Exterior of Addison on Amelia

Category Archives: Fort Clinch

Going Sailing on a Bonus Day!

January 7, 2012 by theAddison

Whenever we get days with weather like this I call them Bonus Days.  It is the first week of January and the sun is shining and the temperatures are in the 70s.  Days like these are why people move to Florida.

We took full advantage of a Bonus Day yesterday and went sailing.  Our two sons, Matt and Dan, are visiting the Addison for the first time and we thought a sailing trip might be a good way to see some of the waters around the island.  We booked a half-day sail with Captain Tony of Windward Sailing and away we went.

We sailed out the Saint Mary’s River, past Fort Clinch and out into the Atlantic where the wind picked up and we headed south along the Amelia Island.  We weren’t far enough off shore to see the Right Whales that are here this time of year but we did see lots of dolphins.  On the way back to the marina we sailed along close to the Cumberland Island shore looking for wild horses.  We had a great day and Lee even got to steer the boat!


A Fistful of Festivals

February 11, 2011 by theAddison

The larger festivals on the island have finalized their schedules and it looks like a pretty good line-up this year.  Amelia Island loves their festivals and they are usually attended very well by residents and visitors alike.  Here’s the line-up:

February 18 and 19.  Amelia Island Book Festival.  The Addison will be hosting headline author Jamie Ford for the festival.  Jamie is the New York Times best selling author of “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet”.  www.AmeliaIslandBookFestival.com

February 24 through 27, Amelia Island Film Festival.  This is the biggest and most important Film Festival between Jacksonville and Savannah and we will be hosting an as-yet undisclosed festival VIP.  This is a fun festival with venues all over town.  www.AmeliaIslandFilmFestival.com.

April 28 through May 1, Amelia Island Shrimp Festival.  Sorry, we are sold out to a crew of regular Shrimp Fest attendees and have no rooms available.

May 20 through 22, Wild Amelia Nature Festival.  A festival that showcases our unique bio-region.  Full details can be found at www.WildAmelia.com

May 20 through June 7, Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival.  This is a popular event that is now spreading out beyond traditional chamber music.  If you stay at the Addison we can get you festival tickets at half price.  The Addison will be hosting Luciana Souza, Romero Lubambo and Cyro Baptista who will be performing the “Beer and G-Strings” Concert on June 9th.  Festival info can be found at www.AICMF.com

September 16 and 17, Amelia Island Blues Festival.  The first time for this festival.  Check out the list of performers at www.AmeliaIslandBluesFest.com

October 2 through 9, Amelia Island Jazz Festival.  Last year the Addison hosted headliner Steve Marche Torme.  This year?  Undecided as yet.

All of these festivals are in addition to the regular line-up of events such as next weekend’s Chili Cook-off, the big BBQ Cook-off in August, the Farmer’s Market and regularly scheduled events at Fort Clinch and the Museum of History.  Throw in live music performances on the weekends at local bars and restaurants and you will find that we have quite a lively little town where there is always something going on.

Keat Takes Bob Flying Over Amelia Island

December 5, 2010 by theAddison

I just love it when repeat guests walk in the front door of the Addison and yell out “Hi Bob, we’re home!”  I love it even more when they bring their own airplane and offer to take me flying with them  Keat and Diane flew down yesterday to spend the weekend with us.  They have a 1962 Cherokee 160 that they get around in and today Keat took me up for a spin around the north end of Amelia Island.

Keat at the helm.  Or wheel. 

We took off out of the local Fernandina Beach Airport just after noon and headed north along the river.  We cut over town and continued north to Fort Clinch.  In the video you can see a nice shot of Cumberland Island to the north although we were too high to see any of the wild horses.  We flew south along the beach and then back over town.  Hey, I can see my house from here!  We continued south along the marshes and rivers before heading back to the airport. 

I have told anyone who would listen over the last three years of inn ownership that I have had it with flying but this afternoon’s flight was thoroughly enjoyable.  The weather was perfect with about 30 miles visibility (we saw the lighthouse on St Simon’s Island) and we didn’t have to go through Immigration on arrival.  I hate going through Immigration but that is a whole other story.

It was great to see Diane and Keat again.  The Addison was full of repeat guests this weekend and Happy Hour was a stroll down memory lane.  It is so nice to have people return year after year to visit with us.  Especially when they bring their own plane.  Maybe one of our previous guests wants to come see us again and has a nice boat suited to off-shore fishing?

Thanksgiving Leftovers?

November 27, 2010 by theAddison

Wow, what a weekend!  We not only had a full house, which keeps us hopping, but we prepared Thanksgiving dinner for all of our guests.  We had the full slate of dishes including sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, turkey with sage-sausage dressing, ham, mac and 5 cheese casserole, green beans, Waldorf salad and a garden salad.  Thanks to Pam and Scooter who came all the way from our old neighborhood in Virginia to help out.  We couldn’t have done it without them.

Despite the fact that we had 30 people for dinner we still have some leftovers.  Last night I put together a couple of Turkey Tetrazinis, my favorite way to use up leftover turkey.  Tetrazini is easy to make and you can use up turkey bits, scrapings, white meat and dark.

How easy?  Here we go in under 100 words:

Cut up enough turkey to cover the bottom of your casserole dish, maybe an inch deep.  Add a can of mushroom soup and grated cheese (I used white cheddar).  Use as much cheese as you want.  Add a little milk and stir it all up.  Boil spaghetti and add it to the dish, stir it up.  Top with more grated cheese (Romano this time) and Parmesan.  Bake at 350 until hot and brown on the top.  Eat and enjoy!

And I still have 20 words left.

So now that Thanksgiving is over what do we do next?  Here are some of the events scheduled for the next week:

  • Holiday Home Tour.  Tour of 4 private historic homes that are decorated for the holidays.  December 3rd and 4th
  • Union Holiday Encampment at Fort Clinch.  December 4th.
  • Parade of Paws.  A parade of local pooches dressed up in their holiday finery.  December 4th
  • Artrageous Artwalk.  A chance to buy that last minute gift from one of our local artists.  December 11th
  • Land and Sea Parades.  The Land Parade will roll by right in front of the Addison.  The Sea Parade is an after-dark parade of lighted boats in the harbor.  December 11th

That should keep us busy for a couple of weeks.  Now all I have to do is figure out what to do with the leftover ham.  Any ideas?

Another great weekend at Fernandina Beach

November 15, 2010 by theAddison

The time, she flies!  We have just had another fantastic weekend in Fernandina Beach.  The weather was warm during the day and cool in the evening, just perfect for all the events we had on this weekend.

We had guests in town that came to enjoy the Karl Davis Band at the Dog Start Tavern.  The guests came all the way from Gainesville but had seen Karl before when they lived in Jacksonville.  We had guests celebrating anniversaries, birthdays and we even had two members of the Army, both recently back from Iraq.  We do get such interesting guests and Happy Hour is always a good time, sharing stories over a glass of wine. 

Petanque:  French for “Stand around and watch balls get thrown”.

The only international event in town this weekend was the Third American Open Petanque (Pay-tonk)Tournament.  There were 114 teams playing this year from all over the world with a majority coming from the game’s home country, France.

The Open is a great event.  We have a game that nobody really understands, few can pronounce, the scoring is a complete mystery to the passer by and there appears to be a lot of standing around and drinking by foreign nationals.  This game reminds me of Curling!

It is Sunday night and I just got back from walking Maggie Doone.  It is quiet out there tonight.  The town has a bit of a rest until next weekend when we start all over with a great slate of events. 

Fort Clinch State Park has a Star Gazing Program next weekend and there is a Birding Walk set up along Egans Creek Greenway.  The Fernandina Beach Pirate’s Club is having their yearly Royal Ball on the 20th.  Let me know if you want tickets as all are welcome and the proceeds go to the Pirate’s charities.  Costumes (puffy sleeves, parrots, peg legs…..) are optional.

We have a busy week ahead of us with the B&B Association Holiday Cookie Tour this coming Saturday, the 20th.  We have barely scratched the surface of our decorating and must have everything ready for the tour on Saturday,  My To-Do list grows as I sleep.

Right after the Cookie Tour we get ready for Thanksgiving.  We only have a couple of vacant rooms and are looking forward to about 30 guests for dinner on Thursday. We have some friends coming down from our old neighborhood in Virginia (do you remember Scooter from previous blog posts?) to help us out with the dinner and are really looking forward to seeing them again.  After that we just roll into the Christmas season, New Years and Valentine’s Day. 

Like I said:  Time, she flies.  Grab it while you can or before you know it you’ll be saying “We should have…..”. 


Almost Everyone Loves a Parade

November 7, 2010 by theAddison

The town of Fernandina Beach loves a parade.  We like parades so much we had two of them this weekend.  The first was on Friday and was the High School Homecoming Parade.  They had floats, two marching bands, the graduating class and a boatfull of young women vying for the Homecoming Queen title.  The weather was perfect for the homecoming football game with a crisp fall evening and clear skies.
The second parade was on Saturday afternoon and it honored our Veterans.  There was a good-sized turnout for the parade with an appreciative crowd lining the streets.

There was live music at several venues downtown over the weekend and a band played all afternoon Saturday at the Barbecue Competition that was held in the marina.  A busy weekend in Fernandina with something for everyone.

Next weekend (the 13th and 14th) has a lot going on as well.  The Petanque tournament runs all weekend and Fort Clinch is staging a History of the American Soldier in honor of Veteran’s Day.  On Saturday we also have the regularly scheduled Farmer’s Market and the Artrageous Artwalk.

I said earlier that almost everyone loves a parade.  Maggie Doone and One-Eyed Louie are not fans.  The first whoop of the fire engine’s siren has the two of them cowering under the bed where they stay until the last boom of the Pirate’s cannon has well died out.   

Hallowe’en is Upon Us

October 29, 2010 by theAddison

My concept of the Fall season has changed since moving to Florida.  Before, the changing of the seasons meant a colorful canopy of leaves and crisp morning air with the onset of frost.  Not here, not in Florida.  The temperature is a nice 80 degrees out on the veranda for Happy Hour this afternoon.  It has been chilly for breakfast with 65 degrees this morning but still, most people are eating outside on the veranda.  The leaves are still green. 

The pumpkins are carved and are sitting on the front porch waiting for the children to come by tomorrow night.  We don’t get a lot of children coming by the inn, maybe 40 or so, but we do like to be ready for them.

That thing sitting on top of the big pumpkin is called a Turban Squash.  It looks like two squashes tried to grow up in the same physical space and, at first look, I thought it was something carved together from a couple of different gourds.  Not so, it actually grows this way.  Look it up.

I was pleased to see so many events coming up in the next few weeks.  November is usually a pretty busy time in town because of the beautiful weather.  Here is a brief rundown of the next few weeks after Hallowe’en:

Saturday, November 6.  City Barbecue Competition down in the marina.  The competition has been set up to ensure that there will be lots of barbecue available to the on-lookers.  Also on the 6th, the Veterans Day Parade that will pass right in front of the inn.

Fort Clinch will hold a Union Garrison on November 6th and 7th.  This program allows visitors to interact with living historians to experience life in the Fort as it was in 1864.  On November 13th, Fort Clinch brings us a salute to the Armed Forces.

Petanque America Open 2009

November 13th and 14th is the 2nd America Open Petanque Tournament that will be held in the new park at the marina.  Petanque is a French version of maybe horseshoes and bocci.  This year there are over 100 teams from all over the world coming to compete in Fernandina Beach.

The Amelia Island Bed And Breakfast Association Holiday Cookie Tour is on the 20th.  The Tour gives you a chance to check out the Holiday decorations at each of the inns and to sample their holiday cookies.  After the tour we have a few days to get ready for our traditional Thanksgiving Dinner at the Addison (only two rooms left!).  

When all is said and done, we have a busy month ahead.  The beautiful Fall weather really draws people to our little seaside town and with all the events going on, there is always something to do when you are visiting us.   

Big Doings in a Small Town

August 17, 2010 by theAddison

The end of summer is upon us. Parents are out buying school supplies and back-to-school clothes for their kids and the children are either looking forward to a new year in school or dreading it. When I was a kid the school year started the day after Labor Day. Now it starts some time in August so the Labor Day weekend has lost some of its significance but not in Fernandina Beach. With all that is happening over the weekend you’d think it was the last weekend that was ever going to happen.

But let us step back just a bit. The weekend before Labor Day, August 27th and 28th, is going to be a great weekend here too. The first ever Great Southern Tailgate Cook-Off has really taken off with over 60 teams entering. We even have a celebrity BBQer staying here at the Addison. No names mentioned (as my friend Bob used to say: discretion is my middle word) but he is one of the BBQ Pitmasters from the TLC channel show. One of our local competitors, Richard from the Happy Tomato, will be providing the BBQ for the Addison’s Happy Hour on Sunday.

The Labor Day weekend starts off on Friday night with a free street concert downtown starring the blues/funk music of Instant Groove. Saturday starts off with our local award-winning Farmer’s Market, just a block from the Addison. The day continues with the next in a free series of reggae concerts called Sunsplash. The concerts go all day at the beach down by Sadler Road. There will be surfing competitions, sandcastle building and, of course, some great reggae music.

On Sunday morning you can catch the second day of the weekend’s Fort Clinch Union Garrison. This is a good chance to check out the fort and talk to some of the old-timey living historians that will be manning the fort for the weekend. On Sunday afternoon I’ll be getting the grill ready for a traditional Labor Day weekend cookout for the Addison’s Happy Hour. I’ll be cooking hand-made hamburgers and a big pot of my favorite chili recipe to go with them. We’ll have side salads and all the fixins for a great cookout, just like the cookout your neighbors will be having but without you having to do any labor. (Get it? Labor Day?)
After the Labor Day Cookout on Sunday the fun continues with the ‘Dina Shore Pub Crawl. The organizers have lined up drink specials at 8 local taverns and bars and for the low price of $15 you not only get the drinks specials, you get a T-Shirt! The big after party is at O’Kane’s and Indigo Alley. If $15 seems steep just let me know by August 30th and I can pick up your advance tickets for $10. I’ll have them here for you when you check in.

The best thing about this line-up of events? It is practically free! OK, you have to pony up a couple of bucks to get into the Fort and the pub crawl is $15 (free T-Shirt!) but what a deal! As Pete Millasakas always said, “Free stuff is good”. Speaking of free stuff… don’t forget our Dog Days of Summer Free Night offer. Stay at least 4 nights through the end of September and one of the four is free! Check the website for details. Pete would love it!

Maggie Doone Doesn’t Go To Fort Clinch

August 10, 2010 by theAddison

The “Maggie Doone Goes….” series of videos hasn’t quite taken the internets by storm as I had hoped. There are a respectable number of YouTube views of “Maggie Doone Goes For a Walk” and “Maggie Doone Goes To The Beach” but not in the hundreds of thousands.

The next video was destined to be an instant internet sensation. “Maggie Doone Goes To Fort Clinch” was promised to be promoted by the local Tourism Bureau (Thanks Bretta!) but we ran into a small glitch. Dogs aren’t allowed in the Fort! Or on the Park’s beaches or boardwalks! So instead of a great video of Maggie at the Fort we have here a classic photo of Maggie not going anywhere.

Our next video projects will have Maggie touring the Egan’s Creek Greenway and we have a couple of good guest videos in the works as well. Hopefully I will be able to post something in the next couple of days. Meanwhile, I am finishing off my submittal package for the Amelia Island Film Festival. The package is almost complete. They want head shots of the production crew (that would be me) and the cast (Maggie Doone). It was a toss-up between Maggie Doone Goes To The Beach and Maggie Doone Goes For a Walk and I can’t make up my mind. Let’s put it to a vote! Let me know which video you like the most and I’ll submit that one to the Film Festival. Votes submitted by August 20th will be counted. There were over 600 films submitted to the festival last year so pick a good one!

When I first came to this country….

June 17, 2010 by theAddison

When I first came to this country I had nothing! Less than nothing actually but I have been in the United Sates for 18 years and, let me tell you this my friend, the United Sates has been very, very good to us.

The 4th of July is coming up and it is a good opportunity to reflect on the freedoms and opportunities that we, as American citizens, have. Yes, I am an American citizen now having been naturalized in July of 2008. (As a side note: I find the expression “Naturalization” to be odd. What? I was unnatural before?) This discussion began at Happy Hour this evening and I continue. Why do people emigrate to the United States? Repatriation with family, employment opportunities, as refugees from oppressive regimes, and the favorite catch-all phrase “to enjoy the American way of life”.

Since coming to the United States we have enjoyed many successes and have made many friends in many neighborhoods. Shannon and myself did well with our engineering careers and now find ourselves doing well in a totally different adventure, running a B&B in Florida. The land of opportunity!

July 4th is the greatest day of celebration of this country; it’s birth, growth and how it stands today among nations. Fernandina Beach is a small town in a small corner of the country but we celebrate with the best of them. The July 4th weekend starts off with a Sounds on Center street concert on Friday night. Saturday has the Farmer’s Market in the morning and the second of the series of SunSplash Reggae Concerts in the afternoon. A Union Soldier garrison will be held at Fort Clinch on Saturday and Sunday.

On the 4th we will be extending our regular Happy Hour with a “Bob’s Favorite” cookout. Shannon may drive the breakfast menu but I love doing the Happy Hour cookout. I’ll be grilling hot dogs and my hand-made hamburgers, served with all the fixin’s. We’ll also have side salads plus some baked beans from the Happy Tomato. We can watch the 4th Parade as it passes right in front of the inn after Happy Hour and lead everyone down to the marina for the fireworks. A great weekend with great beach weather is ahead for all.

While we’re celebrating the 4th, let us not forget the 1st. My home and native land, Canada, celebrates their own national holiday on July 1st. Happy Canada Day, eh!
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