Saturday, November 6, 2010

Key West Trip - October 8, Doing the tourist thing in the Conch Republic

 Breakfast at our hotel.  It was about 9 a.m., and the temperature was already in the low 80s.  Our room is just over Barry's head in the background.

 White tablecloths, a cream pitcher, and a wonderful breakfast await me.

 The pool.  Cool and refreshing on a day when temps would get into the mid-80s with high humidity.

 Southernmost.  The most common word in Key West -- well except for "Conch".  This is the southernmost house in the US.

 The southernmost point in the US -- actually the navy base off to the right really is, but this is the southernmost point that can be ACCESSED.  Cuba is 90 miles from here.

 South Beach.  Tennessee Williams wrote here, saying "I work everywhere, but I work best here."  We did go swimming, and it was only a short walk from our hotel.

 South Beach.

 The view from the end of the pier at South Beach.  Cuba is out there somewhere.

 After going back to the hotel and showering the salt water off, we walked around Key West.  Must have done 10 miles.  Our first stop was Louie's Backyard, where we tried the conch fritters.  We'd had some bad ones a few years ago in Melbourne, so I really wanted to try them again.  Barry pronounced them delicious!

 Mosquito Board?

 Bougainvillea shrubs (nearly trees) are everywhere, and they were still in full bloom.

 The highlight of the day -- and probably one of the highlights of the whole trip. 
Ernest Hemingway lived here from 1929 to 1939.

 Hemingway's bedroom, with Archibald MacLeish in his usual place of repose.  All the cats here are named, and well-cared for.  Most are descendants of Hemingway's original "polydactyl" cats.

 Wish I could remember this one's name.  He has 6 toes on the front and 5 on the back; most cats have 5 and 4.  Count them on your cat(s) -- if you can get them still enough.

 Hemingway's studio.  It's in a separate building, originally a carriage house, and was once connected to the main house by a skywalk.  One wonders exactly what Hemingway wrote on that typewriter.

 OK, the urinal story.  Hemingway brought one home from Sloppy Joe's and put it in the garden for the cat's drinking fountain.  His second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer, was NOT going to have a bar urinal in her garden, so she camouflaged it with a huge Greek olive jar and had the water run out of that into the urinal.  The cats often will drink the water running down the side of the jar instead.  We purchased a print of Archibald MacLeish drinking from the side of the jar.

 Pauline had a salt-water swimming pool installed, the first pool on the island.  Even though she paid for it with her own money (much more than Hemingway had), he said she was spending his last penny on it.  He threw a penny up in the air, and Pauline had it encased on the ground just where it landed.

 Hemingway's studio.  The ground floor is now a gift shop.  The pool is seen to the left.

 Just a reminder how close everything in Key West is to the ocean, this is the view of the Key West lighthouse from the balcony outside Hemingway's bedroom.

 One of the more famous photos of the author.

 The front entrance.  Every window is floor-length, and was opened to catch the ever-present breeze.

Nothing to do with the Hemingway house here.  Roosters, chickens and chicks wander freely around Key West.

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