Thursday, May 28, 2015


Spring Break this year was an adventure 
to the Florida Keys & Key West!  
FUN FACT- Did you know that Key West really isn't KW, Florida?
In 1982, the US Border Patrol blocked US 1 searching every car, looking for illegal aliens for several months. With only one two-lane road in and out of KW, the island was paralyzed. Major Wardlow and a local attorney went to the Miami Federal Court, asking them to stop the searches - NO success. Leaving the Court House Wardlow said, "The Florida Keys will secede from the Union!"
And they did!!
If you're interested in the rest of the story, click on --->
to read a brief history about the rebellion and how it continues on. 
To this day, the Conch Republic flag is flown under the US flag and they issue an official Conch Republic passport which is recognized by 13 Caribbean nations, Germany, Sweden, Havana, Mexico, France, Spain, Ireland and Russia! 
We toured many sites, but the two that stood out were The Hemingway House & The Butterfly Conservatory.
The Hemingway Home was originally built in 1851 by Asa Tift for his wife Anna and three children. In 1854, his wife and a son died due to yellow fever. Tift never remarried and died in 1889. The home was abandoned and boarded up until Ernest Hemingway bought it in 1931 for $8,000. in back taxes.
There are approximately 50 cats living at Hemingway's Home.
Almost half of the kitties have the famous "6-toes";
but they ALL carry the DNA gene for 6-toes!
Having 6-toes sure helps when cleaning your face! 

Hemingway, his 2nd wife Pauline and 2 sons lived on the estate from 1931-1940. Hemingway left Pauline, moved to Cuba and Pauline stayed in the house with her 2 sons until she died in 1951. The sons sold their home after E. Hemingway died in 1961 in Idaho.  
Nothing like a "cat nap" on Hemingway's Bed.
The Key West Light House is across the street from Hemingway's House.  This shot is taken from the upper balcony of his home. 
Hemingway took home a urinal from his favorite bar, Sloppy Joe's when the bar was being moved.  He said that he had "pissed away" so much of his money into the urinal that he felt he owned it! Pauline made it into a water fountain for the kitties and decorated it, hoping friends wouldn't know what it once was.
Hemingway's office over the garage
where he did all his writing.

Enjoying the grounds surrounding Hemingway's House.
The Key West Butterfly Conservatory has a marvelous collection of flowering plants, waterfalls and of course a variety of 50 to 60 butterflies with exotic birds in a climate-controlled glass enclosed habitat. 

The butterflies were fluttering EVERYWHERE! 
They would land on your head or shoulder and
you wouldn't be aware that they were there! 

Once the butterfly comes out of the chrysalis,
most that are in the Conservatory,
live an average of about 10 days. 

LOVE this display of orchids on a metal trellis.

Unfortunately, the gift shop did not sell
the metal tree trellis!
Not sure where I would have put it;
but I would have found or created a place for this!! 
I have linked up to Eileen's
Saturday's Critters #76!!
If you like/love Critters, this is a great blog to check out and make new friends!!
Thank you Eileen!! 


TexWisGirl said...

probably best they didn't sell that item. :) love the butterflies and orchids, too, and hemingway's famous cats.

eileeninmd said...

Funny thing about the Sloppy Joe's urinal. The kitties look very comfy and spoiled. I am sorry I missed the butterfly house when I visited. Awesome photos, the butterflies are beautiful. Love the orchid display! Great post and photos.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

You saw so many neat things on your visit! I would love to go! Happy weekend sweet friend. Hugs, Diane

Poppy said...

Hi Suzan,

Really enjoyed this post on Hemingway's home, his 'eclectic' purchases, and the beautiful gardens. Your photos are beautiful and really give the reader an essence of his lifestyle. Thanks for sharing!


eileeninmd said...

OK, I deleted the other link! Thanks again for linking up.

Marie C said...

Oh my gosh! This was such a fascinating post! I'm bowled over by the Conch republic thing! The Hemingway House would be a wonderful place to see...loved your pictures and the great narrative about it! And the butterfly conservatory is delightful!

Gail Dixon said...

The orchid display is awesome! Oh, my, what an amazing place!