The joy of my husbands trip was made on our final day in northern California. Our breakfast consisted of farm fresh eggs, scrambled with wilted spinach, feta cheese, and roma tomatoes, all organic, and an assortment of bagels with jams and cream cheeses, and was shared with all the guests of the Pacific Grove Inn. We then headed out of Monterey and made our way to Salinas, the hometown of John Steinbeck. If you have ever read his novel, East of Eden, you will understand the way the town of Salinas is built, and the way it will look. As we entered, David said, "I have been here before!" referring to his time on reading the 700 pages. Salinas is a town surrounded by a valley. And it is beautiful. The original Steinbeck house still remains in Salinas, and is now a historical landmark that holds a gift shop and a restaurant, and offers tours and memorabilia of the house. When we arrived, we first went through the gift shop, browsing through books and merchandise.
In the back of the shop is the bed that Steinbeck was born in, and a locked hutch with first editions of all his writings.
We finished there, and went to the front of the house to have lunch. When we entered, my giddy husband signed the guestbook, and we were seated in the dining room under a picture of John Steinbeck as a young boy.
You can only imagine David’s excitement. We had a wonderful lunch, then toured a bit more of the house. They have scrapbooks with original photos of the family, and furniture that was original to the house. It was amazing to see. Time was slipping from our day, and we still had a museum to visit. We left and made our way to Main Street to visit the national John Steinbeck museum.
This was a place like no other. Original writings and letters written by Steinbeck, the original movie poster of east of Eden, starring James dean, the original camper truck used while he traveled the states writing travels with Charley, and so much more.
After leaving the museum, we had one last stop... John Steinbeck's final resting place. After spending our day in his hometown, it was only necessary that we pay our respects.
Our time in Salinas was up, and we slowly made our way to the car, and said goodbye to northern California. We decided to take a quicker route home, not the pacific coast highway, to get back to Orange County at an earlier hour. Little did we know, the way back home, though very different than a coastal view, would be just as magnificent. We drove through what seemed to be the dessert before winding up in Paso Robles, also known as wine country!!! It. Was. Amazing.
|one of the vineyards we passed through|
I would say we passed through 100 different wineries. At some point, we were driving through a valley that seemed to be 50 miles of straight highway, surrounded by a sight so wonderful I couldn't even put it in words. We simply pulled off the side of the road, got out of the car with the camera, and made our very own photo shoot.
The sun was setting, and we couldn't have hit this spot at a better moment.
By the time we made it home, we were beyond exhausted, and went to bed immediately. We spent our last day by the pool with family, and this was the day I received the news that my dads cancer had not spread. That very evening, just before dinner, a rainbow appeared in the sky, which I'm told is rare in California. It was a day of pure bliss!!!