San Luis Obispo to Monterey

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The day started cool and damp in San Luis Obispo. Wiping the cars off was an exercise in futility because as soon as we started driving it started drizzling. We left at 9am, heading to our first destination, Salinas, and the National Steinbeck Center. Traffic was not too bad throughout the trip, although there was some construction and we had the added pleasure of close scrutiny by a CHP car.

Old downtown Salinas has a quaint Main Street. One end is less successful than the other, with many boarded up businesses, but the end near the National Steinbeck Center is much more vibrant with lots of newer buildings and small restaurants. We parked in an adjacent lot and then watched a short movie about Steinbeck’s life and then another one about the Salinas Valley. Then we took the self-guided tour, which has lots of interactive displays, clips from movies made of his books and bigger items like the camper he travelled in across the USA in “Travels with Charley.” His life was interesting with a start in Salinas and a finish after years in New York and a Nobel Prize and reporting in both World War II and Vietnam.

After our museum visit, we walked a block to the Golden Seafood Restaurant, run by a Salvadoran so with a combination of fish and chips and pupusas from El Salvador. We ate, retrieved the cars and took the back route into Seaside to check into the Embassy Suites. To our surprise, the whole place had been renovated since our last visit in 2016 and was much improved. We put up our feet for a while, waited for the Res to arrive and then made a quick visit to the Manager’s Reception before taking the 10 minute drive to Cannery Row and dinner at the Fish Hopper. They had a table for us inside, which we appreciated because it is much cooler up here than at home. Most of us ate pretty mundane, although excellent, dishes, while Doug attacked his Cioppino with gusto and Darlena had the Seafood Lovers Bloody Mary, a meal attached to a significant drink. Even the olives were stuffed with crabmeat. We left stuffed ourselves and headed to our welcome beds with a day well spent.

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Pics from Daryl & Rob

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