Beach has something for everyone. This is a quiet beach town with a huge stretch of ocean to wander. This is a town where the locals talk about everyone’s business. This is the kind of vacation town where kids grow up visiting and then come back as retirees. This is a town where the local kiteshop/coffeeshop/souvenir shop is where you can find someone who can take a look at your car. Or fix your electricity. This is a town where the local kids go razor clam digging and will clean and pack a limit and sell it to you like lemonade for under $20. People live here. There aren’t a lot of people, but with this much flavor packed in each, you don’t need to add too many. I am grateful to be part of this community, for however long we stay here. My only hope before we leave is to let out the secret of Pacific Beach, Washington.
Just a little bit…