Home Away From Home
Home Away From HomeORANGE COUNTY RESIDENT SHAWNA E. ENJOYS THE HEALING POWER OF CRYSTAL COVE—LEARN HOW SHE SECURED A STAY IN EVERY HISTORIC COTTAGE OVER THE LAST TWO YEARS.
Shawna sends a message to those who love Crystal Cove’s historic beach cottages as much as she does: Staying in every cottage can be done. Her journey started in the end of 2011, though she’s been coming to the Historic District since it opened. After being diagnosed with cancer, Shawna found herself visiting the cove frequently with her husband and friends to find a quiet peace.
“I was about to undergo stem cell transplant and there was a lot of anxiety connected to that,” Shawna explains. “I loved being down [at Crystal Cove] and it really calmed me.”
It wasn’t her mission to stay in every cottage, but she soon realized that she was hooked on Crystal Cove. In fact, she’s also purchased every card in the gift shop, which are displayed on a metal tree in her entryway. Her girlfriends made her a quilt to commemorate each stay in the cottages, along with a brochure titled “Crystal Cove Anonymous,” a tongue-in-cheek guide for those “addicted” to staying in the historic bungalows.
She triumphantly accomplished her goal in late summer 2013, proudly standing outside Cottage #45, the Soda Shack, with a handmade sign that proclaimed: “Stayed in all the cottages! It can be done.” Shawna has her own tips for those who hope to land a stay in one of the coveted cottages.
Rather than always booking a reservation in advance, she relied on last-minute cancellations to book a stay in a cottage she’d never visited before. “I’d try on the first of the month, but then I’d realize there were cancellations,” she says.
Laura Davick, Crystal Cove Alliance founder and director of public affairs, also mentions that Shawna was able to take advantage of rules that require those staying in the fully accessible cottages for disabled guests (#1, #18, #38D, #40) to have an ADA placard.
Finally, Shawna recommend that people search for a date during the week in the winter, a time she believes fewer people want to visit a beachside enclave. “We loved it in the winter,” she says of the trips she took with her husband. “It was like our own little private sanctuary.”