And so on to Merced, CA, our stepping stone to Yosemite. We decided to spend the night at a Quality Inn , I believe. It was the first and so far only time we encountered the 'hidden' side of America. There were many 'workers' staying there -- as described in Nickel and Dimed. Our room was ok, but had seen better days. The setting was great -- around a courtyard, with palm trees and inviting swimming pool. But at breakfast the next day there were several people showing up, grabbing coffee and something to eat and then shuffling off to their rooms. The evening before the staff that greeted us was friendly and very helpful. However, the next morning there was one person on duty who spoke very little English and who was not able to help me when I inquired about a special deal some hotels, including the Quality Inn were offering to people who stayed in their establishments. As we were going to spending several nights on the road I was interested in any deals we might me able to get.
We did discover Marie Callender's Restaurants and enjoyed our meals there very much indeed! But wow, are we amazed to discover how expensive wine is in restaurants! We've taken to buying a bottle in the supermarket and chilling my white while travelling for a drink in our rooms before we go out. Anyway, we enjoyed our steak dinners. My salad was excellent, the vegetables were perfectly prepared -- and fresh! Though dessert was tempting, we were full and very satisfied and happy to receive a book listing all the restaurants!
Back to our hotel, a good night's sleep and after a cup of tea, we were on our way to Yosemite.