Venture to the Southern Golden Country in the Sierra foothills for a rewarding stay in one of the charming historic towns along scenic Highway 49.
It's a city with a small-town charm. And that's just scratching the surface when it comes to the mining of all the visual and historical – among many other things – attractions that draw visitors in droves to the city of Jackson nestled in the heart of the Mother Lode. The proof is in the numbers. While this quaint and quiet city in Amador County is home to just 4,300 residents, the number swells up to more than 15,000 on the weekends when the tourist traffic is at its busiest.
Columbia State Park just outside of Sonora is a gem of a tourist attraction with its stage plays in the Fallon House Theatre in addition to its Main Street "City Hotel" and restaurant, gold panning and an occasional stage coach ride.
The cruising excitement of past years continues to be an integral part of Manteca's history as three longtime members of the community recalled where they were in the 1940s to the 1960s and what they were doing.
MODESTO - The spirit of vintage cars and cruising is eternally captured in Modesto: the hometown of George Lucas and location where famous film American Graffitti was shot just over 40 years ago. While Lucas' famed film may not be in theaters anymore, locals keep the spirit of American Graffiti alive through the annual summertime American Graffiti Festival presented by the North Modesto Kiwanis Club.
If you squint your eyes you can see a little bit of Al Nunes in Paul Le Mat's character from American Graffiti.
RIPON – Commander Ernie Tyhurst of the Clinton McCausland Post 190 of the American Legion has a history of service to his community and to his country during his colorful lifetime. He joined the Legion four years ago and is in his second year in its leadership. He is now a life member.
RIPON – Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars' Post 1051 in Ripon, John Franscella, has served three tours aboard the U.S.S. Hancock assigned to the F-8 Fighter Squadron in the Gulf of Tonkin between 1968 and 1970.
While Memorial Day allows locals to take a moment to thank veterans for their service and sacrifice, several veteran organizations continue to contribute year-round to the community. From supporting sober graduate nights to hosting flag retirement ceremonies, veteran societies such as the American Legion support and further the goals of the community through their financial contributions.
LATHROP – Charles McGonegal is looking to boost membership at the Sharpe General Depot American Legion Post 632.
MANTECA – The briefcase sits on a ledge near the front window of the Village Sandwich Shoppe, open and overflowing with folders and paperwork.
The impact the American Legion has had on the lives of veterans – even those who don't know that the organization exists – is unquestioned.
When you visit the famous wine-growing region of Napa, perhaps there is no local attraction that captures the spirit of your journey better than a ride on the Napa Valley Wine Train. Hop on board this historic train and you'll chug your way through scenic vineyards to wine-lover's heaven.
Zombies are on the horizon for the Sierra Dinner train chugging out of its Oakdale station this summer. Also new to the long established attraction that featured a Murder Mystery and a Christmas Train is a Beer Train that is coming in mid-August.
The last time I rode aboard the ACE train was five years ago.
Christmas when Nellie Richetta was growing up was not exactly the kind that the Ingalls had in "Little House on a Prairie." Some elements of it were there though.
Yes, Eduardo – there is a Santa.
Every year for Christmas Arnita Montiel got the exact same gift.
Patricia Jimenez often drove along Lincoln Street in Stockton, passing many of the less fortunate in the area near the St. Mary's Interfaith Dining Room located directly underneath the Highway 4 crosstown freeway.
A favorite destination in the winter for a day or weekend playing in the snow along Highway 108 above Sonora is the family-owned and -operated Leland High Sierra Snow Play. The family likes to call their tourist attraction with a cozy Alpine feeling "the biggest and best snow play facility in the Sierra."
The best time to visit Yosemite Valley? It's now. Although the approach of spring in April usually means incredible waterfalls with relative sparse crowds, nothing beats winter for solitude on the valley floor. And with the storm that just passed by dumping plenty of snow, Yosemite Valley is a feast for the eyes with snow blanketing meadows, accenting trees, and softening the surrounding granite outcroppings.
The first big winter storm of the season is just a few degrees too warm to pepper the ski resorts closest to home with enough snow to open for the season.
You want to take the kids for a snow play date. Let's see, depending upon where the snow line is on any given day and how much of the white stuff is on the ground that is easily a two-hour one-way drive. That means traffic, driving in dangerous conditions, and dealing with anywhere from one to five kids inside a two-ton rolling box of steel. That winter family outing is starting to look less and less appealing. But you don't have to head up the mountain in search of snow fun. All you have to do is head ...
With the holiday season in full swing, blue donation barrels are popping up all over Turlock with the start of Turlock Together's collection efforts for families in need.
On Steve Parsons' desk you'll find paperwork that has each applicant assigned a number before it's catalogued and computerized.
Santa has his eye on the Hope Ministries and the Raymus House while garnering the support of Manteca churches and service clubs to add Christmas cheer to the non-profit's mission launched by the late developer Antone Raymus and his wife Marie 21 years ago.
Many people equate charity to financial donations. But individuals can be charitable with their time as well.
Royce Farms BBQ once again provided a generous donation to the Mary Graham Children's Center.
Donating is a popular way to show appreciation during the holiday season, but not every household has the funds to donate this year. In lieu of making a financial donation, a gift of time and service is just as valuable.
Statistically speaking, Americans are extremely generous. Consider the fact that in 2008, charitable giving in the United States exceeded $300 billion for the second year in a row -- despite the fact that many people in every part of the country are feeling the strains of recession and job loss.