In contrast to her indeterminate and unstable attitude toward the adults in her life, Sal enjoys a reliable and comfortable relationship with her grandparents. Her grandparents listen to Sal's story wholeheartedly and intermingle bits of their own memories with Sal's retelling. Unlike the Winterbottoms, they take risks and act unconventionally and spontaneously. Unlike her father or her mother, they have not betrayed Sal in any way. To some extent, Sal actually parents them, worrying about how quickly they are progressing across the country and secretly convinced that she is traveling with them to keep them from getting into trouble, whereas her grandparents act like children, wanting to stop and linger at all the attractions that catch their eyes. Sal's grandparents aid her in her quest to untangle her past and better understand herself.