Visiting the Florida Keys, particularly Key West, particularly Hemingway's Home, has been on my bucket list for ages. After nine years of stalling, we finally decided to make the trip with some friends over Memorial Day weekend. We were doing this! The decision was made. We booked a hotel on Key West. And then...murmurings of a less-than pleasant forecast for the weekend began to emerge. Tropical Storm. Possible Hurricane. High winds. 100% chance of precipitation. Probably blinding rain. Some likelihood of water spouts. Maybe tornados.Read More
Even if I had all the time in the world, and I examined every artifact, and meticulously read every label, would I remember any of it in a week? A month? A year? Probably not. But if I picked out one item and examined it closely, thoughtfully, there was a higher chance I would actually learn something from it. Having a toddler forced me to be selective about my consumption. Having a toddler actually increased the odds that I would remember something from this trip.Read More
I've lived in Southwest Florida for eight years now, and not once have I made it down to the Keys. We had plans to make a family trip there over the summer, but things happened (like, I had a baby).
Much of Southwest Florida is filled with constructions built in the last few decades. So whenever I stumble upon anything in Florida that dates earlier than this century--anything that has the merest wisp of historicity about it--I am eager to soak it in. One of the places I have my heart set on visiting is Ernest Hemmingway's home. Sure, he may have been a less-than-admirable and deeply flawed character, but his prose defined a new style in American literature and his stories, though often troubling, are filled with an aching beauty, a longing for something beyond. Also, his home is worth visiting in itself, having been built in 1851 by marine architect and wrecker Asa Tift out of limestone he excavated directly from the site.Read More