Williams House Owners Attend Innkeeping Conference
February 1st, 2011
We recently attended an International Innkeeping conference to catch up on latest trends and ideas for improving guests experiences. The three day conference utilizes both Innkeepers sharing ideas that work and experts in different fields to inform and understand guest profiles and needs. We always return with many ideas to add more enjoyment and improve guest experiences and we look forward to trying out our ideas during 2011!
Family Visitation – Fun in Fernandina Beach
February 1st, 2011
Byron’s son, daughter in-law and daughter visited recently and we were delighted to have one of those good winter weeks with temps in the sixties. Byron and Tim played golf one day, and then we all acted liked tourists and enjoyed a carriage ride, strolling the city, eating at local restaurants and shopping. We tryed to take a river cruise, but not enough people signed up so we got to walk some more after looking around the marina. It’s aways good to see family and friends and share some of this beautiful island and setting.
Amelia Island Shop Brings Art&Color to Fernandina
February 2nd, 2011
We always enjoy seeing new shops open in downtown Fernandina Beach and North Third Trading, located at 13 North Third St. is no exception. Featuring booths from numerous local artists and craftsmen there is something for everyone. From humorous and silly to artistic and serious, many selections are there to temp everyone’s taste in Island inspired artworks. One of their specialties is flamingo related art work, which Deborah collects from time to time (more than 200 items so far). Soo we had to spend a bit of time surveying the various booths. Owners Robert and Iris Lannon are going to be adding yard art to their shop in the spring as well. It’s another interesting and unique shop for gests of the Williams House to explore and enjoy.
Amelia Island Williams House Recipe
February 4th, 2011
Pictured at left is Blueberry Strata, a favorite of many guests, and what we served this morning for breakfast at the Williams House. The recipe follows and can also be found in the B&B Cookbook that we sell in our Inn gift shop.
1 loaf French Bread cut into 1″ cubes
2 (8oz.) package cream cheese cubed
1 cup fresh blueberries, washed
12 large eggs
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 cups milk
Grease a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Add 1/2 bread, then scatter cream cheese and blueberries over bread. Top with remaining bread. Combine eggs, syrup, and milk in separate bowl and pour over bread. Press down to soak all of the bread in the egg mixture. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake covered with foil 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 30 minutes more. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting into squares. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Garnish with fresh blueberries and a fresh cut strawberry. Serves twelve. Pour ribbons of maple syrup for added sweetness.
Amelia Island Wedding at Williams House B&B
February 4th, 2011
We had our second wedding of 2011 this week whenRonnie and David shared vows with pastor Jim Tippins presiding. It was a “just the two of you” package and held in the Williams House parlor in front of a glowing fireplace. It was actually pretty warm so we had to keep lowering the flame during the ceremony. Bride and groom were both well dressed and were married with Pacabell’s cannon as background while they recited vows, exchanged rings and performed a sand ceremony to signify joining their lives. Deborah and Byron were the official photographer’s recording the ceremony on the couple’s camera and Byron’s used here in the blog. We enjoy weddings of all sizes and the smaller one’s like this are intimate and personal. Hope all enjoy the attached pictures.
Top Ten To Do’s- Amelia Island & Fernandina Beach
February 5th, 2011
While listening to a speaker at the recent innkeeping convention I was inspired to make a “top ten” list (Letterman style) for things to enjoy while visiting Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach. However, as I began to list these enjoyable potential items, the list grew longer and is now well above 30! So…needless to say there are many local opportunities to enjoy and I will start with ten in this blog and bring the rest forward a little later. These ten are those most often enjoyed by the average guest and thus are repeated more than some of the others. If you are planning to come for a visit….plan on these and stay tuned for more!
Williams House “Top Ten” List
1. Walk to and eat in one of more than 20 local fine restaurants.
2.Take a historic carriage ride thru downtown.
3. Enjoy a boat cruise around Cumberland Island.
4.Tour Fort Clinch Park, a civil war era fort.
5. Walk to and explore more than 20 boutique shops.
6. Visit the beach and ocean.
7. Visit the history museum.
8. Have dessert at the Icecream and Fudge shop on centre street.
9. Bike around the area (free as Williams House guests).
10. Explore the Saturday Farmer’s market.
Skies Clear for February Williams House Wedding
February 8th, 2011
After a rainy week on Amelia Island the skies cleared for Sable and Kevin to be married on a sunny and slightly cool Sunday afternoon just before the superbowl. About 50 guests enjoyed the ceremony and reception at the Williams House. Sable arrived on a horse drawn carriage pulled by “Boomer” and was escorted down the aisle to meet her groom. After the ceremony, officiated by Byron McCutchen, the bride and groom enjoyed a private moment on the carriage before joining their guests for the reception in our courtyard. Guests feasted on beef tenderloin served on rolls, an antipasta platter, mushrooms stuffed with sausage, bruschetta piled atop toasted croistini, and penne pasta with alfredo sauce all prepared by the Williams House while DJ Harmony played the bride and groom’s favorite music. After the champagne toast and wedding cake were served the dancing and fun began! Following the wedding, guests and friends adjourned to O’Kane’s Irish pub to watch the superbowl. Fortunately for them, they were Packers fans! Congratulations to Kevin and Sable on a beautiful and fun filled wedding at the Amelia Island Williams House bed and breakfast.
Amelia Island Events for Every Interest
February 10th, 2011
We have a variety of events thru the seasons on Amelia Island that can appeal to almost everyone’s favorite activity. We have listed them below for those considering or planning a visit to Amelia Island. Come and join us at the Amelia Island Williams House for these events or just a relaxing getaway. This list is primarily festivals but I’ve also added a few other items that may be of interest!
Amelia Island/Fernandina Beach Schedule of Events
Amelia Island Book Festival, Feb. 18-19 (www.ameliaislandbookfestival.com)
Amelia Island Film Festival, Feb. 24-27 (www.ameliaislandfilmfestival.com)
Concours D’Elegance, Mar. 11-13 (www.ameliaconcours.org)
Old Town Bicentennial, April 2 (www.oldtownfernandina.org)
Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, April 29 – May 1 (www.shrimpfestival.com)
Wild Amelia Nature Festival, May 20-22 (www.wildamelia.com)
Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, May 20 – June 17 (www.aicmf.com)
Stars and Stripes Freedom Festival, July 4 (www.shinybadges.com)
Amelia Island Blues Festival, Sept. 16-17 (www.ameliaislandbluesfest.com)
Amelia Island Jazz Festival, Oct. 2-9 (www.ameliaislandjazzfestival.com)
Amelia Island Autumn Fine Arts Festival, Oct. 8-9 (www.islandart.org)
Historic B&B Cookie Tour, Nov. 19 (www.ameliaislandinns.com)
Tick, Tock, Guest Fixes Williams House Clock!
February 11th, 2011
We never know whom we will meet as guests come and go at the Williams House and that is part of the fun and excitement of owning a bed and breakfast. Recently, one of our grooms told me he was was a Horologist and that led into a discussion of our grandmother clock made by my father. I told him it wasn’t working quite right and over the course of the next two days, it was oiled, fixed, reset and now is working perfectly. His father has been in the clock business since 1944 and David is now active with two shops in the Tampa area.
The company name is Boyd Clocks and they sell, repair and restore clocks of all kinds. It was very kind of him to help us get our clock going on his honeymoon, but you can tell he has a love for all things clock and enjoys making them work well. We now here the gentle chimes throughout the day and have a way of telling time in the common areas. If you are in need of clock repairs or advice, you can reach David at www.boydclocks.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or 813-281-2299.
Our thanks again to David for getting our clock back up and running!
Carriage Rides Resume with Warmer Temperatures
February 13th, 2011
One of the favorite activities for guests at the Williams House is horsedrawn carriage rides thru the historic downtown area. The town is so rich in history and with Victorian homes and buildings ready to tell their story, 50 minutes passes before you know it! Of course every ride begins with Boomer meeting and greeting guests, but really just anxiously awaiting treats from Byron and Deborah. He also has a few stops along the way where food is anticipated and expected. Cindy and her daughter Nicole do a great job of filling in the Island’s history and retelling the secrets of its homes and early times. As usually these rides taper off during January due to both cold weather and short days. But Valentine’s weekend restarts the season as it did this year with a desire for the romantic rides and somewhat warmer temps. We had three rides this weekend and the evidence is visible below. Come join us and enjoy an informative and fun historic carriage ride.
Carriage Ride Leads to Engagement
February 15th, 2011
We always enjoy guests taking the historic carriage ride, but sometimes these rides are truly special. Such was the case yesterday for Craig and Jessica when he surprised her both with the carriage ride and by proposing during the ride. Craig had planned the entire trip, including choosing the Williams House, restaurants, and activities and especially the important carriage ride. Nicole, Boomer’s driver took them down to the water front for the sunset and that is where Craig proposed. Dinner followed at Joe’s Second Street Bistro and they arrived back at the Williams House to a nice bottle of chilled wine in their room. We have to admit staying at the Williams House is a romantic experience and it’s a great place to do something really special for the one you love. We wish Craig and Jessica all the best and are happy to have been a part of their special time.
Williams House Featured in Miami Herald
February 15th, 2011
The Amelia Island Williams House was recently featured in an article on Romantic Getaways in the February 13 Sunday edition of the Miami Herald. Covering Inns across the state for Valentine’s weekend, the Williams House was described as “the perfect introduction” to B&B stays. The author describes guest’s first reaction as “wow” and building from that to the amenities, breakfasts and wine hour that create a double “wow”! A picture of our parlor was included and we appreciate all the nice things said about our Inn. We enjoy creating a romantic and relaxing B&B experience for guests while they discover quaint Fernandina Beach and the slow paced beauty of Amelia Island.
Great Day for Williams House Carriage Ride
February 22nd, 2011
We always enjoy returning guests and recently Dan and Liz came back for a return visit. After catching up with Byron and Deborah over wine hour, they decided to enjoy a historical carriage tour through downtown Fernandina, and met the great white horse Boomer. They enjoyed the ride and Boomer and learned a lot of history about this quaint town and island. They continue to explore and experience our great local restaurants mixing new ones with those they already know. It was great to see them again and we look forward to another visit.
B&B’s Donate to Cats Angels and Humane Society
February 22nd, 2011
Each fall the Amelia Island B&B Association holds a cookie tour where visitors can enjoy seeing all of the B&B’s on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. This is a fund raiser for both the association and charities. Each year we select worthy charities and allocate a portion of our proceeds to their cause. This years recipients included Cats Angels and Nassau Humane Society. Recently, Deborah McCutchen of the Williams House, who is President of the local association, and Theresa Hamilton from Fairbanks House visited both groups to present checks from the association. It was impressive to see both of these groups efforts to care for the local animal community and attempt placement of abandoned and stray animals. We hope these donations will help further their missions and apply some love and care for animals in need of a helping hand.
Amelia Island Top Ten To Do’s – Page 2
February 22nd, 2011
Having already delivered the first top ten things to do when visiting Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach, we now move on to the next ten on our way to more than thrity things that are fun to do while visiting with us at the Williams House. Some items are annual, like the car show pictured at left, but most of the items are available nearlyyear round. Hope you can come visit for the fist time, or come back and do some of the things you couldn’t get done on your prior visits.
Top Ten Things To Do on Amelia Island/Fernandina Beach – pt.2
- Visit the Concours D’Elegance car show
- Enjoy Kingsley Plantation on Ft. George Island
- Tour Art Studios
- Take a ghost tour
- Learn history on a Museum tour
- Go antiquing
- Use Williams House bikes to tour
- See a real live working shrimpboat
- See a sunset at the Marina
- See Old Town, the original Fernandina settlement