Hemingway & Mallory

Monday, April 26, 2010

Unfortunately, we woke up to not-so-fantastic weather this morning. We had plans to spend the morning by the pool, but because it was pretty overcast, we had to change our minds.

We decided to get dressed and head over to the Southernmost Beach Cafe, which is right on hotel property, for breakfast. It's open air and situated right on the beach and since it wasn't miserable and rainy (yet), we wanted to take advantage. As soon as we left the air conditioned room, we knew it would rain today. The humidity was over 90%, and you could feel it, that's for sure. It was tremendously sticky and the air felt heavy. Still, there was a nice breeze at the cafe, so we were able to sit outdoors comfortably. We both had pancakes--strawberry for me, blueberry for Michael--and took in the scenery.

After breakfast, we were pretty sure it was about to rain at any moment, so we decided to go over to Hemingway House, since we could take cover indoors if need be.

We felt a few drops of rain on our walk over, but the weather was still holding when we arrived, so we decided to wander the grounds outside first.

The yard is full of trees, plants and flowers, so it is pretty beautiful.

There are cats EVERYWHERE. They have free reign of the property, and for the most part, don't seem to mind all of the tourists passing through.

They book weddings at the Hemingway House; the ceremonies take place out here in the garden gazebo. Pretty.

Surprisingly, it never started raining while we were outdoors. Once we had made our way around the house, it was time to go inside.

They have turned Hemingway's old house into a museum of sorts, so there are photos and artifacts situated throughout. You can take a guided tour, or wander through on your own. We decided to go it alone, but being there, I think you'd find out a lot more about Hemingway if you take the guided tour. There aren't a lot of resources (plaques, information to read, etc.) for the self-guided folks. Still, it's neat to walk through and see everything.

This cat was sleeping soundly on top of one of the displays. Most of the cats didn't care if tourists stopped to pet them, but this one hissed and tried to scratch a lady who dared to touch him/her. Yowzers! Cat lovers beware!

Check out the two cats snoozing on the bed. I'm not a cat person at all, but even I thought that some of them were pretty cute!

The wrap-around porch on the second floor.

Views from the porch upstairs.

Some of Hemingway's books on display.

On the second floor of the guest house/poolhouse, there is a room in which Hemingway used to write.

Overall, Hemingway House was a neat place to visit.

After we were done, we were surprised that it had STILL not started raining! We walked around Duval a little bit, then went back to the hotel. Shortly after we got there, the water finally started falling from the sky. Because we couldn't go outside and hang out by the pool or in any of the hammocks like we originally planned, I curled up in the air conditioning and read for a while. Michael decided to take a run in the rain.

By mid- to late-afternoon, the rain had subsided and although it was still overcast, we decided to get outdoors again. We found that the rain had helped to significantly lower the humidity outside, which was nice. We went out onto the hotel's deck, grabbed a couple of lounge chairs, and both spent some time reading our books. Our hotel is seriously the BEST place to relax. Everything is so beautiful and tranquil.

Since we hadn't really eaten anything since breakfast, we decided to do an earlier dinner. We were in the mood for Italian, so we again asked our concierge for a recommendation. She suggested Abbondanza, which just so happened to be only a few blocks from our hotel. Perfect. We showered and got ready to head out.

The atmosphere at Abbondanza was nice and authentic, and the food was fantastic. Our concierge again gave us a coupon--this time for free key lime pie for dessert. We asked for it to go, since the dinner portions were so filling. I just didn't have room! But I have to say--I'm not a fan of key lime pie. I know, I know! But I'm not a big pie person to begin with, nor am I a big "fruit in my dessert" person, so it kind of made sense.

Because we were done with dinner so early, we had time to drop off our leftovers in our fridge back in the room, then head down to Mallory Square for the sunset! Again, we had to walk allll the way down Duval Street, but the overcast and rainy day had given way to a beautiful, comfortable, sunny evening, so we weren't complaining.

Although there were plenty of people in Mallory Square, we still arrived before the big crowds, so we were able to grab a prime spot, right up on the water, from which to watch the sunset.

We took pictures of the different stages of the sun setting, and in between, we were entertained by a nearby street performer.

Me, in action. :) Reviewing my sunset photos!

Before we knew it, the sun had disappeared, leaving behind a beautiful orange sky.

Before walking all the back to the hotel, I wanted to give my feet a little rest. I underestimated how hard it would be for me to get up on this thing with my little belly. Sheesh!

We ended the night in a hammock at the hotel, staring at the moon. Perfection.


Gia May 2, 2010 at 9:37 PM  

Very jealous of your trip to Hemingway's house! I never have time, but wish I could teach one of his novels to my American Lit class.

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