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Key West Visit

Dean and I headed out for a couple days of exploring Florida! We crossed the Everglades on the OLD Rt. 41, called Tamiami Trail connecting Tampa on the West coast to Miami on the East. Destination: the Florida Keys - 1700 islands! We visited my brother and sister-in-law, Jeff & Nancy. They are owners of Marathon Bio-Diesel. They turn used cooking oils from restaurants into eco-friendly diesel fuel. Next we headed to Key West.

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We stayed in the charming  Westwinds Inn near Duval Street in Key West. Lots of vegetation made it's property quiet and secluded for an evening swim in the warm pool.

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A short walk took us to the FAMOUS, "crazy" Duval Street. This is Sloppy Joe's Bar, famous as a Ernest Hemingway haunt! This is the off season which means HOT & HUMID, fewer tourists & lower prices.

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We strolled the Sunset Boardwalk and watched a CRAZY French sidewalk performer and his Cat Act. He had about 8 adopted stray cats he had trained to perform tricks like jumping thru this flaming hoop. Impressive!!!

Hemingway homeThe next day we toured the famous Ernest Hemingway House and Museum built in 1849-51. Hemingway, a Nobel Prize-winning author, purchased the house in 1931 for $8,000 in back taxes from the city of Key West. One VERY unique feature of Hemingway's Home is the 9' tall basement!! Basements are unheard of in Florida b/c of low elevation and a high water table. The builder of this home found a location 16' above sea level and built a very substantial home of limestone excavated from it's own basement! Charming home and gardens!!

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This is the room in which Hemingway wrote. See his old typewriter on the table? He generally arose at 5:30 am to write all morning , then fished all afternoon. Hemingway loved cats. A sea Captain gave him a white, six-toed cat, named Snowball.  Extra toed cats are "polydactyl." They were thought to be "good luck." There are 40+ cats on the property, all descendants of his original six-toed Snowball!

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Here is a cat on the fishing display. Though this cat does not have 6 toes, he carries the genetics for polydactylism.

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Here is Hemmingway's bed with a real napping kitty. It was a cat-lover's paradise for me!

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Here is a tabby in the courtyard. Most cats were friendly and tolerant of a pet. Those that weren't had their hiding places away from the tourists.

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I went into the bookstore/gift shop and there was a napping cat on the bottom shelf!

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This silky black cat had had enough pets for a while so she escaped to the roof! All cats are well cared for and receive veterinary care.

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The Key West Lighthouse is across the street. It's said that the Lighthouse "guided" Hemingway home after long nights at Sloppy Joe's Bar!! I highly recommend the 30 minute guided tour and stroll of the gounds.

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We headed home. Had a nice lunch at Sunset Bar & Grill over looking Seven Mile Bridge at Longboat Key. LOVE the uniqueness and beauty of the Keys! I'd NEVER want to be there during a hurricane, though!!!  Thanks for stopping by to share my travels!


Love your photo's Nancy, especially the cat one's!
Where ever I go on holiday I too always seem to 'find' cat's to pet!
Thanks for taking me on a 'mini holiday' with your photo's!
Hugs from Sunshine

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