Greetings from lovely Amelia Island, a charming venue just off the north eastern coast of Florida. You get here (from Boca Raton) by driving 6 hours north (on I-95) and then crossing over a long bridge to the island. We are presently staying in the historic district, at a charming B & B called Addison on Amelia. I shall be posting some photographs upon my return to Austin. (No nudes. Not quite warm enough for that sort of thing!)
One of the great joys of writing books is walking into a new hotel or B & B and finding one of your books on display. Stephen King may not find this exciting, but I love it. When we were signing in, a lady at the front desk saw my last name and asked me if I was the same fellow who wrote “A RUN FOR THE MONEY,” a book that was prominently displayed in their reading library! (I spent the most of the next morning selling and signing books!) Ah well, part of the fun. Nice way to meet your fellow guests, too.
The food has been surprisingly good, and as you might expect, mostly based upon fresh seafood. (This is where the U.S. commercial shrimp industry began.) Some of the local fishermen are of Portuguese descent, so they have some wonderful Portuguese restaurants along the marina, and one of the best is called ESPANA. If you ever pass this way, this is the place to dine like a king. (Great sangria, too!)
There is a local bookstore that is featuring some of my mystery novels at a wine party this evening, but before that, we are heading over to the Amelia Island Museum of History, and then we’re off for a catamaran adventure to Cumberland Island, Georgia. (The island is known for its dolphins, manatees, and wild horses. None of them edible, but still fun to view.)
So far the weather has been nearly perfect. Average temps around 80 to 85, bright sunshine, and not a cloud in the sky. We arrived (on Saturday) for the start of the 45th annual Shrimp Fest, which featured a zillion locals artists, ten zillion antique dealers, and numerous culinary shrimp contests. I was forced to consume a fair amount of those tasty crustaceans, and they were really wonderful. I think most of them fell into the category of “white shrimp,” which blends nicely with grits.
Tomorrow, which is Tuesday, we are off to Savannah, Georgia, and another historic B & B. After our “ghost tour,” we are scheduled to stop by a local book dealer and chat with some customers who are history-lovers. I shall be presenting a short, but riveting lecture on my new literary masterpiece, TURBULENT TIMES. On Wednesday, we are supposed to join a local group for a special Segway tour of the historic district, which should be great fun. (We are staying close to the park where FORREST GUMP and MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL were filmed.) If we don’t meet any ghosts, we shall have to look for spirits elsewhere. (Probably in a tavern!)
Well, my dear friends, I must take my leave, as duty calls. Hold on, that wasn’t a duty call, just a call to breakfast. (Even better!) Today our innkeeper is offering something called “hash-brown muffins” and “Rebel omelets,” which sounds yummy and will hopefully contain some more shrimp.
Have a safe and laugh-laden week! Love to all,
P.S. Be the first to identify the following photographs and you will win an autographed copy of TURBULENT TIMES!