STOCKTON – Take away all of Stockton's ills – the foreclosures, a homicide rate that surpasses that of Chicago and a city filing for bankruptcy – and you end up with a bustling and vibrant town with a lot to offer.
PINNACLES NATIONAL MONUMENT - A puzzle to California's vast and awe-inspiring geology smorgasbord is just a few hours away.
MODESTO - In 1912, the city of Modesto held a contest to pick the slogan that would adorn an arch spanning the entrance to the Valley town. "Nobody's Got Modesto's Goat" was the winner. I'm sure residents of today's seat of Stanislaus County are extremely grateful that prior city leaders decided to go with the second place winner - "Water, Wealth, Contentment, Health."
Stanislaus County is the third richest agricultural land in the nation, with farmers growing over 250 different kinds of crops from almonds to zucchini and melons. This fertile Valley was settled long ago by farmers, but has since grown not only in agriculture but also in culture and community.
STOCKTON - The Port City gets a bad rap, no doubt.
Canada geese in such great numbers they practically blacken the sky when they fly by, or get ready to make a stop-over at the open fields.
LODI - Sunlight peeks through the lush landscape at Wine and Roses Resort and Spa as hummingbirds dart between Deodar pine trees and macaws squawk in the distance.
Delicato Vineyards in Manteca has the only tasting room in the South County area, while there is an abundance to choose from in the Lodi, Collegeville and Acampo areas to the north.
Whoever said that you had to go to Napa to get the true wine experience?
RIPON – Strings of custom built homes. Country Club neighborhoods. Scenic rural drives.
TRACY - The streets of Tracy will be transformed into Bean Town USA for an expected weekend crowd of 50,000 people on Saturday, Sept. 8, and Sunday Sept. 9, for the 26th annual Dry Bean Festival, hosted by the Tracy Chamber of Commerce.
STOCKTON – Gary Coit knows bows.
Adult club for competitive and rec swimmers
You don't have to be a member of a cycling club to enjoy this outdoor activity.
It's what dreams are made of - landing the winning kick as time expires to win a medal on the world's biggest stage, the Olympic Games. For first-time Olympian Terrence Jennings it wasn't a dream because he did just that in London, winning a bronze medal in taekwondo in the men's -68kg division.
So what are we doing for Thanksgiving?" my girlfriend asked.
It is nothing short of a miracle that 19-year-old Tyler Murphy
Not too long ago, Jason White and Lisa Perez took their road bikes out and took a spin along San Joaquin County's wine country region.
LOCKEFORD – It starts with the meats.
Although a majority of individuals only drive through Hilmar as a means to get to Interstate 5, the small community in Merced County has proven to be much more than a pit stop along the way.
KNIGHTS FERRY - It is a magical time along the Stanislaus River.
It's an eye-opening revelation of what Central Valley vets suffered in their Vietnam service where they felt they were braving their fears in combat for their country as they witnessed many of their comrades dropping to their deaths beside them.
On July 7 1944, Charles "Chuck" Walker vividly remembers being sent on a long-range bomber escort mission over Hungary. Just as the young pilot was focusing on driving off German Messerschmitt 109s, his plane was hit in the left engine. Mistakenly, Walker separated from his squadron, which left him weakly in the midst of a number of German aircrafts.
Private First Class John Burch Mooney, Jr. received a number of decorations during his time serving with the 35th Infantry Regiment during World War II, including an Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, a Philippine Liberation Ribbon with one bronze star, a Good Conduct Medal, and a World War II Victory Medal.
Paying it forward.
One of the best decisions Denise Johnson ever made was joining the military.
In the heart of the town that labels itself as the Gateway to Yosemite, aka Groveland, is a quaint cottage where you can relish being pampered by almost everything that is traditional English before you head out to the wilds. That place is Dori's Tea Cottage & Café at 18744 Main Street, which is also Highway 120. The famous
MODESTO – You need your porcelain. You need your finest china. And you absolutely need your tea.
ANGELS CAMP -Three miles north of Arnold off Highway 4, the colossal trees of Calaveras Big Trees State Park stand in quiet testimony to prehistoric times. These massive relics, which can reach a height of 325 feet and a diameter of 33 feet, are descended from trees that were standing when dinosaurs roamed Earth, and birds, mammals and flowering plants began to appear. Some of today's trees are thought to be as old as 2,000 years.
TURLOCK – With the spookiest holiday just around the corner, the city of Turlock has both children and canines covered with events including BARKtoberfest, a downtown trick-or-treating event, and Haunted Housing at California State University, Stanislaus.