Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I Heart Key West

Recognize this guy?

We rented our house in Marathon with my parents from Saturday to Saturday. When we booked our trip we were hopeful that my brother would be able to join us, but his work schedule has been hectic. Luckily, he managed to get away. He arrived after three flights and a long car trip to a full Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday night. Hey, it was American Thanksgiving. When in Rome...

I knew my brother would love Key West. We didn't let him take it easy. Friday morning we took off for another trip South to the big lights. Eric stayed back with the kids and went to the beach. I beelined for Hemingway House. 

Ernest Hemingway lived in his house in Key West for some of his most productive writing years. He was very inspired by this location. So was I. 

My experience at Hemingway House was fantastic. They run tours every half hour. It was informative and funny. Bob from Boston crammed tons of info into my tour. I have always like good ol' Ernest. I really dug him after this.

Here is a painting of Key West in Ernest's living room.

 The spaces are so open, breezy and straight up gorgeous. No wonder the guy banged out some classics. Get me settled in here, I could come up with good stuff too. Not American, you know...really good stuff. Ok, maybe not. But it was a mind-blowing location.

C'mon...look at these pictures. Couldn't anyone be genius here?

 The picture below carries a great story. Apparently Ernest was upset at the amount of money it cost to build his pool (strange, since it was his wife's cash that funded it). He was feeling a little cash-strapped when his buddy Sloppy Joe cleared all the urinals out of his bar, Ernest's well-frequented local.

Ernest came home with a urinal. He told his wife that since she got the pool (as if!), he got the urinal. He told her that he had pissed so much money down the drain in Sloppy Joe's, it cost around the same amount.

She, very artfully, made this beautiful fountain out of it. She slapped an olive jar up there and glued some Mexican tile on the side. Nicely done, hey? Lemonade out of lemons.

Even funnier, the cats that live at the house won't drink out of the urinal. They balance precariously and lick the water dripping down the urn.

Here's the pool.

Here's Ernie's writing space. I mean, geez. Set me up in there (minus the creepy head) and I could whip up...Ancient Lady and the Ocean (get it...? Old Man and the Sea...?).

Everything about this house was artful and soul-feeding. Even the tile. The strange six-toed cats. The weird urinal fountain. I. Loved. It. All.

The lady of the house. Wife number two of four. Hemingway might almost have been worth living for just for the house. Although...imagine how quickly I could have run that beauty into the ground. Throw a few empty applesauce containers around there. Pencil shavings. Dirty dishes. I'd be right at home.

Oh Pauline, you got me beat, you stylish lady.


You know, it is probably cheaper than an Eastside Vancouver Special.

After touring heaven, I met up with my parents and my brother. Have you met my parents?

Here they are...

The city is full of these little architectural gems.  Love, love, love.

This is a nice picture of my parents (the real ones). Sweet, huh? I didn't take this shot to get my parents captured in time in a beautiful place on a great family holiday...

 It was a decoy shot so I could snap the picture below.The sign next to this guy read "Palms Read by a real Swami". What is he really reading? Comics. Couldn't he have hidden them inside a scholarly journal or an ancient text?

Great day.

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