Exterior of Addison on Amelia

Category Archives: Our Neighborhood

Elephant Ears and Monkey Grass

July 21, 2011 by theAddison

Shannon went to Atlanta last week to buy some Christmas decorations but came back with a bunch of new plants for the courtyard.  Everything in the courtyard looks good and is growing well but we did have a few empty spots that could use some green.  These Elephant Ears are now on the left side of the path between the arbor and the fountain.  I’m not sure what that new grass is called that I planted all around the Ears but I’m going to call it Monkey Grass.

These are fiddleheads from the Australian Tree Ferns we have on the other side of the courtyard.  The ferns are really thriving in the courtyard.  I love the way these ferns grow with the fiddleheads uncoiling into leaves.

Here are the Australian Tree Ferns next to the variegated Ginger.  Both plants love the courtyard environment are are thriving.

And more Monkey Grass!  We have a real hard time keeping plants alive in that garden right in front of the fountain.  The fountain splashes so the dirt around it is always soaked.  That Monkey Grass should be happy there according to the pro at the nursery.

One last photo.  This Sideshow Bob fern is really growing well this year.  Daily water and Miracle Grow once a month is all it takes to keep this guy happy.  I’m not sure of the plant’s real name but he reminds of the hair on Sideshow Bob off of the Simpsons. 


Florida’s Newest Clean Marina!

June 11, 2011 by theAddison

Here at the Addison we do our part in being kind to the environment.  We have been a Florida Green Lodging property for the last two years and we recently retrofitted the historic building with attic and crawlspace insulation to conserve energy and increase our guest’s comfort.  Our local marina is doing their part for the environment as well.

Fernandina Harbor Marina completed the last inspection by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Clean Marina program and the marina is now Florida’s newest Clean Marina. The Florida Clean Marina Program is a voluntary designation program with a proactive approach to environmental stewardship. To become designated as a Clean Marina, facilities must implement a set of environmental measures designed to protect Florida’s waterways.  These measures address critical environmental issues such as sensitive habitat, waste management, stormwater control, spill prevention and emergency preparedness. To celebrate this Clean Marina designation, Fernandina Harbor received their Clean Marina Flag at a ceremony held in conjunction with National Marina Day today.

I have saved a gallery of my favorite marina photos on our Facebook page.  Please feel free to add to the gallery!

New Shop – Amelia Anglers

April 26, 2011 by theAddison

A new shop called Amelia Anglers has opened up on Center Street that offers everything for the fisher or wanna-be fisher. This is your one-stop for bait, licenses, tackle, lessons and charters. Visitors to the island can even rent fishing gear for their outdoor adventures.

Amelia Anglers can arrange charters for river or off-shore fishing trips. If you want to take off on your own and head out to the fishing pier at Fort Clinch they have everything you need. The biggest setback for avid fishers that travel to the island is usually availability of a rod and reel. Restrictions on air travel have made it almost impossible to bring your own rod but now you can rent a set. Don’t know what you are doing? Take a lesson and learn which lure to use and how to tie it onto the line.

Amelia Anglers also sells SPF, island wear and beach stuff. The staff is happy to share their knowledge of the island and their favorite fishing spots.

Caught a big fish and don’t know what to do with it? Bring it back to the inn and we’ll cook it up on the grill for happy Hour. Everybody loves a nice slice of fresh fish, especially if the fisher is there to tell the story of how it was caught.

October 26, 2010 by theAddison

There is another of Christensen Shipyard’s motor yachts in our marina this week.  A few months ago I wrote about the Casino Royale, a private yacht that is decorated in the James Bond theme. 

The yacht currently tied up to our marina is the VF-15, formerly known as the Primadonna.  The boat (ship?) was built in Vancouver, Washington in 2009 and is currently registered in George Town in the Cayman Islands.

The Vf-15 is about 5 feet shorter than the Casino Royale but is still pretty impressive.  The 160 foot ship has one master suite, a VIP suite and 4 guest rooms along with quarters for the crew.  I counted 5 crew wiping and washing the boat yesterday.  Add a Captain, a Mate, a chef and a personal trainer and the staff headcount climbs pretty quickly.

Even their tender (I think it is too big to be called a dinghy) is nice with room for 10, a center console and everything spotless.

This boat is bigger than anything I’ll ever sail. I don’t think I’ll ever own a boat this grand but I sure would like to have a friend who owns one.  Margaritas in the afternoon on the aft-deck.  Skeet shooting at daybreak.  Cruising along the coastline of some far-off land.  Not having to pay for the gas…..

Top 5 Myths About B&Bs

September 2, 2010 by theAddison

There was an article published on the Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII) site earlier this year that I have just now felt a need to comment on. The title of the 27-Apr-10 article was “The Top 5 Myths About Staying At A Bed And Breakfast Inn”. I will roll through each of the myths with an Addison response to each one. Kind of like the Myth-Busters but without things blowing up.

Myth 1: B&B decor is limited to lace doilies, paisley wallpaper, antiques and patchwork quilts.

Response: True, some B&Bs do look like you are staying at your Grandmother’s house with dark wood panelling, cabinets full of Hummell figurines and black flocked wallpaper. We have stayed in many inns where we were hesitant to touch the furniture due to the advanced age of the pieces. At the Addison we go more for a look of Old Florida elegance with understated hints of the tropics in the impeccably decorated guest rooms. We decorate with four-poster beds, rich hardwood floors and ceiling fans stirring a cool breeze. Just imagine yourself as a guest in an elegant turn-of-the-century home by the sea: warm, well-polished furnishings, tall ceilings, the rustle of silk draperies in the afternoon breeze and wicker chairs overlooking a quiet courtyard.

Myth 2: You have to share a bathromm with other guests.

Response: No, you don’t. All of the Addison’s guest rooms have private baths, many with oversized jetted tubs. The only person you have to share your bath with is the person you checked in with.

Myth 3: You have to eat breakfast with total strangers and eat whatever the innkeeper prepares that morning.

Response: There are many different methods of serving breakfast depending on the size of the inn. At the Addison we serve breakfast between 8:30 and 10 with a choice of enjoying your breakfast in our dining room or out on the verandah. Most of our tables are tables for 2 but we do have one big table for 6 in the dining room. Your breakfast can be as quiet or as social as you like. We have had several couples who meet each other at our Happy Hour, go out for dinner together and meet up again in the morning for breakfast. Meeting others and making friends with fellow guests is what makes staying at a B&B a special experience. The menu? At the Addison we post our breakfast menu daily and offer our guests a choice of the featured offerings or lighter fare. Of course, we always consider dietary restrictions, allergies or dislikes and are ready to prepare a custom breakfast if requested.

Myth 4: You have to adide by a curfew set by the innkeeper.

Response: Kidding, right? Who would do this to their guests? Addison guests staying in the main house (Rooms 1 through 5) have a key to the front door and can access their rooms at any hour. Guests stayinng in our courtyard rooms (Rooms 6 through 15) have direct acces from the street, through the courtyard, to their rooms.

Myth 5: B&Bs are only for couples and strictly prohibit children and pets.

Response: For the most part, guilty. We tried a couple of pet friendly rooms when we first opened the inn but were unhappy with the results. We have more people (allergies…) calling to make sure that animals have never stayed in the room than we have people calling to see if their pets can stay in our guest rooms. Not too many people have allergies to children but a lot of our guests come to the Addison to get away from their children for a few days. We have two rooms in which we can put our roll-away bed if parents are travelling with children over 12 years of age.

Myths, fact or fiction? I felt compelled to write this posting because we do still get a lot of phone calls that touch on some of these myths with the most questions being asked about the shared bathrooms.

At the Addison we have many guests who are first-timers at a B&B. We love the opportunity to de-bunk some myths and show people that staying at a B&B can be a wonderful weekend in which dining, exploring, shopping, breakfast and Happy Hour are shared with fellow guests as desired, but bathrooms are strictly shared with those who brought you.

Our Front Door

June 27, 2010 by theAddison

I know. I can hear your eyeballs rolling from here. “Your front door, Bob? Why not write something more interesting like about the lint trap in your dryer?” Well, stop rolling your eyes and I’ll try to make this interesting.

We just had our front door refinished. It was weathered, faded, and not the first thing we wanted our guests to see when they can to visit us. (Oh, PLEASE, stop rolling your eyes. There is no Door = Bob thing going on here) So I had it refinished and, I must say, Curtis did a good job. The door looks good as new. But that isn’t the interesting part.
When you look at our door from the outside there are round windows at the bottom and rounded tops to the upper windows. When you look at the door from the inside, all of the corners are square. Why square on the inside and round on the outside?
One theory is that back when the door was built, round trim cost more to make than straight trim. This was back when craftsmen used skill and hand tools to create trim work. Now, anyone with a router and a power outlet can do the same. The back-in-the-day builders put the round (more expensive) trim on the outside for viewing by all and put the square (less expensive) trim on the inside of the door.
This is Maggie Doone by the door, looking out the bottom window. If you look closely at the window you will see the round shape of the outside trim and the square shape of the inside trim. When we first moved into the inn back in 2007 she had full run of the house and loved sitting at the front door looking out that little window at the horse-drawn carriages that roll past the front door. Now she sits on her chair at the front desk and looks out the big window at the world going by.
OK, so maybe this whole “My Front Door” post wasn’t as riveting as my dissertation on cleaning the courtyard fountain but I am always finding small details about our house’s construction that interest me. The architectural details of the historic main house, erected in 1876, along with the evidence of later additions and changes yield a fascinating progressive story of our house’s life. The big changes (addition of bathrooms and the kitchen and the major renovation in 1996) are fully evident. The small things like mismatched baseboard in the dining room always ask the questions. Was there a door here? Where did it go? What did the room look like back then? Who was their Feng Shui consultant?
This is an interesting old building and every time I start off some routine maintenance project I never know where it will lead me or what interesting tidbit I will learn about my house as I move forward.

Musical Businesses

June 14, 2010 by theAddison

You know the game “Musical Chairs”? Well, we have been going through a game of “Musical Businesses” over the last few months with local businesses switching buildings. Hopefully, when the music stops everyone has a store location that is right for them.

It all started when the Candy and Paint Your Own Pottery store moved out of their big location on Center Street. That opened up a bigger store for the old-timey photo guy with his “Faces In Time” studio. You can go there and get sepia tinted photos of yourselves in Civil War, Western or (my favorite) Pirate regalia. He even has a pirate ship for a photo shoot stage.
Once he moved out of his location on 2nd Street, Intercoastal Wines moved in. They were looking for a smaller shop and found it right next door to their old location.

That opened up a nice sized spot for Anthony and Patrick to open up a new bar on 2nd Street, right next to Pablo’s Mexican Restaurant. They are in there right now building the longest bar in town. That’s Ray on the right, head carpenter and future bar manager once he finished building the bar. Anthony, formerly of the Green Turtle, is adding a kitchen and a nice brick patio out back. He has a full liquor license and, knowing Anthony, he’ll be having lots of live music scheduled.

There are lots of other “adds, moves and changes” happening. The Philly Boyz Cheesesteak shop is going to be moving from their current location behind the Palace Saloon to the old gas station / clothing store up at Center and 8th. Lulu’s Bra and Grill, just a block away from the inn, has reopened as Lulu’s at the Thompson House. The old bras that decorated the restaurant have found themselves a new home somewhere in Virginia. The old Bank of America building has a small grocery store moving in. That will be handy for the boaters coming through the marina.
It is a good sign of a fairly robust small-town economy when storefronts on the Main Street are full. Occasionally we have an empty one but it sure doesn’t stay empty for long!

New! Beach Cam, Live!

June 6, 2010 by theAddison

The beaches of Amelia Island are now available to you 24-7. The local Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, with the help of Paul from MyWebRefresh.com, have set up the first camera that will send a continuous picture of one section of our beatiful, pristine beaches.

The website is just being launched (You saw it here first!). Right now there is only one camera in operation but another is planned.

Those of you sitting in your cubicles far, far away from Amelia Island can now enyoy our beaches 24 hours a day. Log on early enough and you may even catch a sunrise!

You can check out the beach at http://www.ameliabeaches.com/.

The Shrimp and the Not-So-Shrimpy

May 16, 2010 by theAddison

You will see a new addition to the artistic scene in Fernandina Beach on your next visit. Twelve giant shrimp (I know – oxymoron) have been decorated by local artists and are being placed throughout the downtown area and in a few other island locations.

The shrimp are part of the Shrimp Expressions program and they will be on display until the end of September when they will be auctioned off. Shrimp Expressions is in support of Micah’s Place, Nassau County’s only Certified Domestic Violence Center. The program will raise funding for the Center, create awareness for domestic violence prevention, support local artists and support local tourism initiatives.

Micah’s Place is running several contests throughout Shrimp Expressions with a different contest each month. Full details on Shrimp Expressions, the contests and Micah’s Place can be found at http://www.shrimpexpressions.com/. There is even a map you can use to find all of the shrimp.

Two of the three shrimp shown here can be found on Center Street. The third on is on the deck at Brett’s Waterway Cafe, right in front of the rocking chairs.
Now for the “Not-So-Shrimpy” portion of today’s post. The mega-yacht Casino Royale is docked in the Fernandina Beach Harbor. This tri-deck ship is privately owned and at 163 feet is the largest boat I have seen in the marina with the exception of the American Spirit Cruise ship. The Casino Royale has 6900 square feet of interior space that is filled with James Bond references. The spiral staircase in the entry way has Bond-girl silhouettes etched in glass and there is a roulette wheel sculpture made of petrified wood and stone.
I was thinking we could rent the Casino Royale and do a Surf-And-Turf Bed and Breakfast deal. You know, a couple nights here at the Addison and then a couple nights on the boat. The word on the street is that you can rent the Casino Royale for $60,000 per week. (It sounds steep but the price includes the 10-person crew.) With 6 staterooms, that works out to about $1500 per night per room. Ouch! I think I’ll pass on the rental. With a 15,000 gallon fuel tank I’d be hard pressed to fill up the tank and a boat just isn’t much fun tied to the dock.

Guest Writer – Maggie Doone

April 24, 2010 by theAddison

Woof! Bob asked me to give a different perspective on the blog by writing about my experiences here on Amelia Island. It is a tough life being the inn dog and my days are pretty full but I’ll give this writing thing a try. I don’t have opposable thumbs but I’ve been watching Bob type and he doesn’t use his thumbs so it shouldn’t be too hard.

My day starts at 8 when I open up the front desk and take my chair. I keep an eye on things up there until after breakfast when I take someone for a walk. Today I took Shannon to the beach and it was great! Lots of birds to chase, lots of running in circles and I even got to dig a hole under Shannon when she sat down. By 4:30 I’m pretty worn out from watching the desk and greeting guests so I head back to my apartment at the back of the inn.

I take Bob on lots of walks through the day. This first picture is one of my neighbors, Hamish. I like him more than he likes me but he is older and less playful. Hamish lives in a historic home just around the corner from the Addison and his house is the first of many stops as we walk through town.

This next picture is of one of my best friends, Artie the One Man Party. I sit on a bar stool at the Palace and watch Artie working the bar crowd. In his hand he has dog treats that he keeps in a box under the bar. Artie is a soft old guy and I just have to look at him with the right expression on my face and he’ll give me some treats.

Shrimp Fest is right around the corner and will be here next weekend. I love Shrimp Fest for the interesting smells and for all the food that people drop on the sidewalks. It is always nice to see our return guests as well. I’m not real wild about the noise from the fireworks or from the pirate’s cannons so I hide under the bed during the parade. It goes down the street right in front of the inn and the cannons get pretty noisy.

All of this writing is pretty exhausting work. I think I’ve got just enough time to have a nap before the end of my shift. Lots of our guests have a nap before Happy Hour, why not me?


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