In 1998 a wonderful film called The Truman Show satirized reality TV, which was still in its infancy then. The protagonist was a man who became aware that he had unwittingly been the star of a TV show, which followed his every move 24/7 since he was born. He lived in a beautiful town and everyone around him was an actor. Once he understood his situation, he looked for a way out of the beautiful bubble where he had spent his life.
Seaside Fl was the location for the beautiful bubble set in this film. It is one of the most perfect towns we have ever seen - a Walt Disney version of an ideal community with a bit of The Stepford Wives thrown in. Its appeal to a Hollywood location scout was obvious. It all started back in 1946 when Robert Davis' grandfather bought 80 acres of land along the beaches, where their family would spend their summers. In 1979 Robert inherited this land from his grandfather and decided to build an old-fashioned beach town that would revive Northwest Florida's building tradition, which consisted of wood-frame cottages that were so well adapted to the climate that they enhanced the pleasure of living life by the sea. The goal of Seaside was not only to create an old-fashioned beach town, but to create a social atmosphere that people enjoyed being in.
We rode our bikes past one unique, picturesque home after another. Most were hidden by natural looking landscaping and painted in muted pastels. White picket fences marked the property lines, but were low and encouraged neighbors to visit. Many of the homes had wrap around porches. It was easy to ride or walk from the houses to the swimming pool to the tennis court to the stores. One of the central meeting areas featured cute little eateries, housed in old airstream trailers. None of the stores in the town were franchises. Each looked unique and totally of the place. The real estate ads for the town read, "More than a way of life, a way of living." It would be impossible to leave your home in Seaside without combing your hair, touching up your lipstick or checking the crease in your trousers. It could be tough for mere mortals to measure up in such a charming, perfect spot.