Returning from the Monterey Peninsula, I opted to go straight inland this time. All I ever hear on the news when I’m down in the Monterey Area is crime dramas from Salinas. Yet there had to be more.
And I was pleasantly surprised!
The small tiny core of downtown Salinas was nice and tidy. The built environment was rich in architectural details. Regrettably I didn’t have too much time, but it looked like there were a number of nice eating (and drinking) establishments.
The main road runs right in to the National Steinbeck Center. Salinas was Steinbeck’s home town and a major influence on his writings (or so I have read.)
A historic Bank of America building is being given a new life as a giant antiques shop. Like many small towns, the people seemed particularly nice and had time for small talk, like the lady at the antiques shop. Photographically, I really like the glass in the window thing. I took a few other snaps inside the shop. One thing that freaked me out as I sorted my photos and looked a bit closer was that the military garb I had taken photos of had swastikas. I’m surprised and freaked out as to how many Americans have a fascination with the NAZI’s!
My wife Bridget had the good sense to have come up with her own plan for Spring Break this year. So I was “in charge” of plans for me and my daughter, Ella (better known as “Baby Genius”.)
Despite the perceived glitz and glamor of the life as a stock photographer, I’m pretty broke. So I opted for a road trip down California’s Central Coast for a budget trip in Monterey and Nipomo (near San Louis Obispo.) I’ve got some generous relatives that would have a nice place for us to stay.
Our first stop along the way was Monterey. Well, actually more precisely Pacific Grove. My step father is a docent at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and we get in for free if we want. I’ve been there so many times I often avoid the visit, but I was informed there’s a new Baja California exhibit. Baby Genius and I went and checked the new exhibit out along with a quick look at the Tentacles exhibit- she’s been fascinated by octopi since she was a little girl.
On our way down we stopped at San Miguel and I got a few good photos of the Mission. We made our way to Avila Beach– only to stop and use the restroom and call my sister Linda and let her know we were close. We stopped at the Avila Valley Barn and pet the animals and bought a berry pie to bring to Linda’s.
Aside from lots of sitting around and drinking up lots of her fancy coffee, the highlight of our trip was visiting the Dunes in nearby Oceano. We drove to a mobile home park and walked into the dunes nextdoor. Once over the first dune hill- it was amazing! All you could see is white sand. It reminded me of my rather limited experience with snow. Not only because of the sea of white, but because in the valleys of the dunes there’s almost no sound. It looked very much like a desert too, but the temperature was very mild.
But like all good things, our trip came to an end.