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Turning Over New Leaf

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Florida

fernandina-beach-downtown

Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Florida

Although we just returned a few days ago from our trip to Key West, my wife and I are always ready for adventure. Some of our best trips were those we never planned, and so upon our return, we immediately set our sights on beautiful Amelia Island.

Indeed, the trip was unplanned. We were disappointed that we did not get to see my wonderful artist friend and blogging companion, Angeline-Marie of Art Studio Reports on our way back from the Keys. The timing had not been right. We left Key West before sunrise, so we could not meet her for lunch or dinner as we had hoped.

When we returned home, we received a telephone call from another blogging friend and artist, Judie M. from Rogue Artists. I have been blogging with Judie for quite some time and, as those of you who have been blogging for a while are aware, we get to know each other well in our virtual world. Judie and her husband Rod were vacationing in nearby Jekyll Island, Georgia, quite a distance from their home in Arizona. Since they were so close to Florida, they thought is might be nice to meet in person. They were so right.

I was not about to miss another opportunity to meet face-to-face with one of my blogging friends. We decided to meet for dinner in beautiful downtown Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, about half way from their vacation spot to our house. The area is lined with shady streets, brick walkways and picturesque rest areas.

Fernandina Beach has a Historic District as well as an old town. The historic area has many structures built in the late 1800s. The town is the site of the original European settlement named Fernandina, and sits on bluffs above the Amelia River. 

Fernandina Beach is Florida's northernmost city, originally inhabited by the Timucuan Indians. Known as the Isle of 8 Flags, it is the only municipality in the United States that has flown eight different national flags in its historical development since 1562: France, Spain, Great Britain, Spain (again), the Patriots of Amelia Island, the Green Cross of Florida, Mexico, the Confederate States of America, and the United States. Of course, there are miles of beaches as well.

In any event, we met up with our friends at a restaurant, and Judie and I recognized each other immediately, even though she had never seen my photo. We shared a wonderful dinner, terrific conversation, and pledged to meet again in our future travels. The four of us got along famously, and I cannot wait to meet up again with them on our future travels West.

My wife and I loved Fernandina Beach so much that we decided to stay over a second day. We booked a room in an historical building in the center of the old town and spent the following day exploring the area. It was simply fabulous. We discovered some new restaurants that proved to be top notch, and my only regret is that Judie and Rod were not with us.

Fernandina Beach was a great find. My wife and I will return many times in the future to enjoy all it has to offer. Once again, it proves that traveling unchartered waters often leads to wonderful adventures and new friendships. That is what life has to offer everyone willing to journey into the unknown.

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18 comments:

  1. Nice post JJ. Finding a great unexpected place and meeting new interesting friends, what else can one expect. So far, I confess that I did not met a lot of people with whom I blog, because many are very far away, but I confess I look forward having one of such experiences.

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  2. FanaticoUm: I have my sites set on a return trip to Portugal. I will be sure to treat you to a glass of my favorite Porto.

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  3. We love Fernandina Beach and have stayed there many times. Everyone is always so nice to us and our girls, and I always love doing a little antique shopping while there. It is a lovely old town with a lot of charm.

    Our last jaunt northernly was to St. Augustine to meet up with old friends and stay overnight at the St. Francis Inn. I would have loved to meet Judie myself. She is one sweet lady.~Ames

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  4. You know you and your wife have a standing invitation to dinner in Cape Town as well! :) I have never met any of my blogging friends in real life either, what a treat it must have been for you!

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  5. emilene: Thank you for your kindness. Cape Town is one place I have not been, but will enjoy some day. I hope to meet many of my blogging friends in person.

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  6. I too love the unexpected journey and the discoveries one finds along them. How very cool is that...catching up and dining with Judie, and her hubby Rod. (Yes! I blog with her too) life is just simply too grand not to stay awake for and take as many adventures as possible!

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  7. Karen: I agree. I liked Judie online very much, and I have enjoyed blogging with her. Now my wife and I have made new friends, and I look forward to our next meeting.

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  8. I have never met a blogging friend in person, but I'm quite intrigued by the idea. If you are ever in my neighborhood (Portland, OR), let me know!

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  9. What fun to meet a bloggy friend, especially when you've no idea of what they look like, but are more tuned into their emotional level. You are enjoying life to the fullest.

    Manzanita@Wannabuyaduck

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  10. ...oh the memories! I grew up in Sarasota, and will forever cherish the sights, the smells, the aura of "old Florida."

    Thanks so very much!

    EL

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  11. Manzi: It is fun. You are very astute. I purposely do not post my photo. People should like or dislike what I write based upon what I write. I am enjoying life to the fullest, and I hope my blogging friends do the same.

    Elliot: Sarasota is a great place. We vacationed there this summer. The aura of "old Florida" is a huge draw to me. Thanks for following.

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  12. Well, we are home now, and one of the very best times of our vacation was spending the evening with you and Carol in Fernandina Beach! What fun! We will definitely plan to get together again!!

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  13. Judie: For us as well. If we are ever in striking distance of one another, we must make it a point to meet. BTW, we had a terrific time exploring Fernandina Beach. The only time we had been there was for the shrimp festival, but many roads were blocked off and tents were set up everywhere. The town is great, with much to explore, and some great restaurants. I picked an okay spot for us to meet, but next time we can hit some that are far better. Say hi to Rod for me. Glad you're home safely.

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  14. Gracias por dejar tus huellas es mi espacio , gracias por seguirme amigo. Te envío un fraternal saludo, deseándote un fin de semana lleno de paz y armonía en tu vida.

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  15. Darwin: Y el mismo para usted.

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  16. JJ: We will meet! So very happy you had a chance to meet Judy at Fernandina Beach. Life is a surprise, and you keep them happy!

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  17. A-M: Well, I don't want you to be sad. We will definitely make it down there to meet you guys.

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