Monday, August 31, 2009

Local Shrimp

One of the advantages of living in the modern day shrimping capitol of the world is that you can walk down to the river, find a Fernandina shrimper and buy very fresh shrimp for about $4.00 a pound - which is exactly what we did for tonight's dinner. That two and a half pound bag represents two night's worth of five dollar dinners for us. Not bad, huh? And, yes, it was good... and tender... and flavorful. Mmmmmmmmm.

Fairbanks House

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Otter Buddies

These guys were hanging out on the boat ramp right next to the seafood market waiting for their human friend to come out with some leftovers. I've frequently seen them playing in the water at the marina hunting their own dinner but maybe they get Sundays off too. The guy at the market said that all four of his buddies had been hanging out earlier today but maybe one of the Fernandina fish boats came in and they could get a fresher dinner. Smart little guys. And pretty cute too.

Fairbanks House

Friday, August 28, 2009

Amelia Island Welcome Mat

Many townies will throw out the welcome mat but this is impressive! Okay, I know that they're just cleaning their rugs but I couldn't help but notice how beautiful they are and what a metaphor they are for Fernandina. It's just an incredibly welcoming place and all of the welcome mats feel this big.

Fairbanks House

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Arrrrrrrr Ayyyyyyyye

Avast me mateys! Everybody start practicing because September 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Let's start the celebration by offering a $50 Fairbanks House gift certificate to the person who does the best job of begging for the certificate in your best pirate speak. Tell me what you'd do here on Amelia Island. Sob stories don't count (but flattery helps) and your plea must be entered via the comments section on this blog. Just click on the word "comments" at the end of this post and follow the instructions. Ties will be decided by our staff. So come on me swabs and wenches, let's hear it! The island's crawling with pirates anyway - come join us.

Fairbanks House

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pinot Grigio for Me Please

As it always does in late August, business has slowed down quite a bit this week - to the point of having no guests in the house tonight. Not being ones to waste an opportunity, Bill and I headed down to the Intercoastal Wine Bar and Shop and had ourselves a nice glass of wine (while out on our walk). I'm glad we did. I'd forgotten how much entertainment they feature there, including a good band on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend. There's the First Friday free concert on opening night of the weekend and then Intercoastal Wine will be featuring a great band for a $5.00 cover charge on Saturday. If you combine that with Sunday brunch at Beech Street Grill with the piano player, you've had yourself one musical weekend. FYI, we've still got rooms and a Labor Day Special.

Fairbanks House

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Right on!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sunset Fishermen

So I've got a bird, boats, sunset, docks, fishermen and a river. Yup, that sums up why we live here in Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida.

Fairbanks House

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Got Character?

Why yes we do, thanks for asking. In fact, we've got character(s) all over the island. Shirtless Big Bike Man is one of my favorites. I've never seen the bike parked anywhere so I'm guessing that it's just for exercise rather than for transportation. Either way, I enjoy the entertainment value. Thanks Shirtless Big Bike Man.

Fairbanks House

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Surf's Up

Bill the innkeeper and Bob the bird watch the effects of Bill the hurricane from the fishing pier at Ft. Clinch. There didn't appear to be a whole lot of super high tide at this point but the waves were steady and the current was rough. In fact, there have been rip tide warnings posted for the whole weekend although things are supposed to calm down by morning. I didn't get by Main Beach but that's where the surfers usually hang out (free parking). They are probably wishing that they hadn't held their surf contest last week...

Fairbanks House

Friday, August 21, 2009

Looking Welcoming

So the new Welcome Center is really coming along. At the moment it looks a little Alpine but I bet that it'll look tropical in no time. I don't know the opening date but it looks like it should be soon. In fact, I was going to cut the ribbon but I think that it's just a "keep out" thingy. I'll wait for the official notice.

Fairbanks House

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Blue Skies

It's just been a week of really great skies. Since we're on an island we tend to get interesting weather patterns anyway (right now radar shows a thunderstorm right on top of us and we're sitting in a nice blue bubble) but the skies have been especially noteworthy lately. And when Big Bad Bill starts throwing clouds and surf our way over the weekend I'll be ready with my camera. For now, just pretend that you're a kid again laying on the grass looking up and finding faces in the clouds. Now go get a Popsicle.

Fairbanks House

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Nature's Cork

This new shop just off of Centre Street brings something new to the area and we're always happy about that. As the sign says, this is about as eco-friendly as you can get. I, for one, didn't know that all of these products could be made from cork. I understand that they're putting together a fashion show and environmental fair to be held all day September 12th, which is also the second Saturday of the month so the Artrageous Artwalk will be going on that evening as well. Mark your calendars.

Fairbanks House

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bird of Paradise

One of my all time favorite flowers, the Bird of Paradise, is just peeking up from amidst the vast flower garden of the Easter Egg Cottage. When Bill and I honeymooned in Hawaii (25 1/2 years ago) these were on full display everywhere we went. Living in Baltimore at the time, I dreamed of living in a place "where the Birds of Paradise bloom". Hello Amelia Island.

Fairbanks House

Monday, August 17, 2009

No Tropical Storm Here

These are the kind of great skies that we get here when somebody else gets a tropical storm or hurricane. They just kind of throw off these cool looking clouds and we get the high beauty without the high drama. It's probably time for me to do my once-a-year hurricane education for those not familiar with Florida. The state has thousands of miles of coastline and therefor, thousands of miles of opportunities for a land-falling hurricane. If you watch the news during hurricane season you think that the entire state of Florida is laying in ruins. It's true that the state - in general - has had more than its fair share. However... from our house to Key West is about the same distance as Bar Harbor Maine to Philadelphia. That's a pretty big coastline. More often than not, when a tropical storm or hurricane hits somewhere in the state, most of the rest of us will be calm and dry. If you're wondering what our particular record is here on Amelia Island, let me just say that we're still looking through the original glass in the windows from 1885. Statistically, Nassau County, FL is the least likely spot on the East Coast to take a direct land-falling hurricane. Yes, I have just knocked on every piece of wood in the house.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Team Trivia At the Palace

Just like the sign says. And it's free. Just like the sign says. Just another reason to extend that weekend with us. In fact, we've just announced a Labor Day Weekend Extender for those of you who don't have your reservations yet. Lots of fun things going on that weekend too. But there's free team trivia at the Palace every Sunday. Just like the sign says.

Fairbanks House

Friday, August 14, 2009

Pet Friendly Island

A frequent question from our guests is if all of the shop owners have pets in their stores. When I was first asked this I thought that it must have been "Take Your Pet to Work Day" or something like that. Upon further questioning, I realized that they were asking because many, many downtown merchants have water bowls outside for anyone passing by. There are lots of dog owners on the island (just come to the Saturday Farmers Market if you'd like to see it in action) and sidewalks can get mighty hot on the paws. Cats are allowed too but they mostly drink up at night when they can be stealthy about it. We have several bowls around the yard tucked into gardens and under shrubs to catch the rain and/ or the sprinklers. With a little over an acre of grounds we have critters of all kinds taking refuge - and we'd like to keep the pool in its pristine condition rather than having it become the great watering hole of the Kalahari.

Fairbanks House

Thursday, August 13, 2009

French Market Antiques

Always makes me smile with their ever-changing antique wheel barrow seasonal displays out front. So their sidewalk advertisement does its job by making me smile and then drawing me inside where I just plain drool. I love this store. They always have exquisitely beautiful items inside. We've had many a guest caught under the spell as well. They've either crammed their cars to an uncomfortable level or made our UPS Store franchise very happy. Note to other guests: The UPS Store does a great job so you don't have to hold back on your shopping. I recommend that you start with this store and then move on to Celtic Charm and then on to... about fifteen others.

Fairbanks House

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Mighty Big Barge

They've been doing a lot of work at the marina over the past several months and, recently, this big barge has been moving from dock to dock in this quest. My husband, Superman, decided to offer an assist to move things along. No humans or docks were injured in the filming of this feat.

Fairbanks House

Monday, August 10, 2009

Captain Bill, I Presume?

He just looks like a combination of the Gorton's Fisherman and Mr. Bill to me.

Fairbanks House

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Land O'Lakes is Flyin' High

We now return to our regular Sunday programming of "Jumping Girls at the Fairbanks House". This week's episode is brought to you by the girls of Land O'Lakes, some high-flyers indeed. This was the end of a fun weekend of 40th birthday celebrations. Looks to me like 40 is the new 15. Love it.

Fairbanks House

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Gregg Allman Was Here

But I missed him! He was vacationing on Amelia Island last week and he stopped by Indigo Alley a couple of times to talk guitars with Mike Garbarini, the owner. Eventually, they traded a tee-shirt for a glossy and everybody was happy.

Fairbanks House

Friday, August 7, 2009

Look at All of Those Tourists!

To say that it's been a "challenging year" in the tourism business would be an understatement. Like other businesses in this economy, we've all had to be more creative when it comes to enticing folks to spend their hard-earned money with us on Amelia Island. One of the tried-and-true events to help in that endeavor is our monthly "Sounds On Centre," a free concert on the first Friday of every month that turns into a street party for tourists and locals, alike. This is Gil Langley, our Convention and Visitors Bureau president, beaming at the crowds on this perfect Friday evening. Lots o' tourists, locals, pirates, dancing and carrying on. As usual, a fun time was had by all.

Fairbanks House

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Purely Gratuitous

We had another fun ladies group with us for the last couple of days and when we were taking the obligatory group shot out front I decided to try a shot that I discovered by accident the other day. And I thought it was fun. There are probably millions of people out there who take pictures of other cameras taking pictures but I've never seen it so I'm going to take credit for inventing it. Well, at least I'm probably the first at Fairbanks House. Of which I'm aware. Or that I can remember. Anyway, try it - it's fun. And so were the ladies. All eight of them.

Fairbanks House

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Always Expecting Company

One of the things that I love about Fernandina is that you always see chairs on the front porch: not just one or two chairs but frequently three, four or five. We're always expecting company. And we're always ready to people-watch. Every evening is like the Shrimpfest parade; half the town is sitting and watching and the other half is parading by. And we're on front porches, not back yard decks. Love a deck but they're for hiding. Porches are for communing. And communing makes a community. Members of some communities might think that their loved ones have disappeared but in Fernandina we know that they're either taking a walk or buying milk at Publix. And they'll be back when they're hungry.

Fairbanks House

Monday, August 3, 2009

Window Guy in a Cherry Picker

I guess he was busy with the courthouse because I asked if I could have a ride and he said "no". Boy, these responsible workers really get on my nerves.

Fairbanks House

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Pleather Palace?

I sneaked a peek through the window of the back bar of the Palace Saloon, and it would appear that there's something happening there. I've heard that there may be a new club of some type going in and it looks like it's going to involve lots of white pleather sofas. Perhaps some dancing of some kind? I'll report back when I have info. Happy to see another option for our guests and locals.

Fairbanks House

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Great Saturday Indeed

This was just one of those Saturdays where I smiled all day. We had our usual great group of guests in the house but as I wandered down toward the riverfront I realized just what a postcard perfect day it was.

Later in the afternoon some of our girls decided that they'd make an attempt at wrestling the barracuda in the pool - and nearly succeeded.

But the icing on the cake was Kathryn and Chad who honeymooned with us in 1999 and returned - four kids later - to celebrate their 10th anniversary with us. And we were just closing up for the evening when they came back from dinner at the same time as our honeymooners and we overheard them recommending that they come back for their 10th. It just doesn't get any better than this.

Fairbanks House