April is the month for green living. With Earth Day on April 22, the month is jam-packed with local festivals, volunteer opportunities and kid-friendly events to help mark the 43rd anniversary of the annual appreciation day for the planet.
Andrew and Jackson Brunn will tell you, "it's pretty easy being green. It's habit forming."
"Empaque su basura" reads the sweatshirt hanging in my closet.
LAKEPORT - Sometimes overlooked because of the state's spectacular Pacific coastline, California's fresh-water lakes offer plenty of getaway and vacation opportunities for the state's residents. One longtime favorite is Clear Lake, just a couple hours drive of the San Francisco Bay area.
Of all the food trends to take off during the last decade, taco trucks are perhaps the most popular form of fast food dining in the 209. The taco truck invasion has taken over Valley streets, giving local restaurants some serious competition.
STOCKTON - When it comes to taco trucks, my friend Kevin has his favorite.
JAMESTOWN - Table Mountain is one of the best-kept secrets for a hike that isn't far from home, isn't difficult, isn't crowded and offers a spectacular view of both snow-covered peaks, New Melones lake and the rolling foothills below.
PATTERSON - Looking for an authentic Mexican meal that isn't going to break the bank? Whether you have an appetite for chorizos (Mexican sausage), asada (beef), or even tripa (intestines), Patterson's local taco trucks can supply your needs for just pennies on the dollar.
STOCKTON - Nina Simangan looks over each of her orchids.
MODESTO - Folks looking for a hiking trail in the Central Valley have plenty of rural areas to choose from, and now have a more urban option also. The City of Modesto embarked on a new project designed to transform a piece of history into a physical fitness trail.
The daffodils are in bloom and the trees are budding as spring approaches for the 14th time since the Tidewater Bike Path replaced the former barren and weed-infested abandoned right-of-way of its namesake railroad.
PATTERSON - Heart-pumping climbs, dog-friendly paths and walks for the kids are some of the activities that Frank Raines Park has to offer local hikers.
The Calaveras River Bike Path also accommodates hikers and joggers.
It attracts millions of visitors every year, has served as a muse to some of the world's greatest artists and is known to inspire as much awe in the lifelong companion as it does in the first-time visitor.
From afar, Mount Diablo stares you right in the face.
The annual Stockton Delta Reflections Light Boat Parade has been canceled for this year.
The forecast for the Christmas season calls for snow and ice in Lathrop and unique traditions in Manteca such as a wild game feed all the way to Santa's Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops to the oldest running twilight holiday parade in the Northern San Joaquin Valley.
Tis the season for parades, festivals, and - of course - Santa Claus and for those looking to get on the nice list this year, Turlock and its surrounding communities have them covered when it comes to holiday events and parades.
The small-town feel of Ripon is no more apparent than with the advent of the Christmas season and the lighting of the festive trees at the Veterans' Museum Park and at the Mistlin Fountain at the 99 Freeways Highway 99 recognizing the Hospice Foundation.
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.