Posts Tagged Florida

Weekly Photo Challenge – My happy place

Right now it would be anywhere I am not in pain but in lieu of that, my happy place is at the beach with my toes in the sand listening to the waves – and a fruity drink with a kick added to that would be even better 😉  I’ve been to beaches in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Florida, California, England, St. Thomas, St. John, Martinique, Aruba, Barbados (one of the best because I got to snorkle with sea turtles – YAY!), St. Martin, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and Grand Cayman.

I have absolutely wonderful memories from all of the beaches I have been to and would go back to any or all of them in a heart beat!  The beach and the ocean truly are my happy place and I hope to experience new ones in the future.

(Locations of photos:  Key West, Florida, Manchester by the Sea, Mass., Cape May, New Jersey, Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman)

 

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The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum – The man himself

Besides the architecture of the home in and out and the interesting furniture, there are many things that tell you about the man himself; about the life of Ernest Hemingway.  Besides pictures and paintings of him throughout the house like these here…

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There were bits of his history such as these medals and ribbons he received during WWI.  It was fascinating to read how “Lt. Hemingway, although wounded in 237 places, managed to carry a wounded and helpless comrade to safety before he himself collapsed.  For this he was given the Silver Medal of Valor, the second highest award of the Italian command.”  In this case are also receipts for land purchased and one for $217.50 for city taxes.  That must have been steep back in 1930.  History books are one thing but actual pieces of history like these are wonderful.

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The Ernest Hemingway House and Museum – Books and Movies

In spite of the trend today for everything to be read on ones phone or tablet, I still like the feel of a good book and on display here were plenty of those.  So many of the books that he wrote are shown in this case as well as several that were published in other languages.

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But it wouldn’t be about Hemingway if there wasn’t any mention of the movies that his books were turned into.  Here are just two examples of that from the movie The Old Man and The Sea.  There were pictures of him and his boats (one that he named using the nickname of one of his wives, Pilar) and the Cuban gentleman that inspired the book.  Although I did not photograph it, there was also in one of the many display cases his fishing equipment from his days on the sea.  I could almost see him out there fighting to haul in a big one.

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Wordless Wednesday – Hemingway’s Writing Studio

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The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

Regardless of whether you liked the man or his works, this is a must see when visiting Key West, Florida.  As part of my schooling I had to read at least one of his books for English literature and as my parents were fans of Spencer Tracy movies, I had seen the movie The Old Man and the Sea.  So when I discovered that I could actually see bits of the man who wrote these magnificent works of literature that several movies were based upon I just had to go.  Hemingway arrived in Key West from Paris (after a stop in Cuba which would later play into some of his work) through the urgings of one of the expatriate artists and writers group that he was a part of in the late 1920’s.

This home was built in 1851 in the Spanish Colonial style and was in great disrepair when the Hemingway’s purchased it in the 1930’s.  But they lovingly restored it to the site that thousands of tourists from around the globe visit every year.  The furniture throughout the home represents their many travels in Europe and Africa as well as items from his hunting expeditions.  What I was fascinated by was how ornate the furniture is and small.  The bathroom and bathtub in the master bedroom looked as though his six foot frame would’ve been scrunched up in there.  And the memorabilia?  Oh my!  A history, literature and film buffs dream.

When visiting the home once you pay for admittance ($13.00 for adults and $6.00 for children over 5), you have the choice of going on a guided tour or if you are like me, you will avoid that crowd and venture off on your own.  Now while I probably missed learning some interesting details, I enjoyed walking through the house and taking my time viewing all that it held.  The house inside and out is beautiful and so are the grounds surrounding it.  These photos were taken in December so you can just imagine how lush the gardens must be during spring and summer.

(More tomorrow)

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Monochrome Monday with a six-toed cat

This fine feline struck a pose for me in the gardens of The Hemingway Home and Museum and as he was a black and white kitty it was a given to be featured on a monochrome Monday post.  This one I know had six toes on his front paws as I got close enough to him to see that he looked like he was wearing mittens; the paws just seemed extra wide.

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Hemmingway’s Polydactyl Cats

Another place to visit in Key West, Florida which I will go into more detail later, is The Hemingway Home and Museum.  Besides all things Hemingway you will find many cats wandering the grounds freely.  These cats are all the descendants of a white six-toed cat that was given to Hemingway by a ship’s captain long ago that he named Snow White.  Hemingway named all of his cats after famous people and that tradition continues to this day.  While many breeds of cats can be polydactyl, the cats living here – of no particular breed – either exhibit the trait or carry the trait.

The cats have their own vet that takes care of them, there are little cat houses for them throughout the grounds as shown here, and there is even a cat cemetery on the property.  I didn’t get close enough to one to count their little toes but they were all very comfortable with us tourists coming to visit them.

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