Exterior of Addison on Amelia

Category Archives: Things To Do

Cooler Weather, Hot Festivals

October 2, 2010 by theAddison

And like that, summer was gone. I went out early yesterday morning, October 1st, to set the veranda tables for breakfast and it was cool outside. I think it was the first morning below 80 degrees since the Spring. There was a bit of a breeze blowing and it was quite pleasant at 68 degrees. The humidity has broken and we have the promise of another beautiful Fall season coming our way.

The courtyard ferns are enormous! We have guests that touch the ferns just to see if they are real or not. The courtyard must have just the right amount of sunlight for the ferns. Sunlight, daily water and monthly MiracleGro seem to be working for them this year. 

We have the autumn plantings in the front gardens as well.  The perennials, the grasses, shrubs and hedges are all filling in nicely compared to when we bought the inn almost three years ago and the annuals add a nice splash of color.   

The Fall also brings us the Fall Festivals!  The Amelia Island Jazz Festival kicked off last night (more on that later) and runs through the 10th.  The Autumn Fine Arts Festival is coming up next weekend, October 9th and 10th.  On the 16th we have my favorite event of the season, the Amelia Cruizers Car Show.  October is a busy month here on Amelia Island.

The Fall is my favorite time of year on Amelia Island.  I can walk Maggie Doone and One-Eyed Louie downtown in the afternoon and I arrive beck at the inn nice and dry instead of all sweaty.  Shannon can take Maggie to the beach for longer walks in the cooler weather and we don’t need to pull down the sun shade at Happy Hour.  Before long we will be sleeping with the windows open and enjoying that nice ocean breeze all night long.

As a post-script:  This is not related to anything that I have been rambling on about but I thought it was a nice nighttime photo of the inn.  I had to try out the new camera!

Talk Like a Pirate Day Wrap Up

September 21, 2010 by theAddison

Arrr, another Talk Like A Pirate Day has come and gone.  It was quite a festive event here with the Fernandina Beach Pirate’s Club out in full force for the afternoon and children scurrying about town on the Pirate Scavenger Hunt.

Our own One-Eyed Louie looked quite dapper in his pirate hat.  If only we could keep an eye patch on him but it was hard enough keeping the hat on him as he is a great flapping beast.

Maggie Doone had her own pirate gear on and was quite set for the day with puffy-sleeved shirt and bandanna.  We were sitting at a bar, minding our own business, when a woman came up to us and announced that my dog was spoiled.  I asked “whatever gave you that idea?”  Apparently it had something to do with Maggie sitting on a bar stool and wearing clothes.  Hey, I could never afford to spoil my kids when they were little, why not spoil the dog?
The day was such a success that we just had to make another in the Maggie Doone series of videos.  This is the story of a small pirate dog in a small pirate town, hanging out with fellow pirates and saying Arrr-ooo!  Enjoy!  Maggie Doone Talks Like a Pirate
What is next for the town of Fernandina Beach?  The Amelia Island Jazz Festival runs October 1st through the 10th.  We have Steve March Torme, one of the headliners at the festival, staying at the Addison.  The Amelia Island Autumn Fine Arts Festival is back on October 9th and 10th.  My favorite car show is on October 16th when the Amelia Cruizers Car Club take over downtown with a great display of hot rods.  Before you know it we’ll have Florida-Georgia Football Classic Weekend, Hallowe’en, Thanksgiving and Christmas. 
The year, she flies, my friends.  Grab a piece of it while you can.  Our Fall Specials have discounts up to 25% from October 1st right through December 21st as we encourage our guests to “Fall In Love With the Addison”.  Pick a Festival, pick a room and give us a call.  We hope to see you again soon!      . 

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!

A Great Morning at The Beach

July 14, 2010 by theAddison

All of the Addison’s guests came down early for breakfast today so at 9:30 I decided to take Maggie Doone down to the beach before it got too hot outside for her. She LOVES going to the beach!

We only spent a half an hour walking the sand but what a half hour! The sand was nice and clean, the surf wasn’t too noisy (Maggie doesn’t like the noisy surf) and there weren’t too many people around. That is one of many really nice things about our beaches… even when they are crowded, they aren’t. If Main Beach has too many people for you just go to the next beach access and you’ll likely find wide open sand.

I took my new toy, the Flip, and made another video of Maggie. You can easily find all of Maggie’s videos (both of them) right now on YouTube. Just fire up YouTube and search for Maggie Doone.

The local Convention and Visitors Bureau has a new toy too. They just turned on their second live beach cam. The first one is at Sandy Bottoms and shows the beach where Maggie and I walked today. The second one is down on the south end of the island. You can catch the live scene at Amelia Beaches.

What am I going to do with Maggie’s videos? The Amelia Island Film Festival is coming up in February and they are going to start taking submissions soon. I’m thinking they would love to see Maggie Doone enjoying the island and the active, natural and charming lifestyle we have here. Lights! Camera! Crazy Dog!

Maggie Doone Goes For A Walk

July 8, 2010 by theAddison

After much research, debate, hemming and hawing, and failed attempts at purchasing, I bought a Flip Camcorder. I tried to buy one earlier this week at Staples but discovered they were out of stock after waiting about 20 minutes. So I tried to buy one at WalMart but no luck there either. I was in the store for 20 minutes, could see the Flip sitting in the locked glass case but could find nobody with a key to the case.

This morning, right after breakfast was served (Blueberry – Peach Tort and Breakfast-In-A-Boat!) I left the island and drove to Best Buy. I ended up buying two cameras but I’ll tell you about the other one later. So, I bought Flip before lunch, shot footage this afternoon and put together a nice little video right after Happy Hour. This thing is easy to use, let me tell you this my friend.

Here’s the plan. I bought the Flip Camcorder to loan to our guests so that they can video their experiences while on Amelia Island. Segway tours, hiking, fishing, whatever they get into they can now video! I can either burn them a CD or e-mail them the video but the cool part is that their videos will be part of an ever-expanding guest-generated library of what to see and do on Amelia Island.

Here is my first attempt at a Flip video. It is a bit shaky and I haven’t figured out how to do voice-overs yet but for a first attempt I’ll be happy. Maybe I’ll put something together for the Amelia Island Film Festival. I can hardly wait to see what some of our guests come up with!

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!

Sunsplash 2010 Coming to a Beach Near You!

June 3, 2010 by theAddison

The first of the Amelia Island Sunsplash events is happening this weekend. This looks like it is going to be a popular event with something for everyone. The first Sunsplash is this coming Saturday, June 5th, down on the beach at Sadler Road near Sliders Seaside Restaurant.

Sunsplash starts off with a Beach Cleanup at 7AM and with the surfing competition starting at 8AM. At 11 they have the Kid’s Sandcastle Contest and Beach Volleyball signups. They will have a Slip-N-Slide, beach ping pong and, of course, the Fernandina Beach Pirates Club will be there. At 2PM there is a Swimwear Fashion Show sponsored by Pipeline Surf Shop.
The highlight for me though will be the live reggae music that will be playing all afternoon. At 1PM Spirit Dub Government will be playing followed by Jah-Creation at 4PM. I get up fairly early in the mornings and can’t stay up as late as I used to so I really do like afternoon music sessions.
There are 4 Sunsplashes scheduled for this year: July 3rd, August 7th and September 4th. Come to our island, grab a Red Stripe and listen to some live reggae on the beach. It will be just like going to that other island but without the really long plane ride.
Full information can be found at http://www.aisunsplash.com/

Spring? Almost Summer!

May 25, 2010 by theAddison

We have only lived in Florida for a couple of years and it amazes me how quickly I have forgotten about winter. Sure, we had those 5 cold days in January but we moved on. I keep getting reminders that it is still winter in other parts of the country.

My eldest son sent a photo a few weeks ago of the latest snowfall in Fort McMurray, his latest home town. My sister in BC had ice on her lawn last week and my mother (also in BC) still tells me there is snow in the mountains. Fresh snow, not leftover snow. We have had guests recently heading home to their northern states and a reception of snow, sleet and cold rain.
Here? The weather is nice, hitting 80 degrees most days and the humidity is still pretty reasonable. Our outdoor courtyard veranda is the preferred place for breakfast and most of our guests take our towels and chairs to the beach for the day. It will get hot later, in August, but for now the weather is perfect.
The garden, she grows! The annuals out in front of the house have really filled in nicely. In the courtyard we have a tub of aloe plants growing that really come in handy during the sunny days. We cut off aloe leaves and the juice is a great relief to our guests for their sunburns. This is the first year that our aloe plant has flowered. OK, it is a kind of straggly looking flower but next year, who knows?
Our gardenia bush is really doing well, too. The bush is in a big pot out in the courtyard where it gets sun for half of the day. We usually get two full flowerings a year with the first one in the spring. The flowers are small but there are many of them and do they ever smell good!
We have a hard time finding flowers that will do well by the fountain in the courtyard. So much water splashes out of the fountain that we need a plant that will do well in the wet soil. We seem to have found such a plant in this lily. The lily on one side of the fountain keeps 3 blooms going on a regular basis.
Memorial Day weekend will be upon us in a few days. Fernandina Beach is hosting the Florida State Putt Putt Championship this year down at the course at Main Beach and the Pirate’s Pub Crawl is on Sunday afternoon. Of course we will have the Farmer’s Market on Saturday. The Market is becoming so successful that they are looking at expanding the site to allow more vendors. Later in the month of June we have regularly scheduled events such as the Garrison at Fort Clinch, the 2nd Saturday Artrageous Artwalk and the 3rd on 3rd ( third Friday at the Amelia Island Museum on 3rd st) historical display. Details of all of the local events can be found at our recently revamped, upgraded and expanded Events Page.. There is a lot going on, we hope to see you soon!
Post Script, 29-May:
It is still winter somewhere! This photo was sent by my son. He was in Calgary visiting a friend on the 27th of May. This is his friend’s back yard.

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.

Crawling the Pubs of Fernandina

May 10, 2010 by theAddison

Are you looking for more than just a cold beer or glass of Pirate’s Punch when you head out for a night on the town? How about a history lesson and a tour of some of the older pubs in town? If so, the local Museum of History has just what you need… the Historic Fernandina Beach Pub Crawl.

This crawl happens every Thursday. For a $25 ticket you get escorted through some of the oldest saloons, bars and taverns in town. The price of admission not only gets you a drink at each of four pubs but it also gets you a narrated tour with stories that are part of our pubs’ past. For tickets you can call 904-261-7378 or get more information at http://www.ameliamuseum.org/

Another pub crawl is the Great Fernandina Beach Pirate Pub Crawl that is organized (?) by a couple of our friends at Cafe Karibo. The next one happens May 30th, the Sunday of the Memorial Day weekend. There are drink specials at 8 of the local bars and you get a T-shirt! The stops include the Palace Saloon, Cafe Karibrew (the island’s only brewpub, photo on the right), Pablo’s, O’Kane’s Irish Pub, Indigo Alley, the Crab Trap, Wicked Davey’s and my personal favorite, the Green Turtle Tavern. The Turtle is the last stop and that’s where the after party will be held. Just let me know if you want to go and I’ll get your tickets for you.

Of course, if you’re not up to hitting 8 bars and you’re just looking for a cold beer in a nice local tavern I can look after that for you as well. I LOVE living here. This is the only town I have ever lived in where bars will let me print up my own free beer coupons for their bar. So, drop a big hint at the Addison’s Happy Hour and I drop a free beer coupon for the Green Turtle on you.

No matter how you pick up your beer and toast your fellow drinkers, be it said prosit, gezuar, salut, skaal, chinchin, kampai, mabuhay or oogywawa it is always nice to enjoy a cold one with old friends or old friends-to-be.