Ernest Hemingway wrote many of his novels in Key West. His habit was to write from 6 am (not matter how wild the night before) and wrote 500 words a day. He would walk to his writing studio over a bridge that went from the balcony outside his bedroom. This is a snap shot of his studio, although other sources have said that he preferred writing standing up at a bookcase in a corner of his bedroom. The bookcase was not to be seen.
Touring his home is a wonderful way to make the writer come alive. The tour leaders have some very entertaining stories about the “goings-on” in the house.
Another tour worth taking is of the Audubon House. The house and gardens have been restored as a step back in time to the world of a wealthy maritime pilot and salvager, Captain John Huling. He built the house in the 1840’s as a residence for his family, members of whom lived there for more than a century. It was the first house restored in Key West starting in about 1958 and sparked the Key West restoration movement.
Visit the house and it’s furnishings to see how a wealthy family lived in the era when frequent shipwrecks on the offshore reef created a flourishing ship wrecking industry. It is called the Audubon house because it was originally thought that Audubon himself stayed there while visiting to work on the 22 local birds represented in his book “Birds of North America”. The rumor turned out to be untrue although Audubon’s painting of the white-crowned pigeon features a Geiger tree like the one found in the home’s front yard. The gardens themselves are worth a visit with many rare and unusual tropical plants.
New fronds of the Flame Thrower Palm are bright red, turning to green in a few days.
The beach on the other side of the island is gloreous, but without much shade on a hot day.
A sunset cruise should be a requirement.
There is lots more to do including snorkling, visiting old forts and historical sites. Key West was the only southern city to remain in Union hands during the Civil War.
And lastly, no visit to Key West is complete without Key Lime Pie. This one voted the best on the Island, Mile High Key Lime Pie at Blue Heaven.
On our way back home to Northern California.
Thank you for visiting.