I am feeling a bit overwhelmed today with sensory overload. We saw and did so much, I’m still spinning. We got up at 630 in order to get an early start and perhaps a parking spot. We stopped and had breakfast at I Hop then continued on to Key West. We found a Trolley stop just off of Highway 1 that offers free parking. We pulled in and bought our tickets. The lady was not clear and we bought Train tickets. As the shuttle bus was taking us to stop 1, the bus driver indicated that the train goes around once and once you have completed the loop, you are done. We wanted the Hop On Hop Off ability so he enouraged us to plead our case and hope they would exchange the tickets…especially as they were the same company. We had to purchase Trolley tickets and were told they would refund the other…but the refund receipt would be at the place we bought the original tickets, miles away. How dumb is that. Anyway we set out and did the complete 90 minute tour. We passed the Key Lime Pie man as above. They claim to have the best Key Lime pie and will send you some. They take a slice of pie, coat it in chocolate, freeze then ship it. I think I prefer my pie straight up…no chocolate.
The sunsets on the Keys are said to be wonderful and not to be missed. This ship will take you out for a two hour trip. Right beside this ship is a bar that opens at 7 a.m.daily. We passed it at 930 and it was half full. What a way to start a day.
After the first go round we decided which stops we wanted to do and which tours / sites we may wish to see. We stopped at the Crowne Plaza La Conche hotel, the tallest building in Key West. The height restriction is now 35′, La Concha is 6 stories. At no charge you can ride the elevator to the roof top and see the panaramic view. The entire city is laid out before you and the sights are breath taking. As it was getting closer to noon we set out to find a spot for lunch. Everywhere we went we saw Jimmy Buffet’s home, recording studio and we found his restaurant ” Margaritaville.” The trolley driver highly recommended the cheese burger, which Brian ordered while I stuck to an appetizer of crab cakes. Stick to the cheeseburger! After lunch I stopped in at the attached gift shop. I was keen to get a T shirt however upon examination of a sleeveless top, fabric the consistency of tissue paper and the cost of 23.95, I decided I could live without it.
We hopped on the trolly again for the next stop…. the Ernest Hemmingway museum, which was Brian’s choice. After paying $12.50 each we were in. The first thing we noticed were the cats. They have 47 cats all decendents of “Snowball” Hemmingway’s six toed cat. The photo below is a fountain for the cats. The tile on the bottom is trying to hide the fact, that it is a urinal purchased by Hemmingway from the old Sloppy Joe’s bar ( likely a favorite haunt of his.) In addition to the tile, his wife tried to make it look better by adding this imported spanish urn. The house itself, is made of stone harvested from the sight the house sits on and it’s walls are 18 inches thick, so it has survived anything mother nature and Ernest could throw at it. The house was built for a cost of $8,000. On one occasion when Ernest was away for a long period, his wife thought she would surprise him with a swimming pool. Now remember the property was solid rock, so the pool cost $20,000. Upon his return, he was indeed surprized and gave his wife a penny from his pocket and told her “Well you might as well have my last penny.” That penny is imbedded into a walk by the pool.
We noticed a drop in the amount of people wandering around “Old Town” Key West today. The Fantasyfest people were gone and so were the guests from two cruise ships in harbour yesterday. We decided to “hop off” and get this photo of Brian at the most southern point of continental US. To get there we walked by the most southern “bar” “hotel” and “house”. Everyone seems to want their 15 minutes of fame.
I am finding it difficult to pick photos to put into the post……I only have 74 to chose from.
The old homes cannot be destroyed and must be restored to their original facade, as a result they have over 3000 houses with a national “historic home” designation. This home pictured on the right is called a “shot gun house.” The front and back door are straight across from each other allowing ventilation for the home. The reason for the name they say is when both doors are open it’s like looking down the barrel of a gun.
Our friend Bob told us we mustn’t miss a Keys sunset. We have had very few days without cloud at sunset, so today was a good chance to try to capture it. So Bob this one’s for you!
Those of you who know me, know I love flowers and nature. I’m going to post a couple more photos you may like. These were taken in the garden at the Hemmingway home.
Flowering shrub unknown to writer
Another Key West landmark home.
It’s been a long day and there is so much more I could have put into this post. Perhaps I should just leave it to my readers to come to this part of the world to experience yourself.
Good Night Irene