Last week, my family and I went to Chicago, IL. More specifically, we were in Oak Park, IL, which just so happens to be Ernest Hemingway's birthplace. This trip reminded me of one that I took almost 3 years ago, on my 18th birthday: I visited my sister in Chicago where she was co-oping at the time for school, and we shopped all around the city, drank many many cups of coffee, and visited Hemingway's birth home and museum.
You're probably thinking, "When I turned 18, I went out to get some cigarettes and lottery tickets. My 18th birthday was crazy!" Well, in my mind, I did have a crazy 18th birthday, but I was nowhere near cigarettes or lottery tickets. Instead, I went on a tour inside the late Hemingway's home, and visited the Hemingway Museum.
Much to my surprise, the tour was held in his birth home, not at the museum. Obviously, we went on said tour AND wandered around the museum, and I got to learn a lot more about him. One fact that stood out to me, was that Hemingway's mother used to dress him and his sister up as girls when they were younger, because she wanted another daughter so badly.
In the museum, we simply walked around and examined various posters, artifacts, pictures, and typewriters like the one above.
Oak Park, IL is a place where interesting and beautiful homes are the norm - everywhere I looked, I thought: "This is where a writer would live." But once I laid eyes on and stepped foot inside Ernest Hemingway's home, it sunk in that this literally was a writer's home. And not just any writer; Ernest Hemingway, the brilliant yet troubled author who wrote with such frankness.
I'm really grateful that I was able to visit these places, to learn more about such a talented writer. I really hope that I get to go back soon and take some more pictures with my new phone that has a better camera than my trusty old iPhone 4. But until then, these pictures will be here to remind me of what a wonderful 18th birthday I had.