For a very long time, I’ve had a fascination with Ernest Hemingway. Beyond reading the many books and short stories he wrote, like many people, I’m drawn to the man himself – the stories that inspired his books, the artists and writers he was friends with, the places he traveled and, of course, the women he loved.
I’ll go for stretches where my fascination is satiated – where, like a favorite song I’ve played on repeat for way too long, I’ve just simply had enough of Hemingway. And then last month for spring break we soaked up the sun in Key West and, while I’d been there a couple times before, I’d never taken the time to tour the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum. This time I made sure to visit and it was awesome.
We took a tour through the house and as the guide told us highlights of Hemingway’s life, I tried to imagine him in the space. Did he spend much time on this beautiful balcony overlooking the lush grounds? Could he hear the water fountain down below? Visiting and vacationing in a place is different than living your everyday life there – but did he ever just take the time to sit out on this balcony and feel the breeze on his face or was he always busy?
At first I didn’t think my kids would be too excited to visit Hemingway’s house but when I told them about all the cats they’d see, they definitely wanted to go. We took lots of photos of the cats who were everywhere on the grounds, we stopped by the little cat graveyard and marveled at the cat house that looked just like the big human house. The kids got to pet the cats and feed them treats that our tour guide provided. They loved it. My favorite photo I took was the feature photo for this post of the cat hanging out by the famous Hemingway pool. But this one that my husband took is a close second – just look at that fluffy tail and that sweet face!
Apparently, Hemingway wrote most mornings and then went fishing in the afternoon or some other activity which probably included drinking. This was my favorite place to see on the tour – his writing studio. I imagined him sitting at that desk in that (not very comfortable-looking) chair tapping away on his typewriter. I love that he was surrounded by books and I love the natural light that must’ve flooded the room each morning like it does here.
For more info about the Key West house, Hemingway’s list of works, those adorable cats and so much more, visit the Hemingway Home & Museum website.
Do you have a favorite Hemingway book? Let me know in the comments and thanks for reading!