When I was a kid, all I wanted to be was a writer. In fact, I still do…maybe not in the same way as back then, but all I want to do is write.
Today, was a great day…where we visited the house in Key West where Ernest Hemingway lived from 1931-1939. I didn’t even realize that we were going to Key West and that this was the place – not until the last minute. So, I totally insisted that Anders and I go there and dragged him (walking) from the cruise ship harbor all the way to his house on 907 Whitehead St. Fortunately, he didn’t object and even ended up enjoying the visit.
We paid the US$ 14 entrance fee and hopped on the tour that had just started. Our tour guide was amazing! He had a wonderful way of speaking and brought history to life in a very lively and humorous way, making us laugh a lot.
I have to admit that I’ve never actually read or been a fan of Hemingway. I read one of his short stories when I was in school as a teenager (I can’t remember which one) and I’ve read The Old Man and the Sea, which I thought was great – but so sad. But listening to out tour guide and walking around Hemingway’s house, made me want to read everything the man had written. He wrote a lot (if not most) or his stories from a small, upstairs studio which we also saw.
In just about an hour, we got to know the man, the myth (!?) and the legend that was Ernest Hemingway – and his curse. And we got to see some of the 54 cats that live on the property and are known as the Hemingway cats.
I completely fell in love with Key West and the charming wooden houses with the front porch and some with rocking chairs. Some of the streets that we walked down seemed so romantic…like something straight out of a movie.
A lot of the Key West that we saw seemed very touristy, though. Like the streets with all the lively bars, serving drinks & food and entertaining with live music. We found Sloppy Joe’s Bar, where Hemingway would go and drink…and get drunk. I’m sure it looked a lot different back then. Today, it’s a big, open space with a stage and lots of tourists – like ourselves. We sat down and had lunch (Sloppy Joe, conch fritters and chicken wings) and I tried the Hemingway mojito. The service was very good and friendly and the live music was great.
Of course, when you’re in Key West you must have key lime pie. We walked over to a place called Key Lime Pie Co. on 511 Greene St, that had been ranked no. 4 on an online ranking that we found. But we didn’t like their key lime pie, so that was unfortunate.
Overall, I really enjoyed this 1st stop on our 14-night Ultimate Caribbean Cruise. I wasn’t expecting it to be this good, but Key West is such a charming place. I’d love to come back.