Thursday, September 22, 2011

Detour to Amelia Island

Mr Sunshine and I are a decade or so from retirement age (wow). We know it definately won't be in Orlando. This is a temporary home until Sorority Girl gets settled in her life.

We have very few requirements for our final home. It needs to be near the water and it needs to be a laid-back kind of place. We loved  Key West last year, even though it is so far away from the rest of the US you might as well live in Cuba. This year I thought we could check out Amelia Island FL on our way to Savannah. It's a tiny little island about 20 minutes from Jacksonville.

Amelia  had just about everything we love...a local/non-touristy feel, gorgeous beach, a decent golf course, a good shopping area with the big stores you occasionally need and a funky little downtown with cool shops and restaurants.

I didn't take too many photos on Amelia because my butt spent a fair amount of time on a barstool here...
Nothing between my barstool and the ocean at Slider's Tiki Bar. We chatted with the bartenders and locals, enjoyed people watching, watched some football and ate awesome grilled scallops. Mr Sunshine convinced me to sling back a few shots...something I've never done before and boy, Washington Apple Shots are yummy! Luckily our hotel was a short walk across the street.

The second morning we planned to go to the beach, but we woke up thinking the whole island was on fire. We couldn't even see the beach from our hotel. The front desk guy told us that there was a fire west of Jacksonville. He also told us that it is not uncommon for Amelia to get the smoke from fires in FL and south GA.

We took a short walk on the beach to collect some shells and shark teeth. We started getting scratchy throats and I was afraid any more time outside would fling me into an asthma attack, so I spent the rest of the day hanging out in the hotel while Mr Sunshine played golf. Smoky air could possibly be a deal breaker for retiring to Amelia.

The next day we went on a tour boat that goes up along the coast of Cumberland Island GA. I was hoping to see some of the bands of wild horses that live on Cumberland and we weren't disappointed. They live in bands (families) and we saw two bands.

We also saw the area that was the birthplace of Shrimp fishing in the US and watched one of the boats unloading huge buckets of shrimp.

One of our favorite places was Cafe Karibo. They have a pretty shaded patio area and a small dining room attached to a small bar. They brew their own beer and the food was excellent. We ate lunch there one day and the next night we went back for dinner and stayed to play Trivia Night with the locals.

I may need to stockpile some inhalers and retire to Amelia Island after all!


Cat said...

Two sad facts I must admit about myself: 1)I have lived in Georgia for 19 years, but I've never been to Savannah. 2)I go to Jacksonville at least twice a year and I've never been to Amelia island. Embarrassing really. I have however experienced smokey summers in Jacksonville. No fun when you have asthma.

Jen on the Edge said...

I've heard so many good things about Amelia Island. I wouldn't let the smoke on this trip deter you from retiring there. Might you consider visiting again and checking out the air quality?

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Maybe all the fires will be burnt out by the time you retire there?
I can totally see you living the island life. Sounds nice.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

So cool that you got to see the horses.

We're 20 years from retirement and I'm pretty sure we'll stay here, but I definitely think we'll add an RV to our life--that is if the gas isn't a dealbreaker!

Suzanne Casamento said...

LOL! Washington Apple shots are yummy! (And deadly!)

That island sounds awesome. The fires can't be that frequent, can they?

Caterina said...

I visited Amelia Island about 10 years ago and totally fell in love! I stayed at a beautiful hotel that overlooked the ocean. Had no idea about the fires though.