At times, we work. Other times, we play. And sometimes, we get to both work and play at the same time. This week in Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island was that kind of time.
My husband Bob and I stayed in the most wonderful B&B, The Fairbanks House, an 8,000-square-foot 1885 Italianate villa owned and operated for more than twenty years by Bill and Theresa Hamilton.
The B&B sits in the middle of the Fernandina Beach historic district just a couple of blocks off Centre Street, which is lined with the most wonderful stores, galleries, restaurants, ice cream shops, and such. One thing you will not find in the historic district is a chain store of any kind. Businesses are locally owned and operated and give the area a personal feel.
Each morning at The Fairbanks House, Theresa served up a gourmet breakfast of organic goodies that we enjoyed on the veranda overlooking the garden. It was the perfect way to start each day.
The work part, though I can hardly call it that because I so enjoyed myself, came in a Write Your Life Story workshop at The Book Loft, the best bookstore ever. Eighteen or so participants and I took over the second floor Monday morning to do a bit of writing and learn what it takes to organize and compose a life story.
All the shared stories were great, including Janet’s piece about the time she learned what her grandmother did with the leftover meat and bread she earned by cleaning the local deli each day. Let’s just say the homeless and pigeons in the park loved to see her coming. Prudence read a story to us about the first other Prudence she met and how this young woman’s embrace of the name changed her life.
The Book Loft Writers
Congratulations to Dotty Collins for winning the video of her choice from the Writing Instruction On Demand program.
Tuesday evening, I met with members of the Amelia Island Genealogical Society, where we discussed The Journey Story and the unique way they can combine their hard-earned data with their research experiences to create interesting and informative stories.
JoAnne Templeton claimed the prize that night and selected the Write Now, Organize Later video from the Writing Instruction On Demand program to help her get started writing about her family history.
These two events combined with numerous trips to the post office to ship five-year journals across the country constituted the work portion of this trip, but as I said, I can hardly call something I love to do so much work.
Play happened the rest of the time as we strolled along Centre Street, ate yummy burgers and crab cakes, drove through Old Town Fernandina, took a boat tour where we learned more about the area and saw wild horses on Cumberland Island, relaxed in our wonderful room, read great books, and colored my latest masterpiece.
While staying at The Fairbanks House, we met a delightful young couple, Lindsay and Michael from St. Louis, who had just married August 12th and were honeymooning on Amelia Island. Both are engineering students in their final year of college.
One morning at breakfast, Lindsay pointed to the porch wall and said, “One hundred forty-four.” When I asked what she was referring to, she showed me the lizard (anole) sitting on the window ledge. They don’t have these little critters in St. Louis, and she was fascinated by how many scampered about. If she keeps up her count, she’ll return to St. Louis having seen thousands of our Florida lizards.
Bob remembered how I first began writing in a five-year journal right after we married in November 2005 and suggested we give one to Lindsay and Michael. We did, and we wish them a long and happy marriage, which they can begin documenting in their journal.
Thank you to everyone who made our stay in Fernandina Beach one to remember.