In my post on searching for the best key lime pie, I might have given the impression that my entire time in that port was focused on food. Au contraire. John and I were able to visit several non-foodie spots, learn a bit of local history, and see creatures that we just don’t see at home.
Our first stop was to the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum, where we learned about shipwrecks and treasure. Mel Fisher had searched for a particular shipwreck for 16 years; he finally found it and then entered into a court battle over the half-billion dollar treasure. The Supreme Court ruled in his favor. The museum displays some of the galleons and silver bars, as well as other artifacts from the ship.
Next, we walked to the Ernest Hemingway House, which is still inhabited by descendants of his 6-toed cats. We saw his study, where he wrote some of his pieces, and enjoyed the view from his second-story porch. We learned of his several wives, his struggle with mental illness, and his suicide.
|Photo: A small round table, with a typewriter on it, sits in a bookcase-lined, light-filled study. An antelope head adorns the wall.|
After leaving the Hemingway House, we walked to the other side of the island, so we could take the obligatory “Southernmost Point” selfie.
|Photo: John and I in front of the marker of the southernmost point in the continental United States|
On the way back, we stopped and toured the lighthouse, which is surprisingly inland, but at the highest point in Key West. We hiked up the steps and visited the museum, where we learned about the men and women who served as lighthouse keepers. What a hard job it was to keep the lights burning!
|Photo: The top of the Key West lighthouse towers above green trees.|
One of the highlights of our time in Key West was purely serendipitous. As we were walking along the waterfront, we looked down and saw a manatee slowly gliding along in the water. We also saw some sort of big fish (a technical report this is not) and pelicans of various colors.
|Photo: A large manatee swims near the boardwalk.|
|Photo: Big fish swim in the water|
|Photo: A pelican with a yellowish head swims in the water|
|Photo: A fluffy brown pelican stands on a boat|
After a few brief stops to look at some art galleries and listen to a street performer who was playing a steel drum, it was time to get back on the ship. Key West was a pleasant place to spend a day—and not just because we got to eat key lime pie!
Thanks for a delightful day in Key West.