I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time. Sundays to me are for taking long relaxing drives down a coastal highway…the wind in your hair, windows rolled down & music turned up….worries an ignored notion that can wait until Monday. My friend Emily and I had that perfect kind of Sunday this past weekend.
I am lucky enough to come from a barrier island; a narrow spit of land between the Atlantic Ocean and Florida’s intracoastal waterway to be topographically accurate. A long stretch of 2 laned road called A1A acts as our primary and for the most part, only thoroughfare, allowing willful drivers a scenic cruise along Florida’s eastern coast. South of Delray Beach, this main commuter vein becomes congested with traffic, just another conduit from point A to point B. Alternately, as you accelerate north, specifically around Vero Beach and above, it’s almost as if the clock slows down as your odometer goes up. Gliding flocks of white birds replace neon Cheesecake Factory signs and a backdrop of overgrown sea grapes become the new skyline. All of a sudden you find yourself easing your foot off the gas pedal, distracted by the slide show of quirky waterfront homes, each with their own personality. Who knew spanish tile-stucco-wrought iron revival wasn’t a mandatory McMansion blueprint? Brevard County, Florida’s Space Coast, that’s who. But not because it’s trying-because it’s not trying.
First time visitors especially city slickers, might be surprised at the lack of anything at all commercial or convenience purposed. I’m just saying, this is not a stretch of state road you embark on with an empty gas tank or full bladder; it’s primarily residential. This lifestyle is not for everyone. If you are the type of person that needs a Starbucks every morning and enjoys a posh martini bar every night, KEEP DRIVING. No, this is not a place where modern civilization is applauded, quite the contrary; this is a place where you can escape the hustle and bustle. It’s not even escaping, it’s completely forgetting or even caring about it. The simple beauty and somehow still preserved naivety of central Florida’s barrier island is it’s own thing. It isn’t as faced paced, high tech or with the times as it’s future obsessed neighboring cities to South, it never will be and it never wants to be. This place has no need for an instagram filter.
The miles and miles of nothing but waterfront homes does present one location specific challenge however: giving directions to a house can be vague when the only point of reference is “The 372nd driveway on the left”. That’s where residents started getting creative. At least that’s my take on it although I also hypothesize that eventually a little bit of competitive spirit came into play. Thankfully, this is a competition where everyone wins! The homeowners are able to make their property stand out and express themselves creatively, drivers passing through town witness a whimsical break in the road sign monotony, and the most fortunate United States Postal Service worker on the planet surely laughs his way through his day.
If you never have the chance to drive from Sebastian Inlet to Ocean Avenue in Melbourne Beach, I hope you can at least enjoy the photo diary I’ve named ‘Coastal Postal’. I wanted to document these little beauties not only because they bring me great joy, but because I believe 10 years from now, snail mail will sadly be a thing of the past. Everything will become digitalized, e-mailed, auto-dropped and hash tagged. And one day I will be sitting in a Starbucks, next to a Cheesecake Factory, telling a child the story of how when I was younger, we could put a little stamp on a letter and a man would deliver it anywhere in the world and they will not believe me. I just hope that Melbourne Beach is the last place that happens to. xo
I have no idea what this is, but I think “amazing” is an accurate enough description.
I hope he gets all his messages in a bottle
This is not the gateway to a popular locals only surf break. There are never waves here and there are tons of sharks.
How much to do you want to bet they have a monthly subscription to Architctural Digest.
Fun people live here, in case you were wondering
It’s a PVC flamingo. I mean….I never would have thought of it myself, but now I can’t imagine life without it.
IT JUST FEELS RIGHT
If you put your ear up to it you can hear the ocean….but that might be because this house is on the ocean
I just. can’t . EVEN. this little f*%er is so cute it hurts
this is awkward. somebody give him a Xanax
Georgia O’Keefe’s beach house
No Solicitors. Or junk mail.
Just your standard manatee wearing an apron. Normal
He’s cool. Like, I want to hang out with him on weekends.
Best in Show.
Support a single mother. Send sardines.
Hangin’ with the bouys!
“They just have a certain ambience about their mailbox” -Emily Klein
He takes his job very seriously
That’s just aggressive. How many people live there? I feel like they’re upset about it.
FUN FACT: this is an actual navigational point for mariners. Guiding sailors home since ’97
No new friends. all applications returned to sender, don’t even bother
Now the last mailbox of the day was a little freaky. Emily, the friend I was on this adventure with also works on boats and is one a select few girls in what we like to call the Mermaid Girl club. It’s not a magical as it sounds, we call ourselves mermaids because we are literally maids on the ocean, cleaning boats for a living. Obviously we were ecstatic when at the end of our day we came upon a Mermaid Mailbox! But imagine my surprise when I got close enough to take the photo I noticed it said something very familiar on the tail…………….I think it was a sign that the Universe enjoyed Coastal Postal as much as I did 😉