Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Wednesday in November in Key West (2010) - Hemingway House and drag queens

Another busy day.  Here's a photo chronicle of what we got up to today.

We walked to the Hemingway House through Old Town.  It was a beautiful day, hardly a cloud in the sky.  The seed pods from the Royal Poinciana trees weighing heavily.  The turkey vultures catching the thermals. t was only 11am but Bourbon Street bar was open and had a few hard core drinkers!

Then we got to the Hemingway House at 907 Whitehead Street.  Hemingway first visited Key West in 1928 and lived in this house from 1931 to 1939 when he divorced and moved to Cuba.    We had a great guide who told some fantastic stories.  About the $20,000 swimming pool that Ernest's wife built when he was away.  Of the 45 cats, 50% are 5 toed, the others being 6 toed. He got up every day at 6am to write; the afternoons on the water in his boat the Pilar; and evenings in Sloppy Joe's.  He wrote 7 or so novels here in Key West, drawing on several real life people as characters, about 40% of his total output.

A story goes that Hemingway loved the location of this house because it was near the Key West lighthouse - he therefore had an ever reliable way of finding his way back home after a heavy session in Sloppy's!

 Is this a 5 or 6-er?

The house is beautiful.  Here is the original owner of the house - Asa Tift who had it built in 1851.  He was a marine architect and salvage wrecker and one of the richest men in the southern USA as a result.  He built this house as strong as they come.  I reckon he must have had a life as interesting as Ernest's.

 Then time for picnic lunch.... (note the sleeping cat against the railings at the back!)
 And then a great meal at Sarabeth's for dinner....
 And to round it off some cabaret with Tina Turner and Cher at Aqua....
et al