exploring up the west coast (part 2)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

And here is the promised second part to our wonderful vacation, driving up the California coastline. It was a fantastic trip! This little bit here was one of my favorite parts of the trip - it has been on my bucket list for some time! Once we decided we just wanted to drive north and see where we end up, I looked at a map and estimated where we'd be - right in the middle of the Salinas Valley.
You know what else is there? John Steinbeck's boyhood home, and the inspiration in some way behind every one of his novels. So of course we had to go to Salinas (the city) and explore the life of this amazing writer which we love so dearly. I think I particularly enjoy Steinbeck because of the biblical imagery in all of his writings, especially East of Eden. Oh, that is probably my favorite. If I recall correctly, East of Eden was probably the first real novel I picked up and read on my own in middle school - my dad liked to take us to the bookstore every so often growing up, and for some reason this is the book I picked up. It probably has something to do with the biblical imagery in the title alone - see further Genesis 4:16, where Cain attacks his brother Abel and is therefore driven out to a land east of the Garden of Eden. Marshall probably enjoys him more because of the agricultural aspect - he writes about real people and lives during a hard time in the Great Depression era, and knows a great deal about farming and making a living with it. You could see just how far each of his works had footing in the life of California agriculture just by walking through the museum - National Steinbeck Center - in Salinas, California.

I could spend hours in the atrium alone!

This giant Monopoly board game was the neatest thing - It definitely reminded me of Marshall's family who gets really, and I mean extremely, competitive when playing Monopoly. Imagine playing on a board this size! And a game centered around Steinbeck's novels, no less.

I loved this stack of books on the wall! Books galore!

The museum went through each of Steinbeck's novels and short stories.. This part was about East of Eden. I thought the old buggy was pretty neat - just how far technology of cars alone has come!

The lettuce fiasco from the novel, explained in great detail, was actually inspired in ways by something that happened in real life in the town.

This describes me perfectly - never enough books! This week I slimmed three bookcases down to only two in my office, and boy was that hard! Many of those I'm donating to this bring and take event our bible study is having on base coming up in a few weeks.

Letters and journals which John Steinbeck wrote. I didn't realize he went to Stanford!

Cain & Abel from Genesis - the inspiration or basis behind the Trask boys in East of Eden.

Most of his novels were made into movies.. so fun to see older/classic movie posters.

I still need to read Of Mice and Men! We have that one too, so once finals are done you know that's in my reading pile.

An ad for Texaco gas... Reminded me of home since those gas stations are everywhere!

The California coast! I definitely want to make it out to Baja while we are living out here.

I remember reading The Pearl in 7th grade English, but I didn't quite understand it then. I will have to read it again! We also had a diorama art project that I really enjoyed to go along with it, I remember coloring a bouncy ball white and black, half and half, to symbolize the good and bad influence of the pearl from the novel... Love getting crafty!

Books, books, and more books!

The Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded to John Steinbeck in 1962 for his epic writing. Namely, his realistic, sympathetic, and imaginative writing riddled with great social perception.

He also received a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964 for his writings!

We have this book and again, I have yet to read it - but am really excited to be able to soon! Travels with Charley - a man and his dog taking an epic all-American road trip. Terrific insight to different regions in this.

Love this quote!
"I nearly always write - just as I nearly always breathe."

The atrium of the National Steinbeck Center! Took this as we were headed out. Also, we just happened to make it to the museum on a free day - free admission! I forgot the reason, but we really lucked out on that! Fun little detour. We had a great time in Salinas and Monterey those few days! Also, there may be a part 3 to this road trip coming up, we'll see! Now for studying... getting ready for finals fast approaching.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing! You're making me want to do some traveling and discovering!


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