Thank you for choosing Connie’s Beach Cottage for your vacation. I was just at the house for over a month in May/June 2023 making some changes – which you will notice are different from the photos on Airbnb. Updated photos will be coming soon.

Please read this and let me know if you have any questions. What started as a revision to a previous “quirks of the house” note that was two pages long – is now five pages. Please bear with my rambling at times – I love to write and hopefully you will love to read. Here we go:

Air Conditioning

I put in a new air conditioning system throughout the whole house in the fall with the “pit” area using a mini split. It is important to know, per my HVAC technician, that you need to keep the ac set between 70 and 72 at the lowest and that both units need to be set within 1 degree of each other. Otherwise, the systems will not run properly. IF you should be in my home during a heat wave, DO NOT set the temperature more than 20 degrees lower than the outside temperature. The cleaning company came into the house and the temperature was set at 68 and the outside temperature was 112 recently. That will cause the system to freeze up and you will have no air conditioning at all, which happened to a guest last year. I promise – if it is 100 outside and you set it for 80 inside – it will feel very cool to you. Sit and relax in any of the bedrooms or living/dining/pit area. All have overhead fans (two new ones in the living/dining area) and there is a floor fan in each bedroom closet to help cool you down.

Fire Extinguisher

Hopefully you will not need it, but I replaced the fire extinguisher, and it is now in the hallway closet up top (out of reach of younger hands who have been known to play with them and do thousands of dollars’ worth of damage – you don’t want to know the story).


There is new flooring in the whole house instead of the carpeting that I am used to having. The good thing about carpeting is you don’t feel the sand that you track in after being at the beach. I did put in an outside shower out back that has both a full shower and a nozzle to wash off your feet! There is also a hose by the front door, and I have two containers of water under the sink in the full bath for guests to put by the front door to also clean off sand. Just please refill them and put them back for the next guests.

Outdoor Shower Warning

**FYI – even though there is a curtain around the outside shower, I would advise that none of you in your party take a full shower without wearing a bathing suit. There are neighbors behind the house that now have a third story and my neighbor will come get the can the evening before trash pickup as well as bring the can back the next evening. This happens two times a week and recyclables are every other week.   I highlight this as a former guest did NOT read this “quirks of the house” information sheet and did time an actual full shower at the same time my neighbor came to grab the cans. He called out but she did not hear him. I then received a text informing me that I should warn people. So, people – this is your warning!

House Updates

I had the whole house (except the pit) painted in 2022. Returning guests will realize that I really liked the colors certain rooms were since I seemed to pick out almost the same color that I had previously painted! The master is now a light green and the accent wall in the front bedroom is a now a blue instead of a green color. There are new doorknobs with locks on all doors and new blinds in the whole house.

New Appliances

I was able to get a new dishwasher, refrigerator and stove which I hope you will enjoy. The fridge does not have an ice maker so if you are people that love using ice – you might want to add a bag of ice to your list of groceries! Please try to make new ice cubes for the next group coming in if you have time!

If Something Breaks During Your Stay

If anything should break during your stay, I know it happens, please let me know when it happens and not when you check out, so that I can order a new ‘whatever’. Since I live in CT, I depend on ordering items to be shipped to the cleaning service. If I don’t find out until the day you leave, then the next guest will be inconvenienced.

Car Limit and Parking

The limit of cars at my house is 3 cars max. (This is an island policy so please adhere, so you do not receive a ticket.) Please park on the right-hand side next to the fence and not in the middle of the yard (as others have done in past years). I know it does not look like it, but my winter renter (there for six months) put down seed to have grass grow over the winter into the summer. But in case of a heavy rainstorm – do not park close to the fence up closer to the house. That area tends to hold water and your vehicle may get stuck. Keep it closer to the street and at that time you can park pulled in facing the front porch.

Trash, Maintenance & Emergencies

One of my neighbors (or their kids) will put out the garbage and recycling cans. Please put all garbage in the can when it is full inside the house as well as all food into a garbage bag and put into the can before you leave. Pick up is listed on the orange sheet on the refrigerator. My neighbor’s son also comes to check my mail every few days so don’t worry if you see a young man opening the mail box.

My Contact Information

If you have any problems, please contact me directly as I have contacts for different issues that may happen in the house. My cell is 203 417 4694. I do travel to Maine and do not have reception in some areas. Please text me as well in addition to calling as text messages do go through quicker than phone messages. You can also email me at zandaven@aol.com.  

Linens and Towels

I provide comforters and pillows but not linens or towels. If you need to rent those, I can provide the name of a local business that you can call directly and set that up. The master is a king, the yellow room has a queen, the blue/cream room is a full and if someone is on the daybed in the pit, I believe that is a twin.


There are televisions in the living room and master bedroom that are hooked up to my U-verse account. I bought the television in the ‘blue’ (accent wall behind the headboard) while I was there and did not realize it is a television that uses Roku. If you have an account – feel free to use it but make sure you sign out of your account when you leave. My cleaners will not be checking to make sure you have signed out while they are there. The internet information is on the yellow sticker attached to the top of the modem – not the information on the sticker on the side. Please do not change any of the plugs or locations of the boxes in the room. I had U-verse come to the house 3 times while I was there to get everything in working order.

Brochures & Magazines

There are brochures and magazines in the basket in the living room. Hopefully you will find many things to do! Some of the brochures are probably old since it was put away for the last two seasons.

Tub Height. Beware – It’s Higher Than Normal!

I just had a new tub and surround installed while there and the side of the tub is a bit higher than the norm. I am used to it as my mom was tall and liked having things a bit higher…as you can tell with the kitchen counters! Please be careful getting in and out…I am only 5’2 and have hit my foot against it a few times!

Basic Supplies & Dishes

When I left, I had extra paper towels, napkins, sugar, coffee and toilet paper in the house as well as cleaning products and wrap. If you use the end of something, please replace it if you are heading to the store. I do have dish towels. If you use them, please wash them before you leave as my cleaning service does not do laundry. Also, please be sure to load and run the dishwasher before you leave. They will unload the dishwasher when they are there. There is an extra charge if they have to clean the dishes.

1/2 Bath in the “Pit” room

The ½ bath in the pit was added a few years ago. Please make sure you run your hand in the dryer if you use it since it is hard to see if you got everything! (I know the red hoses do not go with the décor but it’s the only color the plumber had when he did the work!) *If you should get a heavy rainfall – please don’t use this toilet in the pit as it is on ground level and it will not perk causing it to overflow.  It happened twice last year so hoping to not have the plumber come again!

Septic Cap

Please be careful out in the yard where the white top of my septic sticks out! And do not move the grill off of the pavers (so you don’t end up on top of my septic system). I tore down a big shed in the back corner of the yard. The final cleanup has not been done yet so there may be some broken glass in that area. The container just holds items that I need in case of flooding and for yard work. It is not to be used. Please stay away from that area for your own safety.

Gas Grill

The grill is a few years old but seems to work well. Please use Pam on it before you cook and afterward as well to keep it cleaner! I left a canister of it in the shelves in the kitchen. And if you have any spills on the carpet in the pit, there should be Resolve under one of the sinks!

When You Are Ready to Leave…

If you could text me at 203 417 4694 when you are heading out, I would appreciate it. Sometimes people leave earlier than the 10am check out time and that way I can let the cleaning service know so they can come in earlier if possible. If you rent sheets, please make sure you get them out on the porch before you leave and confirm with the company that they will pick up that day. I do have some guests that are checking out the same day that new guests are arriving.

Guest Book. Ideas From Past Visitors

I hope you will take time to read the guest book as others have written down places, they have gone that might help you make decisions of where you might want to visit or eat! I hope you will also write a note in there as well so others can get ideas from your visit as well…

Yard Work Schedule

Issues outside of my house – yard work is scheduled on a weekly basis. I will inform you if it is scheduled when you are my guests.

Island Traffic and Weather

Traffic is getting busier and busier each year. I have learned that it is not good to try to come onto the island between 9-11am on Saturday and Sundays and leaving can be just as bad between 3-6pm. Those times are flexible especially if the weather is bad or perfect beach weather. Traffic cams throughout SC are available at 511SC.org. The link will take you to a site where you can click on the icon for the webcam at the light on IOP. (SC 517 IOP Connector @ SC 703)

IF there is an evacuation ordered because of an incoming hurricane, please make sure you pack up everything with you when you leave. If the storm hits, only residents will be allowed back onto IOP afterward. Please do not stay! It is not worth it and I know many people who have shared their horror stories of staying during Hugo!

Please… Share Your Photos

If you can – catch a sunrise, sunset or your favorite meal and please share with me so I can share on the website or Facebook page if you are okay with me posting.

My Book, “Letters from Sandy Hook-Newtown to the World”

I did leave a copy of a book that I compiled and edited called “Letters from Sandy Hook-Newtown to the World”. Although you are guests in my childhood home, my family has lived in Sandy Hook CT for 32 years and what our community went through was horrific beyond your imagination. We live a mile from SHS and it was where my sons spent their elementary school years and I spent 3-4 days a week doing one thing or another in the school. My sons are in their 30’s so they were not in the school that day although some of my friends’ children were. The book was my way of saying ‘THIS is who we are’ as it is a compilation of letters, both handwritten and typed, from residents of Sandy Hook and Newtown. I did it as a fundraiser and the profits from selling the books went to foundations to help those affected that day. As you can imagine, some still are to this day. Feel free to read: one, two, twenty or all the letters if you wish. And if you feel the need, please feel free to share your thoughts about it in a text or email.

I think that is it! If you have ANY questions – please feel free to call or text me anytime!!! Hope you have a wonderful time!

Thank you!

Peace – Suzanne 203-417-4694