Upon entering Sushi Garden II in Turlock, customers are immediately greeted with the smiling faces of diners past. A wall covered in pictures of locals who have enjoyed the cuisine at Sushi Garden II are framed near the entrance, a testament to the good service and quality food that keeps customers coming back.
The first thing that grabs you is the décor.
RIPON – What do you think of when you picture a garden?
Gardening is a popular hobby in the Central Valley where the ideal California climate is conducive to growing. The Greenery Nursery and Garden Shop in Turlock is largely responsible for cultivating many locals' "green thumbs."
MODESTO – For more than 30 years Westurf Nursery has been a mainstay in the Modesto gardening landscape, and with 10 acres of trees, shrubs, roses and more, it's hard to miss.
When was the last time a nursery was called "Super Awesome?"
ISLETON – People get territorial when you talk about steak.
Locals looking to satisfy their cravings for a quality steak dinner won't need to look far as The Fruit Yard Restaurant & Country Market is well versed in providing not only quality beef but quality service.
DELHI – A porterhouse or a rib eye. Sautéed or broiled over an open fire. With French fries or a baked potato. The Elegant Bull in Delhi offers its customers the ultimate dining experience when it comes to steak.
OAKDALE – Nestled deep in the Cowboy Capital of the World, House of Beef ropes in its guests near and far with a tantalizing steak selection.
Nobody does steak better than the El Rancho Inn in Stockton.
Manteca marked the home stretch for Cesar Chavez.
In celebration of the upcoming Cesar Chavez holiday, California State University, Stanislaus students had the opportunity to witness and learn from one of Chavez's right hand men and a significant leader in Chicano culture: Luis Valdez.
The regular school year in Manteca Unified runs from August to May. That's the norm for the majority of the 23,000-plus elementary and high school students in the district. That holds true for other public schools in San Joaquin County as well.
Agriculture is the dominant industry in the Central Valley, where the legacy of Cesar Chavez still hangs in the air for families of migrant workers across the state.
STOCKTON – The patio at Valley Brew during the summertime is fickle.
RIPON – Water parks do a great job of copying it.
When the weather sizzled up to 106 degree last week, Wendy Deulus took her workout to the swimming pool.
Locals looking to beat the heat without traveling to a nearby lake or pool can still cool down at the local parks in Turlock, two of which boast water facilities.
Lake Don Pedro is a favorite summer hotspot for locals looking to beat the heat and enjoy several activities lakeside but this year the ongoing drought has posed a small impact on the lake's recreational facilities.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story appeared in the April 4, 2014, edition of the Manteca Bulletin.
LATHROP – You'd notice that big, toothy grin anywhere.
Weber's BBQ & More may be still considered "out of sight, out of mind."
Mark Twain mined – pun intended – the foothills of Northern California for inspiration.
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.