Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Study in Contrasts

It's amazing how much protection the dunes and forest give us. These photos were taken about five minutes apart on opposite sides of Ft. Clinch State Park. On the eastern side of the park, you've got the angry nor'easter churning up the ocean to the point of completely covering up this jetty (normally exposed by about 10 ft.), while just the other side of the forest and dunes, you have the lovely calm marsh with no hint of the excitement on the other side. If you've ever wondered about the purpose of dunes, now you know. Try not to let anyone destroy them in your area. They serve an important function.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Fiesta de Santa Maria

A fun time was had by all at the Latin Festival today. Lots of food booths, some good music, kids activities, (apparently) Latin pirates and Fairbanks House guests. It was an absolutely gorgeous day for a festival, as all of the days are this time of year.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Romance is In the Air

Every evening, it's nice to watch couples enjoying our romantic sunsets. This couple got a particularly nice show this evening. It was as close to perfect as it gets.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

New Boutique on Centre Street...

... that won't put a hurtin' on your budget.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

William Bartram...

...found us to be an interesting specimen.

More Technical Difficulties

We've had intermittent internet service over the past several days so my blogging efforts have been hit-or-miss. I should've known we'd be having trouble once this sign was posted in town.

By the way, even though my blog post have been intermittent, my walks have not. I haven't missed...just in case you were wondering.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Live Weathervanes

This egret and his seagull friends on top of the pilings are kindly pointing out the direction of the prevailing winds for any sailors just coming down to the docks. Saves them a little time when setting their course.

Enthusiastic Sage

This stand of Russian Sage at the Bailey House has become more robust by the day. It has enthusiastically spilled over its banks, reached through the fence and come into full bloom. It's quite popular here because it likes our climate and is rather long-blooming.

Due to Technical Difficulties...

... I've been unable to post to my blog for the last two nights. Now that I'm connected, let's all celebrate by hoisting a beer with this pirate on the side of the hardware store! Mmmmmmm... I'm having a Killian's Red. How 'bout you?

Friday, September 21, 2007

Bad Boys, Bad Boys

Whatcha gonna do? When the Segway cops have come for you?....... We've got them here now too.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hidden Game

So I had to make a run to K-Mart tonight and I took the shortcut around the back. Seems that there's a regular flag football game on a grassy patch behind K Mart nestled into the trees. It's a perfect field. I could tell that it was a regular game because they had cars parked in an orderly fashion, yardage markers and spectators (out of sight in the shade). Clever use of space.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Pretty Window

This shop window on Centre Street has always done a nice job of "keeping it Florida". Lots of beautiful lace in Florida shapes.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Pint-Size Dreamers...

...with super-sized dreams. Isn't this just the cutest thing you've ever seen? I just want to run out and buy them all ice cream cones. But they're probably doing Atkins or something.

On further reflection, I'm not sure if you can see that these pip squeeks are only 2 1/2 feet tall. But I promise that that's the max

Monday, September 17, 2007

Shrimp Boat Headin' Out

There were a few shrimp boats prepping to head out this evening into the rough-looking skies. The skies have looked like this all day and the wind has been whipping up some pretty good waves but we haven't gotten a drop of rain in town. The southern end of the island got quite a bit of rain today and Jacksonville got so much that parts of 95 were closed. People from other parts of the country are always amazed that Jacksonville forecasts frequently have nothing to do with our weather here on the island. The ocean currents influence things so dramatically that we can have days like today or differences of 10 degrees between us and Jacksonville, which is only 30 minutes away.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Happy 40th Donna

I know that I promised to show you things around the island on this blog but these guests were having so much fun celebrating a 40th birthday that I couldn't resist this shot of the glasses. And I love that they had a "no make-up" rule for the trip. I'd say that they look mighty fine without it. We could all take a lesson. And, I promise you, we could all take a lesson from them in how to celebrate a birthday. Happy birthday, Donna. Thanks for the memories Beth and Chandra.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Chocolate Soup

So I'd walked by this relatively new place, called Chocolate Soup, for awhile now without knowing what it was. The owner is a new member of our Chamber of Commerce and she came to our board meeting this week to introduce her business to us. And that's when I found out that it's a pottery painting place. I stopped in on my walk tonight to check it out and it's a really cute set up. She doesn't quite have the volume yet to fire her kiln more than once a week so anything painted while you're here will most likely have to be shipped to you. It's cute; check it out when you're here.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Creative Use of Nature

We have lots of folks around here who take advantage of the Florida climate's ability to grow a six foot vine in about 20 minutes by training the vine to be a porch awning. There's nothing quite like natural screening. Talk about making lemonade from lemons...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Now That's a Porch!

Sporting another one of my favorite porches in Fernandina, the Lesesne House is the only private residence remaining on Centre Street. It's been passed down through seven generations of the same family, always through the daughters. The porch boasts more rocking chairs and cats than just about any other in the Historic District. Beautiful yard too.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Sidewalk Koi

These Koi are in a little "pond" (read "indentation") right next to the main sidewalk on Centre Street in front of one of the gift shops. They've been here for as long as we have and I still get a kick out of them. You can tell that they get regular "snacks" because as soon as you approach their habitat, they all look up and open their mouths. I'm assuming that they're begging but I suppose that they could be speaking. I don't speak Koi so I'm not clear on that. In fact, someone will probably e-mail me to tell me that these are not Koi. Any large friendly fish in a domesticated pond that has flowy things on it and opens its mouth at me I assume is a Koi. I could be wrong.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Thanks, Bogey

Bogey keeps watch outside of Uncle Charlie's Pub, directly behind the Palace Saloon. Uncle Charlie is the ghost that purportedly haunts the Palace. Fear not, Bogey's got your back if you choose to enter.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Two-Wine-Shop Town

Here's our new wine shop in town. We've had another one for a couple of years now that has more "specialty" wines, i.e. Florida citrus wines. The new one seems to have more of a mainstream selection. Our guests come back with bags from both so... you be the judge.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Be Alert

A couple of rogue pirates got loose again tonight. Always keep your guard up in Fernandina....

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Pretty Still Life

This pretty arrangement was outside of French Market Antiques on Centre Street. They have some really, really beautiful stuff in there. It's one of my favorite shops on Centre Street, and one of my favorite antique shops on the island. We have quite a few; you can really lose yourself in some serious browsing if that's your thing.

Friday, September 7, 2007

War Protest Tonight

Even in Fernandina, we like our voices to be heard.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Surf's Up at Sunset

These surfer dudes are about to catch some of the last nice waves before sunset. There were lots of boards in the water this evening because of the storms way out by Bermuda. This is exactly the way these guys like it. The weather is perfect here but, because there's a storm SOMEWHERE, our waves are nice.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Everything New is Old Again

This house that is being built right around the corner from us will have all of the modern amenities but it's being built to blend in with the surrounding houses. It's got metal roofing and wrap-around porches but a nice little electric car on the carport. Nice mix.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Eleventh Commandment

We have a little parking problem at the Catholic church....

Monday, September 3, 2007

New Gourmet Grocery

"As You Like It," a gourmet grocery and caterer has opened on Eighth Street a few blocks from Fairbanks House. Although most of our guests dine in restaurants, those that "vacation" with us for longer periods of time will generally select our rooms that have basic kitchen facilities. They generally don't cook, but sometimes they like to just kick back in the room and have an in-room "picnic". They have that ability with fridges, tables, plates and utensils in these larger rooms and cottages. With gourmet groceries like this, the selection for "picnicking" just got better. The store is run by Lisa Harter, who also owns La Bodega de Amelia, a great little outdoor cafe on Third Street. I haven't had the opportunity to shop at Lisa's grocery yet but if it's anything like her restaurant, I won't be disappointed.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Our Staff

It's been pretty rainy today so I took my walk inside - up and down our many flights of steps at the inn. Since there are many photos of the inside of our inn on our website, I thought that I would share this photo of our housekeeping staff (and Bill) on our end of summer boat tour that we took a couple of weeks ago. No, we aren't breaking any child labor laws; the little girl on the left is Kelly, Jimena's daughter. We asked her to come along for the ride. As soon as she's of age (in about 12 years), we'll see if she wants to join the team for real. Until then, she can just take field trips with our wonderfully crazy cast of characters.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Victorian Seaside Village Porch

I've always liked this porch in the Silk Stocking District. It pretty much tells the story of Fernandina with its lazy rockers, beautiful climbing vines and whimsical wreath boasting all of the treasures of the sea. Yup, they got it just right.