Thanks to all who participated in our 2010 Sales Incentive Trip

After a winter spent digging out from record-breaking snowfalls, customers and dealers of Latham® Hi-Tech Seeds enjoyed heading south for a few days of warmth and relaxation. Nearly 80 Midwesterners traveled to Key West, Florida, from Feb. 7-10.

The trip began with “Cheeseburgers in Paradise” during a private Super Bowl party at the Hard Rock Café. The next day we toured Old Key West via trolleys with stops at Truman’s Little White House and the Hemingway House. As an avid reader, aspiring writer and fervent cat lover, I particularly enjoyed touring Hemingway’s house.

The legendary author’s presence can still be felt in his studio, which he built on the second floor of a carriage house. OnCharlie Chapline can just picture Hemingway penning his famous novels while his beloved cats nap in the sunlight. In fact, decedents of Hemingway’s unusual six-toed tomcat still roam freely around the grounds. Nearly half of the 60 cats that currently inhabit the grounds are polydactyl. All of the cats are named after famous people, upholding the tradition that Hemingway started. I couldn’t resist snapping this photo of “Charlie Chaplin.”

In addition to Hemingway’s cats, Key West is famous for its fowl. Chickens have roamed freely since the pioneer days and are now part of the Southernmost’s quirky charm. About 2,000 birds now inhabit an island that measures 2-by- 4 miles. I snapped this colorful photo as our group enjoyed lunch on Monday.

Tuesday was our “water day.” Some members Sunset Sailof our group got a very different view of Key West as they toured the area by jet ski. Others in our group enjoyed snorkeling, fishing or parasailing. During our free time, we enjoyed walking down the famous Duval Street, as well as soaking up the sun poolside and napping on the beach. That night we celebrated the sunset – yes, it’s an actual celebration in Key West, complete with a champagne toast – onboard a catamaran for a dinner cruise on our final evening.

With reluctance, Wednesday morning I packed my bags for our return flight to the frozen tundra. I didn’t enjoy walking through a two-foot drift to get inside our vehicle, but I was eager to be snug inside my home again. Thankfully, spring isn’t too far off now – at least that’s what I’m telling myself as our area braces for more snowfall!

Thanks again to everyone who participated. We’re looking forward to next year!