14 May 2010

Fernandina Beach, FL

Fernandina Beach is known for its shrimp festival, held the first weekend in May - we arrived a week late for it.  However, there are quite a few sculptures of what I can only assume to be shrimp in all the nooks and crannies of the city.  Fernandina Beach is really quite a touristy town - Kyle and I enjoyed it quite a bit, although the anchorage is a LONG way from the dinghy dock, especially if you're rowing.
Additionally, there seemed to be a pirate theme in the town, but that could have been related to all the tourist shops.  And who could forget SHARK IN A JAR?!  As well as Bacon Beans.  I had hoped they were beans that you could plant and grow bacon, but I suppose bacon jelly beans are the next best thing.
 We weren't big on the tourist shops, although some had marine oddities that we enjoyed.  Kyle and I have discovered that we both share a passion for antiques, and Fernandina Beach had much to offer by way of antiques.  Of course, Kyle is interested mostly in marine things, while my interest is a bit wider, but I think we both agree that it's all very interesting.  Here are some of our favorites:
 I think I am sitting on an antique in that last photo.  But if they didn't want it to be sat on, why would they put it so alluringly at the edge of the sidewalk?

One of the reasons we were excited about Fernandina Beach is that we hadn't resupplied our fresh groceries in quite a while, and a guidebook told us that one of the nearby grocers would pick up boaters at the marina and bring them to the store and home again.  Well, a few phone calls later we could not reproduce this phenomenon.  But a bit of good fortune sprang our way by the name of Robin, a friend of a crew member we met at the boater's lounge.  She drove us to Winn Dixie and we got completely carried away with shopping, knowing we didn't have to carry it all back.  In fact, we even decided a six-pack of snobby beer was in order to go along with the Red Wings game we decided we'd be able to watch that night, but then we picked out a winner and found that the six-pack was $7 and the 12-pack was $10...being engineers, we're pretty good with math and we decided to be irresponsible.  At any rate, the beer was definitely a favorite, and the Wings game was pretty ridiculous as well (have you met my friend Franzen?  It was not a good day to be a Shark).

Also, as engineers, we found this pretty amusing.  It is ONLY a roof over two park benches.  You know, the type of thing that would really seem pretty inconsequential in inclement weather.  I mean, if you're going to reinforce something THAT much, I would have made it the actual marina or something.  But no, this little arbor is going NOWHERE in a hurricane.  As you can see, not even Kyle is able to sway it with all his brute force.

Anyway, that's about all the good news.  The bad news is that the Florida heat has done something horrendous to my home-brewed sparkling wine - we opened the wine locker on Monday to find seven (seven!) popped corks.  Upon further inspection, we found three bottles to be drinkable and the rest had gone bad.  Of course, this meant that all the sparkling red needed to be consumed fairly quickly.  Actually, we had planned for this possibility earlier, and all the red had been in the locker in garbage bags so we didn't have a huge mess to clean up (or smell to get rid of).  It is still disheartening to see all my hard work go to waste like that though.

 Still, a good sunset cures all, right?

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