The morning began with a quick packing up so that we could get to breakfast. Once we arrived at the breakfast room, we first realized that we were amidst a sea of French-speaking people and then realized that there was nowhere to sit. The breakfast room entire was maybe the size of my kitchen and dining room, which are postage-stamp sized and can hold, at most, four people each before you feel like you're ingesting one another's hair products every time you turn around. The joint was packed, is what I'm saying.
By some miracle we snagged one two-person table and sat the boys at it while Chris and I nabbed a corner of the more-for-decoration-than-use sideboard. We hurried to eat breakfast and escape the sea of humanity, only to realize that finding parking in Key West is harder than finding a breakfast table. After lapping downtown several times and shaking metaphorical fists at the lackadaisical signage (the sign says
"Metered Parking 6-12 p.m. weekdays and all day weekends," but all of the cars have paid the meter...), we drove back to the hotel and got change for the parking meters. Such a deal! 10 minutes for 25 cents!
At least it put us within walking distance of the Hemingway House, our morning destination. Andrew was immediately happy, because we told him there were cats--almost sixty! And they live there! And you can pet them! He thought he was in heaven and took pictures of every cat he could find. Believe me, he found plenty. We enjoyed the tour of the house; it was...well, you know, a house...but it had awesome tilework in some of the rooms and it was, of course, neat to see Hemingway's studio and what-not. The boys were fascinated by seeing a cat kill a small lizard, which we later saw being hauled off by a blue million small ants.
After we had wrung all the enjoyment out of stalking cats that we possibly could, we headed back for the car, stopping only to buy some postcards. By this time, it was the lunch hour, so we stopped at KFC and resisted the urge to shout, "Run for your lives!" at the bantams that strutted around the parking lot.
From here, it was a long haul back to Miami, so we settled in and listened to James Howe's Tales from the House of Bunnicula,
books 1-4. They were hilarious! Also, on the way back across all the islands and bridges, we realized that the 'Check Engine' light had turned itself off. God-willing, this was just a freak thing and when we get the car checked out back in Indy it will all have been simply a fluke. Thank you, God, for giving us peace of mind!
We had been advised to visit the Coral Castle, built by Ed Something-or-other in homage of his lost sweetheart (she jilted him) from Latvia. It was different from what I expected. There's a lot of speculation about why Sweet Sixteen jilted Ed, but after carefully viewing all the objets d'art and skimming through the pamphlet I was too cheap to buy (eight dollars???
), I think I have the answer: Ed was a fruitcake. Anyway, the surroundings were rife with picture-taking opportunities, but we skipped most of them because it was just too hot and they also seemed to be filming some type of video.
We had dinner at Steak and Ale, where we got the chance to overhear the most unintentionally-hilarious conversation between a woman who is far too involved in her children's lives and another, even grumpier old woman. It was all we could do to keep from laughing out loud a few times.
We drove from there to our hotel in Miami, the Los Palmos. It was lovely and had a deliciously comfortable king-size bed. We took the boys down to the pool and let them splash and play and frolic. It was a delightful end to a long day.