We started a tradition of going to a beach in a large group. We rent a house that can sleep over 30 people, if you don’t mind creative sleeping arrangements. A lot of the guests we bring are kids, tweens, and teens so they will bunk together without a whole lot of complaining.
We can only stretch the space so far though, so we’ve gone with a few different people each time. It makes the vacations fun, and with a rotating crowd you can almost always find someone available and ready to go to an amazing beach house when you find availability.
Lovely Gifts & Salt Water Taffy
The hosts are so kind and bring gifts everyday when they service the 2 hot tubs. Yes I said 2 hot tubs! They found out, or they took notes the 1st time we stayed, that some of our group was gluten free.
Every gift they brought us this time was gluten free, which I thought was incredibly kind. The learning curve of figuring out what snacks are safe can be intense, so I really appreciate the effort.
Salt water taffy is such a fun boardwalk buy too. Since we stay at a beach without a boardwalk it had kind of slipped my mind to buy some. It brought back some wonderful memories, and it was a kind and thoughtful gift.
It’s funny because they have salt lakes so still call it Salt Water Taffy, but your don’t even need salt water to make taffy! The story goes a shop owner’s store flooded and he stated he only had salt water taffy, and the name stuck. I read that over at Britannica. I have no idea if it’s true, but seems like it could be legit.
Apparently there is no difference between regular and salt water taffy! Feel free to argue about it in the comments. I plan to bring it up when we have our family’s taffy pulling event this month and see what everyone thinks.
In any case our homemade taffy is sometimes similar in texture, but our ideal is usually quite a bit harder. It makes it a lot easier to snap off pieces, but that also makes it harder to chew (and to keep your dental fillings in place). It’s very hard to only eat one piece of taffy if you are a fan. It’s a very thoughtful gift if you know a taffy lover.
Thoughtful Baking & Thievery
Speaking of thoughtful all the family and friends pitched in to cook and order foods with gluten-free and dairy free options! It was a great group and we all feasted well and really enjoyed our vacation.
Our baker extraordinaire even made several yummy pumpkin and apple desserts, well-labeled, so everyone could enjoy a special sweet treat!
It was in one of these sweet treats that we found a steak knife while eating leftovers in our own kitchen!
We actually left dishes behind when we left last year. We were on our way home, and had to turn around. We asked if the staff had spotted them, and they had. They set our pans outside the door for us to do a quick pickup, and we were back on the road in no time!
Yes we bring some cookware to a fully furnished beach house, but it is some to do with food allergies, and also to do with the fact that we want to make sure we have specific dishes to cook certain things. It was wonderful to have ours back though because dishes can get pretty pricey!
To Fess Up or Not to Fess Up
So back to the knife we accidentally stole. I felt bad even though things probably get lost or “walk away” fairly often. I knew that having a partial set would force them to replace the instead of having an empty slot. I couldn’t tell how expensive it was, as I couldn’t find an exact match online. Safe to say that there are both high and low-end priced hollow-handled knives.
It’s such a pain to find a match too if your silverware pattern isn’t still being manufactured. It seems silly to replace a whole knife block because of a missing knife, but I bet they would because they really try to make sure you have everything you could want.
Is This Embarrassing Or Is It Just Me?
In the end I sent an email saying we accidentally stole the knife, would be glad to pay for it, or ship it back. They said they would be happy to have it shipped back, and sent me their preferred mailing address.
I got the fun task of explain this slightly embarrassing story to the person at the post because I didn’t want to ship sharp objects without finding out if there were certain specifications. I was also feeling quite odd about bringing sharp objects into the post office.
The clerk recommended a bubble mailer, and I suggested thick paper folded and wrapped around the sharp edge a bunch of times, she taped it, and then we placed it in a bubble mailer to mail out.
I was a little shocked that there wasn’t more rules about such. The clerk actually seemed to be thinking I was over-doing my carefully wrapped knife, but I would feel terrible if anyone got hurt so I wrapped it like my (hyper and not so cautious) kids were going to be carrying the mail back to them.
The True Cost
It cost me $7.44 to send the knife back, which I thought was pretty reasonable all things considered. Then I sent an email letting them know to expect sharp objects in their mail late this week, and to be careful opening packages. They said thank you, and then wished us Happy Holidays.
I took turns feeling silly, and then overly considerate (if there is such a thing), but I’m glad I sent it back instead of just throwing it away. If I had thrown it away, I could have avoided telling at least 3 people that story, and going into the post office with a knife! I feel good about my decision to ship it back, although the experience might have humbled me slightly.
Would you have felt comfortable just keeping it or throwing it away? Have you or your family ever accidentally stolen something? Did it turn into an embarrassing or funny story?
Well thanks for reading my silly story today! I hope you and yours are having a happy holiday season, and making great memories.
Do they call it Salt Water Taffy so you only binge on this sugary treat during the beach-going season?
I don’t remember loving taffy as a kid, but now I really enjoy it. Our family cheats though. We make taffy around Christmas, so we get it twice a year!
We call it pull-taffy because to make it at home you partner up, and then you each pull to stretch and mix the candy as it cools. It’s super messy and a ton of fun! Pull-taffy may not have the commercial gravitas of Salt Water but it does seem to make more sense.
I’ll work on a post about how to make pull-taffy. The cooking part can be very finicky, then it’s all hands on deck! Definitely not something you’d want to try without doing your research. I found a book called Classic Candy that includes a salt water taffy recipe. If you have this book let me know what you thought of the recipe and instructions.
I’ll leave you will this last thought. Peppermint is the best taffy flavor, if you disagree let me know!