A home by the sea isn't just for summer. At least, Tom and Judy Walsh don't live that way. They turned their vacation home at the Carnegie Abbey Club in Portsmouth, R.I., into a year-round one.
Positioned on a beautiful area of coastline overlooking Narragansett Bay, the Carnegie Abbey Club has a clubhouse for dining and socializing, and a Donald Steel designed golf course. Now, with the addition of the adjacent Newport Beach Club, which adds an equestrian center, tennis courts, yachting and that all essential spa, the clubs form one of the East Coast's most extensive sporting estates. It's simply an adult play land.
"It's a Disneyland for adults," agrees Judy Walsh with a giggle. This Bristol, R.I., native, and her Illinois-born husband, Tom, joined the Carnegie Club in 2004 and have lived there since 2008. They plan to join the Newport Beach Club to extend their pleasures and pursuits. They enjoy the added attractions of nearby Newport and Providence, and the sense of duty Judy's link to the area brings.
"It's not all la-la-land," say Tom. "We get involved in the local community, volunteering. We're not cut off from the surrounding area."
The Walsh's own their home just like a "normal" one -- and when they want a holiday, they head elsewhere. Perhaps the best thing about full-time living in a community that many residents see as a vacation home (some homeowners rent out their places when they aren't using them) is that for most of the year you have the place to yourself.
"There's only two other couples who live here full-time," says Tom. "It's like living on your own private estate."