Monday, December 29, 2008

Honored Guests

Those of you who have read the history of our house might recognize the name Sally Dickinson. She and her business partner, Buff Gordon, did a major renovation of Fairbanks House in 1982 and converted it to apartments. They did an outstanding job. We were priviledged to have Sally (l), her sister Jane Schildge (r) and their respective husbands Josh and George (hiding) stay with us the last couple of nights and tell us stories of the house rehab. We're told that all parties involved were part of the manual labor workforce. Just before they left us this morning Sally and Jane jumped for joy knowing that the maintenance of the house is now in Bill's hands. Truth be told, Bill doesn't mind one little bit. He just wishes that he had 72 hours a day to devote to the task.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Back to Reality

After that fun, fun, fun Christmas holiday that we just had it's now time to go back to everyday work in the form of "saving history". Here's Bill saving a (decorative) balcony railing from the front of the house on the second floor. With the responsibility of maintaining a 125 year-old house, I'm guessing that Bill has more saves than Goose Gossage.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Forgot About Sarge

The 2000+ pound reindeer that pulled our guests' sleigh. Sorry to have forgotten you, Sarge. You did a great job.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas 2008

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas Everyone

Christmas compilation tomorrow. Going to bed now. Goodnight.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Getting Ready

It's almost time for our Christmas guests to arrive. Can't wait.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Caramel Covered Popcorn - Mmmmmm

I went to Fantastic Fudge on Centre Street to pick up a guest's gift order of candy and fudge, and I turned around and saw this great big slab o' caramel popcorn being made. Now, I like caramel popcorn but if there'd been a big ole slab o' fudge being made I'm afraid that I might have disgraced myself by jumping the protective barrier and violating about 23 health code sub chapters right then. Alas, I made it all the way back to the inn without even eating the guest's order. If you come to Fernandina, this is a do-not-miss shop. Because it was 80 degrees, there was also a line out the door for ice cream (this place has it all) but I was too mesmerized by the slab of goodness behind me to get a picture of that.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Porcelain Nativity

This lovely Nativity set is sitting on a bench just inside the door at Eight Flags Antiques. It's half price too. Tempting...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Real Estate Pooch

Now who wouldn't want to buy a house from the Christmas Dog? Maybe he comes with the deal. You can find out at the Coldwell Banker office on Centre Street.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Deck the Shells with Boughs of Netting

Fa la la la la - la la la la.

Starfish in a Christmas setting,

Sharks teeth, conchs and oysters calling,

Book your rooms and please stop stalling,

P.S. Nothing rhymes with gift certificate.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Seasonal Wheelbarrow

This wheelbarrow, in front of French Market Antiques, presents an ever-changing view of the colors of the seasons. The eye-catching display always does its job of drawing you into the shop, or at least to that side of Centre Street. Once inside... be prepared to be very very tempted. They've always got gorgeous displays to highlight their beautiful finds. Always worth a stop when in town.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Fernandina Sign

I bet that you guys don't have signs like this in front of the restaurants in your town. A $25 gift certificate goes to the first person who guesses which restaurant this is. Make your guesses in the comments.

Update 12/16: The Callahan Kid has correctly guessed that this sign hangs on the door (gate) of Pompeo's Italian Restaurant. The "Mario" portion of the sign was probably the best clue. Thanks for playing. Stay tuned for more gift certificate opportunities.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tired Santa

Or maybe he's just limbering up for his afternoon class at Mrs. Bean's. Or just maybe... none of you are believing enough... there's not enough Christmas spirit out there. Won't you help Santa? You might even hear the bells.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Paint Store Pirates

Well it's not exactly Christmassy, but it's very Fernandina. I.m somehow comforted when these two look out the window at me. I know where I am.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Gift for You on Our 11th Anniversary

As hard as it is for Bill and I to believe it, today is our 11th anniversary of owning the Fairbanks House. It's been a wild, wonderful, rewarding and unpredictable ride. We are so grateful to all of our fabulous guests who have stayed with us over the years, to our neighbors in business and gossip and to our families who used to think that holidays happened on holidays instead of when we're available. We have no intention of going anywhere anytime soon so we hope that's okay with everybody.

As an anniversary gift - and "thank you" - to our guests, and potential guests who read the blog, we have a bonus gift certificate offer. The Amelia Island Bed and Breakfast Association offers $100 gift certificates (coupons) online for $75 that can be use at area inns. We'd like to up the ante. If you purchase these gift certificates for Fairbanks House, we will raise the value to $150 for those used for a stay in December or January and $125 for those used in February stays. So the same $75 will go quite a bit farther if you need a getaway soon (and who doesn't?). You'll want to note that these certificates are limited to Sunday through Thursday and there are a limited number available. If that doesn't fit your needs, we'll go one better and extend a 20% jump in value on any amount of regular Fairbanks House cash gift certificates purchased in December. These gift certificates have no restrictions - other than they can't be used on existing reservations. These can be purchased online or by calling us.

Thanks for the priviledge of being your innkeepers for eleven years. We hope to be here for eleven more. And then our knees will probably hurt.

Tabby House Christmas Dressing

Those of you who are loyal blog readers will remember my description of the Tabby House many, many months ago. It is one of the most unusual houses in the Historic District in that its exterior walls are constructed entirely of tabby, a substitute for bricks used in the coastal regions from northern Florida to South Carolina in the 1700's and 1800's. Many foundations in the area (including ours) feature tabby but this is the only house to be constructed entirely in this manner. Some of our guests have asked us when the siding burned off. Interestingly, there was a serious fire at the Tabby House about five or six years ago resulting in extensive damage - but none to the exterior. Those three little pigs knew what they were doing - at least one of them anyway.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dottie B's Christmas Window

The florist right around the block from us, Dottie B's, always does a great Christmas window but I think that this year's is my favorite. In fact, I've photographed it a few times in the daylight but didn't post it because I figured that it would look better on one of my night walks. I'm glad that I waited until tonight because it really is better. I hope that you get to come to the island during the holiday season so that you can see all of these fun things in person.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

St. Michael's Academy

Is all dressed up for the holidays too.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Partin Center

All dressed up for Christmas.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Baptist Parade

I stepped out the front door to head out on my walk today and my blog photo walked right up to me. About a third of the congregation of the First Baptist Church was parading from their old home on Fourth Street downtown to their brand new expanded home on Eighth Street for the opening ceremonies. There's quite a bit of discussion in town now about what to do with their old building, including turning it into a library - a significantly bigger one than we currently have. Glad these folks are all so pleased with their nice new home.

Friday, December 5, 2008

An Egret, A Fisherman and a Blue Blue Sky

Three things that I saw on my walk today.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Winter Flowers

It's always a treat for our guests who come "from the north" this time of the year when things are dark and barren to stumble upon splashes of color everywhere here. In fact, we've had impatiens plants like these last for years when they've only got about three or four months of life in them in some of the colder climates.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas Movies at the Palace

The Palace Saloon will be showing free Christmas movies on their big screen in the back bar (where the Film Festival resided in September) for the better part of the rest of December. Christmas movies are great in the comfort of your own home, but who doesn't want to be with a crowd with a beer-in-hand when Ralphie shoots his eye out? I'm just sayin'...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

New Brewpub Coming!

The owners (Theresa pictured here, Tim on floor working) of Cafe Karibo on Third Street will be opening a new attached brewpub in January. They've taken over the recently vacated space next door for the venture and it looks like it will be great. They'll be offering five varieties of home brewed beer (tanks pictured here) along with burgers and other vittles that go well with beer. Called "Cafe Karibrew, (Brewpub and Grub)," it will be open for lunch and dinner several days a week, ultimately seven. It's nice to see some folks making continued investment in the community during difficult economic times. Until the pub opens - and even after - we highly recommend Cafe Karibo.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Celestial Event

Venus, Jupiter and the moon came together over the Fairbanks House tonight. There aren't too many inns that would go to the trouble to arrange that for their guests! Just kidding... but I'm so glad that we had such clear skies to witness this rare event. Hope you got the same at your house.