it's cool and foggy. i just came back from a ramble around the neighborhood. my last, since tomorrow bright and early i head for home. going to take the long way home down hwy 1 because i want to see the condors and turkey vultures (equally impressive in my books) soaring high on the thermal updrafts all along that 70 mile stretch of big sur coastline. have binoculars will travel!
toodling along the edge of the continent with the windows rolled down ain't bad either! a sunday drive and a good end to my trip.
some more pacific grove neighborhood shots. lots of the houses have little heritage society plaques with the name of the original owner and date it was built. the cottage i'm in is on a property with 2 other cottages. its most famous owner back in 1941 was john steinbeck. true story.
as soon as i saw it on vrbo when i started hunting for a place in pacific grove some months back i knew it was the place for me. after reading cannery row & sweet thursday many moons ago i made my first trek to pacific grove/monterey. the atmosphere of the place had a big impact on me. i always like to come through salinas on my way out to this peninsula. i passed an old white farm laborer bus on hwy 68 and thought of the grapes of wrath. and of course on this trip i read steinbeck's letters. if you're a fan you will LOVE his book of letters. it was here at the cottage. a rabbit hole i leaped down without giving it a second thought. maybe we who keep journals and records are especially moved by history and events – the people who've gone before us. it keeps us hungry for more. we want to know things. i wonder if you're like that too. i bet you are.
anyway, on this trip i learned (via the letters) of steinbeck's good friend, ed ricketts – doc from cannery row was based on E.R. i want to know more about their trip to the sea of cortez. i want to know more about ed and his salons at his lab on cannery row where men like joseph campbell, henry miller, and john cage would gather and drink and talk and toss around big ideas. i bought THIS book and can't wait for it to arrive. sigh.
the sun decided to make an appearance after all. i went along with it because it has been nice to read in the sun and seal watch. study flight patterns of the brown pelicans. nose around in tide pools. things like that.
it was also nice to throw open the windows of my little steinbeck cottage.
i've been getting a lot of questions lately about where i find my rentals. so in the interest of answering everyone at the same time… i usually start with VRBO and branch out from there. airbnb charges an additional fee so i only use them as a last resort. it's great fun to search for interesting places to rent. nothing more is required other than your persistence and willingness to conduct a little research. but oh what fun research it is! this place has been lovely. no one else has been in the other cottages otherwise i may have reached a different conclusion. privacy is important to me and i suspect it would be compromised if a family or loud couple rented the place next door.
wanna know what this historic house in roma texas, john steinbeck, and yours truly all have in common? if this post weren't reaching a war-and-peace length i'd let you know right now. but no can do. i have a book to read and a memory foam bed calling my name!
Binoculars, studying flight patterns of Brown Pelicans and appreciating the virtues of Turkey Vultures!!! These sound like symptoms of a serious affliction known as birding. Thread lightly. If you are familiar with Sibley, it may be too late.
I so enjoyed this post about an area in CA that is very dear to my heart. Having lived up and down the coast, I can tell you that Monterey area is the most captivating for me. I would live there in a heartbeat. Lovely pix as usual.
Mary Ann, you are so inspiring. I am always impressed that you don’t just travel to a place and sit there. You immerse yourself in it. In this case, I was impressed with your desire to learn more than just what’s obvious about Ed Ricketts. Your example makes me want to be better! 🙂
Dena Bliss says
Love these posts. New book for you– American Music by Jane Mendelsohn. I think you will like this. Dena
I’m heading to that neck of the woods on Tuesday for a week of rests, visits, and sights. I love reading work set in the area I’m visiting.
Susie LaFond says
enjoying your meander this Sunday evening and thinking I might just have to order that book, sounds like something I’d love I wish you could stay longer, i’ve enjoyed your wee getaway
donna, doni, lady d says
Haven’t been here for so long – good to see what you are up to. Most interesting as usual. Miss the ocean. Your photos are beautiful. xoDonna
Melinda Sohval says
as always , just lovely Mary Ann, and your long trek home gives me time to catch up on Vincent! drive safe..
Toni Brown says
Every year since the movie Cannery Row was released, my brothers, Dad, and I have had a Cannery Row Movie Night — usually at my Dad’s place … all of us bring something for noshing, and our adult beverage of choice. It’s crazy goodness and none of us tire of the movie, the story, the STORY of it! This movie is also the birthplace of my fascination with tiny living (Deborah Winger living in that pipe!) … I’ve just ordered the book of letters for us to circulate among ourselves – thanks for the tip/link! And my husband’s ancestors were among those involved in the times of the Oklahoma dustbowl — so Grapes of Wrath has a reverberation and reality for us, also. Steinbeck as a writer is among my favorites; never really occurred to me to read his letters, but I’ll now add those to my list! (Doc comes first, though!)
I love me a good rabbit hole-thank you MAM!
Do tell! I’ll look for your follow up post! What a beautiful, magical place, I’m going to read the rest of his books now, thanks for the inspiration!
As always, your photographs have given me a new way to think about documenting a trip. You capture the big picture, but perhaps more importantly, you go for the details. The unusual trim on a house. The plants growing in a crack of the sidewalk. A bench that sits (inviting you to rest and reflect) in a park. Those things and the details of the place you stay will serve to preserve those memories and what was special about it. I’m convinced that you will enjoy those pictures even more than the “iconic pictures” taken by every person who passes that way.
Your tips about finding special rental houses/cottages/cabins are right on the mark. My family has a gathering every other year. There are only 11 or 12 of us left so we can usually rent one place. My niece and I (the ones responsible for securing a place) start way ahead of time. We never wait until the last minute. That gives us plenty of time, which is what you need if you are looking for something the exceeds expectations and is truly special.
One year we found a place in North Georgia that was called “A River Runs Through It”. That house was big enough for all of us to have our own room. No one had to bunk on a fold out couch or get hung on a nail. For the introverts in the family, it is mandatory for them to have a place of retreat when “togetherness” gets to be too much. That house had a stream that ran directly UNDER the house and the large family room ran like a bridge from one section of the house to the other. When you were in that room, you could walk over to sliding glass doors on either side that looked out on the stream flowing down below. I will never forget the expression on everyone’s face when they entered that amazing room with its massive fireplace, comfortable couches, pool table and a river flowing by — just a few feet below the place we were standing!
I encourage anyone who desires a magical place to get online and start checking out what you can find when you type in the word vacation rentals….there are some great spaces out there. You just have to look.
Thanks, as always, Mary Ann. You inspire in so many ways!
When we lived in Fresno, we escaped to Pacific Grove and Carmel whenever we could. Hubby’s boss had a cottage in Carmel he lent us a few times. One of my favorite places on earth.
I’m spending my Sunday morning thinking about/being jealous of the absolutely wonderful sabbatical you have had. I want to you know that I am now beyond jealous and have moved into altogether new territories of covetousness!!! What fantastic adventures you have had.
susan w says
I’m curious as to what tipped you to Pacific Grove? Steinbeck originally or recommendation? I noticed that the rental comes w Monterey Bay Aquarium tickets. Did you go?
Once again you leave with a tease. And how did you tip to Roma, TX & Steinbeck from PG? I love watching your mind/heart work.
Reading the Amazon description of your incoming book was inviting. I learned a new word – littoral – and had to look up Ellwood Marshall and James Fitzgerald. The paths we meander through the crannies of the Interweb.
Holly Hudson says
hey, I was in that quaint town on Sun., Oct. 13….were there a lot of Monarch Butterflies? They winter in Pacific Grove. Also that lovely town was a summer resort town for some seriously strict Methodists-Episcopalians….people were not allowed to have curtain on their windows….lights out early….it was a dry town until 1960’s or 1970’s.
I know you love to collect sea water on your travels….I hunt for sea glass & found plenty in Monterey. After my visit, I found out that south of Monterey is Glass Beach, where it is even easier to find sea glass at low tide. So another trip must be planned…..for the future.
love the part containing a memoryfoambed, can´t live without mine. Got to read Steinbeck again, memoryloss in that region. Thnx MAM