Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Celtic Music

Sunday evenings provide an opportunity for Celtic music and casual worship at St. Peter's Episcopal church just a few blocks from us. I didn't know that until I wandered by and saw the sign out front. Many of you nay know that St. Peter's was designed by Robert Schuyler, the same architect who built Fairbanks House. Some of the financing came from George Fairbanks, a devout Episcopalian who was also one of the founders of the College of the South (now the University of the South), and Episcopal university in Suwanee, Tennessee. Fairbanks and Schuyler had quite an impact around here.

Fairbanks House

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Mermaids are Spreading

Bigger house, bigger mermaid.

Fairbanks House

Monday, September 28, 2009

Best Pizza In Town

Arguably. All that I know is that all of our guests who are looking for great pizza that they can walk to come back happy from Arte Pizza. Brick oven wood fired pizza, Italian dinners, great salads, cold beer. Meets all of my requirements.

Fairbanks House

Sunday, September 27, 2009

High School Reunion - Trolley Style

This class of '54 seemed to be having a big ol' time on Polly the Trolley. If some of them haven't been back to the island in awhile. I would imagine that the changes were quite a bit to take in. The nice thing about Fernandina though is that any of the historic buildings and houses that were here when they graduated are still here - and possibly a little more spiffed up since most have been restored a couple of times since then. They probably felt like they'd done some time travel during their trip as they neared the island due to all of the changes between the island and I-95, but hopefully they felt like they were home again once they reached town.

Fairbanks House

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Are You Ready for Some Football?

These Saturday morning Pee-Wees sure are. I eavesdropped a little bit to try to hear their game plan and it seemed to involve the complicated strategy of just getting through the first quarter. Probably best for the attention span to break it into little bites like that. When I was on the track team in high school, our coach would call a huddle before every meet so that she could impart the wisdom of the day as we sized up our opponents. I guess that she was nearing retirement because all that she ended up saying was "run fast". Or maybe she knew that high schoolers' attention spans can't handle much more than these guys. Or as they said in Bull Durham, "Baseball is a very simple game; you throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball". If only I'd remembered that when I was coaching 9-10 softball...

Fairbanks House

Friday, September 25, 2009

Billy and His Babysitter

Since we have lots of animal lovers out there and many of you have expressed interest in Billy's story, I thought that I'd give you an update. Basically, Billy's doing great. He's getting more confident in - and aware of - his surroundings, and he's venturing out a little bit more with his babysitting buddy, Davey (Davey Crockett raccoon tail). He hasn't had any more walkabouts since he wandered up to the corner and across the street that first week so I think that he's figured out the boundaries of our yard. I still take all three of the cats to the back yard each evening and Billy just follows the sound of my voice and Davey waits for him, just to be sure that he's coming the right way. Once we get there they both jump into the Adirondak chairs and sit for a couple of hours, and then I come back and get them and we reverse the route. Panther has proved to be more of a manager than a hands-on babysitter, but she's good in emergencies. So here's where I left the two of them about 20 minutes ago, perfectly content and pleased with the change of venue for a couple of hours. Billy and Davey would like to thank everyone for their concern and good wishes.

Fairbanks House

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Great Time of Year for a Beach Vacation

The kids are all off of the beaches, the weather is perfect, the skies are blue, the sand is white, the water temps are great and the beer is cold. What more could you want for a beach vacation? If you get that first hint of cold up north, just remember that Amelia Island offers a pretty nice alternative. Wish you were here...

Fairbanks House

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Amelia Island Yard Sale

Yep, we have 'em here too.

Fairbanks House

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I was so focused on the cute pig with the eyelashes that I didn't notice the District 9 guy in the front. Anyone see the movie? Comments?

Fairbanks House

Monday, September 21, 2009

Amelia Island Jazz Festival Soon Come

While the Amelia Island Jazz Festival has always been enjoyed by all, this year things have been ratcheted up a notch with the addition of David Sanborn and a Friday night kickoff at the free Sounds on Centre concert featuring Dixieland jazz with Les DeMerle and Bonnie Eisele. That will be Friday, October 2nd. There will be concerts most of the week culminating with the David Sanborn concerts the following weekend. Tickets, as they say, are going fast. And if you can't get to any of that, there will be two seatings for a jazz brunch at Beech Street Grill on Sunday, the 11th, to wrap things up. We've still got rooms if you're interested. I know that I am.

Fairbanks House

Sunday, September 20, 2009

New Walking Tour

We have a fabulous history museum here on the island and they've just added a new tour - but this one is self-guided and free. It's an audio tour that starts at the downtown Visitors Center on Centre Street where you pick up the headphones and audio guide. When you return the headphones, they'll return your driver's license. I've given it a try and I think that you'll find it quite enjoyable - particularly since there's a nice bit about our house. And you sure can't beat the price.

Fairbanks House

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Talk Like a Pirate Day Prize

Avast fair maidens. Tricky with yer pretty words ya were but me hearties are ready to part with our treasure. Twas close, mighty close but the biggest wench of all prize goes to... Chris! Claim yer booty by usin' the fancy machine to send us yer particulars. Well done me ladies, well done indeed. Arrrrrgh!

Fairbanks House

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Billy the Blind Kitty

Most of you have probably noticed that I haven't posted anything on the blog since last week. I apologize to my regulars and I assure everyone that we're fine here. I have, instead, been otherwise occupied with this guy, Billy.

Last week, Billy went blind - spontaneously. The vet cannot figure out the cause but all of the big bad scary things have been ruled out. He's only 2 1/2 years old, in perfect shape - but blind. So.... I've been spending my evenings getting him adapted to his surroundings. As most of you know, the cats that are here were all feral but they've selected us to be their caregivers. Nobody comes inside. But leaving a blind cat to fend for himself outside was not within the realm of my imagination so we brought him into our quarters for a couple of nights... where he was miserable. (Must admit that the feeling was mutual.) So... we took him outside to "his" world and observed. It was tough at the beginning because he was afraid of steps and he kept bumping into things but... he was learning.

We also observed that the other two cats - who had always been bullied by Billy - started babysitting him. As he gained confidence and started going down the steps and wandering around the yard, they didn't let him get very far before they called him to let him know where he was and where the porch was. One of the cats who has always tried to talk his way into our quarters has been sitting right with him and doesn't even try to come inside, even with a wide open door. When I had to be inside for too long one afternoon, Billy had gotten confused, bold or both and had made his way across the street and up to the corner - which he never did when he could see - and by the time that I came out, the other cat - who really hates him - had gone off and gotten him and was bringing him back. Just amazing.

Each evening we've gone on a little field trip around to different parts of the property to let him learn his surroundings again and his babysitting buddies herd him if he gets off track. And he always finds his way back to the front porch to his towel that he likes to lay on. We're now to the point where I can leave him out all day and night and only check on him about four or five times and spend some time with him in the evening. He's playing now, trying to chase the other cats (I don't have the heart to tell him that they're not there...) and generally acting pretty gosh darn normal. I've always loved animals (even though we don't allow any inside the inn to help folks who have allergies) but this just amazes me. All of the neighbors and dog walkers all know not to startle him and everybody's keeping an eye out for him. Just one more reason that we love this town.

Thanks for your patience; I should be back to regular blogging very soon.

Fairbanks House

Friday, September 11, 2009

Wind Chime Whimsy

I think that there are almost as many mermaids on Amelia Island as there are pirates. Hmmmmm.... the original settlers? No, that was the Timucuans.

Fairbanks House

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fernandina Stonehenge

I think that you can guess what time I take my walks...

Fairbanks House

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Cecelia At Sunset

Cecelia McCarthy and her husband Kevin own Amelia River Cruises and Charters and the Cumberland Sound Ferry to St. Mary's. Probably about 70% of our guests go on one of their tours because they always do such a good job. And, you never know if you'll see manatees, dolphin or the wild horses over on Cumberland Island. In fact, we like it so much that we've made it a part of our Thanksgiving Package. The whole house goes out on the two hour morning cruise after our pumpkin pancake Thanksgiving breakfast. If you're in town, make sure to go out with these folks; you'll love it. Cecelia might even sell you the ticket.

Fairbanks House

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fernandina Sunset

Tired of these yet? I hope not because I'm not.

Fairbanks House

Monday, September 7, 2009

Philly Cheese Steaks

The new kids in town make a fine product - and deliver. We haven't had the opportunity to try the goods yet but we've had a few guests who've really enjoyed their subs, hoagies, grinders, insert-your-description-here. I'm told that ingredients make their way here from Philly daily. Mmmmmmmm.

Fairbanks House

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Fernandina Al Fresco Dining

Every restaurant in town that has a patio or porch was packed this evening. It's gorgeous out tonight, and most other nights this time of year. This is the patio at Cafe Karibo, a great venue for eclectic food and beautiful sunsets (as well as trivia on Tuesdays and jazz on Saturdays). They're not usually open Sunday evenings but both they and their sister restaurant, Cafe Karibrew, were doing a brisk business on the evening before a holiday... as were most other places. It was good to see.

Fairbanks House

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Labor Day Weekend Start

Due to technical difficulties I couldn't post last night so Here's the shot that I would have put up had I been able to. There was a great turnout for the sunset First Friday concert and street party on Centre Street. The band was good, the pirates were out and the kids were dancing. Nice evening.

Fairbanks House

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Talk Like a Pirate

Or not. I don't think that this pirate has quite gotten the hang of it. He's never going to be ready for Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19th. There are a few people who will be however. Let their words be your inspiration and then enter the contest. Won't cost you a gold piece and you can earn $50 off your Amelia Island visit to the Fairbanks House.

Fairbanks House

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Patty Cake's Bakery

Yes folks, while I didn't exactly get the best angle on the photo, I think that you can tell that there's a new bakery coming to town. Strength... strength... strength... strength... strength... strength... strength. Maybe it won't be any good... maybe they'll black out the windows... maybe I'll just thank them for their investment in our community, wish them well and have strength... strength... strength... strength...

Fairbanks House

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

US Foods Show

Today's walk was actually an inside event because I spent the better part of the day at the US Foods food show at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine. There were many, many tasty morsels calling my name. I answered the call, of course, but there was quite a bit of walking involved too. The two hours of yard work that I did before I left canceled out the remaining calories that I consumed in the name of finding more good food for our guests. You're welcome.

Fairbanks House