OCTOBER 22, 2002
Ramblings from the Eden House & Key West

For the past couple of years lots of my guests have accused me of lying about the café. They don't think the café has ever been open. They tell me that every time they have been here the café has been closed. I keep telling them that it has been open. Well folks, it is open again. As most of you know, we had a fire in February and have been doing repairs ever since. I can't begin to tell you how big a pain in the rear it was. A small fire in the area of a freezer and air conditioning air handler and everything had to be replaced. We removed and replaced all the drywall, insulation and air conditioning ducts. We repainted the entire cafe and now it is better than ever. Aziz and Deb, the owners (Aziz is the master chef and Deb is the Sergeant Major of the dining area), are very pleased with the repairs. We have replaced the chairs, in and out, added a walk-in refrigerator/freezer and added an additional six-burner stove. The new menu now includes "Eden Goulash". It is a vegetarian dish made with soy and vegetables. Hot Damn! Over Fantasy Fest weekend the café will start brunch on the weekends and hopefully go full time with it before the first of the year. I highly recommend the mushroom soufflé, absolutely the best! Save some room for the sorbet of the day. Aziz is running a 'locals' special in the off-season and I think it is the best value on the island. It comes with an appetizer (soup or salad), an entrée and desert. Everything is homemade. The café was just written up in Solaris Hill, a local newspaper on the island, check it out.

Sweet William, my beloved manager, recently had a 'brain fart'. He has created a map of the Eden House. It will show the layout of the property, where the rooms are located and most anything else that pops into his head. This is for the folks new to the Eden House, the 'regulars' already know there way around (the Eden House).

Yep, I'm doing another fundraiser. I am raising money for the Key West girls' volleyball team, of which my daughter is a member. As you know, schools have cut way back on their sports programs and most of the funds must come from outside sources. Two-thirds of Key West's games are in the Miami area. Schools don't want to send a team 150 miles to play an hour of volleyball, hence another fundraiser to help pay Key West team's travel expenses. I am giving away a four day/three-night stay at the Eden House in a deluxe room (see Bill's new map for rooms 203, 204,205, 205, 206,114, 115, 116, 500), dinner at Café Med, lunch at one of my favorite cafes, bicycles, champagne with etched flutes (that says, "Eden House - Key West"), Eden House monogrammed towels with YOUR names, a sunset sail and suntan lotion of course. I will be giving this identical prize once a month, for three months. If your name isn't drawn at the first drawing, it stays in the pot for the next drawing (you can only win once). The tickets are ONLY $10 each. Great deal, huh? So go to the fundraiser page. It is for a good cause, write it off on your taxes and feel good about yourself and who knows, you might win. I hope you do and I will buy you a drink at 'happy hour'. (Your odds should be very good; I can't imagine that we will sell over a couple hundred tickets)

We have been getting more and more requests from guests that want to have their names monogrammed on the Eden House pool towels from the giftshop. In the past we had to mail the towels to the guest. Now we are able to get your name or names monogrammed within a couple of days. Let us know if this is something you are interested in when you purchase the towel and we'll get right on it.

It has just come to my attention that there is an interesting way to get between Key West and Miami or Ft. Lauderdale. Keys Shuttle (15 person van carrying a maximum of 7 passengers) runs every day of the week, five times a day going to and from Key West. They will pick you up and drop you off wherever you want to go (hopefully the Eden House). The cost is $70 or $80 (Miami & Ft. Lauderdale) a person or $112 & $128 per couple. The trip takes 3 hours and 45 minutes from Miami and 4 hours and 15 minutes from Ft. Lauderdale. It you can't get a flight into Key West, why not read a book, nap or just watch the view and have them drop you at the Eden House.

Bill is putting together an Eden House photo album for our web page. If you have any photos that you think might make the cut, send them to us, e-mail or snail mail. Bill keeps reading the manuals and the web page keeps growing. If we ever get him a digital camera, there will be no stopping him.

Eden House was recently written up in the 'New Times' View 02 Best of Broward*Palm Beach' as being the "best weekend getaway" We have added links to a couple articles in the Discerning Traveler from a few years back. The Discerning Traveler is an upscale travel newsletter by David & Linda Glickstein, great publication and very nice folks. Check it out. We have been a member of Superior Small Lodging since 1995 and just added a link to heir web site. It's a good place to check out a small inn and see if they 'cut the mustard', so to speak. The inn or guesthouse must be inspected yearly and it is a pretty 'picky'inspection. The inspector will check behind the toilet for dirt, he will get in the shower and check out the floor and he always pulls back a few bedspreads and checks the sheets.

I have made some additions and revisions to our 'recommendations' page. A little tweaking here and there to make your visit to Eden House and Key West all that it can be. Dan a regular from Ellicottville, New York, has been suggesting for years that Eden House get an acoustic guitar for guest to use. On Dan's last visit he was nice enough to help us pick out a guitar and it is in the gift shop, enjoy. Dan helped break it in on his last visit. His picture can be found on the photo gallery. I am working on getting some large beach towels for the pool area. I know some of our regular guests are going to miss the petite pool towels with the green stripes. I guess it's about time, huh?

We are working on moving one of the web cams by the pool to the front of the hotel for the 'Masquerade March'. This parade takes place on Friday, October 25th and passes in front of the Eden House shortly after 5 PM. After 'happy hour' we (staff & guests) hurry to the front of the hotel and frantically pump beers. Within a half an hour or so, nearly one thousand crazies will come parading down Fleming Street. This parade starts at the cemetery and moves along two separate routes. Each group will stop at twenty plus locations for a free drink on this journey. The two groups converge at a designated location and party into the night. If all goes well and Bill can pull it off, you can view the parade from our web page.

As you know, Bob has retired to his houseboat and is taking reservations for us. You will probably get him when you call on our toll free line. We have a whole new crew at the front desk. Our beloved Colleen is our new front desk manager. Sasha & Courtney are currently in training, so be nice to them! Chad & Tony are our new night managers. A great staff, I am sure you will like them all. In keeping with the Eden House tradition, they are all over qualified and we are working with them to make the job appear more difficult.

Kevin, Bill's brother and our former night manager was killed in an auto accident in Texas on October 2nd. You might remember him as the short, always ready to enter into conversation, night person. He was one of the nicest people you could ever want to meet; he couldn't do enough for you. We're all going to miss him.

Skippy (the name has been changed to protect the innocent), in September, rode his Harley from the Eden House to Winston Salem, NC in 17 hours. He thinks that might qualify for the 'iron butt' ride? In my opinion, he qualifies for the 'iron head' ride. Skippy, next time, pull over and get a massage. I'm sure those cheeks could have used it.

This past summer, while in Asheville, NC, I picked up a CD by Jr. James and the Late Guitar, It's called second of nine. I would call it funkified music and highly recommend it. I would assume Jr. James is from that part of the country.

It has been said that key west is like a bowl of granola, "what's not fruits and nuts, is flakes".

-- Mike & Eden House Staff

Stay tuned for updates.
On another note. Don't forget that tofu and ginger in your diet.
Stay in touch, we will.
-- Mike Eden and the gang