This is the story of two friends, both mothers of two-year-old tots. One lives in Ripon. The other lives in Lathrop.
On the way back to family court which was once the JC Penney building I walked the downtown streets of Stockton, getting ready to pick up a dear friend who was there on a summons.
Taking a walk, a bike ride or a healthy jog around the Ripon community can be a pleasant experience.
When Vicente Sconza opened a candy kitchen in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1939 as an Italian immigrant he was living the sweetest life possible.
Owner Eddi Marie Julian chuckles every time the sign displayed outside of her Downtown Modesto candy shop causes a passerby to do a double take.
What's sweeter than Toot Sweets?
Nestled amidst the dairies and orchards that line W. Main Street between Turlock and Patterson is the Farmers' Den. Just as the name implies, the restaurant is a gathering place for the area's farmers and ranchers - and on weekends also for those traveling to Interstate 5 or State Route 156.
Sometimes it takes an out of towner to make you realize that some of the finest places to dine are in your own backyard.
Hangouts are those places where friends hang out with friends and Ripon has many from the old Odds Fellow Hall to the ice cream shop, a favorite for school children walking home from school.
TRACY – Mario Figueroa had the mushroom burger.
WALNUT GROVE - A touch of Italy served with a romantic Sunday brunch awaits those venturing into heart of the Delta at the Grand Island Mansion.
Love is in the air with the "Love You Baby Lunch" on Friday, Feb. 13, made possible by the Downtown Stockton Alliance.
With Valentine's Day approaching, there's one thing the flower buyer shouldn't forget.
MODESTO - It doesn't matter if you think that Valentine's Day was created to sell greeting cards (it was).
Manteca is known as the Family City, and Ripon the Almond Capital of California. They are also communities that have plenty to offer for the romantic at heart.
As a shy, introverted little girl, scared of her own shadow, Jolynda Lyon grew up feeling as if it wasn't safe to express her thoughts and feelings for fear of being judged or rejected but then she committed her heart to God and things began to change.
Although this year marks the first time that Backstage Academy of Dance students have competed in the Rainbow National Dance Competition in Sacramento, audience members probably could not have guessed as the dancers stole the spotlight and secured a number of awards.
Dance is alive and kicking in the 209.
SONORA – The Bureau of Reclamation is offering summer interpretive programs and activities at New Melones Lake, located in Calaveras County.
Redwoods in California's coastal mountains get more of the glory including being the official state tree but they are babes and petite in terms of age and girth compared to their giant sequoia cousins in the Sierra.
ARNOLD - Three miles north of Arnold off Highway 4, the colossal trees of Calaveras Big Trees State Park stand in quiet testimony to prehistoric times.
People who think that being a stay-at-home mom is not considered a job obviously have never met Jennifer Gonzales.
One set of great grandparents stands tall in their family for giving their all to a pair of great grandsons.
Rachel Castillo and her husband were well on their way to an empty nest.
She's a mother but she also fills the role of the father.
Hob Nob's renowned Casper hot dog comes with mustard, relish and onions, "and anything else you want to put on it," quipped owner Rick Atwell.
About a year ago, I took my son to DAD's Hot Dogs to experience a real Stockton treat.
Just ask anyone in Turlock where they can find the best hotdog in the 209 and odds are they'll say Main Street Footers.
It's sacrilegious to even think that there is good news in the ongoing severe drought plaguing the Golden State. Yet, apparently, there's a bit of good in this bad situation of historic proportions. More appropriately perhaps, just a bit of silver lining.
The lawn in the front and back yards of Tom and Rita Canales home in Manteca was, at one time, their pride and joy. But in the face of the ongoing drought that has prompted Governor Jerry Brown to put California on a state of emergency, the couple decided to do their part in the statewide water-conservation. They ripped out their lawns and, in their place, they now have drought-resistant plants in addition to utilizing non-plant garden accessories.