MODESTO – There it was right there practically in his backyard.
MODESTO - When Melissa Besseling came to Central Catholic High School in 1996 as a mid-year replacement math teacher, she did not anticipate that she would become principal.
For as long as she can remember, Kathy Rich has been good with her hands.
RIPON – Ripon veterinarian Ann Scearce stops by once every four weeks for facials with aesthetician Edy Fowler.
Locals looking for a calming reprieve from the stress of daily life won't need to look far as The Spa of Turlock has all of the offerings of a quiet oasis.
Upon entering The Heavenly Spa in Modesto, clients may be surprised that the relaxing environment is actually a popular hotspot for locals.
LODI - One of the best spa getaways in the 209 just might be in Lodi.
Lexy Nicole pulls the microphone in.
Give the gift of music.
Want to learn the harmonica? The ukulele? Maybe some Spanish instruments? Dale's Guitar in downtown Turlock offers much more than its title indicates.
By VINCE REMBULAT
By GLENN KAHL
Joe Pellegrino was thinking small.
Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance is a daily ritual before classes begin in all of Manteca Unified School District classrooms. That patriotic mandate holds true for all grade levels, from kindergarten to high school.
It sounds like a restaurant.
Recessions have come and gone, and still Oscar Sarkes is sewing away.
For over 25 years, Oakdale resident Bruce Johnson has been working with custom made leatherwork and tools. Even though he recently made the decision to no longer focus on custom leather goods, his business, Bruce Johnson Leather Tools, still offers a wide array of modern and antique leather tools for experienced leatherworkers and novices alike.
Chimneysweepers aren't like Bert from Mary Poppins.
The world's largest "rock" isn't the Hope Diamond.
Ernie's Food & Spirits has built a reputation as one of the finest dining experiences in all the Central Valley, but the best seat in the house may not be in the building at all.
MODESTO – You don't have to be Abe Froman to get a table at Concetta.
Who says dining alfresco has to be pricey?
BIG OAK FLAT – There's no pot of gold at the end of the climb up winding Old Priest Grade in Tuolumne County.
RIPON – Every inch of the Canal Street Grille is spiced with its own charm and elegance, from the wine cellar to its formal dining room to the frosted glass.
Since 1980, El Jardin has been a favorite destination for patio dining and great Mexican cuisine in Turlock. Although diners can opt to eat inside, it is what is on the outside that attracts customers to El Jardin time and time again.
Finding fresh produce isn't hard in the 209.
Do you enjoy a challenge? What if that challenge also raises funds for an environmentally friendly cause? If you answered yes, then Tuolumne River Trust's Paddle to the Sea paddle-a-thon is for you.
STOCKTON – I've gotten to know the Calaveras River quite well over the years.
It's too bad the Mokelumne River is identified as an underutilized recreational resource with little public access.