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A Great Music Weekend Coming Up!

A big music weekend coming up!  The tunes start of with the Beech Street Blues Band (photo) playing a free street concert on Friday evening.  This is part of the Sounds on Center concert  series that is played down at the end of Center Street on the first Friday of each month throughout the summer.
On Saturday we have the Going Coastal Music Festival in Central Park, just a couple of blocks from the inn.  There is a big rib cook off all day long and the music gates open at 5PM.  The concert features KloB (soul for the upside down blues man), Zack Deputy (island infused drum and bass) and Grandpa’s Cough Medicine (Bluegrass).

Lots of great music with something for everyone!

Memorial Day Weekend

There was a good sized crowd at the Armed Services Memorial in the marina this morning for the Memorial Day service.  Arte, US Army veteran and daytime bartender at Sandy Bottoms, gave a stirring speech remembering those who have given their lives in service of their country.

The town is full this weekend with absolutely beautiful beach weather.  Temperatures are in the mid 80s and the humidity hasn’t even shown up yet.  Add a nice ocean breeze and you have a perfect beach weekend! 

While you are out celebrating the long weekend with beach time, barbecues or just hanging out with friends and family please give pause to remember those in the armed services who gave their lives so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we have today.

The Back Door of Le Clos

I have rambled on frequently about the incredible dining experience of our local French restaurant, Le Clos.  The food, the service, the wine list and did I mention the food?  Le Clos is a great place in which to celebrate a birthday or anniversary or just to have a great meal.  We usually save Le Clos for when family or special friends are in town but I do sneak a little Le Clos into our weekly diet.

Sometimes, if we don’t feel like cooking dinner but crave a great salad, I’ll walk Maggie Doone down to Le Clos by way of the Dog Star Tavern.  I can’t take Maggie Doone into the restaurant through the front door so we go around to the back door (photo) and pick up our salad there.  And what a welcoming back door that overlooks the herb garden behind the restaurant with a warm welcoming glow!  Our salad of choice?  The Le Clos Caesar Salad with grilled chicken.  The salad is never too heavy with dressing (awesome dressing!) and the grilled chicken is always spot on. 

Thank you to the management of Le Clos for accommodating my special needs (showing up at the back door with my little dog right in the  middle of a busy dinner service) and a big thank you to Katie for always making sure that our salad is tasty!

Celebrity Bartenders, the local top 10

It isn’t every day that I get on the same list as John Grisham but it happened this week.
One of the local newspaper columnists dragged up a Top Ten list of local “celebrities”, including me, that would make good bartenders for your next charitable event.  The local celebrities were described with glowing terms such as gorgeous, gifted and affable, genial, talented, congenial, funny and hot.  My descriptive adjective was “quirky”.  I guess I can live with that. 

Pulling up the end of the list in the number 10 spot was John Grisham.  I’m not sure if he can be considered as a local yet as his house is still under construction but seeing as he is the only person on the list who is an actual celebrity I guess the number 10 spot isn’t too much to give.

Of course, we all know who the real celebrity at the inn is, Maggie Doone.  Here she is at the Addison’s front desk, ready to check you in!

It was a great weekend at the Addison, filled with family and friends and capped off with the marriage of my son, Matt, to his bride Rachael.  Family on both sides came from all over Canada to help celebrate the wedding.

We started off with a cookout at the Addison on Thursday with about 50 guests being served hamburgers, hot dogs and some fresh caught black drum.  Local duo Hupp and Ray came to play the music for the evening.  Matt and Rachael were dressed in their finest Monty Python royal garb provided by Best Man and brother, Dan.

The main event was on Saturday.  There were too many people at the wedding to have it at the Addison so the Omni Plantation was chosen as the venue.  That is our newly expanded family shown on the lawn at the Plantation.  You all know my bride Shannon, the Addison’s Operations Manager and best daughter Lee, the bride Rachael, groom Matt, me next wearing long pants for the occasion and Best Man Dan. 
A good time was had by all.  I was honored with Matt’s request that I perform the service.

The last of the family members checked out of the Addison yesterday, the happy couple is on their honeymoon in Europe and we are back to running an inn.  We have a full house this weekend with another small wedding.  Breakfast this morning:  Muffins-That-Taste-Like-Donuts, fresh Fruit Salad and Croissant French Toast.  Gotta go, it’s time to bake the donuts!    

Lunch at the Addison

Look who walked past the Addison yesterday!  This slow walking egret ambled past the inn on his way to nowhere in particular.  Along the way he made a few stops for a bite to eat and caught himself some lizards for lunch.

I’m not sure if this is the same bird that was walking up the middle of Center Street a few days ago.  Nothing will stop traffic faster than a big bird walking up the middle of the road.  At least this time he was on the sidewalk.

Another Car Show!

Another great car show coming up!  The Concours d’Elegance is a couple of weeks gone and the Amelia Cruizers Car Show isn’t until October so what are car buffs to do in between? 

The St. Johns Austin Healey Club is hosting their 27th annual Southeastern Classic Car Show on Amelia Island on the weekend of April 4th through the 7th.  For those of you who are fans of the little sports cars there will plenty of them to look at and perhaps even purchase.

The Sounds on Center Concert Series kicks of their season on April 5th and the Fort Clinch First Weekend Union Garrison is that weekend too.  Throw in a Farmer’s Market on Saturday and you’ve got a great fun-filled weekend!

Mick Has Talent!

You may remember me mentioning one of our frequent guests, Mick (not his real name).  It turns out that Mick has some pretty awesome painting skills.  The last time he was visiting us at the Addison he had me pose for a photo doing what I do best, pouring wine at Happy Hour, and he created this brilliant painting from the photo.

I admire creative people.  My painting talent is limited to deck railings, walls and ceilings.  I do a bit of writing, mostly for our blog, but that is about as creative as I get.  Even at the inn, Lee and Shannon are the source of all creativity and I just pretty much follow instructions so when someone turns a piece of canvas and some pots of paint into a work of art I am impressed. 

Brilliant, Mick!  Thank you!

Everything is Better With….

Last year I had the pleasure of marrying a couple of local restaurateurs.  Ross is the chef at Kelley’s courtyard Cafe and his bride works just up the street at Fernandina’s Fantastic Fudge.  As we do with friends, I cut a deal with Ross and I waived the customary wedding fee.  Ross, in turn, promised me one of his cookie recipes.  Today he dropped off a couple dozen cookies and the recipe. 

What makes this recipe special?  Bacon!  Everything is better with bacon and these cookies are no exception.  We serve bacon at breakfast and have experimented with chocolate-dipped bacon but never thought of baking it inside a cookie. 

Ross made me promise not to share the recipe.  I’ll be hard pressed to share this batch of cookies either but you can buy them at Kelley’s.   

Chili Cook-Off!

My favorite Fernandina Beach food event, the 7th Annual Chili Cook-off, was held yesterday.  It was a well attended event with lots of fun besides the chili tasting.  There were 3 bands providing music all day long.  The event was held on two blocks of 2nd Street, right between the Palace Saloon and the Dog Star Tavern so there was opportunity for a frosty adult beverage to go with all the chili tasting.

Jaxon, the Jaguars mascot, was there along with one of the Jaguar’s cheerleaders courtesy of Jon at Halftime Sports Bar.  Nothing says “Party!” like bagpipe music and Jaxon was getting right into it.

The smell of chili cooking inspired me to get back to the Addison and cook up a big pot of chili which we shared with our guests at Happy Hour.  Good times!