Jacqui Boland says her discovery of Seaside is rather unconventional. She, a New Yorker, and Pete, her British husband, had considered their regular vacation spots to be the Jersey Shore and Cape Cod in the U.S., and European beach towns including the Isle of Wight and Southampton.
Jacqui and Pete met in San Francisco, and spent many a weekend driving along the California coast, contemplating where they’d like to spend their future together. “It was so beautiful and scenic, but we felt like we were not participants,” she explains. “The ocean is cold with a rough surf. It was great for Pete as a sailor, but since my son and I couldn’t even get in the water, we felt like spectators.”
As a fan of architecture and design, Jacqui had seen photos and articles about Seaside, Fla., in magazines. “I had been to Florida a couple of times, and my perception of it was rows of high-rise condos. I didn’t think Florida was for me. But I was interested in reconciling Seaside with the rest of Florida that I’d been to. So I dragged Pete to Seaside to check off my list.”
Immediately, Jacqui and Pete realized this was a different kind of Florida while visiting Seaside with their son Jamie during Memorial Day week in 2012. “That was it for us,” she says. “For Pete, it checked off the boxes, and we bought a cottage within six months.”
They first purchased a vacation cottage called Three Summer Days, which was a nice cottage designed for their short-term stay. But when they moved here fulltime in 2016, the family needed more space, and purchased Into The Blue on Seaside Avenue. Both Jacqui and Pete work fulltime from home. She recently sold her company, Red Tricycle, a digital media company, to Tinybeans, a mobile app that helps connect families and create memories. She’s now chief marketing officer (CMO) at Tinybeans. Pete works as CMO for Kelly, a global workforce management company based out of Detroit. Their son Jamie attends Seaside Neighborhood School.
Also part of the family are the Bolands’ two dogs, one labradoodle and one goldendoodle, named Dipper and Marshmallow. “Of course, Gracie (Seaside founders Robert and Daryl Davis’ dog) is the queen of Seaside. And Dipper and Marshmallow are her subjects,” Jacqui says. “Everyday at 5 o’clock we do a tour of some of the Seaside stores, where they enjoy getting a treat.”
Even though Seaside is generally considered vacation destination, the Bolands have easily made this town their fulltime home. “There are a lot of kids spread out in the community, living in WaterColor and Seagrove. Jamie is on the tennis team and enjoys social interaction through school,” she adds. “And when you live in a vacation destination, friends and family visit all the time. Our house is always full.”