It's one of my favorite places to cook, eat, and drink. The location right on the beach makes gathering shellfish easy: we can walk right out the door and collect mussels, oysters and clams, and have them shelled and cooking in a half an hour (longer for mussels, since they have to be cleaned and de-bearded). In good seasons we can also put the crab pot out and have fresh Dungeness, steamed in an old industrial-sized pot on the bulkhead two steps from the beach. A cold plunge in the salt sound after lunch and a bonfire after the sun goes down, and you've got a recipe for heaven.
Birthdays have been a favorite reason to celebrate. My family has hosted birthdays at the beach house for as long as I can remember, and the tradition continues, with friends old and new. There's always plenty of fun and games, but I have to admit that a big part of my visits there have to do with food - creating menus, cooking special dishes, mixing drinks, and just playing freely in the kitchen. One weekend we had a Kung Fu moviefest, and Lexi churned out a 12-course Chinese meal to die for. Other weekends have been one long surf-and-turf grillgasm from start to finish. Not long ago Lexi's significant other brought down a luscious, dark, homebrewed mocha stout for spouse's birthday, to go with ribs so delicious even I enjoyed them... and the list goes on.
These shots are from my 35th birthday (I won't tell you when that happened). They're an introductory sampling of the sort of fare in which we indulge at beach house parties. Trust me, there'll be more of these to come.
I'm a huge fan of Lexi's Angels on Horseback. She usually makes them with oysters, but here she did a variation: big, fat scallops wrapped in bacon, sprinkled with brown sugar and broiled. Yum!
More scallops (I think these ones were steamed with Old Bay seasoning, but I don't recall), along with steamed crayfish.
I think Lexi (and perhaps the spouse) invented this drink. It's called a Mertini. I don't remember what all exactly was in it, other than fruit and ice and some liqueur or other, plus a plastic mermaid. I don't think the recipe really had much to do with an actual martini, the name just worked out that way.