I try to avoid museums when I visit a destination. When I travel, I prefer to meet and interact with the natives, eat local food and immerse myself in the culture that has made that place unique and different from anywhere else on the planet. I wasn't going to find that behind a glass case hanging on a wall. Nor was I interested in looking at photos of all of the mayors in Key West from the present to the distant past. But for some unexplainable reason, there was this energy pulling me towards the Hemingway House.
I'm gonna make a confession. I don't know much about American literature. I don't know much about literature period, which is ironic because I'v grown an affinity for writing about my wanderlust adventures. When I was a kid, my focus was music and the performing arts. The books I read were required reading from my English classes. And even then, they were painstakingly hard for me to understand. My experiences until I was 12 years old was strictly of the Filipino culture. Don't get me wrong. I had an excellent grasp of the English language. In fact, people were amazed at my lack of an accent. And I might've heard of Michael Jackson's music but American culture was so foreign I couldn't for the life of me imagine in my head, for example, what Long Island looked like in F. Scott Fitzgerald's the Great Gastby. The internet was a wee little baby in the nineties and I wasn't about to spend most of my time searching words or meanings in a dictionary or looking at microfilm photos at the library. Enobody got time f'that! But the Old Man and the Sea, I could understand..... somewhat. Which is probably why Ernest Hemingway's name sounds so familiar to me more than any author I know. Plus his life on the island of Key West was pretty well known.
My trip to Key West was pretty relaxed. I had the sunset sailing scheduled on my itinerary the afternoon I got in. Everything else was up in the air. I ended up making my way to the Hemingway house two days later. It was a good 10 minute walk from my hotel and good Lord it was hot! I know I asked for some heat in my summer but this was no joke. Good thing I kept hydrated. Things can go bad down there if you don't drink water all the time.