Saturday, June 7, 2008

East of Eden

After reading classics such as "Of Mice and Men" and "The Grapes of Wrath," I wanted to visit the Steinbeck National Center in Salinas. I didn't have high expectations of the museum, but I was very impressed and had a lot of fun.

The museum is very interactive, guests are welcome to touch all the exhibits and flash photography is allowed.

Salinas has two claims to fame. John Steinbeck is one, and farming is the other. The first room in the center is devoted to the farming industry and shows the process of how food starts as a seed and ends up on your table.

A tractor is on display. These small machines can haul a lot of produce at once.

There is a booth where you can create your own produce label. I wanted to call my product "Califia's Cauliflower" because I feel like those words flow, but that was too many letters.

Yummy, grapes.

I got a kick out of this custom Monopoly board.

If you took a little of each fruit and vegetable grown in Salinas, you could fill up an empty refrigerator. Imagine the delicious soup I can make from all these! I would just have to drive a few miles north for some Gilroy garlic.

That is why Salinas is called the "Salad Bowl of the World."

Next it was into the Steinbeck section.

A Dust Bowl family from "The Grapes of Wrath"

There is a section devoted to where Steinbeck grew up and lived. This is the coastal area, not far from his Pacific Grove home.

His bust in Cannery Row, the place he made famous in his novel of the same name.

At Cannery Row is Beach Bear & Co which is a fun store for bears (and other precious lovies.) They have a great variety of clothes and accessories for bears. There are many cute outfits. The shoes are so cute! Joane is so nice, very friendly. This store is worth the visit. When you go, tell them Califia sent you!

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