Travel Thursday: The Key to Key West

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Key West is an island in the Straits of Florida at the southernmost tip of the Florida Keys. The island is about 90 miles from Cuba so you know that somebody would put up a monument to that and  people who line up for blocks to have their photograph made there. Mary and I were no exception and this photo of us was made by, my cousin, Mike Kutrik. A local told me that this was not the closest point to Cuba and that a solitary pier elsewhere on the island is really the place.

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Key West has all of the trapping of any Florida beach town,= like T-shirt shops and touristy stuff but perhaps not as abundant as in other places. What it does have is a sense of history. You can visit Audubon House and see where James Audubon created many of his paintings of birds and be surprised to learn as I was that he first shot them before he could paint them.

The highlight of our visit to me was spending time at the Earnest Hemingway home & museum in Key West, where you can see where he lived and worked and see descendants of some of the six-toed (count’em) cats that lived there with Hemingway and his wife. Take the tour; its the best one I’ve ever had of a historic dwelling with informed and charming hosts that introduce you to the cleverly-named cats as the tour progresses. And if you really want to absorb the Hemingway experience (I did) stop by and have a drink at both the original or new Sloppy Joe’s restaurant that has some of the yummiest bar food I’ve had in a long time.

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Photo gear? You can read about what I took along for the trip over on our sister blog Mirrorless Photo Tips, which should give you somewhat of an idea of the cameras involved.

The best part of Key West is the attitude that pervades the entire place and we spent a whole day at the hotel pool listening to a steel band while doing what I like to do when on vacation—nothing. So what’s the key to Key West. Kick back, enjoy the sunshine and maybe a mojito where Earnest Hemingway sipped his and just relax…

Author: Joe Farace

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