Ernest Hemingway was so much more than one of America's most talented storytellers. In a world where the words "living legend" have lost all meaning, Hemingway truly embodied the term.
Not only was he a writer but the man, who hailed from a middle-class Chicago suburb, was a war hero, a newsman, a fisherman, a big-game hunter, a womanizer, a romantic, a fighter, and a drinker. Sure, not all of those traits are great, but together they make one hell of a character worthy of any Hemingway-penned novel!
Papa's spirit lives on in many of the places he loved and Hemingway and South Florida have always had strong ties. A trip to Key West isn't complete without hoisting a few at Sloppy Joe's or Captain Tony's or visiting the Hemingway House, where descendents of the author's multi-toes cats roam the halls and grounds like furry royalty.
Just 50 miles east of South Florida lies Bimini, the "island in the stream" where Hemingway spent his days big game fishing and his nights drinking rum. His favorite haunt, the Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina, still attracts people who come for the crystal clear waters, the solitude, and (of course) the fishing and rum.
While one side of Bimini hosts the Resorts World Casino, the side of the island where Bimini Big Game Club resides seems to have barely changed since "Hem" walked its streets, lined with shacks selling grilled lobster and conch salad straight from the sea and cold beers. The beaches are pristine, with nary a tourist in sight. The island is steeped in history. Besides Hemingway, Martin Luther King Jr. composed parts of his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in Bimini, and Jimmy Buffett spent time writing on the island.
If you want to experience Bimini for yourself, Papa's Pilar, the rum named after Hemingway's beloved boat, and Caribbean Journal are giving away a four-day, three-night stay in the "Hemingway Suite" at the Bimini Big Game Club -- and all you have to do is to get into the mind of the author to win.
From now through December 15, visit the Caribbean Journal web page or Papa's Pilar Facebook page and write your best caption to the Hemingway adventure photo posted. Make the captions good, because you'll be judged by some heavy hitters, including Paul Castronovo of the Paul and Young Ron Show; Phil Greene, author of To Have and Have Another: A Hemingway Cocktail Companion and Papa's Pilar brand ambassador; Mike Myatt, chef operating officer of the IGFA; Dave Russell of the International Rum Council; Scott Walker of TV's Into the Blue; and John Hemingway.
Before you start, it's suggested you break out a bottle of Papa's Pilar for inspiration.