Thursday, October 21, 2010

Traveling Thursdays: Key West, Pt. 2

These photos are from the southernmost point in Key West. Tourists line up to have their photos taken next to this famous marker.

Sadly, even this part of the country has been taken over by Snookie and The Situation’s fans.

I returned to the Hemingway house, since my last trip to Key West was before I had gotten my “new” camera.

I could totally relate to how this cat felt; it was damn hot...especially up on the second floor of the house!

From Hemingway’s writing studio comes this taxidermied head. I’ve never really understood the fascination with taxidermy. Just seems a little creepy to me.

What I wouldn’t have given to be able to dive right into ol’ Ernest’s pool:

We really enjoyed going to Sarabeth’s, where we ate a number of breakfasts and one dinner. HIGHLY recommend the tomato soup—yum!

Pepe’s is a fantastic spot for breakfast, with plenty of knick-knacks to see on the walls:

Another new find on this trip was Backyard Louie’s; the food and service were fantastic, and the superb view made them even better.

Despite the scenic vistas on the patio, the humidity was too much and we moved our brunch indoors to the air conditioning. Living in Southern California for 10 years has made me a weather-wuss.

The A&B Lobster House was a special treat for dinner.

I also love the vintage paintings on the wall hang in the cigar lounge; the smoke stains add to the nostalgic glow of these Vargas-like creations.

The Ghost Tour was a ton-o-fun; plenty of kitsch from the tour guides mixed in with a sprinkle of history and just a smidgen of creepiness to make you ponder the supernatural.

Apparently, Robert the stuffed doll inside of this museum has wreaked havoc on the cameras of those who take his photo WITHOUT asking his permission. Naturally, I discretely whispered my request before shooting.

The creepiest story of the tour was the one of Elena; her death at an early age didn’t keep a man from expressing his “love” for her. He stole her corpse, “maintained” it in his home for years, and then blew up her tomb when the family reclaimed the decaying body when they discovered what he had done.

What he actually did with the corpse is still a matter for speculation...and I’ll leave it at that.

Nothing like the street performers and sunset of Mallory Square to wipe out the creepiness of the Ghost Tour stories!

Cute sign, but I think that’s one 90 mile trip I can skip in my life.

Love these doors; they would look fantastic at my house!

In Disney Blu-ray/DVD news: if you haven’t gotten the Diamond Edition of “Beauty and the Beast” yet, what are you waiting for? Here’s a link for a $10 off coupon to help you make the purchase a little easier!

As an added bonus, here’s an interview with Paige O’Hara, the talented voice behind Belle:

How did you land the role of Belle?
I was working in New York as a Broadway actress and read about the audition in The [New York] Times. I called my agent and said I have to be seen. I got seen and my first audition was with our casting director. I sang a song I loved from Chess called “Heaven Help My Heart” and I read a couple of lines. For the first couple of auditions they sent tapes to L.A. and then the whole gang flew in and we started auditioning live. They would close their eyes so they could imagine the characters saying or singing those lines. In the beginning, that’s what they wanted. They didn’t want to be distracted by what we were doing with our bodies and our faces.

How many auditions did you have altogether?
There were five auditions all told, with 500 other actresses.

How long did the casting process take?
About 6 weeks. Fairly long. When I found out, it was quite a week. My husband proposed on my birthday and I got the part 2 days later. I think I was 31. Disney says I am a different age every year so I am not really sure anymore.

What was the recording process like?
It was fun. Robbie and I recorded together which they don’t do anymore. They would put cameras on us the whole time. That’s how mannerisms and expressions change. We worked 10 to 6 with a lunch break for a few days in a row, and then we’d go away for a few weeks while they animated it. It was incredible to work with Robbie. He is such an incredible Broadway actor and film actor. He helped me to be better. It helps when you are with someone that talented.

What do you remember about the process of creating the character of Belle?
After they finished the first drawing of Belle, they said she was too beautiful, too perfect. So they threw the first drawing away. They wanted her still beautiful but a little quirkier. The fact that they made her with her brown eyes meant so much to so many little girls.

Angela Lansbury and Jerry Orbach were also in the film. What was it like working with two Hollywood heavyweights?
I only sang with them at the Academy Awards but I would hang out for their [recording] sessions. Angela I idolized. When I first came to New York I would sneak into Gypsy. I watched Gypsy six times.

What is your favorite song in the film?
I’m torn. I’ll tell you why. Oddly enough, it’s not my song. I love the ones they added, my favorite of which is “Human Again.” That was [lyricist] Howard Ashman’s favorite song. It wasn’t in the original because you had to stick to a certain time and it would have made the film too long. Something about it that just inspires me and makes me cry.

What is your favorite scene in the movie?
Definitely the “Something There” sequence with Belle playing in the snow with the Beast, the bird on his hand. I really think that is the moment when she fell in love with the Beast. She looks at him and says, “New and a bit alarming. Who’d have ever thought that this could be?” I love the way they animated it when he becomes the prince. Every time I see the Beast with that grin on his face and the bird in his hand, my heart just melts.

Follow my updates on Twitter. See more Key West, Florida photos at my regular website.


quizshowbob said...

I have never been to Key West, but I really want to go.

Davelandweb said...

Bob - it's a great city, but not in August!

Major Pepperidge said...

Very nice post, looks like Key West is a beautiful place. "Jersey Shore"... ugh.

How the heck did you get to interview Paige O'Hara?

Connie Moreno said...

Holy smokes, I love this! These photos make me want to go there NOW! How awesome!

I almost fell out of my chair when I saw the picture of Robert...My first thought was "Oh no!" Luckily, you did get permission prior to shooting, LOL.