Key West, Florida – Where “going south” really means something…

by | Nov 26, 2012

Florida Keys “Southernmost” Sunset

Southernmost Public Beach – Key West

Southernmost House
Casa Cayo Hueso – The Southernmost House in the Continental United States – Key West (June 4, 2008)

Located on the ocean, The Southernmost House was built in 1896 for a cost of $250,000 (approximately $6 million today) by Judge J. Vining Harris, who married into the prominent Curry family. In 1939, the Ramos family purchased the property, which had been converted into a Cuban nightclub called Café Cayo Hueso (Bone Island Café), for $49,000.

In 1954, it was converted back into a residence and remained so until 1996 when a $3 million restoration began to turn it into a 13-room hotel, with a museum on the first floor.

Exterior paint colors are authentic, as are elegant crown moldings, ceiling medallions, ornamental woodwork and friezes, which were originally painted white, but have been redone in splashy shades reminiscent of its days as a Cuban nightclub.  Quote from this website…

“Going South”

Where did it come from? My guess is that it’s based on graphical images. Think of sales charts that show worse results as a line going downwards (even at times figuratively “through the floor”), using the convention that regards height as good and depth as bad. Then combine that with maps, which by convention have north at the top. So a firm that was failing had its sales going figuratively in a southerly direction.”

Judy and I have reached the end of the road!  We are talking “going south” as a true definition.  It has nothing to do with sales charts showing bad results or failing to meet targets.  My entire life to this point had “going south” in a bad light.  Not so, the real definition of this milestone is finally arriving to a beautiful tropical paradise in the southernmost geographical location in America, Key West, Florida.  Unless you have a boat, this is it!  We now get to turn-around and start our journey home on Wednesday.  We have traveled 3514 miles to get to the southernmost point in the USA.  A real milestone for a couple of “60 somethings.”  Would you agree?

We have climbed mountains we never climbed before, been on hikes we thought we could not finish, and found ourselves lost more than a few times.  We have been exhausted at times, and have had an argument or two, even debates about lots of stuff. .  And there have been a couple of challenges and disappointments along the way.  But all in all, our journey has been amazing so far, and seems to get even more exciting as we think about our return home. 

The best part of this “60 something” celebration of freedom journey, is doing it with my lifetime partner, and the love of my life, my dear wife and best friend, Judy…  We have loved, learned, and discovered ourselves and each other in new ways on this journey.  And to think we are just at the halfway point!  New beginnings and discoveries to follow… Stay with us until we get safely home…

Steve Sparks
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story

Depoe Bay, Oregon to Key West, Florida
3514 Miles!


About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
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