The Traveling Steve's

On the Road Again . . .First Stop Amelia Island!

Steve (DOS) and I left Orlando yesterday for a 3 week road trip to Roanoke, Virginia, with several two and three night stays along the way. As we are still settling our parents estate in Virginia, our goal (along with my brother and sister) is to get my parents house ready for sale in Roanoke. As DOS and I are now fully COVID vaccinated, we are going to take our time on the drive north and make a few mini-vacations along the way.

We’re first staying on Amelia Island for a couple nights, which is just north of Jacksonville, Florida. This is our first visit here, and our two night stay here so far has been wonderful! We’re staying at the Hampton Inn in the Amelia Island historic district, which is conveniently located amongst the many restaurants, shops, and bars, and even railroads along or near as the harbor-front.

This Hampton Inn and Suites is much nicer than the typical Hampton Inn, and our 1 bedroom suite is large and spacious, and has stunning views of the sunset here.

The room is well equipped with a full size fridge, microwave living room and Kitchen area, a non-working (actually seasonal) fireplace, and large bedroom and bath. The hotel is within walking distance too many places to eat and drink, so once we parked the car, we were all set for the evening.

After settling in the Hampton Inn Hotel, we ventured out on foot to check out the area. As it was a Monday, several of the restaurants were closed, but we made note of the ones that were open, and we would like to try later for dinner. The downtown Historic Area is ideal for walking, and we had a leisurely stroll along the riverfront and downtown area enjoying the beautiful April day weather.

We eventually stopped at the nearby Salty Pelican for a brewski and appetizer, and had a great view of the water from the second floor terrace area.

I had a summer ale type wheat beer and DOS had a Diet Coke. I ordered an Ahi Tuna appetizer dish, while DOS ordered some fried oysters. While I didn’t have any of DOS’s fried oysters, he did try some of my Ahi Tuna bytes, which were delicious!

Later we headed back to the hotel for a shower and change of clothes before heading back out for dinner. As we had both had pretty big appetizers, we wanted something lighter for dinner, so we went to a local Pizza place, that served delicious brick oven pizza! Arte’s Pizza Restaurant was a perfect fit for us for dinner.

The staff was super friendly, and we even chatted with the pizza chef telling him how much we loved the pizza. The ‘side salad’ was huge, and plenty enough for DOS and me.

While the pizza was HUGE, we didn’t eat all of the crust! LOL! Thank’s Arte’s Pizza – you made our pizza outing fun and delicious!

On Tuesday, the second and last and full day of our Amelia Island stay, we drove over to the beach side of the island. We parked at one of the free parking areas just past the Ritz Carlton Resort. DOS and I then took a long walk on the beach which was wide and uncrowded; almost like a private beach in places.

We then walked from the beach up to the Ritz Carlton for lunch, but not before touring the property and buying a couple caps and golf and logo T-shirts.

We had lunch adjacent to the outdoor pool area, with beach views in the distance. The outdoor patio area was multi-level terraced, which provided everyone nice views.

The lunch was nice and leisurely, and we took a few photos around the pool area before heading back along the beach to our car, now sporting our newly purchased Ritz Carlton caps!

The drive back to our hotel was only 15 minutes or so, which was located on the other side of the barrier island.

Once back in town, we walked around the historic district a bit more, before taking a late afternoon nap and shower before dinner. For dinner we ate at Cafe Karibo, which was a short walk from the hotel. Cafe Karibo was a fun place, with energetic staff, colorful artwork, and great food.

After dinner at Karibo, we headed back to the hotel and grabbed a jacket and changed into jeans (from shorts) as it was slightly cool after dinner, and we still wanted to go out for dessert.

I had noticed this wine and dessert bar called The Decantery, a block or so from the hotel, and after changing we went there for some vino and carrot cake. The place was not real busy at the ‘late’ hour of 9:30pm, but we had a fun time taking to the bartenders and a couple businessmen who were there. The wine bar had some nice wines in the airtight dispensing machines, where you could select 1, 3, or 5 ounces of your choice of wine.

I tried three different ones, ranging from a couple of 3 ounce pours of my favorites (Freemark Abbey and Mt. Veeder) to a once ounce poor of the high end Quintesa.

It was a fun night of dining and dessert, and we headed back to the hotel shortly before the wine bar closed.

In the morning (Wednesday) we will check out and head to our next stop: St. Marys, Georgia.

Good night from Amelia Island! It was a quick but fun stay, and as it’s so close to Orlando will definitely come back again soon.

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