Exterior of Addison on Amelia

Category Archives: Interesting Guests

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?

Chair In The Air is back!

November 16, 2010 by theAddison

They’re back!  Deborah and Tammi, the design team from chair in the air designs inc. is back at the Addison.  It is rewarding, as an innkeeper, when guests become friends and keep coming back to visit.  It is even more rewarding when they are skilled at interior design and can do our Christmas decorating.

Shannon has studied interior design and has good decorating sense but Christmas decorating is hard for her because I have no creative input.  I’m good at doing what I’m told but not so good at taking a bin of decorations and turning them into something creative for above the fireplace so Shannon ends up doing the majority of the Christmas decorating.

The women of chair in the air have mad design skills and are, after two days of solid work, about midway through the decorating.  And it looks great.  My approach to decorating the tree:  Take the boxes of ornaments that I have been given and hang them in a grid pattern on the tree.  Their approach:  Select ornaments that pick up the colors of the existing decor, especially that big oushak carpet in the front parlor, and place them with great care to create an elegant vision of Christmas.

Why are we decorating for Christmas when it isn’t even Thanksgiving yet?  The Amelia Island Bed and Breakfast Holiday Cookie Tour is this Saturday, November 20th, and we must be prepared.  Last year we had 600 people come through our house for the Cookie tour.  The tour gives people a chance to check out the Christmas decorations at the inns and sample holiday cookies at each of the inns.  We even have the cookie recipes on cards that you can take with you.  After the tour we get to exhale briefly and then get ready for a full house over Thanksgiving.

Once we get all of the rooms decorated we’ll post a photo gallery for you.  All of the guest rooms will be decorated, most of them with the room’s very own tree.  Our guests that stay with us over Christmas even get a Christmas stocking loaded with gifts ($160 value) as part of our “Bed, Breakfast and Christmas Bliss” package. 

How did chair in the air design inc get their name?  Every time they do a major design job they leave a chair somewhere in the air (AKA: not on the floor).  It can be a full-sized chair, a child’s chair or even a panting of a chair.  When you stop by this winter see if you can find our “chair in the air”.

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…..”. 


Great Southern Tailgate Cook-Off Wrap Up

August 29, 2010 by theAddison

The first ever Great Southern Tailgate Cook-Off BBQ contest is over. The winners have been awarded, the coals have been extinguished and the professional teams have moved on to other contests. Were you there? What did you think of it?

The Addison was happy to host Tuffy Stone and his wife Leslie of the Cool Smoke BBQ Team for the weekend. Tuffy is currently ranked around 11th out of over 4000 pro teams in the US.
Tuffy was kind enough to give me a behind-the-scenes look at the competitive side of pro-BBQ and, I tell you this my friends, it can be quite intense. Don’t let the laid back attitude fool you. While their meat is cooking and the smoke is slowly curling put of the stacks you will see a lot of guys puffing away on cigars, enjoying an adult beverage, relaxing in chairs or just nodding off next to their smokers. But when it comes time to finalize their presentation these guys are all business. There is some decent prize money at stake for the pros as well as bragging rights for the backyard (amateur) teams.
Tuffy was kind enough to provide BBQ for our Saturday Happy Hour. Our guests enjoyed samples of chicken, pulled pork, ribs and brisket. We all thoroughly enjoyed the BBQ and the chance to talk with Tuffy and Leslie about life on the road as a pro BBQ team.
One last photo. This was taken of a local team’s grill. I didn’t get a chance to sample what they were cooking but it sure did look good.
I woke this morning around 3AM to the sound of torrential rain. What a difference 24 hours makes! If the rain had come a day earlier it would have drowned out all of the BBQers who were just getting their fires stoked for a day of smoking. As it was we had great weather with cloud cover and quite a bit cooler than we have had the last few months.
My trusty sidekick, Maggie Doone, came with me to the Cook-Off. Here is a video of her day at the cook-off. Don’t let that last little bit of her eating some chicken fool you. As any of you who know Maggie will know, that dog ate all day long. The people in this town have spoiled our Maggie!

July 4th Wrap-Up

July 5, 2010 by theAddison

Another 4th of July has passed and it was a good one here at the Addison. We had a really nice group of guests this weekend with everyone hanging out together and sharing their lives’ stories. We had a great turnout for the 4th Happy Hour and we served up a veritable feast with grilled hand-made hamburgers, baked beans from the Happy Tomato, potato salad, bean salad and hot dogs. The weather was great all weekend, not too hot with a nice breeze blowing, perfect for heading to the beach.

After Happy Hour was done several of our guests sat on the front porch to watch the 4th of July parade. Fernandina Beach loves a parade and we have one for almost every holiday. The biggest parade of the year is for Shrimp Fest. Everyone enjoyed the parade and then walked down to the marina for the fireworks show.

Laurie and Duncan are regular guests of ours and today they are enjoying a free night courtesy of the Addison’s “Rewards For Guests That Keep Coming Back” Special. Guests who stay for ten nights over any number of visits receive a night for free. This is Laurie and Duncan’s 4th visit and their third visit was Memorial Day weekend, just a few weeks ago. This is a picture of them getting ready to try our Strawberry Shortcake for breakfast.

So, the 4th is gone but another fun day is under way in Fernandina Beach. We’ve loaded up our guests with beach chairs and towels and they are off for an afternoon of basking on the beaches. Even on a holiday weekend it isn’t difficult to find wide open stretches of sand to enjoy.

Liz Kershaw Wins Again at Shrimp Fest!

May 1, 2010 by theAddison

Those of you who have stayed with us for Shrimp Fest in the past will recognize Liz Kershaw in the photo to the right. She and her husband Ed (that’s him lurking in the background of the photo) stay at the Addison every year during the Shrimp Festival. Liz is posing with a couple of her new paintings “Swan Lake” at the top and “Persistence“.

It took Liz 4 months to paint Swan Lake. The watercolor won Best Of Show recently at the Punta Gorda National Art Exhibition. The judges at the Shrimp Fest like it as well and voted it Best Watercolor of the show this year. Better pictures of all of Liz’s paintings can be seen on her web site.

Anyone who has been through our dining room in the last year will recognize Liz’s Forest Fire painting. A large print of it hangs in our dining room.
We couldn’t have Forest Fire hanging in the dining room all alone so at this year’s Shrimp Fest we stopped by Liz’s booth and bought her original “One Of a Kind”. As an added bonus Ed offered us a print of Swan Lake that we now have in the dining room (now known as The Elizabeth Kershaw Gallery) on consignment. The next time you’re at the inn you can check it out. Maybe it would look good hanging in your dining room.

From where do our guests come?

April 7, 2010 by theAddison

Ray is staying with us for a few nights with his wife, Frieda, and they are celebrating their 13th anniversary. Ray was born and raised in Guam so, of course, we started talking about Spam and the great ways you can serve it at breakfast. The fact that Ray is from Guam got me wondering… Just from where do our guest come? From a marketing point of view I know from where most our guests come but what if we dug a little deeper?

The big three states are Florida, Georgia and Ohio. For some reason people just can’t wait to get out of Ohio. What about the rest?

I focused on just the last 12 months to see how far we have travelled to get here. I found that it was easier to list the states from which we did NOT have guest travel. Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware and Idaho. Kansas, Montana, North and South Dakota (who would want to leave the Dakotas to come to Florida?), and Utah. That’s it for the USA. Nine states are under-represented in our guest book for the last year.

In the last year we have had Canadian guests from British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland and New Brunswick. European guests have come from Luxembourg, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Sweden and of course the UK. We love our guests from the UK as they always leave us with a bit of local jargon that we adopt (as in “cracking snorkers” and “blowing a hoolie“). South American guests have come from Brazil, Columbia and Venezuela. A friend of mine that I worked with in Saudi wants to bring his fiance from Russia to the inn for their wedding.

And then there is Shannon and myself. We are originally from the west coast of Canada but moved east to Northern Ontario for years and then down to Virginia. After 14 years in Virginia we ended up here in Florida.

To try and level the demographics here at the Addison we are going to offer a special rate just for people living in under-represented states and provinces. This Special is just for our Blog readers and Facebook Fans from Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, the Dakotas, Utah, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and PEI. Stay with us this June, July, August or September and we’ll give you 25% off your room rate. This Special will not be posted anywhere but here on the Blog. This offer can not be combined with other offers. Please bring proof of residency (driver’s license…) to get your 25% off.

The world is getting smaller, my friend. Cheap airfares, the amount of information available on the Internet and the desire to be somewhere else are all fuelling what could be the largest travel boom in history. And they are coming to Florida from all over the world. What for? Warm weather, nice beaches, a great B&B experience at the Addison and a few days to sit back and relax. Throw in rich history, great restaurants and a natural paradise and I can see why people come to visit us from all over the world.

Talented Guests

March 30, 2010 by theAddison

We get some really talented people staying with us at the Addison. I previously posted about a couple of guests that attended a 5-day painting workshop here on the island. We recently had another guest, we’ll call him “Dave”, that spent some time sketching island landmarks. His pen and ink sketch of the Amelia Island Lighthouse is shown here.

Dave took a photo of the lighthouse from a scenic outlook in Fort Clinch State Park. He then spent most of the afternoon sitting in the sun on our veranda working on this sketch. The progress was interesting to watch as the layers of the sketch were developed.

I like the sketch and I like the fact that Dave sent it to us. It gives an innkeeper a sense of satisfaction in his work when guests keep in touch with photos and memories of their visit.

What Happened to February?

February 27, 2010 by theAddison

February is almost gone already! We have been busy at the Addison and the month just flew by, especially fast even for such a short month.

This last week we saw the kick-off of the Amelia Island Film Festival and we had a Meet And Greet at the Addison. We had film directors, festival execs and VIPs mixing in with our guests for a glass of wine and some of Shannon’s appetizers. The event was well attended and our guests enjoyed the opportunity to hear all about the festival.

The highlight for me this week was the private art showing we had during happy hour on Friday. Terry and Ann stayed with us for a week as they attended a painting workshop in town. They spent their days out at Fort Clinch practicing their craft and produced some really nice paintings. On Friday they brought their paintings in for a little show at happy hour. We really do get such interesting people through the Addison.

With February almost gone we are hoping for some warmer weather. We realize that winter still has a pretty firm grip on the rest of the country and that people are socked in under feet of snow but this is Florida! What is up with the 60 degree weather? The average daily high in March is 72 degrees so I’m expecting a big improvement in the next day or so. After all, February is almost over and March starts on Monday.

Break out the bubbly!

October 2, 2009 by theAddison

We have had great news here at the Addison this week. BedAndBreakfast.com (the industry leader in B&B directories) has announced their annual award winners and the Addison was one of the Top Ten Overall in the USA. The really cool thing about this award is that it is all based on guest comments! We received so many positive comments from so many guests that we are in the Top Ten of all the B&Bs in the US. Guest comments have also driven us to be the Number One B&B in Florida on TripAdvisor.com. So, on behalf of Shannon, Lee, myself and the Housekeeping Staff… THANK YOU for visiting us and giving us such great reviews.

We have had some really interesting guests lately, too. We even had a celebrity but we can’t really say anything about her without giving it away and as my good friend Bob used to say “Discretion is my middle word”. Another guest, Will, was with us for a few days and we shared foreign travel stories. After he left he sent me a picture of his time (1958) in Saudi. He was such a handome young Air Force officer back then and you can still see it in him now. Another of our recent guests was an engineer in the Apollo program. I tell you, my friends, Happy Hour has had some really interesting conversations flowing lately.

All bloggers know that you have to include a photo. Although entirely unrelated to our award, our celebrity guest or anything else I have rambled on about I present you another photo of Maggie Doone sitting at the bar at the Green Turtle. That is Maggie on the stool, Louie under the stool (he doesn’t like sitting on the stools) and the hulking mass on the stool next to them is yours truly.

Balance is important in our lives. If you can find that balance between work life, social life and family life then you have the start to a happy life. If you enjoy going to work and enjoy coming home after work then you have a pretty good start. I think that Shannon and I are on that path through the good life. We both thoroughly enjoy what we do, we get along well together (25 years of marriage in November) and people we meet every day seem to be enjoying it too. To all of our guests who have stayed with us, enjoyed the experience and have posted such great comments, again THANK YOU!

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