Friday, November 30, 2007

Beach Art

This natural sand sculpture left by the receding tide caught my eye. Mother Nature's artwork can be pretty cool.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Christmas on the Beach

Even humble beach cottages decorate for Christmas...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

We Have a Winner

Congratulations to Arlene Sykora of Sauk City, Wisconsin for coming up with the closest guess for the number of Christmas trees that we decorate at Fairbanks House. Arlene guessed 17. The correct number is......... 21. We have a tree in every guest room (12), trees on the front porch (2), trees on guest room porches (4), trees in the foyer (2) and a ten-footer in the living room (1) for a grand total of 21. Whew! We start decorating at the beginning of November and finish up by Thankgiving so that our Thanksgiving crowd checks into a fully decorated house. We leave everything up through early January so that folks who are too busy over the holidays can come right after the New Year for a little R&R and enjoyment of the holiday look. We hope that you can join us. Thanks to everyone for your guesses. See you soon, Arlene!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Greenway Kind of Day

It was another beautiful warm sunny day today so I headed for the Greenway for my walk. There were a few runners, walkers and bicyclists out but I was most interested in this snake bird that was enjoying a solitary walk through the wetlands.

Also, this sign about the alligators always cracks me up. Frankly, if anyone harasses an alligator I think that they deserve whatever they get.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Beautiful November Day

Today was our 24th wedding anniversary, so Bill and I took a walk on the beach in fabulous 80 degree sunshine. Here's my groom hunting for sharks' teeth, a common pastime around here. We don't have a shark problem, but we're on an ocean current pattern that deposits a lot of them here anyway. Most of them are from prehistoric days and show up in a fossilized state by the time that they get to our shores. We found two today and a perfect sand dollar, without too much effort. The little kids at the beach really know how to find them and will frequently leave with them by the handful. But we didn't feel like putting out too much effort on our anniversary.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Don't Forget... send in your guess for the number of decorated Christmas trees at Fairbanks House. The winner of the $50 gift certificate will be announced Tuesday.

Too Much Shopping

This poor guy evidently got dragged to all of the shops starting on Friday with the pajama party and ending with the few stores that were still going strong Sunday evening. Just after I passed by, it looked as though he was heading for an ice cream cone though. Good dog.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Tree Lighting Day

Tonight is the night that they'll be lighting our town Christmas tree at the foot of Centre Street. I'm not going to be able to make it down tonight so I went down this afternoon to take a peek at the preliminaries. As you can tell from the flags, it's pretty windy down by the river front but the show must go on.
Santa arrived on a (very loud) fire engine with a full fleet of emergency vehicles in tow. Once the kids got over being terrified by the siren chorus, they lined up to meet Santa and the Mrs. and to have their picture taken with the two of them. In Fernandina, no event is complete without the obligatory pirate to keep watch.

All Christmas festivities should have a brass band and these folks were great.
And who says that you can't have a snowman in Florida? And I'd have to say that as far as street characters go, this Frosty was one of the friendliest that I've encountered.

P.S. Don't forget to send in your guesses for the number of Christmas trees at Fairbanks House. Thanks to those who have already sent theirs. One guess per person... We'll be announcing the winner Tuesday.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Pajama Party Day!

Today was pajama party day on Centre Street. The merchants kick off the Christmas shopping season in style with an offer of discounts to anyone who shops in their pajamas. Everyone was in on the act including shopkeepers...

people with interesting headgear...

mothers and daughters with similar taste...

very cool Fairbanks House guests....

leopard print ladies....

Fairbanks House staff and friends....

and the winner of the best pajamas at the Fairbanks House - the Grinch, aka Rod Sudbeck! A fun time was had by all. I wish that I could put all of my photos of the great looks that I saw today but I'd have no memory left in my blog space. Thanks everyone, it was fun.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope that everyone out there had as nice a Thanksgiving as we did here at the inn. Our guests started the day by having Bill's pumpkin pancakes with a caramel pecan topping, and then they all went on a wonderful boat tour with Amelia River Cruises (where they were treated to an extra half hour), came back for some mid-afternoon snacks to hold them over for our fabulous dinner at Beech Street Grill. Here's everyone on the front steps of the inn just as we were about to walk over to the restaurant. Some went back out for drinks and music afterwards, but this pup is going to bed... We hope that you had a wonderful day.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Different Perspective

I usually take photos right on top of buildings on Centre Street but this time I looked back over my shoulder from Third Street toward the government buildings on Centre. On the left is the top of the post office, which was the original customs house and the clock tower on the right sits atop the courthouse. I love living in a town that has history and palm trees in the same place.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

New Contest!

Although this shot was technically taken on my way out the door for my walk, my new color scheme on our foyer Christmas trees caught my eye. I've got two more trees to put up before our guests check in tomorrow for Thanksgiving and then I'll be finished. I'm offering a $50 gift certificate to whoever guesses the correct number of Christmas trees that we have up each year, including porches. Naturally, in the event of a tie, we'll have a drawing. You can send your guesses to me via the e-mail link to the left. I'll leave it open for a week to give everyone a chance to guess. Check back next Tuesday to see if you've won. Good luck!

Monday, November 19, 2007

No Fire...

...just another fabulous sunset. Ahhhhhhhhh...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday Finery

It's always nice to see the church crowds coming out after services around here on Sunday because everyone still dresses up for the occassion. In many (most) areas of the country, church services - like everything else - have gone the "casual Friday" route. That's not the case here. True, you may not see hats and gloves as in days of yore... but dresses, suits and ties are still the norm. I guess that every Sunday is Easter Sunday in Fernandina. You can click on the photo for a larger view.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Spanish Moss

Nothing says true "old South" to me like Spanish moss. Our guests ask us about it all of the time. It's actually not at all related to moss but rather a member of the bromeliad family - like the pineapple. It loves live oaks but can grow on many other types of trees, as well. It generally likes alot of sunlight so it tends to show up on trees that have already lost some of their canopy, as opposed to causing the damage. In fact, it's an air plant. When I lived "up north" I used to pay good money for this when I had a dried flower business, now I scoop it up out of the yard and feed it to the carriage horses, who love it.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Beach Walk

The days are sunny and clear now with nobody on the beach for miles. Perfect for walking, running or just watching the birds, dolphins, shrimp boats and surfers. If if you happen to have a book along...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Outward Bound

This Outward Bound group paced me on my run through Ft. Clinch State Park. They were running quite a bit farther than I was but they absorbed me into the pack none the less. Apparently, they have a steady-pace-no-stopping-rule because one poor guy who got a cramp in his leg got chewed out mercilessly when he tried to stretch it out. I figured that I'd let them stick with the code and I'd drop back a bit at that point... Perfect weather for running right now. No heat, no bugs, no long sleeves necessary.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Autumn on Amelia Island

We don't get a leaf drop here in the fall, just some golden colors in our marsh grasses. As I mentioned in an earlier post, Amelia Island is just south of the Golden Isles of Georgia. We turn the same golden color in the fall but the marketing name is theirs. We get an actual leaf drop in February when the new growth on our towering Magnolias and Live Oaks pushes out the old - but still green - leaves. As a consequence, some of the school kids on the island get the question wrong when asked when "fall" is.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Pete's Back!

Peg Leg Pete has been restored and placed back in his place of honor by our local Pirate Club. Unfortunately, I missed the ceremony, which I'm told included several other pirate clubs from the region. They're big on honoring their own. Welcome back Pete!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Happy Veterans Day

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Art and Wine Festival!

It was a beautiful weekend for our first Art and Wine Festival and it was well-attended making both the organizers and the artists happy. It would appear that there will be a second annual Art and Wine festival. Mark your calendars. One thing that was nice about it as far as our guests were concerned was that there was something for every budget. Naturally, the wearable art vendors were swamped but our guests spread their money throughout. The band was good too. A fun time was had by all.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

No Photos

Sorry guys. My walks that last two nights have been in the very, very dark hours of the evening and my photos have not turned out well. I need to learn a couple of new settings on my camera. I'm planning to head out in the daylight tomorrow to check out the art and wine festival on Centre Street. We had lots of guests go today and they said that it was great. Perfect weather too. It's due to be in the upper 70's and sunny all week. My kind of weather.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

More Whimsy


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Gathering Place

I found this "bench" formation on a trail set back from the Greeway. There were no markings anywhere to signify who had set it up and why but, because it was in a hidden spot in the woods I'm thinking teen hangout. Besides, it's about 150 yards from the high school. It's a nice serene setting, whatever its use.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Fun Weekend Coming Up

You can take your pick this weekend. We've got an art and wine festival by day and belly dancing by night. I don't think there's ever been a better combination presented here. Maybe you've had better where you live but this is as good as it gets here.

The art and wine festival will be top notch with over 100 high-end artists and several stops for wine-tasting. The forecast looks great too.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Reverse Rocky

The young man had just conquered the steps of the Methodist church "Rocky" style and I couldn't get the shot until he'd begun his descent. Sorry to have missed his moment of glory but he's the only one that REALLY needs to know of his accomplishment. May it carry him a long, long way.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Flowers in November

I just love living in a place where flowers and butterflies are still thriving this time of year. In fact, we've got flowers blooming year-round here. Our last freeze was about four years ago (when the rest of the country was SERIOUSLY cold) and it only lasted for a couple of hours in the middle of the night. Plants like it here.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Fall Farmers Market

I haven't been to the farmers market for awhile and it was such a fabulously sunny day today that I decided to head down to see what was going on. The market is celebrating its fifth anniversary so they were giving out some nice eco-friendly shopping bags to hold all of that luscious-looking produce, baked goods and heat 'n eat seafood items. In addition to "the usual" and some snappy entertainment, there's a new cheese producer from Georgia and someone with lots of great landscape plants. I'm glad that I popped in.