Taking a break from a busy book schedule it was great to escape to the stunning beauty of the Florida Keys and chill out in Key Largo, Islamorada and Key West. Everywhere we travelled was paradise,surrounded by water and nature, so it was the perfect place for a great holiday.
In Key West I visited the home of one of America’s greatest writers Ernest Hemingway –a literary hero of mine ever since I first read ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ when I was a teenager. Hemingway was a winner of both the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (1953) and the Nobel Prize in Literature (1954).
I am always curious and fascinated by great writer’s homes as they provide a glimpse into their lives. The Hemingway house, a French colonial style house built in 1851, did not disappoint for it is a beautiful house on Whitehead Street, close to the lighthouse and to the water where Hemingway loved to sail and fish. Climbing the small stairs to his outside separate study it was great to see the place where he created so much of his work. Descendants of his original six toed cat still laze around the house and garden. Another famous and influential American writer Judy Blume lives in Key West and is a co- founder of the busy local bookstore ‘Books and Books’ and often can be found there. I can’t wait to see the film version of her classic book ‘Are You There God, its Me Margaret,’ which is due out later this month starring Rachel McAdam and Kathy Bates.
We also visited The Little White House ‘- the Truman home which is only a few minute walk away from the Hemingway home and is also well worth a visit. President Harry S. Truman was a regular visitor to Key West and loved spending time down there. Truman was one of the most influential American presidents. The House is a Presidential Museum with beautiful furnishings and design and is still used sometimes by American presidents.