Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fernandina Folk Art Garden Shop

I'm so fascinated by the work that's going on at the house on Ash Street that I blogged about the other night, that I went by there again today to see the progress. For those of you who know the area, the house used to be the Sailor's Wife's Book Exchange. I found Roger - who owns the property with his wife Carol - in the back yard laying bricks. He was kind enough to take the time to share some history and to tell me what they're doing. While it will be their family home, it will also be a folk art shop featuring items for the garden. Roger is a landscaper and Carol is an artist who operates The Feathered Nest in St. Mary's, Georgia so it's a perfect match. They're doing all of the work themselves and plan on leaving the porch and rails "unfinished" as they appear now. I really like the look of the porch and of what's going on in the back yard. Roger tells me that they've still got arbors, lattice work, a Koi pond and some other things to do but they still hope to be open by March. Best wishes Roger and Carol, and thanks for the investment in the community.

Fairbanks House

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Damp Day at the Farmers Market

The rainy start to the day didn't stop me from heading down to the Fernandina Farmers Market this morning to pick up some kitty sprouts from my favorite booth for all things natural, Ms. Christine's. She's always carried natural dog treats but I saw in the newsletter that she'd be carrying "cat grass" this week so I headed down to grab some. So far so good with the ferals; they seem to be happy to improve their diet. And I also picked up some sunflower and pea sprouts to improve mine.

We're all over-dressed for the weather in these photos. The day also started out a bit cool but Felix warmed things up with his harmonica. By the end of the market, the warm front had arrived and, as I type this at 7:36pm, it's still 67 degrees. Fear not our friends from England who are about to embark on a two-week trip to Florida (and you know who you are), the sun shall shine on you. Maybe not your first day or two... but things will clear up.

Fairbanks House

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Camelias Are Back

Even when we get record cold spells, as we did earlier this month, the Camelias never fail to make their appearance to cheer things up. We have several Camelia bushes around the grounds - some white, some pink - and our guests frequently confuse them with roses, especially these pink ones. They have no scent and they drop their blossoms after about a day, but they just keep putting more out. Ours have been ravaged by some type of blight but we're addressing that now. Even still, they're quite prolific.

Fairbanks House

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fernandina Textures

This scene caught my eye today from this house on Ash Street being restored. From the porch rail to the doors to the birdcage to the birdhouse to the chairs, the wrought iron, the pots, the plants, the cat to the fleur-de-lis, it's just a feast for the eyes. Eye candy everywhere you look.

Fairbanks House

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Embers Restaurant to Private Residence

This used to be the Embers Restaurant but it has since been converted to a private residence. I didn't think about taking a photo until the "during" phase so I don't have a "before" shot, but here's "During" and....

"After". Nice job, huh? And, since the building was sitting and rotting while in foreclosure, the community is grateful to the owners who put so much money into it to bring it back to life.

Fairbanks House

Monday, January 25, 2010

Blue Skies - A Treat for the Eyes

Beautiful sunny blue skies returned today and were fabulously reflected in the calm waters surrounding Amelia Island. We escaped the worst of the storms making their way north overnight, but got a nice dose of rain just before dawn. That will help encourage our poor lawns and gardens that are still in shock from our cold spell of a couple of weeks ago. Now that we're back to lovely weather, there are no excuses to miss Restaurant Week, several performances nightly...

Fairbanks House

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Restaurant Week Starts Tonight

Too much yard work and football for me to blog this weekend so I'm just giving you the public service announcement that Restaurant Week runs from tonight through next weekend. Three course meals for either $19 or $29 at most restaurants in town. Photos back tomorrow.

Fairbanks House

Friday, January 22, 2010

Marina Policy

Correct me if I'm wrong, Sparky, but isn't a marina for boats? Might want to reconsider the sign...

Fairbanks House

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mini Restoration?

They uncovered and painted the doors on the old Fernandina flour and lumber building. Would it be classified as a restoration? Don't know, but I like it.

Fairbanks House

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Drinks at Indigo Alley

When things are slow around here we try to take advantage of the situation and visit some of the places where we send our guests all of the time so that we can actually enjoy our own town. So we had some drinks with Cyndi and Jeff out on the patio of Indigo Alley. Many of you probably recognize Cyndi as "Boomer's mom", as in Boomer, the carriage horse. Cyndi drives Boomer most nights and many of you who've taken carriage tours will know her. Some of you may even recognize her husband, Jeff, since he frequently does "ground support" for her when things are busy. We realized that we've really turned into Florida weather wimps when it was a mild evening and we still needed the portable heat lamp. Oh well, it kept us around a bit longer to spend more money at a local establishment.

Fairbanks House

Windows Across America

This is Sean Allison, our window cleaner extraordinairre. Sean has a business called Windows Across America, and - as the name implies - that's exactly what he does. He moves around the country with the good weather and has landed on Amelia Island around this time of year for the last five or six years. He cleans the windows of most of the bed and breakfasts on the island, and everywhere else he goes. He specializes in historic, and tall, buildings. Most people who are just passing through don't have the ladders to reach or the desire to climb to our top floors but Sean does. We give him two thumbs up. He may have some openings in his schedule because, sadly, several of his customers have gone out of business since last year. We're always glad to see him.

Fairbanks House

Monday, January 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Chris!

Chris Payton (first jumper on the left) celebrated her 60th (says she's not lying) birthday by having a four-pete at Fairbanks House. Chris' wonderful husband, Don, arranged this as a surprise for her. We like Don. In fact, he had paid attention over the years when Chris and her mom and sisters stayed with us on Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Getaways three other times. He knew who to call and made all of the arrangements. Well done Don! And happy birthday Chris!

Fairbanks House

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Robin Red Breast

Today was robin day in town. They've started to show up yesterday but today you couldn't step outside without hearing or seeing them in flapping cloud formations stripping berries from everything in the yard. And, by evening, there was quite a bit of evidence their previously-consumed meals. Apparently, they like blue things.

Fairbanks House


This was not a good way to start the day yesterday: water main break. The guys from the city were quick to respond though and everything was back to good working order in pretty good time. Our street looks a little unkempt after the work but I'm sure that we'll be paved in no time... fingers crossed.

Fairbanks House

Friday, January 15, 2010

Cowboy in Shorts

Yesiree we had a fine, fine day on Amelia Island today. The sun was out, the sky was blue, it's beautiful, and so are you dear Prudence. Actually, with apologies for the mangled Beatle lyrics, it's dear Cowboy, our letter carrier, who was excited to be back in shorts today. It's a rare occurrence when Cowboy's in slacks so he's not been a happy guy the last couple of weeks. But all is right with the world again.

Fairbanks House

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Cotton Candy Sky Tonight

Red sky at night, sailor's delight. And boy will the sailors be delighted tomorrow: a warm sunny day. Ahhhhh. Like the rest of the country, we're really looking forward to it.

Fairbanks House

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Canadians are Here!

Just look at all of those maple leaf flags. Welcome to Amelia Island.

Fairbanks House

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Florida Citrus

Ours seems to be hanging in despite the longest cold stretch for the area in recorded history. And the good news is that WE'RE COMING OUT OF IT. We'll be warming up every day this week and - more importantly for the oranges - every night as well. No more 30's. I think that I would rather have been there for the fall of the Berlin Wall if I could choose in which historic event to participate. But, since everything is relative, I'll wish milder temperatures for our friends up north now too. We may not be in the 80's but I bet that upper 60's will look pretty good to you right about now if you'd like to come visit. Did I mention that our Romance Packages are on sale?

Fairbanks House

Monday, January 11, 2010

Even a Chilly Sunset

Is still beautiful...

Fairbanks House

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Sorry about your team today...

Fairbanks House

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Frozen Food

The Fernandina Farmers Market went on as scheduled this morning with some mighty cold vendors. They're no more acclimated to the cold than the stray cats around here, so much bundling ensued. They were all great sports though and did a fabulous job getting their products to market unscathed. Even the strawberries got picked before the cold set in. If it makes you feel any better, guys, the farmers market in Orlando got snowed on this morning. We had friends leaving for Cancun this morning where they were hoping for 60 degrees. I think that you pretty much have to go to the equator to find some warm temperatures right now. We should be approaching normal by midweek though. None too soon. Thanks farmers!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Flight Formation

Pelicans in perfect harmony.

Fairbanks House

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Well I learned something new tonight. This is Mr. Robert Creech. He and his wife Kay have completed the Great Loop on their 43' boat called C-Life and have, therefor, earned the flag that he's proudly showing here. There's an organization called the AGLCA - America's Great Loop Cruisers' Association - that awards their flag to those who've completed the Great Circle Route around the eastern US. The flag on the C-Life shows that the Creeches have completed the route. They tell me that a white flag with a gold border denotes wannabes and those underway. I've always enjoyed looking at all of the boats in our marina and now I've got something else for which to keep on the lookout. Congratulations Bob and Kay. Glad you stopped in Fernandina. Happy travels to you. And thanks for the education.

Fairbanks House

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

S-S-S-Still C-C-C-Cold

Although we've had plenty of sun all day, we also had plenty of hours in the 20's last night so the fountain got a few more layers piled on. Note that the mermaid managed to thaw her northern parts in the sun today.

And even with all of the amazingly abnormal weather anomalies that we've been having lately, we've still got plenty of color on Centre Street. If you stare at the pansies long enough, you actually believe that we'll be eating ice cream again real soon. In fact, we're just two months from the Garden Show in Central Park. Jan's got some great things lined up for this first show so make your plans now. In fact, the dates of the show coincide with the first First Friday Sounds on Centre free concert on Centre Street. It's shaping up to be a great weekend.

If you'd like to come to Amelia Island this month, our second annual Restaurant Week starts January 24th. While we're certainly expecting for our weather to be back to normal then, it's always 72 degrees in the restaurants so it doesn't really matter what it's doing during Restaurant Week. Our guests who booked for it last year loved it.

Fairbanks House

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


You've probably read how this cold front has reached all the way to south Florida breaking records everywhere it goes. And we're no exception. My hot towel service for the stray cats has blossomed into a part-time job and things that have never frozen before are getting their first taste of the sensation... such as our neighbor's blue mermaid sitting on the fountain here. I mention that she's blue because you'd never know it from the ice chest that she's sporting today. And the only reason that I know that she's not blue just from the cold is that I pass her most days. And the ice cubes next to her are turtles. It actually only got down to 30 degrees last night but it stayed there for awhile which allowed the layers to build up on our fair maiden. When you pull up a forecast for our zip code, you're actually seeing the numbers for inland; we're always 5 - 10 degrees different year round. And grateful for it.

Fairbanks House

Monday, January 4, 2010

Family Christmas - in January

I spent the weekend in Richmond for a delayed family Christmas at the lovely home of my niece and nephew-in-law and had a cold and wonderful time. It was nice getting back to landscapes that I remember (they're not that different from my hometown of Baltimore) but I was grateful that I brought enough L.L.Bean items to make it through without getting frostbite on my walks. As you all know there was record cold everywhere this weekend and Richmond was no exception.

Here's their lovely home, large enough to accommodate all 30 of us.

And here's a small sample of lovely nieces in new robes and earrings.

And my Dad, the patriarch holding a photo of himself in drag. Yes, he's an actor, and we're told that this was one of his roles. Don't know the full story but the photo sure did make a great gag gift.

And evidence that I did, indeed, walk in the 19 degree weather.

Fairbanks House

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Technical Problems


Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

And this will be our last night of the lights. After restringing a few times already this year, we've decided that we've met our limit and the burned out strands will be replaced next year. We even had an incident where a neighbor's dog decided to chase the yard cats and ran through the lights, dragging several stings (while lit) with him when they got caught on his face. A bit reminiscent of the Bumpass dogs from A Christmas Story, and Bill decided that that would be the end of the line when it cam to putting them back up - or at least buying any more replacements. So, Georgia, one of the strays enjoyed them one more time tonight. They had a good two-month run.

Fairbanks House