Crazy Al’s Beach Shack

7 Nov

J did great. He planned a simple overnight trip to a tiny beach town called Coupeville on Whidbey Island. He found a comfortable, quirky place to shack up. It was slightly nerve-wracking making our way up the long gravel driveway, which was lined with the occasional abandoned toilet and a pen containing attack goats, according to the sign on the fence.


When we arrived at the house, it became clear that the selling point of this property is the view of Puget Sound, as the house sits right on the bluff. The view was stunning. After we spent a few minutes awkwardly standing around taking in the crazy birdhouses and rock formations surrounding the house, Al walked over and introduced himself to us and welcomed us into his home.


Al is a collector and curator of the craziest, most interesting, zany items you’ve likely ever seen in one place (including the aforementioned toilets, of which there are many throughout the property). Our personal decorating aesthetic was pretty much the exact opposite of Al’s. But to his credit, the entire place was spotless and organized. It’s fair to say that J and I were both overwhelmed at first, but it didn’t take long to acclimate.


Al is a lifetime subscriber to Playboy. He had a plaque signed by Hugh Hefner to prove it. He told us about a couple who left the property only 30 minutes after arriving because they found his Playboy collection offensive. I was more offended by the 1970s-era gold and red velour beanbags. I mean, really. Just think about all the shenanigans those beanbags have been involved in throughout the years.


Al reminded me of my late Grandpa Burt. Al and Burt share a love of odd objects, like the buoys that lined Al’s carport. Al takes care of the property by himself, which is quite a feat considering how beautifully it was landscaped. It reminded me of the summers I spent as a little girl running through my Grandpa’s perfectly manicured gardens that were dotted with colored sea glass balls and other quirky found objects.


J and I reveled in the quiet and peace. We didn’t do much besides talk long walks with Stella and linger over meals. It was just what we needed. Thanks for my birthday trip, J. You’re the best.


More on our trip to come later this week!

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