The Day I Lost Two Boys to Telemarketers


omni amelia island room view

Today was our first full day at the Plantation at Amelia Island. When we arrived yesterday before even checking into the rooms I rented the boys bicycles. With over 1300 acres and a 20 MPH speed limit I figured I’d let them have free range of the resort (minus any natural bodies of water).

Did I mention that since Jane is in London and Mr G is in New York I let Alexander bring a friend? Well, I did, the Australian Actresses’ boy is with us. That makes two preadolescent boys that I love like crazy.

This morning they were keen to get to the main swimming pool which is about a half mile away from our villa. I wanted to wake up in the shower a bit so I told them they could ride their bikes there and wait for me by the pool, I’d be 20 minutes behind them.

I took my shower and walked along to shore to the main pool and went in search of the boys. They weren’t there. I walked a second lap around the pool, no sight of them. I asked the attendants at the towel shack if they’d seen the boys (two 11 year old boys, one bright red hair… easy to spot, right?). No one could remember seeing them. Great.

I walked around the main building and asked the guys at valet but they hadn’t seen the boys. I left there and walked to the game room, the Xbox has been known to sing a siren’s song. Still no sign of them.

I called the room, thinking maybe they’d returned there looking for me but the phone just rang and rang. This is when I returned to the pool to ask yet another employee if they’d seen my boys. She hadn’t seen them but offered me a cocktail suggesting that I’d be more relaxed looking for them. I walked the resort and called the room a few more times.

To be clear there was no part of me that was worried about them. I knew that they were together and I knew that they’d stay away from the ocean, marshes and the ponds. Nothing else on site represents any danger worth noting.

I explained to the server that I don’t at all mind being the lady who lost her kids but that I absolutely do mind being the boozy lady that loses her kids. The mojito would have to wait until they were located.

I returned to the front of the hotel and asked a valet to call me the tram (there are trams that drive endless loops here so there’s no need for a car), while we were waiting for the tram I explained to him that I was going to hop into my car and look for the boys. The valet radioed security with descriptions of the kids and told them to radio us if they were located and then he started walking around with me to locate them. We skipped the tram and he drove me around to fun places for 11 year old boys. We were both sort of laughing and channeling our inner 11 year olds to imagine what on earth they’d been thinking.

After about 20 minutes of this I suggested he bring me back to the room and I’d hop in my own car to look. I didn’t want him to be gone from the valet stand so long. He assured me that there were two other employees there and he’d be happy to help me so I gratefully sat in the passenger seat and scanned the bike path for two boys on red cruisers.

Rather than checking the room I decided to call the room once again. Still no answer. So I ran up to the room to leave the boys a note, should they check in there. Imagine my surprise when I saw the two of them sprawled out on the sofa watching cartoons.

Why didn’t you wait for me by the pool?

Because we were done swimming.

Did you hear the phone ring?


Why didn’t you answer it?

The only people who call landlines are telemarketers.

Arrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhhh that’s the part of being eleven that I forgot to channel.


Review: Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort


It’s impossible to anyone to give a full review of the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort because I’m pretty sure you’d need a two week stay in order to get through all the amenities on the 1,350 acre resort. In a few short days I was able to eat at a few of the restaurants, take a Segway tour of the property, shop in the village (and enjoy a farmer’s market), play tennis, swim in the ocean, kayak in the marsh, tour downtown Fernandina and have a bonfire on the beach.

Previously I’d posted some highlight pictures but I hadn’t really posted images of the resort itself. You see the reason I was at The Amelia Island Plantation Resort in the first place was for a topping off ceremony. Ask me what Topping Off means… seriously.

There was a really nice group of writers there.. all women actually and one guy. The running joke was that it was like dates from The Bachelor. This is how most of our dinners looked. There’s a second man at the table but he didn’t last long, it was a one man show.


And of course there were activities like kayaking, touring the city by Segway or coach and (of course) cocktails.


Yes, I realize I’m posting very unattractive photos of myself but I don’t even care that I looked like crap for long weekend because the water was so delightfully warm that I couldn’t stay out of the ocean. Each afternoon at about 4pm we’d have an hour or more of free time. You can see that the women I traveled with took advantage of this time to get themselves looking great for dinner. I think some of them may have worked on their stories too. I ran to my room, stripped down as fast as humanly possible, put on a swimsuit and ran into the water each and every afternoon.

I love my Los Angeles beaches but they aren’t warm. It’s a treat to be in a warm salty ocean and I just couldn’t stay out. Every afternoon I thought to myself, “I wish the kids were here I’d be playing with them right now.” If you aren’t a competent swimmer you need to know that there are no lifeguards at the beaches. This also means that if you’re bringing your kids to the beach you need to actually watch them. I know we’re supposed to do that anyhow but I can’t say that I don’t depend on a second set of eyes most of the summer.

The resort is luxe beachy. It’s not uptight and overly fussy but it’s also not beach bum time and you can expect to see guests well behaved and well turned out (except me… oh dear). Southern hospitality abounds and everyone smiles greets you kindly. There are a lot of yes ma’ams and I don’t think I heard no a single time. Vacations without no’s are the best vacations of all.

My guestroom had an ocean view and it was fun to watch the sun rise over the ocean and then to head over to the golf course and watch it set over the marshes. The room was comfortable and clean (no need to ask for a second room here) but it was dated and worn. The resort is actually closing in a few weeks and will reopen in March of 2013 with a new building that is absolutely stunning. A pool that left April and me stuttering because it is so amazing and a massive conference center (our new goal is to get BlogHer to use it for a conference).

Here’s a snapshot of one of the new guestrooms.


This is a rendering of the pools. There’s a splash area for little kids the long middle pool is for everyone and the squared off pool closest to the hotel lobby is adult only. With hundreds of beach chairs and just one ocean they wisely decided to create the pool deck on many levels providing a sort of stadium seating so you can see the ocean from every spot.

amelia island pool rendering

There are also villas that are one two and three bedrooms with kitchens. This is a fabulous family option as eating breakfast out isn’t my favorite. I much prefer to eat in the room and not have to get dressed and ready just to have a couple of eggs. Also with little kids they’re hungry all the time and having a place where they can easily snack is key.

Even though the trip was short we did a lot and I’m going to have to give y’all a second post where I share all the great food and drink from the Amelia Island Plantation Resort.

See all the pictures here:

A Bit About the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort


I’m busy editing about an hours worth of video I took on my recent trip to the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort in Florida. There should be about two quality minutes of tape for me to share with y’all which will (hopefully) include a turtle marching across the beach, a turtle ziplining with a magnum of champagne in his hand (really!), me and another Jessica figuring out what Topping Off means and a bunch of writers racing each other on Segways.

While I’m busy editing and preparing a proper post I’ll give you a little photojournal of the trip.

This is an afternoon view from my room. From every room really.

As a California girl it's strange and beautiful to see the sun rise over the ocean

If you don’t love waking up early there’s a consolation with a beautiful sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean

The breakfast buffet features a gluten free grains selection

The breakfast buffet features a gluten free grains selection. They’re very sensitive to the high maintenance traveler (me)

We also had a breakfast over the marsh, which is beautiful

We also had a breakfast over the marsh, which is beautiful

The boathouse reminded me of a horror flick when I applied a filter...

The boathouse reminded me of a horror flick when I applied a filter…

Kayaking was fun. Yes, I kayak in a dress

Kayaking was fun. Yes, I kayak in a dress

Cliff Drysdale helped me with my groundstrokes

Cliff Drysdale helped me with my groundstrokes

It took me a while to get the hang of the Segway everyone else was much better

It took me a while to get the hang of the Segway everyone else was much better

Smoked duck salad from 29 South Eats

Every afternoon there was a treat for us in the room. Fresh peaches and cream were appropriate since we were a stone’s throw from the Georgia border

Notice anything funny about this hardhat?

Dinner at Racquet Park took my breath away

Dinner at Racquet Park took my breath away

The table looked magical as the sun set

The table looked magical as the sun set

All of the food was local and regional with a sophisticated flair

After sunset I felt like I was living in a movie. A good movie

After sunset I felt like I was living in a movie. A good movie

Dinner at the Marsh View Bar and Grill. Their new deck is bigger than most houses

What's a beach vacation without a firepit and s'mores?

What’s a beach vacation without a firepit and s’mores?

If your flight is early in the morning they'll send you off with a breakfast box

Omni will pack you a breakfast if you have to go to the airport in the (horrible) pre-dawn hours.