I was in paradise two days ago and came back to paradise today.
After attending a Florida wedding, my husband and I stayed on Amelia Island for a few days. The historic district holds some interesting architecture from the mid 19th century. During those years, only the rich had the leisure time to visit the hot and wild Florida landscape. That explains the grand, old houses on the island.
One interesting find on Amelia Island is Indigo Alley. Two female Dobermans, along with their humans, run the place.
Indigo Alley serves beer, wine, fresh roasted coffee, light meals, and so much more. Stop in and you may hear local musicians playing or local artists showing off their work. You may find belly dancing, open mic night, poetry readings, movies, and classes on the French language and culture.
The two Dobermans are rescue dogs and they patrol the garden courtyard looking out for wild cats to chase off their property. The courtyard lies in back of the building that was originally constructed in 1884. The dogs also have an aversion to lizards on their property and chase them away (that is if they don’t eat them first). These two girls are sleek, healthy, and sweet-tempered canines. I’m sure a chance to visit with these dogs draws in some of the Indigo Alley clientele.
The dogs came upstairs with us to the rooftop deck seating and kept us company. As we drank our wine, we watched dusk settle over the island and a full moon rise between the post office built in 1910 and the clock spire on the Nassau County Courthouse that was built in 1891. The old courthouse looks like it came out of a movie set with all of its ornate wood trim and long, dramatic windows. In fact, a local resident said that courtroom movie scenes have been shot at this site.
Soon after, dozens of creatures came flying overhead with a frantic twittering and loud flapping wings. At first, we though they were bats heading out for their nocturnal travels. But the female human owner of the Alley set us straight and told us they were in fact chimney swifts coming home. After flying all day long, they were returning to the nearby chimneys and clock spire to spend the night. These birds fly all day long. They eat insects as they fly through the air. They drink water and bathe as they fly over the river surface. They even snap off twigs for their nests as they fly by a tree.
The Indigo Alley rooftop offers a beautiful view of some of the oldest buildings in town and offers some good canine and avian companionship.
I left an 89 degree, sunny Florida day to a breezy, fall’s-a-coming kind of Michigan weather. I love it since autumn is my favorite season and Michigan has a fantastic one. No more sunburn, sweating, humid sticky feeling all over. Calm, cool, and comfortable is my idea of paradise. I’m not good at traveling a long time and was ready to go home.
But I’m still thinking about Indigo Alley and feel sad that I discovered it on my second to last day on the island. If I come back, one good reason would be to visit the Alley again and see if any new rescue dogs have joined the establishment. I’ll know the best time to see an impressive bird show on the rooftop. Also I might check out the belly dancing classes. I’ll give everyone fair warning on that last one.