John Steinbeck’s Monterey is no more. Not even a real trace. Cannery Row is now a clean, upscale place . Pretty, pricey motels and shops provide no excitement , no thrill. It is a larger town than we imagined, with a distinct upper middle class feel. For some reason, despite the natural beauty of the harbor and the gentle hills, Monterey feels , well, boring. The main street does boast a real cafe though: the Plume Cafe . And, there is a Trader Joe’s downtown in the same small plaza as Peet’s Coffee. Up through the alley is a charming French bakery with delectable treats. Having a post office a few steps away is a plus too.
Arriving near dusk , we found it difficult to find the street with all the motels. However, we did trust our instincts enough to ask a security guard on the wharf, near Cannery Row, for directions. He was surprisingly kind and helpful. He suggested we just park and sleep on the wharf. He said he would watch over us. As well, this wonderful young man even made sure to open the restroom. How lucky we were to sleep so close to the water and awaken to a lovely, expansive view with seals singing in that ineffable way of theirs!
The kindness of strangers is not just an old fashioned truth. Trust and lack of fear go together well and the pay off is always more than expected. This is a truth that repeats the more we travel.
Next morning: Jaimie hooping in our temporary “front yard”