We packed up and farewelled our digs for the last five days. We have loved San Francisco and will miss this place. We breakfasted out of our luggage and checked out of the Hilton Garden. The weather had deteriorated into drizzle again and it was cold after yesterday’s warm at six flags.
We set the GPS for Fresno and off we went. Being only a couple of hours away we would arrive early afternoon.
The drive up was lovely, lots of things to look at. While driving over a mountain range we saw a couple of wind turbines and as we came over the top we realised there were hundreds of them, it was amazing. They obviously have a thing with the renewal energy. Although there were hundreds of them they were quite small.
We had lunch at IHOP - international house of pancakes. This was one of the cheapest meals we have had so far and it was okay too. Not just pancakes, of course, but that is what we wanted (and waffles).
We arrived at our hotel - and checked in - unfortunately our room wasn't ready but they assured us it would only be a few minutes. It took a while but they gave us a free breakfast for the inconvenience. Nice can't complain about that. Off we went to our room, key in door - chain was on and we couldn't open the door - ah yeah because someone else was in that room - bit of a surprise for them and us.
Once to our actual room we relaxed. The room was okay, small but adequate for our one night. The hotel, the Radisson, has a huge atrium and is quite spectacular in a 1980s way. There is a fountain and a grand piano but it seems deserted. We are next to the convention centre so we presume that there are times it will pack out. There are over 500k people in Fresno but it is the centre of a huge agricultural area and here all the big agriculture is cooperatives and corporations who need somewhere to meet.
We had a swim in the pool and a dip in the hot tub. It was nice to relax for a few minutes.
For dinner we went to the Black Angus Steak House - totally awesome. And our hankering for veggies was sated as we could order broccoli and beans YAY. Even O’Regan when he was given the choice of fries or broccoli chose broccoli to the disbelief of the waiter.
The waiter, David, chatted to us and said he had just been to San Fran to the ball game (the one that prevented us getting a taxi back to our hotel the other night), we told him and he asked how we got home. He was horrified that we had caught the BART to Oakland. It wasn't so much the train but the stop we got off at - he said the place we had stayed (Emeryville) was a gem in an otherwise not so nice area. Sure glad I didn't know that before hand.
Fresno is a very pretty place but it is very obvious the extremes in how the economy isn’t working for everyone. Fresno is the hub of a number of freeways and every on-ramp has a guy with the cardboard sign. A little disturbing but no one else here seems to notice them.
Although there are a lot of homeless people here, it is very clean.
One night here in Fresno and tomorrow we go to Vegas.
Highlight of the day:
O’Regan – seeing the hundreds of wind turbines on the hills.
McKay – dinner at the Angus Steak House.
Rosie – first swim in the USA and having the first real veggies of the trip.
Angus – the San Joaquin Valley agriculture that we could see from the freeway.