“Don’t wait, go for it, life is short.” That is exactly what Bridey Meinecke’s mother, who was in a losing battle with cancer at the time, told her when she was deciding to buy a home in Seaside in May of 2011.
Now Meinecke uses this advice whenever someone tells her they want to buy a house on the beach.
But her Seaside story didn’t start there.
In 1993 and fresh out of college, Meinecke found herself struggling financially while working for an advertising firm in New Orleans. The family that she would babysit for throughout her time at Louisiana State University knew that she was being paid as an entry level employee and offered to help out.
They convinced Meinecke to take a vacation day on Friday and spending the weekend with their family in a place they described as a “quaint beach town.” Meinecke would spend her days helping with the children on the beach and her nights watching them while the parents went out to eat. Meinecke thought, “only four and a half hours away and her own bedroom plus getting paid to sunbathe?” This sounded like what this college graduate needed. When she got there, Meinecke was immediately in awe of Seaside, the community, the beach, and serene feeling it left her with. And, she knew she would one day be a homeowner in this beach town.
In short, to own a house in Seaside became her dream.
Five years after that first trip, Meinecke was married with a one-year old and her family took their first vacation to Seaside. After a week of enjoying the cobblestone streets, the fresh air, the beautiful beaches, and priceless time together, her husband was easily convinced to share Bridey’s passion for the community. They agreed to change the family vacation to the week of July 4th every year and that it would be in Seaside.
In 2011, Meinecke’s dream became reality.
They bought a house and renamed it “Blessings by the Sea,” and Seaside has since become a constant in Meinecke’s life. This year makes the 20th consecutive for her family of 5 to enjoy Seaside.
Meinecke and her husband, Gerald, aspire to eventually become full time Seaside residents but for now they still commute frequently from Texas to their second home in the beach town they love.
In 2016 she began working with the Homeowner’s Collection, which is a new concept for rental management not only in Seaside but throughout the country. Bridey and the owners of the other homes on this rental program own the company. They are all shareholders. Bridey is now the director of marketing for the Seaside company. Meineke was attracted to Homeowner’s Collection because of her vested interest in the company’s success and the group’s commitment to the founding principles of the Seaside community. The company is exclusive to Seaside and has grown to 70 plus cottages in only 5 years.
Now whenever she is in town—for business or pleasure–Meinecke occasionally comes across families on vacation who have brought along a babysitter like she once was. She tells them her story and shares a laugh, leaving them thinking that just maybe one day they will become a Seaside homeowner, too.
Homeowner’s Collection is a rental company founded and owned by a group of homeowners in Seaside, Florida and features numerous personal touches for each guest they host.