Sunday, August 31, 2008

Labor Day Jumpers

These moms were so happy to have some "me" time that they were flexing for joy this morning. I think that we refreshed them enough to go back to the kids; what do you think? Note to all of the moms out there: see what a little R&R will do for you?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Two Hidden Gems

Most of our guests walk up 7th Street to Centre and turn left, toward the river. That's where almost all of the shops and restaurants are. But those who turn right and travel just a couple of blocks will be rewarded with the little French bakery, Chez Lezan.

And this really great shop called Red Otter Outfitters - comfortable shoe capital of the island. They've got a great selection of Merrells, Ahnus, etc. that keep our innkeeper feet happy. Great travel clothes and gear too. Next time you're here, ask for directions; they're both worth the walk.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Another Pocket Park

I missed this one last week. For those of you who know town, this little park will be tucked between Christmas on the River and Last Flight Out. It's time to come back to the island to see our changes.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Little Lash Tint at the Ritz

I treated myself to an eyelash tint at the spa at the Ritz Carlton today (HATE mascara), and I found myself staring at their pretty fountain as I waited in the valet area for my car (no extra charge). It's quite a tranquil place; I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bill's Eye View

It was a beautiful evening tonight so we went up on the roof after my run to take a look around. It's always such a nice view looking out over the Victorian houses toward the river, particularly at sunset. This was a little past sunset but it's peaceful none the less.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Nice Hood Ornament

The Sir Martin II has been sitting in the harbor for a couple of months now and I've been appreciative of the craftsmanship. It's a beautiful boat whose owners have obviously taken a liking to our town. And who wouldn't, I say? Perhaps I'll stalk them and get invited aboard. Or not.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Mt. Fairbanks

We have so many trees here on our acre of grounds that the breezes during our sideswipe from Fay brought down a nice pile of compost. Actually, it didn't come down as a pile; the pile happened after Bill and our staff and I gathered the droppings over the weekend. The nice thing is that the only green that you'll see in the pile is from a few add-ons that we decided to prune while we were at it. We like a good wind every couple of years to help us get the dead stuff down. We didn't lose anything healthy at all. Once again, very lucky.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Water Taxi Service Starting

Beginning this Thursday, Amelia Island will have a new water taxi service between town and St. Mary's Georgia. The service will run four times daily on Thursdays Fridays and Saturdays until spring when the schedule will include several more days a week. It will take about an hour each way so our guests will be able to take a half-day or a day trip up to the quaint little town of St. Mary's without needing a car - a very good thing these days. One more reason to leave the car int the lot or at home. And the cost will only be $15 round-trip. We're very excited here; this has been a long time coming.

Friday, August 22, 2008

New Pocket Park

The City is adding a few "pocket parks" squeezed between buildings on vacant lots. This particular one is right next to the ice cream/ coffee shop on Centre Street so it will undoubtedly get a lot of use. My only question is about where the Friday night Christian bikers will go. This has been their impromptu parking lot when they ride into town for coffee, ice cream and conversation. I'm sure they've got it figured out. I'll be sure to put up an "after" shot when the park's finished.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

We're All Fine From Fay

Consistent with our history, we're not at all feeling the brunt of Fay. Our neighbors to the south have not been so lucky and they've gotten quite a bit of water. Even Jacksonville has had quite a bit more rain and wind than we have. In fact, our neighbors across the street live in Jacksonville during the week and come to their island house on the weekends but they came over today to escape the power outages in Jacksonville. This is Gil Langley, our director of tourism, telling everyone to come on down, we'll be happy to have ya.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A View From the Bridge

When our arriving guests get to this point in their approach to the island, we can almost hear their shoulders drop while the tension leaves their necks because they know that island life begins right at the end of that brige. The view does the same thing for me.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Awaiting Fay

This kite surfer is making good use of the building surf, thanks to Fay. We'll probably get some good rain and a few breezes but not too much else. No matter what, when there is a storm anywhere out there we always get some good surf action and these guys are thrilled. We'll keep you posted.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Well She Was Just Seventeen

We had a birthday here this weekend. Jordan is one of our fabulous housekeepers who've been doing a great job for us all summer. School starts tomorrow, and I couldn't convince her to quit (REALLY joking there) so she'll be joining us after school and on weekends. For those of you who know our staff, that's Crystal's arm playing a supporting role.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Height of Sisterly Love

Yet another sisters' group that we'll miss around here. Thanks Nancy, Krissy and Tricia. When Chicago gets too cold for you, come on back.

P.S. Maybe they're jumping for Michael Phelps...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Beckoning Sidewalk

Every street around town just beckons you to come explore. We've always said that we're like Mayberry on an island and our guests agree. This sidewalk runs right in front of our cottages behind the main house. There's usually something in bloom and it's always tree-shaded. We had a professional comedian stay with us a few years ago who did a spot-on impersonation of Barney Fife. He sounded right at home.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ye Old Fishin' Hole

In this case, quite a large hole: the Amelia River aka the marina.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Fairbanks' Angels

Yet another fun girls group here this weekend. This one even sang karaoke - fairly badly, I'm told... See you next year, girls.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Nice Night for Ice Cream

Actually, any night is a nice night for ice cream but this evening, the ice cream shop was the place to be. Lots of families out enjoying the pleasant weather and our first day without thunderstorms in several. We've been grateful for the rain but a good ice cream/ carriage tour/ boat ride/ eatin' on the patio/ rockin' on the porch night is good too.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Jaws of Fernandina

Not quite Christ of the Andes but he greets the sailors none the less.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Nice Restoration

With so many beautiful homes in the historic district having already been restored it sometimes feels like we're finished with them all. But that's not really the case. These folks have done a beautiful job with their meticulous restoration and they keep improving it. Lots of landscaping has gone in recently including this nice fountain. It's great seeing these houses all come back to life. And it's not cheap! It's a true commitment on someones part... we should know. But, as they say, it's a labor of love (and lots of cash).

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Our Stores Are Different Here

I have a favorite consignment shop up the street called "Buy Gones" and there is a different "open" sign every day featuring cute underwear. Here's today's.

And here's their greeter. We're wonderfully eclectic here and we love it that way.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The End of the Cheesburger/ Unleaded Combo Meal

This Exxon station has been pumping gas (under various emblems) for 50 years here. About ten years ago, burgers were added by the owner's son, T-Ray. T-Ray's burgers have repeatedly been voted the best on the island and he's expanded into fried shrimp and a full breakfast and lunch menu. The gas side of the house has had its ups and downs but has managed to wiggle through. When gas recently topped $4.00 a gallon, the pumps couldn't register such high falutin prices and the gas side of the house began taking a bath. So the decision was made to have a sale on gas until the underground tanks ran dry and then dig 'em up and make it a full-fledged burger station. With a sale on gas it didn't take long for the tanks to empty and out they came. Today was the day.

Monday, August 4, 2008

New Entrance to the Museum

A good percentage of our guests make their way down to our museum for the docent-guided history of our not-so-sleepy-little island. Or at least they find out that our history is not as sleepy as our current environment once they take the tour. The museum was already great but they've just finished another renovation/ expansion allowing them to give access to many more exhibits as well as have an elevator and those all-important rest rooms. It's a "must see" stop on your visit here. Docent-led museum tours are at 11am and 2pm Monday through Saturday, and 2pm only Sunday.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Lagoon at Amelia Island Plantation a nice place to sit and contemplate life. The Spa and Shops surround this peaceful little lagoon making it easy for you to just rock, shop or massage your cares away all in one nice package. The folks at the Plantation have done a wonderful job in maintaining as much of the natural beauty as possible at their resort and have been rewarded with one of the first "Green Resort" distinctions in the state. They're a wonderful neighbor, and they share their privileges with our guests - even the rockers.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Swirly Tree

This tree always reminds me of a tornado. It's growing up the corner of a bank building on Centre Street and it catches my eye every time I pass. If you didn't know better you'd think that it was always windy here. Breezy yes, windy no.