We had breakfast this morning with Jordan at a place called (I think) the Country Inn. It was very yummy. We finally left San Jose around 11 am and headed for Fresno.
We hadn’t been on Highway 101 for long when suddenly the traffic backed up. This was very surprising, heading in that direction at that time of day. A red Saturn in front of us momentarily peeked into the left shoulder, perhaps to see if he could pass the traffic by driving along the shoulder. Just at that moment, a California Highway Patrol cruiser came up the shoulder. The Saturn got back into the lane in time, but the cruiser paused briefly and said sternly to the guy driving the Saturn, “Don’t do that.” We were highly entertained by this.
The traffic cleared up just a few miles later (it was due to an accident, which we passed) and we were able to cruise after that. We passed through Gilroy, the garlic capital of the world, and indeed it smelled very strongly of garlic.
We stopped at Casa de Fruta, which is an important stop for all of us who drove during our childhoods from the Central Valley to the Bay Area. It’s on Pacheco Pass, Highway 152. Dave had never experienced it before, so I wanted him to see it. Plus I wanted to buy some fruit there. It’s hard to describe, other than to explain that Dave said it “has nothing on South Dakota” in terms of tackiness. It does have “Casa de Sweets”, “Casa de Wine”, “Casa de Choo-Choo” (the train), and “Casa de Diesel” (Dave’s favorite), among other delights. We didn’t spend a lot of time checking out all of the individual casas, but Dave did get a sense of the wonder that is Casa de Fruta.
The rest of the drive to Fresno was very smooth – Highway 152 through Los Banos, west across the Central Valley to Highway 99, then south to scenic Fresno. We got to my parents’ house around 2 pm, chilled with my mom for a while, had an early dinner, then went to watch my sister’s softball game (and play with my one-year-old nephew).
The most important part is that it was only 99 degrees when we arrived, which my mom asserts is significantly cooler than 100+. Apparently we brought the nice weather down with us from the north.