The Ernest Hemingway House In Key West
My Favorite Stop On Our Last Cruise Was Key West
The Ernest Hemingway House In Key West Florida makes for an amazing stop! This was my favorite excursion on our last cruise. That says a lot! We toured the Ernest Hemingway house, but we also rode in a glass-bottom boat, visited the Butterfly Conservatory, ate in amazing restaurants, and visited tons of shops. We love visiting the Caribbean.
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For our seventh anniversary, we took another cruise because cruising is our favorite way to vacation. This time we traveled with Royal Caribbean and booked a suite with our own balcony. The views were spectacular!
When we docked at Key West I was so excited! We took a tour bus to our first stop, The Butterfly Conservatory. It was incredible and I’ll post about that too.
The Ernest Hemingway House Tour Review (Plus Stories)
After that little adventure, we made our way to the Hemingway House. It was gorgeous! The grounds were landscaped beautifully and the attention to detail was unreal. Like the porch railings, which is hearts.
We waited for our guided tour to begin. It was worth the wait. Our guide took us through the home, stopping often to tell stories. Some were Hemingway’s own and some belonged to each of his four wives. Some were heroic, some heartless, and some flat-out hilarious.
Ernest Hemingway and The Six-Toed Cats
The grounds are beautifully landscaped and 55 six-toed cats live there enjoying them. Most are descendants of Hemingway’s own. Hemingway believed them to be especially lucky.
Ernest Hemingway’s Good Luck In Africa
Hemingway himself was very lucky. When returning from a trip to Africa he was involved in two plane crashes and walked away from both without a scratch.
We also saw photographs of Ernest Hemingway recovering from his time as a volunteer in the military. While saving a soldier, he was hit with shrapnel. He was also awarded a bronze medal for his service even though he was only a volunteer.
Once we had toured the entire house, we went outside.
Ernest Hemingway and The Bricks
The bricks in the pathways around Ernest Hemingway’s house are antique bricks called “Baltimore Bricks” and they were shipped by clipper ships to Key West in 1910. When automobiles started to take over the city needed smoother streets. Hemingway purchased 20,000 of these bricks and built the wall around his house as well as all the charming walkways. I want a walkway just like this! They are gorgeous!
Ernest Hemingway House and The $20,000 Pool
The pool out back cost his wife $20,000 and was put in while he was out of town. Prior to being a pool, it was a boxing ring. It has its own story too…
The story claims that while Ernest Hemingway was away in Spain covering the Spanish Civil War, word came back to his wife Pauline that he was having an affair. (He did marry his third wife, Martha who was working with him over there years later. The affair proved to be fact.) Angry, Pauline turned his beloved boxing ring into a pool at great expense. When he returned he was angry and retaliated.
So, poolside at the Hemingway house you will discover this gorgeous Italian Jar Fountain sitting directly over a…. urinal! Yup, the story has it that Hemingway had this urinal, which was once of service in his favorite bar Sloppy Joe’s, delivered to his house to sit next to his wife Pauline’s stunning new pool! He told Pauline, “I’ll get rid of mine when you get rid of yours.” Instead, Pauline had the large vase added and covered the front in a lovely tile. The cats use this as a drinking fountain all day every day!
We loved our visit to The Hemingway House and the tour really brought the life of Ernest Hemingway into a whole new light for us. We both highly recommend a visit to The Ernest Hemingway House the next time you are in Key West!
Key West is really special to us. When we first married, we enjoyed our honeymoon in the Keys so it just feels right to return. We love it there. We know you would too!
Ernest Hemingway Quote
There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self. – Ernest Hemingway
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