While my friend and I drove through the narrow streets of town, again and again, looking for a place to park, I spotted a sign on an old house that said Hemingway House. My author pulse quickened and I made a mental note to research. Was he here, too? Did he write from that house? Is it a museum? I love museums.
It’s not a museum. Well, not really a museum. It is an old restored house, now a B & B. And apparently the owner is a literature fan. The B & B is designed to be “causal, but nice, relaxed, but complete, fun, but behaved. Like a throw-back,” he says, “to the lazy days of summer I vacationed in Florida with my family.” Evenings are salon-style, with guests discussing Hemingway and books over glasses of wine. Writing is encouraged and the verandas are calling.
The guest rooms are understated elegance of the Hemingway era. The Hadley Richardson Room is named for E.H.’s first wife Hadley, The Paris Wife. Pauline Pfeiffer, his first of many affairs, became his second wife, and is the name of the second guest room. The Martha Gellhorn Room is named for Martha Gellhorn, an American novelist, travel writer and journalist who is considered to be the greatest war correspondent of the 20th century. The Gellhorn Prize for Journalism is named for her; she was also the third wife of Ernest Hemingway. Mary Welsh, whose name is on the fourth guest room door, was also an American journalist and author. Mary Welsh Hemingway was the fourth wife and the widow. Next is the Pilar Room. Pilar is the name of Hemingway’s 38-foot fishing boat he acquired in 1934. Pilar is also a nickname he gave to Pauline, and a character in For Whom the Bell Tolls. The boat influenced his writing of Old Man and the Sea, as well as Island in the Stream. The last guest room is called Papa’s Room. Hemingway’s nickname for himself began when he was only 26 or 27 years old. It lasted his lifetime.
The breakfasts at this establishment look like they should have their own blog. If you’re hungry, check it out. http://www.hemingwayhouse.net/ and if you’re looking for a place to shed stress, book a room. Bring your pencil and tablet. I’m sure you’ll feel like writing. Overhead fans, verandas shaded by palms …