Hemingway’s Home – Key West

At 907 Whitehead Street in Key West is Ernest Hemingway’s home.   Which today is a museum as well as a U.S. National Historic Landmark.

It was a place dear to Ernest’s heart that he spent over 10 years living and writing there.  He even built an in-ground pool a true luxury for a home in the 1930s.  The pool was dug by hand in solid coral rock.  Since there was no fresh water at the time the pool was filled with salt water.  The process of filling the pool took three days.  After the pool was filled, the salt water in the pool was good for three or four days at which time it was drained and cleaned which took two to three days.  Then the process would start all over again.

February 2013_261

The Hemingway House is also known for their cats.  Ernest loved cats and received a six-toed cat from a sea-captain as a gift.  Almost all of the cats on the property (40 to 50) are direct descendents of that first cat.  He loved his cats so much that there is actually a cat graveyard on the property.

February 2013_247February 2013_270

Here are some views from around the property.  If you look carefully at the last picture you may notice that the fountain flows into a urinal that Hemingway took from Sloppy Joe’s Bar when it was relocating.  He used it as a water trough for his cats.

February 2013_266February 2013_265February 2013_263

Lake Meadow Naturals

Not far on the west side of the Orlando Metro area is a great place to get fresh, no hormone, cage-free eggs.  The place is called Lake Meadows Naturals.


They distribute some of the eggs laid at the farm to local restaurants.


January_058Besides their eggs, they sell honey, humanely raised natural meats, jams, jellies, and pickles.  All made the old fashioned way.


It is a great place to take the kids to see all the animals.


Osborn Christmas Lights

One of our favorite Christmas traditions was to visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the Osborn Christmas Lights.  However, Disney stopped that Christmas light show.

Osborn Lights 2

But since it was one of our favorites we thought we would share some photos and a video from this spectacular event.

Osborn Lights 1

By the way, the white dots in one of the photos is actually snow being made for the night time show.

Osborn Lights 3

Havana Bistro Cafe

Just around the corner from the Florida Mall is this hidden little gem of a restaurant.  It is called Havana Bistro Cafe.  A wonderful place with excellent food and great service.


It has probably the best empanadas I have ever had at a restaurant.  Pictured is one beef and one chicken empanada.  A great appetizer.


One of the main courses was grilled snapper with yuca (cassava) and tostones.


The other main course was a twist on a Cuban sandwich called a Tripleta.  Instead of pork on the sandwich it had minute steak.  Yum, Yum!


Of course, what trip to a Cuban restaurant would be complete without a Cuban coffee.




Holiday Shopping

One of the things we really love to do this time of year is Holiday Shopping.

So… we decided over the next couple of weekends we will give you the sights of the malls we go to in the Orlando area.


The first mall we are visiting is the Florida Mall.

We even got to meet some very tall elves.



We did very well on this trip as we made a good dent on our Christmas List for our friends and family.

Fresh Tomatoes for Thanksgiving

Nothing can compare to a fresh tomato from the garden.  We wait patiently for them since we grow our own.  Living in Central Florida we get two seasons for growing tomatoes, Spring and Fall.  We start our Fall season tomatoes in July from seed.


We then nurture them over the next few months.


Now we get to reap the harvest of great tasting tomatoes that you cannot buy in the supermarket.  We grow all varieties and they are all good.


All the vegetables shown in the next picture were grown and picked from our garden.



Manny’s Original Chophouse

On a recent trip to Lake Wales we decided to stop and get some lunch.  We came upon Manny’s Original Chophouse.


The atmosphere is Route 66 kitsch and they seem to have a representation of every license plate available in the United States.  We even had a visit from Elvis!


The food is good American comfort style with everything from burgers and fries to steaks, seafood, and salads.  Of course I could not pass up on a 1/2 pound Bacon Cheddar Burger.