Our friends from Colorado, the Rettigs, invited us to join them out at Amelia Island so without pause we accepted and hopped in the RV-10 adventure machine! Grateful for my instrument rating (I've been saying that a lot lately) because we filed IFR to get out of bit of an overcast layer. We first flew out to Savannah (KSAV) and met them for a trolley tour around the historic downtown area, which was steeped with interesting history. I loved seeing the beautiful trees laced with Spanish Moss (not Spanish and not actually a moss by the way). Savannah was just a quick pop in visit on our way down the coast near Jacksonville to Amelia Island (KFHB), which we had never been to before. We were shocked when we arrived since we were expecting a tiny little un-towered field, yet the airport had three runways and an amazing FBO called Bent Wing, which was shaped like a Corsair. We have since learned the airport was used as a training facility by the navy during WW2 and a lot of corsairs flew out of there! We got all settled into our room and then headed over to the condo just across the street where the Rettigs were staying and we enjoyed a fun evening of music, games, drinks, and snacks.
On Day 2 Annetta, the master planner, had a fun packed day lined up for us. We started with breakfast at the condo, then a trip to Shark Tooth Beach, where we all scoured the beautiful beach area for shells and prized shark teeth. The weather was cool and breezy and perfect for the little foam airplanes we were playing with on the beach. Next we went to Fort Clinch, which was a beautiful scenic drive through the state park grounds and a step back in time. We ate an amazing seafood meal after that at the Crab Trap in the downtown area of Fernandina Beach and wandered the shopping areas up and down the strip. Next we went to the airport and I took everyone joy riding around the area in two separate batches. Everyone had a blast with the flight and we got a great view of the small island we had been playing on for the last couple of days. On the kid flight we did some oscillations with some zero G thrills, which was a riot for them.
Day 3 was the Okefenokee swamp tour, which I was excited about but didnt know what to expect. We all had a blast and I think everyone enjoyed it way more than we anticipated! The boat tour and nature show were especially great and we got to pet turtles, a snake, and a baby alligator who was ferociously cute! We learned more about the swamp and its flora and fauna and the swamp had a peacefulness to it that I didn't imagine it could have. Due to the high acidity of the swamp, mosquitos have a hard time surviving there, which is the complete opposite to what I would have thought. We ate another delicious seafood meal and had beers and cocktails at Salt Life, of which I have seen so many stickers and tee-shirts over the years. They market it pretty hard and to be fair it was a nice time and good food. There was a guy playing sax that evening who was shockingly good with a wide range of genres he was playing. An all hands on deck Uno game erupted later that evening at the condo and it was a chaotic silly fun time.
It was time for us to go the next day, but not before we all did a crazy beach morning run with chilly temps, light rain, and brisk winds. Well, some of us went out with jackets and some were brave enough to jump in the ocean. Lucy opted for both jacket and ocean run lol. We made the most of our beach day and soon found everyone inside with hot showers and hot cocoa. We said our goodbyes, did an IFR departure through some overcast layers, and off we went homeward bound.