Sunday, October 05, 2008

Inspiration-by-the-Sea

Spent some time in Monterey and Carmel this weekend. That area is so picturesque; I'd forgotten why it's such a popular place. There was a stretch where, as a kid, my family would visit somewhat regularly but I hadn't spent quality time there in some years. The weather there this weekend was drizzly, cool, and just perfect--a nice antidote to the reeeediculous ongoing heat we get here.

One place we went to was the famed Monterey Bay Aquarium. The girls had a wonderful time and were exposed to things they don't get a chance to see very often, especially because we live inland. When I grew up in the Bay Area I remember going on field trips to Half Moon Bay every year for pumpkin-picking and to tide pools where a certain Mrs. Terwilliger would be our docent. It was a somewhat regular part of life. So it was good to have the girls be awed by touching starfish, and seeing the bay, and smelling the salty air. In addition, because it made financial sense to do so, we purchased member passes that will allow our whole family admission for the next year.

What a visitor can't escape on a trip to Monterey is the area's past. At a local museum, a Robinson Jeffers and John Steinbeck exhibit opened Saturday. Being in Monterey and seeing Steinbeck's influence on the place (and vice-versa) made me want to explore some of his work. With Monterey's weather, scenery, and industry, half of a great novel is already written (not to take anything away from Mr. Steinbeck). The place has a certain intrigue about it. So I picked up Cannery Row and am looking forward to giving it a good read-through, especially because we'll undoubtedly be making a few trips to Monterey over the course of the next year.
Perhaps with enough time spent over there, I'll work on my own great American novel. Something about a superhero teacher with impeccable character and biceps to match.

4 comments:

Ali Halsey said...

cannery row- one of the best books of all time. esp. if you've been to monterey. let me know what you think. we can have a discussion on goodreads!

Fong said...

yes, i'm eager to read it. in fact, i just saw the $84 boxed set of steinbeck's classics (which included cannery row) on amazon for $53, brand new. my birthday is a couple of months away *wink*

Anonymous said...

hey there mr. fong. i've read cannery row..and i thought it was awesome..hope you enjoy reading it! (i also read "the red pony" and "of mice and men") :)

Fong said...

that's cool! i'm impressed that high schoolers read more than i think they do and certainly more than i did in high school.

i'm actually thinking of returning cannery row and getting the john steinbeck centennial collection which includes cannery row, of mice and men, the grapes of wrath, east of eden, the pearl, and travels with charley (one i'd never heard of). I found the whole set on amazon.com for $52. it's $84 at borders. thanks for checking out the blog and come back often!