Seeing as our cruise is only a couple of months away, I thought I would revisit our last cruise, and our first port of call: Key West.

Claimed in 1822 by Matthew C. Perrysame guy who thirty-one years later with his “Black Ships” would visit Japan and “open” them to trade with the U.S.Key West is home to the most southern point in the Continental United States.

And since the highway was completed in 1938 becoming an extension of United States Highway 1, the Keys are officially the end of the road.

While we didn’t initially plan the cruise with the Keys on the itinerary, when it came up we discovered that not only had Hemingway spent a lot of time there writing, but that his home still stands at 907 Whitehead Street where it is now a sanctuary for the colony of polydactyl cats who are descendants of his original brood.

An avid deep-sea fisher, Hemingway held with the seafaring superstition that polydactyl cats – that is six- or seven-toed cats – are good luck and ensure safe voyages on the open seas.

His love of cat’s carries through most of the decor, and there was once even an original Picasso cat statute that Hemingway got from the artist during his time in Paris, France, but was stolen and then destroyed in the resultant chase to apprehend the thieves. A replica now sits in its place.

Ironically for a place you could pretty much walk around in one day, the trees in Keys are huge.