Black Eyes and Beach Towns

I gave my husband a black eye. I’m not even sure how it happened really. Last week during our vacation to Amelia Island, we were…um… testing the mattress in our suite when my elbow met his cheekbone with such a force, I wondered if subconsciously I was releasing any and all aggression I may have stored up over the past 5 years of our marriage. Bless his heart. One minute he’s loving on his wife, the next minute he finds himself smack in the middle of a bar fight. I felt horrible, but for some reason it was one of those times where the emotional reaction was the inappropriate one. I started laughing. Which made matters even worse…. for Clark. Needless to say, he was a tad bruised and swollen, both in face and ego. Even as I type this, he’s telling me from the next room that his face is still sore. Shiner and all, we proceeded to enjoy the most relaxing and memorable 3 days we’ve had since our children were born. When you spend so many months trying to squeeze every bit of romance into the time afforded you between breast feedings, three days of undivided attention provides some much needed relational refreshment. The truth is, I am more in love and fulfilled by my relationship with Clark than I was the day we were married. While our time of reminiscing and “re-calibrating” had its fair share of introspection and future planning, it also came with a salt and peppering of fun. In between black eyes and dolphin sightings, we enjoyed some of the best that Fernandina Beach has to offer.

29 South Eats

When the menu says “Garden Fresh”, this is about as fresh as one can get. The vegetables are grown right in the back yard! Green and local is certainly this restaurants forte.

Fantastic Fudge

A slice of fudge, a couple of turtles, and $16 later, we were feeling not so fantastic. But, this mouthwatering confectioner’s corner is a must see if you are planning a visit to Amelia Island. Be sure to bring your wallet and your sweet tooth!

*Bonito Grill & Sushi

Clark almost cried when he learned that they serve sweet tea here even though we were vacationing in the Yankee invaded southernmost state. Its the little things that sometimes make life worth living.

Judging by the looks of things, I feel I ought to rephrase… we enjoyed some of the best food that Fernandina Beach has to offer. Before you think we just ate our way through the town, this was one of our favorite non-eateries.

The Book Loft Bookstore.

This little two-story shop had an entire wall of autographed hard copies. Some series ran upwards of $300-$400 dollars! We started our Chronicles of Narnia series with The Magicians Nephew (unsigned) for $8.99.

Fernandina Beach can best be described as “Southern Charm meets historic beach town”, and the sweet tea put it right over the top for my husband. Therefore, we are already planning our return trip.

*photo credit (Sara G.)

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Romantic Holiday Getaway

Happy New Year!

Clark and I went into hiding for the last few days of 2010. This was our little corner of Paradise.

Last Fall, I stumbled on a Charlotte Magazine article of vacation spots within driving distance from the city of Charlotte. Located on Amelia Island off the northern east coast of Florida, The Elizabeth Point Lodge received the Conde Nast Travelers Readers Choice Award as the #2 small hotel in the U.S. in 2008. As you know, this past year was a very big year for the Beasley family. I turned 30. Clark and I rounded our 5 year wedding anniversary. We moved to Charlotte. We had our second baby. While it has been thrilling, it hasn’t come without a heaping side order of stress. This was the perfect place for us to debrief, de-stress, and recharge our batteries.

For the most part, Clark and I are “inn” kind of people. Our first experience was on our honeymoon in Asheville, NC. We stayed at the romantic Black Walnut Inn, and we couldn’t have been happier. In fact, the gourmet 3-course breakfasts and the wine and cheese social hour in the late afternoon turned us into a couple of hotel snobs. Boutique hotels offer individualized attention unlike any hospitality I’ve ever experienced, and their accommodations are generally cozier than larger chain hotels. For instance, even though our room came complete with antique mismatched furniture, angled ceilings, pastel floral wallpaper, and a Saltwater Gamefish poster that just screamed beach town, it all just… worked! Together it made for a memorable 2nd honeymoon spot.

I will fill you in on our little get away more in the days to come. In the mean time, our inn stay got me thinking of other bed and breakfasts I would like to visit in some of my favorite US destinations.  Here are a few boutique hotel scenes as featured on BedandBreakfast.com.

The Martine Inn in Monterey, California

The Swann House in Washington, DC

Three Mountain Inn in Jamaica, Vermont

The Bed & Breakfast Inn at La Jolla in La Jolla, California

Where was your best hotel stay?