Honeymoon in Key West, Part 1

November 17, 2023

One of the things that we decided in the run up to our wedding was that we weren’t going to take a honeymoon immediately after. We had wanted to go to Key West because it seemed like it was a good compromise location for us – it’s a tropical island, but it has a lot of interesting history. Since we knew that was where we were headed, Emily thought it would be good to avoid hurricane season, and have a time when we wouldn’t be with my boys for a fairly extended period. The week before Thanksgiving met all the criteria.

We flew out of PHL on November 16, and got settled in pretty easily to our resort. The next day, we would start doing some tourist things.

Our resort was lovely. - <i>Photo by the author</i>
Our resort was lovely. – Photo by the author

After getting a really lovely brunch at Bagatelle, we walked over to the “Mile Marker 0” sign for US-1, and got the requisite photos.

Emily and I at "Mile Marker 0" - <i>Photo by the author</i>
Emily and I at “Mile Marker 0” – Photo by a fellow tourist

Continuing to walk south along Whitehead Street, we came to the Hemingway Home and Museum. While it didn’t necessarily light either of us up on its face, several people we had talked to had recommended checking it out. We took the leap, and the tour was much cooler than we were expecting. There were lots of stories involving alcohol and various affairs. Hemingway certainly led a tortured life.

Once we reached the bottom of Whitehead Street, we were at the famous “Southernmost Point” marker, where we only had to wait in line for a few minutes to get our second tourist photo of the day. I’m very aware that this is nowhere near the actual southernmost point in the continental US, but it’s just one of those things you have to do on Key West. I found myself reading the historical marker for the underwater communications cable to Cuba while we waited in line. Apparently, this line carried the very first international phone call. Cool stuff.

Our ultra-touristy photo from the "Southernmost Point". - <i>Photo by the author</i>
Our ultra-touristy photo from the “Southernmost Point”. – Photo by a fellow tourist

Just from walking around the “downtown” area for a while, Cuba and the Navy really seem to dominate the history and culture here. Many of the buildings seem to have begun their lives as structures to support the Navy or some aspect of international trade. This was particularly evident as we had dinner that night just off Mallory Square in an old building that had been turned into a Cuban restaurant.

Cuban dinner near Mallory Square. - <i>Photo by the author</i>
Cuban dinner near Mallory Square. – Photo by the author

While we were at dinner, we would experience the only rough spot of the week. The power went out on the island as we were finishing and then a hard rain storm came through. After maybe 20-30 minutes, things came back to life, we were able to settle our bill, and we made our way back to the hotel.

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