‘Spring into Summer’ with Sand Castles!


Contributing Editor

Welcome to our “Spring into Summer” issue of Sand Castles, a luxury, lifestyle and real estate seasonal section. The spring issue arrives every May just before Memorial Day weekend.

Memorial Day is always observed on the last Monday in May. We celebrate this holiday with family, parades cookouts and trips to the beach. But I was recently reminded what Memorial Day is really all about. On a recent trip to Washington, D.C., I watched as an Honor Flight arrived at Reagan National Airport. One by one, the old soldiers who came to Washington to visit the war memorials departed the plane, many of them in wheelchairs. Travelers at the gate stood, watched and applauded loudly, making everyone turn, watch and then join in. It was moving, and I was glad to be a witness and a part of this public display of gratitude!

A season to sell

Last year, I wrote about how exciting it is to see the growth, expansion and stunning renovation of Sawgrass Village, which many have described as Ponte Veda’s own “Town Square!” We live in a beautiful resort community surrounded by unique neighborhoods that border the Intracoastal to the ocean and in between. The growth continues and we are experiencing a very healthy real estate market!

Our “Market Watch” by RE/MAX Specialists Broker Carmen Edwards gives us a Beaches real estate update, with statistics that highlight our local market and a forecast of blue skies in the Beaches housing forecast.

Several of Ponte Vedra’s most unique neighborhoods are also featured in this issue, with stories contributed by 11 local real estate agents. With the successful PLAYERS Championship behind us, Cynthia Montello and Laura Borger focus our real estate attention on the stunning Intracoastal home of local golf legend Fred Funk.

Lisa Barton takes us to an amazing luxury estate home on the Intracoastal on Royal Tern in Marsh Landing that is like no other. Kelly Whitaker and Wanda Peterson also take us to a beauty in Marsh Landing, with curb appeal that is second to none.

And speaking of Marsh Landing, if you aren’t familiar with its Found Forest neighborhood, you can read all about this unique estate community and a gorgeous listing by Michelle Floyd. A peaceful paradise in the Plantation by Clare Berry, meanwhile, features a 5-bedroom pool home on a conservation forest.

Mother and daughter duo Janet Westling and Allison Ferebee listed 1120 Salt Creek Drive, a stunning Coastal Traditional completely renovated on the lake with gorgeous water-to-golf views. Kathleen Floryan reveals an estate home on two acres with a nature sanctuary in the back yard, while Bill Irwin takes us to Payasada Estates – a tony community in the heart of Ponte Vedra Beach where neighbors are friends!

Lurah Patrick and Vanessa Solomon take us to The Breakers on Ponte Vedra Boulevard to view an amazing renovation that welcomes the new owner to seaside living at the beach. And Matt Merritt shares the history behind Ponte Vedra Boulevard’s new Oasis community.

Nonprofit news

Nonprofit organizations play a huge role in our area and have a great impact on our community. In this issue of Sand Castles, Kate Phelan from St. Vincent’s HealthCare shares news on the recipients of the 2017 Mary Awards, which honor young female high school seniors serving God and their neighbors through their faith community. Also in this issue: a report from Landrum Middle School student Colette Belzer on the success of the recent Legacy Trust Ponte Vedra Beach Home & Art Tour, which benefits the educational programs of the Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach.

Summertime fun

Looking for some inspiration for your Memorial Day barbecue? Sawgrass Country Club Executive Chef Michael Ayres offers some tips for a Southern holiday feast that challenges tradition. You’ll want to read how Chef Michael changes things up a bit and keeps his family and friends guessing.

For summertime travel tips, read Susan Hudson’s article on a one-of-a-kind trip to Cuba, or check out Danny Witt’s offering on his summer tennis camp and his love for the sport.

Finally, there’s no better time to enjoy your pool than in the sultry Florida summertime, and in this issue of Sand Castles, renowned landscape architect Norman Kent Johnson offers his tips for designing your own backyard garden and pool area.

Our home is our castle and at the Beaches it is our castle in the sand. From palm trees to sand dunes, golf courses to resort living, Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra Beach and the Beaches communities offer the most desirable real estate in Northeast Florida!

Janet Westling, Realtor

Berkshire Hathaway HSFNR

Sand Castles creator and contributing editor