I have lost two followers, but you escapees from the insane asylum can't ruin my Christmas spirit.
On with the Eighth Annual Amelia Island Museum of History Holiday Home Tour. To read PRIMERA PARTE, please click HERE.
These are the five houses we visited on Saturday:
Photography was not allowed inside the homes, and neither were high heels. We had to cover our shoes with booties before going in some of the houses. Carol and I laughed that we needed some scrubs and masks to go with our booties so we could provide medical care to other visitors on the tour. Not a life was lost on the home tour with Carol and Janie Junebug at the ready.
If you're impressed by size, then the house at the top in the middle of the photo is the place for you. We were not allowed to visit the second story of this house, and I don't think we saw all of the first floor. This house is on the edge of the historic district, but it's not vintage. Although it has the look of a plantation house, it was completed earlier this year. The house itself is nine thousand square feet. If you add in the porches, decks, and patios, it's twelve thousand square feet.
I enjoyed the antiques and Christmas decorations, but do I want to live in such a large house?
No, thank you. Carol and I wondered how many people it takes to clean the house and care for the grounds.
This place also had the one item on the tour that made more than one person shudder. A doll that belonged to the owner's mother lounged in an antique cradle. The doll's face wore out, so the owner added a photo on fabric of her daughter's face to the doll. I swear to you, this doll is the kind that will creep around at 2 a.m., on the prowl for her next victim.
The view from one side of the house:
The best shot I could get of the second story porch:
I was surprised that we didn't see a single screened-in porch. The mosquitoes would make it impossible to sit outside. Carol opined that everyone stays inside with the AC running.
Let's move clockwise around the circle of homes in the photo. The next house was the smallest, and it was my favorite because the owner has put in ten years of do-it-yourself work to expand it and create unusual storage spaces. The kitchen is brilliant. Cabinets have been added under the stairs, and other cabinets slide out instead of having doors that open. A bump out provides a place for the large sink. The lovely island has the range on the top, and cabinets and shelves below.
This Old House magazine awarded this house a Best Redo of Living Space in 2012 for the attic that has been turned into a master bedroom and bathroom. We were allowed to see this house in its entirety, though it was a bit of a squeeze to get visitors up and down the staircase to the bedroom (the attic used to be accessed by pull-down stairs). I also love the house because it's cozy. It looks as if someone actually lives there. The owner added traditional Swedish stenciling on the walls throughout the house, and her mother's woven art works (made me think of the talented JoAnne Noragon, who has an Etsy shop now) hang on the walls or grace some shelves and tables. We even visited the guest cottage in the back, which is so beautiful that I want to figure out a way to make friends with the owner so she'll invite me to stay a while--or forever.
The owner now works as a consultant for people who need to solve storage space problems.
The third house in the circle was built in 1857 and is known as the Railway House because railroad employees once lived there. The owners also own the house next door, which they intend to turn into a restaurant called Indulgence. Carol and I hope to return next spring to indulge in Indulgence.
House Number Four was built in about 1873, and five generations of a family have maintained the house and added to it. It has beautiful glass panels in the doors. Someone pointed out how tiny the closet was in one of the bedrooms, but to have a closet in the original house would have been unusual for that time. People had to use wardrobes or hang clothes behind a curtain or sheet.
The final house, the yellow home on the left of our circle, was built in about 1903 and is owned by one of the first female tugboat captains, who is now retired. She and her husband raised and home schooled their five children on a tugboat. Items from their voyages around the world are on view. The family was featured in New Yorker magazine and pictured on the cover, a framed copy of which hangs in the house. The family still owns two tugboats, which are managed by some of the children who grew up on a tugboat.
Carol and I loved this tree. Instead of cutting it down, someone had the smarts to build a narrow road on each side of it:
And finally, I had to take a photo of this house that's for sale. I love the carousel horses on the porch:
It has eight bedrooms, so if you need a little more room for family and guests, cough up a mere two million dollars and it's yours.
I have a thought about the major difference between the houses on the tour and my humble bungalow: throw pillows. All of those houses have a ton of throw pillows on the bed. Some throw pillows came with my comforter. Those babies are on the top shelf of the linen closet because I won't spend my valuable time placing throw pillows on the bed. Thus, my house will never be part of a holiday home tour.
Although I'm disheartened by the loss of two followers, I'm heartened by the folks who have signed up to participate in the
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Infinities of love,