We went to Key West for a few days after the Blues Cruise. I have been curious about it for a while so this was a good opportunity for a visit. Here is one of our first views after getting there and starting to walk around. It is an old theater which is now a Walgreen’s.
The first order of business was to go to Sloppy Joe’s, Ernest Hemingway’s favorite bar when he was in town.
I had a Papa Doble, one of his cocktails. I just asked them to hold the sweet and sour, and it was very similar to his original recipe.
There were a lot of photos and artifacts from the past. Here is a bat that the bartender Skinner used to keep the peace.
We went to Mallory Square and saw this nice view.
The next morning, laundry was the order of business. We found this bar across the street from the laundromat.
We went to Half Shell Raw Bar for lunch. There were large fish in the water there. Pam is in the face cut out.
We thought the weather was going to be nice so we headed to Zachary Taylor State Park for snorkeling and sun bathing. The weather did not cooperate though.
We then headed to Captain Tony’s, which was the original site for Sloppy Joe’s and Hemingway spent a lot of time here too, before Sloppy Joe’s moved. There was a Mike Lynch signed WSU Cougar helmet there.
We then headed to Hog’s Breath Bar. We enjoyed this bar much better. There were chickens in the trees, a good musician and a friendly bartender.
The next morning we headed to the Blue Macaw. They have a do-it-youtself Bloody Mary Bar with a wide assortment of pepper sauces. I was the only one who made one though in our group but lots of other tourists were at the bar choosing the right juice, vegetables and sauces.
We then headed to the Key West Lighthouse. Tommy and I headed up the stairs while Pam and Tom stayed on the safer ground. The views were amazing. There was a lighthouse keepers museum that was fascinating as well.
Tom and I went to the post office while Pam and Tommy waited for us at The Green Parrot. There was a well signed guitar on the wall there.
By this time in the afternoon, the Hemingway home and museum was less crowded so we went in.
These are photos from the inside of his writing studios. Many of his best works were created at least in part here. I wanted to see what books he had but not sure if there were really his books or not.
We then headed to the Schooner Wharf Bar. This was a fun and friendly bar on the marina. Tom’s childhood name was inscribed in the spot that Tom sat. There were several dogs there too.
We went to Garbo’s Grill for dinner but everyone else filled up on appetizers at the previous bar so I was the only one who had great fish tacos. They had a great juke box which unfortunately was not working.
This was a mansion getting ready for Valentine’s Day.
The next day, there were thunder storms for hours. We ate lunch at Kermit’s Key Lime Pie, bought Scotch Bonnet Pepper sauce at the Pepper Store and then ran to the Sand Bar Sports Bar to get out of the downpour. There were many tourists with the same plan.
When the rains subsided somewhat we headed to the Key West Cemetery. They had a memorial to the USS Maine and Joe Russell’s (Sloppy Joe’s) grave.
We headed back to Sloppy’s Joes one more time so Pam could have the dish Sloppy Joe.
This is the spooky vase that was in our rental.. It freaked most of us out.
On the way to the airport we stopped at the Bass Pro Shop which has a sister ship to Hemingway’s Pilar.
It also had presentations of the local fish, many of which I had eaten during our trip. There were also pelicans and a hen with chicks there.
En route there is a Hard Rock Casino Hotel being built in the shape of a guitar.
After a 6.5 hour flight, dealing with lost luggage and a 2 hour drive home we arrived at 1 AM. Our farm had been dealing with lots of snow and cold temperatures which resulted in a frozen pump and water lines. Our farm sitter did admirably well, and Tom’s son came down to help out too. We saw this car in the ditch as we arrived home but did not get a photo of it until this morning. It was quite a trip but a challenging home-coming.
I am not sure that we will be taking another vacation in the wintertime because it always seems to go awry. But we did have a great trip with memories that will last our lifetimes.