Thursday, July 29, 2010

Fernandina Flower Baskets

The Centre Street Basket program continues to thrive in Fernandina.  Several local businesses have generously sponsored flower baskets up and down Centre Street with fabulous results.  Sadly, there were some early thefts - most likely teens - but, undeterred, the businesses just replaced the originals with bigger and better displays.  Coupled with the Shrimp Art project by Micah's Place, Centre Street is the prettiest that I've seen it in a long time.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


This bright beautiful shrub is quite prolific this time of year, choking off sidewalks. driveways, patios and porches.  But when contained, it really brightens up the landscape.  There are alot of purple flowers, but very few true blue, so it's a popular addition to many gardens on Amelia Island.  I love it, but when we switched out our landscape to be more eco-friendly earlier this year, I was told that Plumbago isn't necessarily a good choice for the area so we pulled some of it out.  I'm guessing that it's considered invasive because I've never seen a border guard capapble of containing it so it's best to leave it out to give the other plants a chance.  But it is a pretty invader...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Revolutionary War on Amelia Island

Most of our guests just think of us as a quaint, charming, scenic, bucolic island with beautiful beaches, great restaurants, interesting shopping and natural wonders. And they're right. Except that we've got history too. We're the only place in the country that's been under the rule of eight flags, hence "The Isle of Eight Flags," so there were quite a few tussles, a few kerfuffles and several bruhahas that broke out throughout our formative years. There's still the occassional skirmish but we try to limit those to the ballfields, tennis courts and among the Shrimpfest pirates. It's a pretty interesting place if youre interested in knowing.

Fairbanks House - Amelia Island

P.S. Longtime blog readers (thank you) will have seen this sign before but they just painted it so I thought that it deserved another posting.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

My 1000th Blog Post - Cut It or Keep It?

I mean my hair!  Of course I'm going to keep blogging!  When I checked the totals on my Blogger dashboard, I noticed that I'd done 999 posts so I decided that the 1000th should be something different.  This is what 1000 blog posts worth of hair looks like.  I've had it cut a few times since I started blogging about three and a half years ago, but not much.  I've given my hair to Locks of Love twice already and this will probably be the last time because I'm almost 53 and the grey is really starting to creep in.  It's easy to pull back for cooking and other innkeeping purposes but it's getting kind of hot... so I'm tempted.  So... do I tough it out and stay warm one more winter, or do I chop it off and give it to the kids now?  What do you think? You can comment here, or click on the Facebook page link to the left and comment there.

Fairbanks House - Amelia Island

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Fernandina Beach

I post so many photos of town that some of you my wonder if I've ever get to the beach.  The answer is... not very much.  The busy life of an innkeeper doesn't allow for too many beach days and I enjoy the ever-changing views in the Historic District so much that I rarely take my walks over there.  But this is an island.  And we do have 13 miles of pristine beaches (all open to the public).  And it is just a couple of minutes across the island.  So I do occasionally get over there to soak in the serene view.  And it's always a thrill to see the ocean rise up from the horizon.  We sure are lucky to have so much beauty on one little island.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


It's not at all unusual to see manatees around here in the warmer months but there have been a couple of very friendly ones hanging around the Fernandina Beach marina for the last week or so, making themselves quite at home - much to everyone's delight.  The boaters have been obliging by hanging a hose over the side so that the manatees can get a good long freshwater drink.  And the manatees oblige by rolling over exposing their bellies for a good long scratch.  Most evenings this week I've seen small crowds of families with young kids taking turns giving belly rubs - to the manatees.  That's a memory that will last a long, long time.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Chandlery Building

For my money, the Chandlery building is one of our prettiest downtown Fernandina structures.  The detail is just so beautiful.  It was built after the fire of 1876, but the third floor wasn't added until 1901.  Today, it houses two great stores:  the Pineapple Patch ladies' shop (known for their Vera Bradley selection) and French Market Antiques, one of my favorites.  With all of the fabulous architecture on Centre Street it's hard to choose a favorite but this one certainly ranks in the top three for me, even on a cloudy day.

Fairbanks House - Amelia Island

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fernandina Town Cat in Repose

Ahhh, the life of a cat in Fernandina.  So many porches for naps, so many food bowls for lunch, so many lizards to chase, so many nice days to soak up the sun, so many restaurants with soft-hearted cooks, so many leashed dogs to taunt, and so many friendly faces to gaze upon you.  Who needs nine lives when this one is so good?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Amelia Island's Naked Cowboy?

I don't know who this guy is, but with his silver-inlay sombrero and his Barbi pink electric guitar, I'm wondering if he has aspirations to be our Naked Cowboy.  I'm thinking that the act wouldn't last too long here but - hey - thanks for trying, buddy.  And, if that's your normal beach attire, I apologize.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Fernandina Sunsets

Speak a thousand words...

Fairbanks House - Amelia Island

Friday, July 9, 2010

Centre Street Sandbox

The folks at Southern Touch were putting a new window display in for the summer beachy time of year that we'll be enjoying for awhile now.  It clearly will involve a beach scene so there are some very serious steps required where sand is dumped all over the floor.  At least I hope that it's a beach scene.  And I hope that she works there.  Either way it looked fun.  It's a great store and their window displays are always imaginative.  Thanks for the smiles, Southern Touch.

Fairbanks House - Amelia Island

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Quarter Cup of Possum

At least that's what this little guy looked like to me.  I've never seen one this little.  I'm sure that mom will show up sometime tonight to reclaim him/her.  In the meantime, he was imprinting on the cats.  Until we started caring for feral cats around here, I never knew of the apparent relationship between the species.  They almost act as if they can't see one another.  Possums will frequently eat out of the cat bowls right in front of them and the cats don't mind.  I got nervous when I saw that Davey was going over to check him out but the little guy (let's say... Jimmy) just headed right at Davey as if they were long lost friends.  Davey just settled into the sidewalk and Jimmy just sat down beside him until I came by and he retreated to the bushes.  He'll probably keep watch over Jimmy until mom comes to get him sometime tonight.  He's a good caregiver; we found that out when he babysat Billy.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Chefs' Gardens

This time of year all of the local chefs' gardens are at their peak and the local diners are enjoying the results on their plates.  Many restaurants have taken to putting in gardens to insure the freshest ingredients possible.  This one at 29 South Eats enjoys an abundance of space so there's lots of room for tomatos, peppers and leafy greens.  If the restaurant doesn't have a garden, you'll most likely see the chefs down at our Saturday morning farmers' market with the rest of the locals.  Fresh, fresh, fresh.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fifi's Fine Resale

Jessica Miller, pictured here ( L) with one of her fine assistants, owns Fifi's Fine Resale, one of many of our great consignment shops on Amelia Island.  She's always got a great collection of clothing, jewelry, shoes and handbags in house and is frequently running some pretty good promotions.  The consignment shopping is so good around here that I've made a Google map to give to our guests who are on the hunt for great bargains.  I made the map in the fall and I'll need to update it because there have been some new shops added since then.  I spend most of my shopping time at Fifi's and Buy Gones but I'm told that the Purple Dove is a great resale shop too.  It's technically a thrift shop but the clothes that are donated are quite nice because all of the proceeds go to Micah's Place, the county's domestic violence center.  New To You is another great thrift shop.  I could go on... but you get the point.  Come shop!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Fernandina Beach Fireworks

Even with budget cuts and the threat of cloud cover, the fireworks display was great.  An absolutely gorgeous summer evening accompanied the snappy new colors.  Happy Independence Day everyone.  And a special thanks to our military families:  past, present and future.

Fairbanks House - Amelia Island

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Boomer Comes A-Calling

Amelia Island Carriages has been a fixture all week at Fairbanks House with our honeymooners, elopers, anniversary couples and ladies' groups all enjoying different experiences on their tours, but the one thing that generally remains constant... is Boomer.  Boomer has been entertaining our guests for almost six years now.  He gets help from Jazz and other friends but he's been the main carriage horse for our guests for as long as "his mom," Cyndi, has been in Fernandina.  He knows that he can expect treats from me any time that he sees me - or any time that he goes by the house - and I have to hide from him as I'm taking my walks through town or he'll try to bring the carriage tour to me so that he can get a treat.  He's the largest horse in Nassau County and I help keep him that way.  He will truly eat just about anything (except key lime pie) but I try to keep it healthy by giving him carrots or Spanish Moss.  Most of our guests are surprised to see him eat the moss but horses actually love it, as long as you pick out the sticks first.  I"m proud to be his buddy.

Fairbanks House - Amelia Island

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Silver Lining

We got the rain that we needed over the last couple of days and then it moved out in time for the start of the Fernandina July 4th weekend festivities.  Several concerts, a parade, some fireworks, two festivals and some tourists with a four-day weekend are grateful.  This sunset tonight was a really great omen. And with daytime highs only in the low 80's we're looking forward to a really great weekend.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Boogie Fever

These boogie boards were out of service today because we're finally getting the rain that we've been wishing for - for a couple of months now.  Two days in a row - yahoo!  We've been getting a half day of beach weather and a half day of rain.  Good enough for fun and safe enough for the skin.  But it's been in the 80's all week and will continue that way through the weekend.  Again, I say yahoo!