Monday, November 21, 2011

Key West, Day 2

One of the most striking things about being here in the southernmost point in the US is the incredible variety of plants!  You already know that I'm a plant geek, and so is our friend Andy (who is also here with us), so he and I end up walking together pointing out this plant and that plant ... most of which are considered house plants in Virginia.  Amazing.

In all of the gardens we saw, so far there have only been two roses.  I spotted this China rose, then I noticed the rooster beside it ... there are feral chickens all over this island.

I talked to the man who had this unknown tea rose growing in his front yard.  He said that roses grow year-round down here ... of course.

These little lizards are all over the place.  This particular one almost met an unfortunate end, because I didn't notice him on the sidewalk and nearly stepped on him.  I wish he would have let me put a dime next to him, so you could see just how tiny he really was.  Nose to tail, he was only as long as my pinkie finger.

We began our day at the end of the world ... Mile Zero of US Route 1.  Route 1 runs down the entire length of the East Coast, through the center of Fredericksburg (where we live) and it was neat to be at the spot where the road begins.  (I was having flashes of 'Wizard of Oz' ... "Follow the Yellow Brick Road".)

Our next stop was the Hemingway house.  Built in 1851 by Asa Tift, a wealthy Key West salvager, it was bought by Ernest Hemingway in 1931 for $8,000 in back taxes.

I loved the relaxed atmosphere of the house!

Living Room, looking onto the front porch.


Master bedroom.

Studio, view 1

Studio, view 2

The crazy cat woman that I am, I most wanted to meet some of the famous polydactyl cats at the Hemingway house.  It's been a running joke among us that I would need to be frisked as I left the property, because they were afraid I was going to try to smuggle one home.  (the sign beside the window at the ticket booth by the front gate warned me that this was probably not a good idea.)

The cats have the run of the property, and are kept inside with a special fence that extends over the brick wall that surrounds the property.  They wander inside and outside, lounging on the porch, or the furniture ... the center of attention.

These two know exactly who has the bag of cat treats in his pocket.  (This is our tour guide describing the items and telling stories in the dining room.)

This one snuggled between the pillows on the bed in the master bedroom, and was taking a long, leasurely bath.

More cats ... outside this time.

The cat cemetery is a lovely, peaceful spot.

When we finished at the Hemingway house, it was lunchtime ... so we made our way to Louie's Backyard to eat lunch overlooking the ocean beside the island's dog beach. 

After lunch, and some more wandering through the town, headed to Kermit's for pie.  Imagine a slice of key lime pie, frozen on a stick, dipped in dark chocolate.

Our day ended with a sunset cruise aboard a catamaran, with food, drink, live music, and beautiful tropical breezes and scenery.

This was our sister ship, but ours wasn't as crowded.

Here is our whole group.

We don't get scenery like this at home.

This was my best sunset photo.  Clouds gathered as the sun got lower in the sky, and the sunset itself was a non-event.

I am totally loving our time hanging out in the tropics this week, and there's a lot more left for us to do.


  1. What a wonderful trip you are having. I WANT to go! Make sure you see the Mel Fisher museum (if you haven't) and the sunset festival at Mallory son in law used to live there and ran the Boy Scouts Sea camp. xo Diana

  2. Great tour! How was Louie's? I haven't eaten there for a few years. Can't beat that view though! Oh, it appears some of those cats have a favorite hangout...the gray one under the chair ... he was sleeping there when we visited.

  3. This is quite fun with two bloggers vacationing there in the same week. I'm getting very very hungry for some good key lime pie!

  4. I need to go to Hemingway's house next time I'm in Key West! I too would love to pick up a cat...whoops! hugs, Linda

  5. Art and I are so happy you and yours are enjoying a little slice of Florida heaven. We sometimes need to be reminded how wonderful we have it! Great post, we'll look at for day 3!

  6. I'm enjoying the heck out of the photos of YOUR trip! Since I'm not taking a trip, yours is the next best thing.

    Those cats have some big feet! Ahhhhchooo!

  7. What a great trip, love the flowers and beautiful scenery. thanks for sharing!

  8. What a neat place that Hemingway house is, Connie! I've never been to Key West, and it looks like it needs to be added to my Bucket List. :) So glad that you two are having a great time! Keep those photos comin', sweetie! {and please send key lime pie....}

    xoxo laurie

  9. That was my thought exactly when we were house-hunting the first time. "These are house plants at home! And they're as big as trees here!" Glad you're enjoying beautiful Florida. You're making us look good!!

  10. what a glorious trip!.. and Oh, to have a Hemmingway cat!!.. can you imagine?..

    I just finished reading -The Paris Wife- about his early life with first Wife Hadley in Paris. Excellent read.

    You know, his house in Cuba looks similar as far as indoor style to his KW home. Loved the tour, thank you!!.....

  11. How very interesting and it made me laugh knowing that there are chains around certain parts of rooms in the Hemingway house but cats have a run of the place! LOL
    The sunsets remind me of when I was in Hawaii years ago. I love the one of the ship way out in the water.


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