STOCKTON – Take away all of Stockton's ills – the foreclosures, a homicide rate that surpasses that of Chicago and a city filing for bankruptcy – and you end up with a bustling and vibrant town with a lot to offer.
PINNACLES NATIONAL MONUMENT - A puzzle to California's vast and awe-inspiring geology smorgasbord is just a few hours away.
MODESTO - In 1912, the city of Modesto held a contest to pick the slogan that would adorn an arch spanning the entrance to the Valley town. "Nobody's Got Modesto's Goat" was the winner. I'm sure residents of today's seat of Stanislaus County are extremely grateful that prior city leaders decided to go with the second place winner - "Water, Wealth, Contentment, Health."
Stanislaus County is the third richest agricultural land in the nation, with farmers growing over 250 different kinds of crops from almonds to zucchini and melons. This fertile Valley was settled long ago by farmers, but has since grown not only in agriculture but also in culture and community.
STOCKTON - The Port City gets a bad rap, no doubt.
Canada geese in such great numbers they practically blacken the sky when they fly by, or get ready to make a stop-over at the open fields.
LODI - Sunlight peeks through the lush landscape at Wine and Roses Resort and Spa as hummingbirds dart between Deodar pine trees and macaws squawk in the distance.
Delicato Vineyards in Manteca has the only tasting room in the South County area, while there is an abundance to choose from in the Lodi, Collegeville and Acampo areas to the north.
Whoever said that you had to go to Napa to get the true wine experience?
RIPON – Strings of custom built homes. Country Club neighborhoods. Scenic rural drives.
TRACY - The streets of Tracy will be transformed into Bean Town USA for an expected weekend crowd of 50,000 people on Saturday, Sept. 8, and Sunday Sept. 9, for the 26th annual Dry Bean Festival, hosted by the Tracy Chamber of Commerce.
STOCKTON – Gary Coit knows bows.
Adult club for competitive and rec swimmers
You don't have to be a member of a cycling club to enjoy this outdoor activity.
It's what dreams are made of - landing the winning kick as time expires to win a medal on the world's biggest stage, the Olympic Games. For first-time Olympian Terrence Jennings it wasn't a dream because he did just that in London, winning a bronze medal in taekwondo in the men's -68kg division.
The Banta Inn in Tracy is famous for the spirits it serves to its bar guests, and infamous for the spirit that is supposed to haunt this popular watering hole.
TURLOCK – For those walking down Main Street after dark, it is hard to ignore the sound of live music coming from downtown's Vintage Lounge and Piano Bar. What's even harder to miss is the long line of people that can be seen on weekend nights, hoping to get in to the popular venue.
MODESTO – The sharp screeches of an old jukebox.The clanking of glasses. The hum of conversation and the occasional outburst of laughter. There's really nothing like a good night out in a bad bar – well, dingy bar actually – where the beer is cheap and the friends are plentiful and the insults and the banter fly around like the smoke-filled air that used to consume the dive bars that dotted the landscape in and around Modesto.
MODESTO – How much for those Superman comics?
A flea market is described as "a market, typically outdoors, selling secondhand goods."
The Linn family's involvement with the Turlock Flea Market starts with William Leonard Linn in 1938. William Leonard Linn opened the Turlock Auction Yard and managed it until it slowly evolved into the flea market it is today. Now operated by his grandchildren Scott and Susan Linn, and his great grandson David Linn, the Turlock flea market has successfully tied itself to the Linn name.
Ronald Reagan loved California.
MODESTO – It dominates the block.
Transforming the Written Word is the theme of the art exhibit running through Nov. 1 at the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts in Tracy.
Archery enthusiasts who are interested in sharpening their shooting skills and connecting with fellow archers do not need to look further than the Yahi Bowmen Archery Club of Modesto. Since its foundation in 1954, the club has been serving the archery community of all ages.
They say circuses are for kids.
Nock the arrow. Pull back. Release. They're the same basic steps that thousands of people that attended camp as kids took during an activity that was always one of the most popular. But those standard "recurve" bows – that straight piece of fiberglass bent when a high-tension cable is attached at either end – have given way to much more sophisticated and accurate equipment that is not at all unlike the guns that they're supposed to replace.
Zack and Seth Jacks needed to blow off a little steam last Thursday.