Sunday, June 27, 2010

Norman Rockwell Kind of Town

When asked to describe our area to potential guests, the names "Norman Rockwell" and "Mayberry" frequently roll off of our tongues.  And for good reason.  Fernandina really is a charming place.  We've owned the inn for thirteen years now and we've just heard that our 35th couple have bought here.  (Welcome Lisa and Rob.)  And I've just heard from a travel writer who covered us a few years ago who is also interested in buying here.  And I know that some of you who read my blog (thank you) are considering the move because you e-mail me.  (FYI, I'm not a realtor and I have no affiliation with any and I know nothing about the housing market.) We've got difficult tax, insurance and employment issues... but if you can get by those, it's a great place to live.  You're all welcome to join us here, but if you don't want to make the move, then just come spend some time with us here at Fairbanks House.  Part-time residents are welcome.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Fernandina Summer Cottage

Many of the cottages in town here change their look with the seasons and this little house on Second Street is no exception.  They've always got seasonal cushions, flowers, banners and plants all the way around and it makes me smile every time that I walk by.  You can tell that it's summer just by the color of the cushions on the porch furniture.  In case you still need a clue, the banners and colorful windsock ought to complete the thought for you.  Thank you, cottage on Second Street.  You add to our island vibe.

Fairbanks House - Amelia Island

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Babes in the Palace Saloon

I spied some different kind of babes making their way into the Palace Saloon than you might normally find in there.  Hope everyone got carded.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Shrimp - $5 Each

That's what the sign says.  You may have been expecting some mighty big or mighty tasty shrimp at that price but we seem to be in a different category, given that this sign is in the window at Amelia Island Paint and Hardware.  So do you think that we're buying the stuffed shrimp below the sign or the small head to the right?

Fairbanks House - Amelia Island

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Geranium Baskets of Le Clos

I've always been a sucker for beautiful flower baskets but the ones outside of Le Clos this summer have me absolutely drooling with envy. The gorgeous red geraniums with a backdrop of ivy and creeping fig can just set the heart aflutter. The meals inside these walls do nothing to stop the palpitations as many of our guests will tell you. In fact, most of our guests know that if they'd like the sea bass in lemon buerre blanc, and warm chocolate cake for dessert, they just need to order the "Theresa Special". They'll ask if you want it "with or without escargot" because I don't like to be predictable.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Lost Weekend

Or maybe I should say "last weekend". My blog has been dark since last week because my beloved blogging computer buckled under the weight of all of my blog photos and rebelled in a most convincing manor. The fabulous Innkeeper Bill who hasn't met a mechanical, electrical or electronic device that he can't fix managed to bring her back to life and put my blog back in business. In the meantime, we had a variety of interesting guests over the weekend so I've decided to share their happiness with you. And, when a potential guest asked me last week if "your bed and breakfast is only for women" I decided that I'd better get some shots of our happy guys here instead of just our fabulous ladies groups. But I'm not leaving out our ladies - we love 'em. So, I give you... happy honeymooners, happy guys at Social Hour, happy triathalon finishers, happy birthday girls and happy Tower-dwelling girls. And a happy innkeeper with a fixed computer.

Fairbanks House - Amelia Island

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Florida House Inn Sold?

Rumor has it that the Florida House Inn is under contract and will reopen at some point after extensive renovations.  That will be good to see.  It broke the hearts of everyone on the island when it closed down in January.  Unless you've owned a building from the 1800's, it's hard to fathom just how quickly decay can set in.  Constant passionate maintenance is required just to keep up.  Leaving a building that was constructed in 1857 unoccupied and untended for too long is not a good idea.  We're happy that someone has chosen to make the commitment to bring this building back to the landmark status that it once enjoyed.

Fairbanks House- Amelia Island 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Verbena is one of my favorite butterfly-friendly plants.  It's drought tolerant, prolific, vivid and it grows well on Amelia Island.  We've added some to the border in our new landscape at the front of the house as well as to the butterfly garden in the back.  The butterflies are just starting to come out now so we expect to be getting quite a few winged visitors in the not too distant future.  Happily, we're getting lots of the two-legged variety now too.  Hopefully, we can introduce them to one another soon.

Fairbanks House - Amelia Island

Monday, June 14, 2010

Happy Flag Day

And thanks to those who've served under it.

Fairbanks House - Amelia Island

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Summertime on Amelia Island

And the livin' is easy... or at least tasty.

Fairbanks House - Amelia Island

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Luigi's Trattoria is a cute little family-run Italian restaurant on 5th Street, just a couple of blocks from the Fairbanks House.  We haven't had a chance to go but it's a great hangout for locals so they must be doing something right.  All that I know is that the garlic calls out to me from about three blocks away on my evening walks.  And this wreath on the side of their building always catches my eye.

Fairbanks House - Amelia Island

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


It was my turn to bring lunch to the Amelia Island Bed and Breakfast Association meeting today so I stopped by the Fernandeli (Fernandina Deli) for an assortment of sandwiches.  We thoroughly enjoyed our Grilled Chicken Caesar Wrap, our Grilled Cheese and Tomato Panini, the Tuna Melt Footlong and the Giant BLT.  I lost some style points though because I didn't realize that they don't have any sweets to go with lunch.  Next time I'll save a little bit of time to stop by Patty Cakes Bakery so as not to have to wear the hood of shame.  And, yes, I'd baked at the inn, but I save that stuff for you guys.

Fairbanks House - Amelia Island, Florida

Monday, June 7, 2010

Amelia Island Streaming Beach Webcam

Here's a link to a streaming webcam from one of the beautiful beaches on our little island paradise.  If you can't get here, feel free to enjoy the view until you can.  You may have to install an Active X player to watch, but if you just follow the prompts you'll be fine.

Fairbanks House

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Shrimp O'Maze

This beauty - called Shrimp O'Maze - is another in the Shrimp Expressions series of sculptures around town for Micah's Place.  It's hard to see, but if you look closely, you'll be able to make out the buildings on Centre Street painted all around her torso.  The bright blue eyes make it look like she's enjoying the attention.  I love this project.

Fairbanks House

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Friendly Persuasion

Having been raised in Maryland, I've always felt that people from Pennsylvania are of a friendly persuasion, and now it's confirmed.  Welcome Lafayette Hill.  May you find that the people of Amelia Island carry the same disposition.

Fairbanks House

Friday, June 4, 2010

Amelia River

I never grow tired of the approach.  It doesn't matter if it's sunny, rainy, cloudy, windy or low-tide smelly.  There's just something refreshing about sidling up to the river's edge. Speaking of the water, the reggae Sunsplash Festival is this weekend over on the beach. Anyone going? 

Fairbanks House

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Amelia Island Artist Shrimp Expressions

"Rock Shrimp" is one of many whimsically decorated shrimp sculptures that you'll run into these days on a saunter through town.  Each of a dozen of these beauties was adopted by a local business and an artist to raise money and awareness for Micah's Place, our local center for domestic violence.  The project is called "Shrimp Expression," and will conclude in the fall with the auction of said shrimp for - hopefully - enormous sums of money.  In the meantime, we'll have the summer to enjoy - and be photographed with - these colorful characters.

Fairbanks House

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I'm Baaaa-aaack! And So is Lulu's

So sorry for my unscheduled hiatus.. but I'm back and blogging with a vengeance.  And just in time for Lulu's Bra and Grill reopening.  Old timers will recognize that there's no typo there; it's just a great name.  And we're thrilled that after an eighteen month (?) stretch of no Lulu's, we've got it back.  Co-owner Melanie (pictured) tells me that she and her husband are downsizing from a 350 seat restaurant that they own on the Potomac River in Virginia.  They had a "soft" opening today by just putting out their sign and seeing what wandered in.  By the looks of things when I wandered by on my walk tonight, they're not going to have too much trouble getting the word out.  Welcome, Melanie and family, and welcome back Lulu's.  You've been missed.

Fairbanks House