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Literary Excursions Launches with Steinbeck Tour

abstract:Have you ever wanted to travel to the places where your favorite authors lived, wrote and immortalized? Have you wanted to experience the culture, taste the food, drink the wines and learn about the history of the places infused in your mind from those novels? Why not throw in a few lectures by academics and experts in the company of friends? Literary Excursions launches our first trip... to Steinbeck Country, Salinas and Monterey California this fall. As a trustee of the Vancouver Public Library Foundation concerned with bringing people together in the spirit of celebrating authors we hope to inspire people to discover and support their local libraries. Join LE founders, Paula Shackleton and Yasmin Ker (and a host of other fun people) Sept 28-Oct 1, 2012. Booking deadline is June 10th. Spaces are limited. Contact our booking personnel at HSK Travel Specialists: + 1 604 921-0012 extension 2.

John Steinbeck is one of America's iconic authors. Winner of numerous literary prizes including the Pulitzer Prize, the Nobel Prize in 1963 for his body of work that includes: Cannery Row, Of Mice and Men, East of Eden, Tortilla Flats, The Pearl, The Winter of Our Discontent, The Red Pony among others. His books have left an indelible mark on our view of the Depression years and family sagas of good and evil. The film adaptations by luminary Directors and Producers: John Ford, Elia Kazan, Alfred Hitchock, Darryl Zanuck, with actors James Dean, Henry Fonda, Marlon Brando, Jayne Mansfield, Spencer Tracy and more add to the legacy. His friendship with mentor and Marine Biologist Ed Ricketts is well represented in The Log of the Sea of Cortez. John was married three times and had two sons, Tom and John, by his second wife. He was an inveterate drinker and smoker. He died at the age of 66 of a heart attack. His ashes are interred in the family grave in the Salinas cemetery.

Here are more details of the trip...


May 25, 2012

Our 4-Day Itinerary

Friday, Sept 28: Dpt Vancouver, Air Canada Flt 560 9:15 am
Arrive San Francisco 11:30
Shuttle depart to Monterey Bay 12:00
Check-in Monterey Bay Hotel 13:00
Free time – Optional Kayak in Bay
Group Dinner, books & speaker 19:00-21:00

Saturday, Sept 29: Included breakfast 7-9:00
Tour bus to Salinas, Red Pony stop 10-12:00
Steinbeck Museum tour & lunch 12-14:00
Return to Hotel; Free time 15:00
“Taste of Monterey” wine tasting venue 17:00-19:00
Your own dinner arrangements (list provided) 19:00

Sunday Sept 30: Included breakfast 7-9:00
Stroll through historic Cannery Row 11-13:00
Free time (activity to be determined) 15-17:00
Monterey Aquarium, tour, dinner 18-21:00

Monday, Oct 1: Included breakfast 7-9:00
Power Walk 10:00
Checkout 13:00
Shuttle departs for San Francisco Airport 13:30
Dpt San Francisco, Air Canada Flt 5442 15:30
Arrive Vancouver 17:30

Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa

The Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa is centrally located on the waterfront in Monterey & within walking distance to historic sites, shops and the Aquarium. This turn-of-the-century architectural landmark is our launch point to the area. We have reserved inland view rooms as a basic start. If you wish to upgrade, let us know at booking for best availability.

The Monterey Aquarium

The Monterey Bay Aquarium was endowed with a personal gift from David and Lucile Packard with the vision it would be a self-supporting entity. Initial construction cost $55M. Admission fees, special events, and membership dues cover operating costs. No government funding is involved except for occasional grants to support scientific study. There are three institutions: the foundation, an independent research institute and the support services to manage the property. There are 420 employees and 1270 volunteers. They have 3 research vessels. The jellyfish, Great White Shark, giant kelp forest and sea otter tanks are popular exhibits. We will enjoy a private tour of the facility followed by dinner.

The Steinbeck Museum

The coach trip to Salinas passes fields of artichokes and strawberries. We stop at the farm where The Red Pony was inspired. A talk by Susan Shillinglaw, PhD from San Jose University, who writes the foreword to several of Steinbeck novels in the Penguin editions, is our guide. She is a delightful speaker who brings the man, his works and the impact they hold together on us all.

Monterey Wine Country

Monterey boasts 175 unique vineyards located mostly within a 90 mile radius. Check out what makes Monerey distinct from any other wine county at Three regions: Monterey & Carmel by the Sea, Carmel Valley and the River Road wineries grow chardonnays and pinots in distinct ways.

Chardonnays: "Chardonnay grown in Monterey County is distinctive and can be picked out of any blind tasting by its signature trait of tropical flavors and/or stone fruit flavors. The intensity of fruit, directed with winemaking preference for style, balanced with malolactic fermentation, produce wines that are exceptionally rich in flavor and deep in structure. Clonal selection flavors, malolactic fermentation, oak profiling and a layer of acidity exhibit themselves so that harmony is achieved throughout the tasting experience.

In comparison to the wines of other growing regions, Monterey Chardonnay will be exhibit much more developed fruit than a European style due to the extended growing season provided by the Blue Grand Canyon. In contrast to Chardonnays grown in new world regions, Monterey Chardonnay will generally be more layered in flavors and subtle in oak."

Pinot Noirs: "The defining characteristic of Monterey Pinot Noir is balance. Fruit flavors, structure and minerality all exhibit themselves so that no single element is deemed more important than another. The grapes are grown, picked on flavor and barrel aged with this concept in mind. Typical Monterey Pinot Noir is made from a blend of clonal selections that add interest and complexity to the wine. Each wine maker follows their instinct and personal preferences to craft a distinctive flavor profile and style for their brand that satisfies their true belief in how Pinot Noir is to be enjoyed and what the grapes and harvest year have offered. In comparison to the wines of other growing regions, Monterey Pinot Noir will be more fruit forward than a European style due to the longer growing season provided by the Blue Grand Canyon. In contrast to Pinot Noirs grown in new world regions, Monterey Pinot Noir will be more balanced, layered in flavors and subtle in palette. Monterey Pinot Noir should never be mistaken for Merlot, Cabernets or Zinfandels. It will always be defined by the Pinot Noir grape and what the Monterey growing region allows."

The Vancouver Public Library Foundation

"Libraries change lives." In this day and age of rapidly changing technology, shifting demographics and challenging financial times the importance of libraries as a cultural/civic resource has never been greater. VPL



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