My Journey includes the in-depth exploration of Amelia Island, plus side trips to Jekyll Island and Savannah, Georgia, and St.Augustine, Florida. As with all my Journeys, the day starts at the bottom of the photo and ends at the top. Enjoy!
Day 1, December 31, 2013: Arrival to Fernandina Beach. Got up just before 5 am for one of those horrible early morning flights. Extremely cold and completely dark outside. Flew to Chicago. On the way, the sky turned from the darkest blue to lighter shades and the gold and copper of glimmering lights punctuated the barren landscape. Snow blanketed the land with the exception of waterways, rivers and buildings. A slow sunrise and a dramatic descent with views of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan, which was frozen into fascinating patterns. Arrived in O’Hare with the sun going up. Took a second flight to Jacksonville, FL. The snow quickly turned to barren brown fields, then hills, then more water, steeper hills and more green. Then it clouded over for awhile. When the sky cleared again, it was the endless marshland and curly-q rivers of the greater Jacksonville area. The characteristic tall pines and swamps. It was cool but not cold out. After taking a nap, I walked around downtown Fernandina Beach before it got dark. It was decked with beautiful holiday decorations, many with a nautical theme, especially the stores and b’n'bs. Went to a party hosted by some of my aunt’s friends that night. A beautiful, Old World southern Victorian house. Fell asleep right before midnight and then was awakened by firecrackers at midnight, marking the start of 2014.
Day 2, New Year’s Day, January 1, 2014: Fernandina Beach. A rainy day. Went to the beach. Saw lots of sandpipers, seagulls and other sea birds. Looked for shells. A muted palette of gray, seafoam, tan and muted celadon. Went on to Egan’s Creek Parkway-a large area of marsh land near the ocean with waterways, forests, bridges and birds. Some areas of shocking green and lush foliage. Walked about a mile and then turned back. Raining off and on. That afternoon, I stopped in several antique stores and other stores that were open on New Year’s Day in downtown Fernandina Beach. I bought some lace and enjoyed the seashell art and ornaments.
Day 3, January 2, 2014: Fernandina Beach. another rainy day in Fernandina Beach. I first went to the Jasmine street beach to look for more shells. The waves had sculpted low hills and trenches in the sand. Then I went to a different part of Egan’s Parkway. This part was more spectacular than the other. Entered from Sadler road and walked along an elevated wooden walkway in the woods. Then walked on trails that encircled numerous ponds, creeks and waterways. The growth was very lush, even for winter time. The ponds had bright green algae in them, giving them an otherworldly appearance. There were lots of different types of birds including large red-headed woodpeckers. Also saw 2 male deer run through the preserve. It was raining and parts of the ground had large puddles, but the light was atmospheric and perfect. Parts of the creeks and rivers were next to giant oak trees with Spanish moss and beautiful palms. It was a most magical place-the place of dreams. Later in the afternoon, I walked around downtown and enjoyed the pastel colors of all the Victorian homes.