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My Rhett (Amelia Island, Florida)

Author: April Sottile
Date of Trip: October 2006

It was our 23rd wedding anniversary. I was expecting the usual dinner at our favorite restaurant and a dozen roses. It seemed to me our relationship was stuck in the doldrums of expected niceties. How I missed the days of creative courting!

I was to meet him at dinner. He’s a poker dealer by trade so he’s already dressed in a tux. That is the one perk of having a poker dealing husband. He looks awfully good in his tux.

He stood as I entered and I was grateful for the appreciative glances from the men at the piano bar. I said thank you for the roses but couldn’t feel the excitement like I used to. I suppose this is what happens after 23 years.

After dinner, he suggested I ride with him because there was some place he’d like to take me. This was a pleasant turn of events! We headed north and just started talking to each other as the miles drifted by. Discussed what we would do in three years when our youngest was off at college. Talked about current events and dreams and all kinds of interesting things young lovers might talk about. Ninety minutes later he stopped the car in front of what seemed to be an old Victorian house. The Fairbanks Inn. With the moonless night and the moss hanging from the oaks, the building looked a bit frightful. Was that a face peering out from the bell tower? It was late so very few lights were on. I probably would not have gotten out of the car if I was alone, but I had no fear with my honey there and I must say, I was more than a little excited! What a treat!

The inn keeper was awaiting our arrival and as he showed us to our rooms, he regaled us with tales of spirits walking the halls at night!

Our rooms were appointed with antique furniture including a lovely four poster, embroidered linens and even a pot belly style fireplace in the plush sitting room… quite romantic! I felt like Scarlet O’Hara to my husbands Rhett…. or perhaps Ashley.

We spend the next day exploring the building, the grounds and then beautiful Amelia Island. We went back to the Fairbanks to change and enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at 5:00. A short while later, a horse and buggy pulls up to the door and the driver requests for me and my beau to accompany him on a candlelight tour of the city. How charming! Could my husband have arranged all this? The same man that forgets to clean his toenail clippings from the sink?

We had a delightful and very romantic tour that ended with a delicious dinner in a cozy little restaurant by the water. I felt like a princess!

Took our time heading home the next day. Didn’t want to let the feeling of youthful abandon go quite yet. They’ll be plenty of time to get back to homework and lunches and mounds of laundry. Right now we both had wonderful smiles on our faces and a feeling of rejuvenation that will last for some time. And by the way…. I was definitely with Rhett Butler!

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