Monday, August 15, 2011

Trip Report: Fresno!!!

A couple of weeks ago The Wife and I were watching the Giants lose again and they mentioned calling up someone from the Fresno Grizzlies and she said "We should go to a Fresno Grizzlies game sometime" and because we are People of Action and not just Big Talkers, on Saturday we found ourselves in a car driving to Fresno.

One of The Wife's work friends is from Fresno and I guess knows people associated with the team so we got tickets in what I assume is like Club Level here at AT&T Park and got some concessions vouchers and stuff like that. That's all nice, but the greatest gift we got was the hotel he recommended: The Picadilly Inn Shaw. I shall explain in just a moment.

Fresno is flat as a pool table and searingly hot, which felt great after the Non-Summer of High 50's in SF. When we got there it was 104. As far as I can tell, Fresno is comprised mainly of strip malls, chain restaurants, and chain everything else. So I guess it's like most of the rest of the country.

ANYWAY though. The Picadilly Inn! I don't know where to start. It was obviously built circa 1972 and NOTHING HAS CHANGED SINCE THEN. It is like visiting the set of a movie that's set in a hotel in 1972. I mean, look at our room!

That picture actually makes it look creepier than it was, which is sort of unbelievable. But it really did have that trapped-in-70s-amber vibe.

Anyway, our room was on the second floor and overlooked this garden where they were setting up for a wedding. We were kind of absently watching through the window when The Wife started to notice something. "I think there's 2 brides," she said.


So they're setting up and we decide to hit the bar up for a drink and guess what? THERE'S SOME KIND OF RODEO CONVENTION at the SAME FUCKING HOTEL and the bar looks like a slightly spiffier Deadwood. I mean, all they needed was a player piano and a bartender with a handlebar mustache and those arm garter things.

On the way there, we pass one of those little signs that tell you where things are in the hotel and it said something like "Congratulations Roxanna and Noemi"!!!! AWESOME!!! I mean, here we are being all Too Cool For School from San Francisco and we walk right into a Lesbian Wedding in Fresno. Fresno! I misjudged you and feel bad now!

We got the drinks to go and hustled back to the room to watch the wedding. I can report that both brides wore white. They looked amazing and happy. CONGRATULATIONS, ROXANNA AND NOEMI!!!

Then we went to the baseball game. The stadium is in Downtown Fresno which has obviously seen better days. Apart from the people going to the game, downtown was populated exclusively by homeless people. We walked through this pedestrian mall thing from the parking garage to the ballpark. It had obviously been an effort to get people hanging around downtown but didn't work. As we passed one older homeless lady, she greeted us by saying "Suck it, bitch." AND A FINE GOOD EVENING TO YOU, MA'AM! Anyway, nothing you can't get anywhere in SF.

The park was really nice and obviously recently built. It was a delight to sit outside at night and watch a baseball game in shorts and a t-shirt. It was 90 degrees at 8:30 p.m.

I don't have much to say about the game. Barry Zito - remember him? - started for the Grizzlies and was doing OK until he sprained something and limped off the field. The other Grizzlies pitchers weren't very good. They lost.

The next day we drove home. This was uneventful except for a stop at the Carl's Jr. in Atwater, California. HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS I have never seen a bigger collection of weirdos and freaks than at the Carl's Jr. in Atwater, California.

The Atwater Carl's Jr. has 3 Yelp reviews! If I were a jackass enough to post Yelp reviews, here's what mine would say:

"I'm not sure who was more impressive, the Charles Manson clone with a neckbeard and prison tattoos who stared malevolently at my wife the whole time we were there or the Tweaker Family featuring the kid was unusual facial hair and a topknot ponytail and Morbidly Obese Uncle with a definite Lou Albano vibe, but the crowd at this Carl's Jr. made the backwoods family from 'Deliverance' look like the Algonquin Round Table.

"Also, I'm not 100% sure if anyone here has ever assembled a hamburger correctly, but it usually involves something more than randomly shoving a meat patty and a bun and some wilted lettuce into a paper sleeve.

"It did have a bathroom, though, and also a parking space in front of the door which facilitated our very rapid exit."

So, yeah. Fresno. There you go.


GG said...

Fres-YES, as my former classmate from Fresno calls it. But seriously, you went to Fresno to watch a baseball game? If you had said you went to Bemidji, Minnesota to check out the giant statue of Paul Bunyan and his Big Blue Ox, I would have been able to identify on about an equal level.

TK said...

You're the second person to have that reaction. Seriously, people, it's FRESNO, not Mars. It was like a 3-hour drive. And we like baseball!

No interest in the giant statue of Paul Bunyan, though.

GG said...

OK, OK, you have a point. :)

But the Big Blue Ox, though -- amiright?

sfmike said...

I stayed at the Fresno Picadilly Inn Shaw back in the late 1990s while working a bizarre, hideous employee appreciation event for Wells Fargo Bank as an A/V graphics person. Glad to see and hear that it continues to remain Seriously Stuck in Time.

And anybody who stops for fast food in Atwater gets what they deserve.

Frances said...

You get to save plenty of time if you go to several places using your own car. Check out what used cars Fresno dealers have to offer today.