Literary Travels with Lacee Low… California

John Steinbeck is from California and is one of my favorite authors. I read Of Mice and Men a thousand times and I would love to go to California and explore his legacy. For example, Steinbeck practically discovered Monterey, California—well, not really, but he made the city a well-known landmark in “Cannery Row”. You can visit Cannery Row (the street) and even visit Doc’s Marine Lab, set up by Edward Flanders Ricketts (“Doc” in “Cannery Row”). Tours are available. (Henry Miller also hung out there a lot.)

Robert Louis Stevenson (Treasure Island) also lived in Monterey (Steinbeck actually lived in Salinas, which is just next door). He lived at 530 Houston Street and you can visit—but beware, because people say it’s haunted!

Other literary figures from California include poet Robinson Jeffers, who built the Tor House, hidden away on a rocky knoll overlooking Carmel.

The Eugene O’Neill House (National Historic Site) is located in Danville, California. I don’t really know so much about him, other than the fact that he is a playwright who lived in pretty solid isolation at his Tao House, a 5100 square foot hillside home. He wrote The Iceman Cometh, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, and A Moon for the Misbegotten while he was living at Tao House.

Nearby is the John Muir National Historic Site, in Martinez. He was a writer and a naturalist from the 19th century.

Then, of course, there’s San Francisco, home of the beatniks. Timothy Leary and his posse hung out at the Golden Gate Park, where he coined the phrase “Turn on, tune in, drop out”, while introducing the widespread use of LSD. (I just read The Electric Acid Kool-Aid Test.)

That’s it for now…until next time!

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Affordable Theme Parks

When you’re on the road on a limited budget, the last thing you’re gonna do is drop $50-$70 for a few hours stop at an amusement park. And yet, stopping for the day (or for a few hours) at a theme park is sometimes exactly what you need to get that stiff sitting-in-the-car-for-too-long feeling out of you. A place where you can let loose and get all that pent up energy out.
Here are some reasonably priced theme parks in the country, $25 and less, where you and your kids, friends, parents, significant others, or whoever can go for a whirl without spending all your gas money. Prices are approximate for general admission and reflect the adult and children’s price, respectively. Some places charge more for special activities or rides.

Here are a few I came across in my searches. If you know of more, help out us struggling roadtrippers and post more affordable options!