“It’s good to fast from the familiar; I’m thinking of winter travel, though for now, I’m thinking south rather than north. Maybe I’ll fly to Miami and drive across the Florida Keys since that part of the country has always appealed to me. On a map, I see them as a bunch of exclamation points floating off Florida, which makes the thought of visiting hard to resist!” — my words, written in a blog comment left January 18th
We’re flying out tomorrow, bound for those exclamation points in the sea.
We’ll land in Miami, rent a car and stay put for the night. Then we’ll wake up before the sun rises and drive across the Keys. And along the way, we’ll stop where we please, check out whatever spots appeal to our flight of fancy, eat some fine seafood — and before the sun sets the second day, we’ll have traveled the full length of the Keys to Key West.
This one-time home of Hemingway — a very long time ago, during days of his second marriage — is just ninety miles north of Cuba. And since I’m in the midst of a class on Ernest Hemingway — having horse-traded it for another that didn’t “make” — I’m planning to tour Hemingway’s house. And when I’m not soaking up ocean sun, ocean breeze, ocean mist and ocean whatever, I plan to read a little Hemingway — something he might have worked on during his Key West years — or maybe works inspired by his Key West years — I don’t know yet.
And two days later, we’ll make our do-see-do way up to the other end of the Keys, to Key Largo, where we’ve booked rooms at a vintage lodge on the sea. And these are all the plans we’ve made — and except for the Hemingway stuff, plans we needed to make, since showing up without lodging during high season was a little too close to living on the edge for my taste.
So here’s to beautiful sunrises and sunsets and to seashells and sunglasses in between. To lots of good sight-seeing and gobs of good seafood and more than a few sips from salt-rimmed margaritas.
And as we fly off on our winter getaway — without a winter to get away from — I’ll be thinking of this 1980’s tune. Because I can’t get it out of mind!!! Gosh, I think I’m giddy. Giddy up giddy.
Have fun! You posted Bertie before I could, so here’s a little something to go with your “theme” for the trip.
What a gift! All those photos of EH to the sounds of Mr. Margaritaville. Perfect for the post. I love it! Thanks. And as for the fun, we’ll sure try.
Terry Clark said:
Ah, memories of Sloppy Joe’s, of his writing desk and the mutant cats, and great weather and sea food and drinks. Cabin fever was building anyway, and you write this. Maps are always seductive. Bravo on your blog design–clean, well organized, excellent typography, good writing. Thanks.
We didn’t even unpack before heading over to Hemingway’s home — we took the guided tour and then just helped ourselves to the place — took many good photos, including a close-up of EH’s writing desk. Then on to Margaritaville and Sloppy Joe’s and Mallory Square — it’s been lovely weather so far — better than expected, since Friday morning’s forecast showed rain all weekend. Today, was partly sunny and tomorrow shows sunshine. Meanwhile, back at the OKC corral, it looks like winter has decided to arrive in our absence, with a promise of wintry mix tomorrow? So I guess we are having a winter getaway after all.
Wish you were here!
How exciting! I look forward to your travel posts and pics… esp. the Hemingway connection. Have a great time!
Thanks. We are having a wonderful time. Tomorrow is our last day and Friday we fly home and that, too, will be wonderful.
Sometimes I try to write while ‘on location.’ But, for whatever reason, this time I haven’t. Ideas have come, but rather than writing them here, I’ve instead kept them to myself or aired them out with pencil and paper journals. Sometimes, I think — like Hemingway himself thought — it helps to write of a place in past tense — once we’ve removed ourselves from the place or setting. Or at least this is what I’m telling myself. For now, I’m liking this “soaking-it-all-up” phase. It’s a wonderful place to be.
One of my favorite quotations, from Jaron Lanier: “If you listen first, and write later, then whatever you write will have had time to filter through your brain, and you’ll be in what you say.”
Glad you’re having a wonderful time!
I like it. Especially that last bit about being ‘in what you say.’
Ran across this jewel on writing, last night, from Hemingway’s “A Moveable Feast.”
“I always worked until I had something done and I always stopped when I knew what was going to happen next. That way I could be sure of going on the next day.”
Again, I like that last bit of wisdom — stopping before one empties the well. Good advice outside of writing too, isn’t it?