Saturday, April 2, 2011

Pretty Old Houses of Key West

We just got back from a wonderful few days in Key West.
 While some visitors might spend their time soaking up the rays, cruising Duval Street, or fishing, we tooled around on bikes and I took pictures of Pretty Old Houses.

Many of the existing homes in the Old Town area of Key West were built in the mid 1800's--some even earlier.  You can read about the history of Key West here. It's very interesting with ship wrecks and pirates and the Spanish and English, cigars and Cuba, and Hemingway.
Sordid stuff straight out of "historical novels."

Today, I'm sure there's still a lot of sordid stuff that goes on, but to the casual tourist the town lives up to it's billing as Paradise. Or the Conch Republic; a place that's like a foreign country but you don't need a passport to go there. (if you're a US citizen that is.) There are lots of chickens, lush tropical landscapes and great food.

And for some of us bicycle-peddling types enough Pretty Old Houses to keep us entertained for weeks.
(These bicycles aren't the snazzy 10 speed kind-- they're more along the beat up Huffy line with big tires and wide seats.)

Among the zillions of things I love about these old houses are the porches.  Key West knows how to do a porch right!  Take a look at the wonderful blue ceiling in this beauty. 

I could spend a whole day just taking pictures of blue porch ceilings.
Have you heard why they paint the ceiling blue?  Some people say its to fool the spiders into thinking it's the sky so they won't build cobwebs.
You can still find a fixer-upper but you'd better have deep pockets.

We stayed in this Bed and Breakfast on Francis Street; not too close to the action, but not too far away.

Back to porches:  Here is one of my favs.  I could make a list of all the things I love about it, but we'd be here all day.

The porches on both these houses stretch across the front and wrap around the side.

 Attitude is important in a porch.

The small dragons refer to iguanas;  iguanas that like to lie across shady alleys and scare tourists on bicycles.

 I love just scrolling back through these pictures. I always see something new.

Look at the color combinations on this one.  They can use really strong colors because the sunlight is so bright and the landscape is so lush. It doesn't come off as tacky--some how its the right thing. I like this better than the all white or more subdued.
The figure on the balcony might be a ghost--or maybe somebody is just airing out their wedding dress.

another blue ceiling...

All the homes aren't huge and fancy.  This one has some of the best bougainvillia around.

Check back for more on Key West.  One post just isn't enough.

p.s. Check out Susan's post on Isle of Hope Home Tour over at Between Naps on the Porch.