Earth Day is more than just a day to plant trees, pick up trash, and recycle; it is a time for families and businesses to come together to alter the effects our presence has made on the planet.
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.
RIPON – Dorothy "Dot" Veltkamp always has a couple of books on her night stand – a woman with a passion for reading since her childhood – has completed more than 25 years as a librarian mostly in Ripon.
TURLOCK – In an area filled with seemingly endless burger joints for hungry customers to choose from, it may be a difficult task for a mom-and-pop restaurant to stand out. However, AJ's Café and Grill has managed to do just that with their locally and freshly made burgers.
RIPON – It's a classic burger at the downtown Ripon Roadhouse sure to leave egg yolk running down your fingers and hands with the first bite.
MANTECA – Suzette Frese sums it up in one sentence as to why her favorite restaurant in Manteca is a dining destination.
MODESTO – It's hard to mess up a hamburger.
STOCKTON – So what makes for a good hamburger?
LODI - Want a real root beer float?
It's an old barn like any other in the Manteca and surrounding areas, or even in the San Joaquin Valley.
MODESTO – There's the mall.
The Troll doll was one of many toys that came out during the height of the Cold War.
STOCKTON – Port City's native son has returned with a … filet?