Friday, March 30, 2007

Easter Egg Cottage

This pretty little cottage on Sixth Street always reminds me of an Easter egg. The owner loves plants of all kinds and uses every square inch of her yard to put on a display.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


Nice place to watch life go by. This is on the porch of Brett's Waterway Cafe, the only eatery on the river. It's a great lunch spot and for drinks at sunset.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Good Morning America!

As a passionate fan of Amelia Island, I was fortunate enough to be asked to be interviewed by the crew from Good Morning America's Weekend Window segment. We did the interview inside of Ft. Clinch State Park because they'll be focusing on the natural beauty of the island. It was a typically beautiful Amelia Island afternoon, but my voice was less than stellar due to a spring cold that I've picked up, so we shall see if I make it on screen or onto the cutting room floor. I'm told that the piece should air in late April or early May. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Ft. Clinch Fishing Pier

This fishing pier inside of Ft. Clinch State Park is about a half mile long. The part in the ocean is about a quarter mile long, then there's another quarter mile that goes over the dunes. It's about a thirty minute walk out and back. (Handy for me!) The park area covers the entire northern twenty percent of the island. The beaches are largely uninhabited - even on the Fourth of July - so it's very easy to find your own stretch of secluded beach. You'll be greeted by the occasional armadillo, gator or bobcat, but there are always scores of birds about, and some park rangers to tell you what crosses your path. It's really a treasure, and it's only about a mile and a half from town.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Not a Good Hider

This kitty thought that she was hiding from me because she was "underneath" the branch. And she closed her eyes when I got close so that she would be invisible. Or maybe she was just napping and it wasn't about me at all.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Joe's Second Street Bistro

This is another example of the many outdoor dining opportunities that we have here. Joe's Second Street Bistro is another guest favorite here at the Fairbanks House. In fact, several of our guests will be dining in this courtyard tonight. Joe's has indoor seating too, but we don't miss too many opportunities to dine outdoors around here. Like Beech Street Grill, Joe's is one of the restaurants featured in our Romance Packages. If you're planning ahead for summer, these packages will be going on sale starting in July.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Amelia River Cruises

Our friends, Kevin and Cecelia McCarthy getting ready to go out on a tour this evening on the newest (2nd) member of their fleet of boats for Amelia River Cruises and Charters. Tonight they'd booked a private charter for a girls group celebrating "an important" birthday. They do several tours a day; our favorite is the two-hour morning tour because you can see more. They'll take you up the whole western coast of Cumberland Island (where John and Caroline Kennedy got married), where you can almost always see the wild horses on the beach. And if the dolphins are out, you'll see those too. We always caution our guests that the horses and dolphins are wild - they don't push a button to release them - so you may not see any, but the narrated history of Amelia Island and Cumberland Island is always great.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Beech Street Grill

Beech Street Grill is one of the best restaurants on the island. It's a two minute walk from the inn and we can always smell what's cookin'. Not good for those trying to watch their waistlines because it's always fabulous. In fact, I wish this blog had smell-o-vision so that you could get a whiff of tonight's special. I'm guessing macadamia nut encrusted grouper with a mango salsa. I could be wrong. The owner of Beech Street, my friend Liz, is one of only a handful of female Grand Sommoliers (sp?) in the country. So they have a great wine list, as well. Maybe it's dover sole with a lemon and caper sauce...

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Old Guests/ New Neighbors

Some former guests of ours dropped by for a visit while biking through the neighborhood - their new neighborhood. Paul and Pam are one of the more recent Fairbanks House guests who have purchased on the island. By our count, we're up to 28 couples who used to be guests but are now neighbors. Yes, Fernandina truly is a charming place.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Ft. Clinch State Park

This is one of my favorite stretches of road on the island. A three-mile long tunnel of live oak trees with dripping Spanish moss. The oaks have just pushed out all of their old leaves and the new ones are just coming in.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Happy Anniversary Jim and Dorothy

Two Fairbanks House guests getting picked up for their anniversary carriage tour in front of the inn tonight. The horse that's pulling the carriage - Boomer - is reportedly the largest horse in Nassau County.

Monday, March 19, 2007

A Visitor

This beautiful egret invited himself to our pool for about 20 minutes one day last fall. We've left the welcome mat out but haven't seen him since. He used to walk through the neighborhood shaking all of the bushes and eating whatever critters dropped out. Must've moved on to a different buffet. I actually took this photo before I started taking my daily walks but I've wanted to show it for awhile, so I'm cheating today - only on my photo - not on my walk (78 straight days).

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Impromptu Concert

This talented musician just plopped himself down and let us all enjoy his burst of enthusiasm. A guitar, a sunny day, a bench and a bit of talent were the only ingredients required for this nice little concert.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Top o' the Marnin' to Ye

O'Kane's Irish Pub - THE place to be tonight.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Pirate Hunter

Having defeated the pirate with his mighty sword, the young swashbuckler returned to home and family, ever the hero. Once again, the town was saved.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Jasmine Arbor

Our new jasmine vines are coming along nicely. We've planted Confederate Jasmine on the left side of the arbor and Carolina Jasmine on the right. Eventually, they'll meet in the middle and cross over each other. We'll have Jasmine in bloom for most of the year due to their different blooming seasons. It should smell fabulous too. We've got a full arbor of Confederate Jasmine next to the pool and the scent is absolutely intoxicating when it comes out in April and May.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

We Love March

I took this on Centre Street Sunday afternoon. It was a magnificent day - about 76 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. We've had three more straight days like that, except that it's been 80 instead. We love March.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Felix rides his three-wheeler around town every day offering boiled peanuts, daily newspapers and free entertainment on his harmonica. You can hear him coming with his distictive "woo -HOOOOO" from down the street.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Concours d'Elegance

These babies have been all over town for the past week because of the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance car show. They all left town today after the Field of Dreams exhibition yesterday. This year's featured car class was the classic road racers. The featured group always does a rally around the island on the Friday of the event and parks on Centre Street while the owners have lunch. The cars usually mosey out of town afterward, but they were quite a bit faster upon departure this year. We always have a really great looking parking lot on Concours weekend too.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Sunday Brunch

Sunday brunch at Cafe Karibo, an eclectic reasonably priced spot on Third Street. They've got a really nice patio, as you can see, where musicians perform in the evenings. If you're not inclined to sit outside, there are plenty of seats in the rustic dining room.

There are several Sunday brunches around the island but most of our guests are too full from my breakfasts to even make an attempt. They're popular with locals though.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Shy Lemonade Girl

This cute little girl seemed to be the only one making any money at the yard sale today. Who wouldn't buy from her with her pretty little outfit and her cigar box full of money? It appears that most of her sales were to the rest of the "staff" behind her.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Black Cat on the Ghost Tour

So I'm walking along and I spot a black cat right in the middle of the beautiful lace-curtained window on a pretty Victorian house. It's certainly appropriate for our town. I took the picture and looked at the image and realized that he was shooting some kind of kitty laser beams at me - and - he had backup. Right after I took the photo, the ghost tour group came walking through and got spooked by him too. I walk by that house alot and I've never seen him before, or since. (I took the photo two weeks ago.) Our history museum leads ghost tours on Fridays at 6:00, or you can take one by carriage. FYI, our house is not on it.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Another Schuyler Design

This house, known as the "Hirth House" was designed by Robert Schuyler - the same architect who designed
our house. You can see many similarities as both of these houses were done in Italianate style. Some on the island call the Hirth House "Baby Fairbanks" due to the similarities.

P.S. This is my second post of the day because of problems accessing the internet yesterday. For those of you counting... and you know who you are.

Tabby House

This house - up the street from us - is called the "Tabby House" because of its style of construction. Many people think that the siding has been removed but this was how the house was constructed. Tabby was the concrete of the 1800's in this area. If you walk by, you can clearly see oyster shells, sand, and other bits of beach because that's how tabby was made. They basically scooped up beach (okay, they collected oyster shells and sand), added lime and water, poured it into forms, and let it harden to make a wall. Our foundation is made from tabby but the Tabby House is constructed entirely from this product.

Many people confuse tabby with coquina, which looks similar, but was actually a mined product. It was very popular in St. Augustine because it was available there. The Spanish influence in St. Augustine had alot to do with coquina construction because the Spaniards were familiar with the product as it was used quite a bit in their homeland.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Kate's Tree

Many of our visitors ask why there is a tree in the middle of the road right up the street from our inn. Around the turn of the century, Mrs. Kate Bailey was sitting on the beautiful porch of her grand home at the corner of 7Th and Ash, when she noticed some city workers hanging around the old oak tree on Ash Street. When she inquired about the reason, she was informed that they would be taking the tree down to widen the road. As a tree lover, Mrs. Bailey would have none of that, so she went and got a chair, a shotgun, and parked herself in front of the tree until the crew left and she got assurances from the city that they'd leave the tree alone. As you can see, the road was built around the tree instead. It's now referred to as "Kate's Tree". She's a local folk hero.

Monday, March 5, 2007

These are the two ladies that I'll see every day as I compete in the Club 14 Fitness Forever Fit Challenge. For the next 8 weeks, I'll be working out on a treadmill at their club trying to win $3000 by burning the most fat. You'd get bored with the view from my treadmill, so I'll be posting some photos that I've already taken or that I take on my errands around town and the island. Wish me luck!

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Bob and Rowdy

Here are two of my favorite guys: Bob - in the white sweatshirt - and Rowdy - out front. They're taking some lucky tourists on a narrated tour through the Historic District on this beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon. Rowdy is a Percherone draft horse and is frequently mistaken for a Clydesdale. I had to take the photograph from a distance because he always expects carrots from me and my pockets were empty.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Farmers Market

Every Saturday morning, we have a little farmers market right up the street from us. You never know what vendors are going to show. Today, we had a couple of produce stands, an orchid booth, Indian River citrus, homemade soaps, Girl Scout cookies, homemade jams and jellies, a crabcake guy and a band.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Resurrection Fern

The photo on the left was taken a few days ago when we hadn't had rain for a long time. The photo on the right - of the same tree - was taken today, after last night's rain. Resurrection Fern is truly amazing stuff and aptly named. Sometimes you can spray it with water and practically watch it come back to life. We have quite a bit of it on our property. It likes oak trees.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Lulu's Bra and Grill

No, that's not a typo. Lulu's is a great "Latin - Inspired" cafe with great wraps, burritos, fish tacos, tortilla soup and salads. In the evenings, they'll do a couple of kinds of grilled fish. It's very reasonably priced and has great sangria too. In September, when they have their anniversary, they have a Mardi-bra. If you'd like to attend, you have to wear your bra on the outside, it has to be decorated, and that applies to the men, as well.