- I need my wide brimmed hiking hat, caps just don't cut it.
-I like bottles over camelbaks.
-I'm never spinning in circles around some little town looking for a laundromat again.
-and I need a map.
A real map, like in the olden days. A borrowed, never updated, Garmin is a recipe for a feud, so I gently forced my husband to stop and get his wife a map. I'm sure he thought I was completely backward to want one because he brought me the "special" map with lots of cartoon pictures of tourist sites for children or something. It was like the "You are here" maps at Astroworld; only instead of pictures of The Bamboo Shoot ride, there were California highlights.
It's a good thing, too, because we decided then to make The Steinbeck House one of our Coastal destinations.
My husband and I wondered how much of the farmland was still owned by the same families and how much had changed for migrant workers since The Grapes of Wrath was published - besides the obvious.
John Cerney's larger than life field hands along the highway seemed to celebrate the same workers. It was on a farm in this very area the John worked jobs with some of the men whose stories inspired the characters of one of my husband's favorite books, Tortilla Flat.
Then there was the Steinbeck house itself. We really didn't spend much time there except to get a guide to all the sites that influenced his writings. You didn't really think I just knew all of this history on the man, did you? From Salinas, we headed to Monterey (Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday.)
and La Ida's Cafe next door.
We ate at The Monterey Canning Co, now a restaurant, where my son and daughter wore their first lobster bibs. Aw.
(Perkins Park, polaroid)
I am so glad my husband bought me the gas station kiddie map.