Shannon and I had a terrific experience last week with Air Amelia in one of their powered hang gliders. They have been operating on Amelia Island for a couple of years now and offer aerial tours of the island.
Shannon loved it! I found the take off (really rapid assent to 1200 feet) to be the only mildly terrifying part. I also found it helpful not to over think the fact that you are suspended under a cloth wing 1200 feet above the ground and that gravity has it’s own set of laws.
The views were amazing! The salt marshes stretch for miles and you get a peek at some properties that you just can’t see from the road. We flew south around the resorts and American Beach and then back up along the beach to Fort Clinch and Cumberland Island. Watch the video closely and you can see the Addison as we fly over the Historic District.
This is a great way to see the island and a truly unique experience.
A guest of the Addison once told me that he was putting on a little weight after days of eating the Addison’s breakfast, then lunch, Happy Hour snacking, dinners at our great local restaurants and of course, all the extra vacation cocktails. He had a brilliant suggestion for our Gift Shop…. Vacation Pants. He suggested drawstring sweatpants with “I ate at the Addison” across the back end. He said that with a pair of vacation pants people could be comfortable in the plane on the way home. Brilliant idea but we didn’t follow through on it.
Instead, we now offer these cute little bud vases. They are about the same size as the creamers we have had on the tables for a while.
All of our pottery is hand thrown and is made by Deneen Pottery way up there in Minnesota. These bud vases make a nice addition to the coffee mugs, pitchers, latte mugs and creamers that we already offer. Collect the whole set!
It has been at least two weeks since I have posted anything. I suspect that I have a severe case of writer’s block. It’s not like there has been a lack of anything to write about, I just haven’t been able to come up with a good post on any of it. In the last few weeks there has been plenty of fodder for my brain. Local events have included the Amelia Cruizer’s Car Show, the Jazz Festival, Artrageous Artwalks, events at Fort Clinch and so many other fun things happening around us. I just haven’t been able to frame a story about any of it.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have writer’s block as bad as Jack Torrance did in The Shining. I’m not pounding out page after page of “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. I’m sure something will come up soon. After all, Hallowe’en is coming up, the Florida-Georgia (or Georgia-Florida depending on where you live) Football Classic weekend approaches, Thanksgiving is nigh, Christmas decorations are starting to appear between the Hallowe’en stuff and the season change is upon us.
So, I’ll come up with something and something soon. Something interesting, maybe even catchy. Scintillating comes to mind. In the meanwhile, keep calm and carry on.
The weather was cooperating yesterday so I took a nice long bike ride down to Talbot Island. My first stop was at the Kayak Amelia office to see Jody and Ray. The place was busy! Ray and CJ had a tour out in the marsh and a Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP) yoga class was taking place.
I’m not real bendy and am pretty sure a yoga class would be lost on me but I can’t even imagine trying it on a paddleboard. Everyone seemed pretty relaxed and nobody fell off their boards the whole time I was there. Kayak Amelia holds these classes every Sunday morning and it looks like they get a good sized crowd. Kayak Amelia has even added a Yoga Week to their Kayaking in the Keys Adventure in February.
It was a good bike ride with 18 miles down and 18 back. I am training for my century ride, 100 miles in a day. If I can manage to stay on my bike and not run into things I should be OK. Don’t worry, the bike is fixable, the road rash isn’t too bad and there was nobody there to see.
We have another big music weekend coming up starting Friday, October 4th, with Sounds on Center, the Going Coastal Concert and the start of the Jazz Festival.
The Sounds on Center Concert features Ben Prestage, the one man band. This blues performer plays up to 8 roots instruments at a time. The Sounds on Center Concert is a free event that takes place on the two blocks of Center Street down by the Palace Saloon. As Pete used to say… Free stuff is good! After Sounds on Center Ben will be playing at the Dog Star Tavern until the wee hours.
The Going Coastal Concert is the second in the series. They had so much fun at the first one they just had to do it again! The concert will be held on Saturday in Central Park, just a few blocks from the Addison. The headliner act is The Lee Boys with support from the Parkerurban Band and Spred The Dub.
All of this leads up to the Amelia Island Jazz Festival that starts on Sunday the 6th. The series includes the Dixieland Jazz Brunch, a Latin Jazz concert, the Royal Crown Revue and their headliner Mindi Abair. Check out their schedule as they have lots of great music all week long!
Another important holiday is sneaking up on us so heads up! September 19th is International Talk Like A Pirate Day!
Some are under the impression that ITLPD is a local event due to Fernandina Beach’s rich history with pirates. Wrong! This event is celebrated world-wide. No special costumes, no parrots or peg legs required. All you need is the desire to talk like a pirate. Start with the basics…. Arrr!
Here is an example of how mainstream this holiday has become. Do you live near or drive by a Krispy Crème Donut Bakery? If you go in to one of their bakeries to buy donuts on September 19th, International Talk Like A Pirate Day, and say Arrr! then you get a free donut. If you go in dressed in full pirate regalia you get a free dozen donuts! As Pete Millisakis used to say… “Free stuff is good”.
Shiver me timbers, don’t be a landlubber. Talk like a pirate and enjoy yourselves, me hearties!
Shannon kayaking in the Keys
Kayak Amelia has just announced their Florida Keys Adventure for February 2014.
Shannon and I had a blast with them last year in the Keys but won’t be able to make it next year. That leaves two spots open for you!
Weeks 1 and 3 are their Kayak Adventure weeks and they have added a Yoga Retreat Week as well for Week 2. Jodi and Ray have rented a big beach house in Key Largo for the adventure and are bringing back Jessica the chef.
Kayaking picnic lunch break
This is a fabulous opportunity if you are looking for something a little different for your February break. I’d rather you stay at the Addison but staying with Jodi and Ray of Kayak Amelia down in the Keys works too.
I am just back from the Great Southern Tailgate Cook-off and am I ever full! I don’t think I’m going to need dinner. I had the opportunity to be Celebrity Judge of the Backyard BBQ Competition and a guy can eat a lot of meat when judging.
I am amazed at the variety of cooking apparatus that these competitors use. Many of them have big motor homes with stainless steel kitchens and the back wall folds down so that the smoker rolls out on rails. The have automatic pellet feeders so that the fire stays the same temperature all night and they can sleep. Amazing stuff.
What really caught my eye was this set-up. Talk about low tech! A metal frame with a small fire in the middle, meat stacked on the frame. And the guy doing the cooking? Background of the photo, on a lawn chair fast asleep.
The bands start at one o’clock. It is time to get down to Main Beach for some fun, live music and great food.
Another great event has just been announced! As if the Great Southern Tailgate Cook-off, the Jazz Festival, the Blues Festival and all the other music events aren’t enough, we now have the “Keep Calm and Drink On” Pub Crawl.
The Crawl takes place on the Sunday of the Labor Day weekend so you get the holiday Monday off of work to recover. You can join hundreds of other pub crawlers, get drink discounts at ten local bars and enjoy live music along the way. Tickets can be purchased at Café Karibo (904-277-5269).
The Great Southern Tailgate Cook-off is only 11 days away and I am getting really excited about this year’s event. This is the event’s 4th year and it really has turned into a major barbecue competition.
As an added bonus this year I am going to get first dibs on the barbecue ribs because I have been selected as a Celebrity Judge. In this case the word Celebrity, I’m pretty certain, refers to my lack of training in professional barbecue judging. Maggie Doone is more of a celebrity than I am but it would be mayhem to put her in a tent full of barbecued ribs and chicken.
Mark your calendars for a weekend of fun, music and great food! August 23rd and 24th. www.gstailgatecookoff.com for more info.