Sunday, April 29, 2012

Natural Wonders

"It's open," said the Husband.

Fortunately, a parking space was available right in front of Natural Wonders, the new health food store and deli in San Juan Bautista.  Ever since we saw its sign go up months ago, we were looking forward to its opening. And just like that, the business was up and running.

The lovely owner, Alma Paulk, happened to be in the store and told us they'd been open for a couple of weeks. She's gradually adding inventory to the beautiful tall and narrow shelves. What she already has stocked is awesome. Manuka honey and organic emu oil, for instance, are what I bought. Both items I would have had to go online or drive to the outer world to purchase. The convenience of Natural Wonders will be nice. Not to say Alma's knowledge about the products.

Along with natural and organic ointments, lotions, supplements, and such, Natural Wonders sells teas, flours,  spices, chips, and other packaged food items. It also offers coffee, juices, freshly baked goods, soup, and sandwiches. The store was grilling organic chicken on their deck for enchiladas. Speaking of the deck. It looks like a great place to hang out. The breeze through the redwood tree branches was very refreshing.

Natural Wonders is located at 215 Third Street, between the Mission Clocks and Watches and the Daisy Saloon. 

A note to the FTC: I was not paid or received anything for free to write about this neat new business. Nope, not at all. Unless, you want to count the information Alma gave me about Manuka honey and emu oil.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Old fence. New fence.

That's the view from the parking lot of Pacific Harvest Seafoods in San Juan Bautista.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How Green is Our Valley

Did anyone else think it took quite a long while for the hills and mountains surrounding Hollister to turn really, really green? I'm glad it finally did. As they say, better late, than never.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


This is another view from the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail. If you can repeat that several times as you climb up the trail, without breathing too awful hard, you're in pretty good shape, I say.

I also say that every day is Earth Day.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Alfred Hitchcock filmed some scenes of his film Vertigo in San Juan Bautista. The movie came out in 1958 and starred James Stewart and Kim Novak. What I liked most about the movie was seeing how places looked in San Francisco and Monterey back then. Check out this link for a clip of Vertigo.

If you happen to go through the museum  of Mission San Juan Bautista, you'll find that display of Hitchcock in the room shown below.  By the way, if you want a place to rest your feet as you sip a cup of tea or coffee in San Juan Bautista, check out Vertigo Coffee.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Cat's Meow

Nothing like hanging out on a sunny Spring day. Purrrrrrr.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Splish! Splash!

At this particular moment (last Friday afternoon), it was more like the end of Hail, hail, the hail is done! Once the moment was snapped, it was then a mad hop over the raging gutter and a grinning dash to The Heavenly Bakery for some yummy carrot cake cupcakes, which went directly to my hips, thank you very much.

For you non-locals, the photo shows Mars Hill Coffeehouse where you can see patrons participating in a wonderful rainy-day sport—sipping coffee and conversing with friends.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Coming Up: A Spring Weekend of Fun

Lots of things going on this weekend in and around Hollister, if you're looking to distract yourself from doing taxes or to celebrate having done them.  Or, just to take part in the local fun. Here are some of the happenings:

Friday Evening, April 13
Charming Chairs Silent Auction at the Blak Sage Gallery. This is a fundraiser for the Hollister Downtown Association. At the same time, the gallery will host an artist reception for artists who will be participating in the Open Studios later this month. 

Narnia—The Magic Begins at the Granada Theatre. This spring musical production is presented by the San Benito Stage Company and features many young actors. The play opens Friday night, with performances also on Saturday and Sunday and the following two weekends. 

Saturday, April 14

Earthquake Walk and Talk. This walk starts at 9 a.m. at the San Benito County Chamber of Commerce (650 San Benito Street).  Geologists will lead folks on a tour of the Calaveras fault that runs through downtown Hollister. 

Spring Arts and Crafts Festival. This annual event will take place on both Saturday and Sunday in downtown San Juan Bautista.  

2012 Crab Crack. The annual dinner-dance fundraiser by the Hollister Exchange Club will be at Bolado Park.

Sunday, April 15
San Benito County 4-H Pancake Breakfast. This annual fundraiser will take place on Sunday morning at the Hollister Elks Lodge at the Hollister Airport.

Hollister Derby Girls vs. SINtral Valley Derby Girls.  The junior team will be going at it on Sunday afternoon at Bolado Park.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Family Pizza Day

Julie Engelhardt at a 2010 Story Time
Mars Hill Coffeehouse.

Photo courtesy of Mars Hill Coffeehouse

Stories and pizza. Pizza and stories. Now, that's a winning combination for a fun time, don't you think?

You may want to check out Family Day at Neighborhood Pizza  then. For the next three Sundays, the local pizza restaurant will hold a  family fun time from 1 to 3 p.m, featuring local story teller Julie Engelhardt. Many of you know may know her as Mrs. Santa during the Christmas season.

Each Family Day will have a specific theme, and also include games and crafts:
• April 15: Pizza Party!
• April 22: Prince and Princess Pizza Party!
• April 29: Pirate Pizza Party!  (A face painter will also be there.)

All children are invited to come dressed in costume.

Neighborhood Pizza is located at 580 Tres Pinos Road in the Goodwill shopping center. The restaurant is next to the Dollar Tree.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Coming Up: The 95th Anniversary!

On Thursday, April 12, 2012, the San Benito County Free Library will be celebrating its 95th year of providing services to the City of Hollister, as well as to the whole county.  Whoo-hooo! 

Quite a lot of fun will be going on between 12 and 8 p.m. at 470 5th Street. There will be local history displays and children's activities in addition to:
12 to 4: Customer Appreciation and Technology Demonstration
5:30 to 6: Family Story Time (with readings by Sheriff Darren Thompson and Firefighter Josh Buzzetta)
6:30 to 7:30: Musical Entertainment
7 to 7:30: Unveiling of the new library logo (with Supervisor Jaime De La Cruz)
By the way, check out the Library Use Value Calculator. It gives you an idea of the value of the free services you personally receive from our local library. It was certainly an eye opener for me!

Be sure to check out the cool display about the library's history in the lobby.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Pacific Harvest Seafoods

As you drive east on Highway 156, you may see this sign as you come to the traffic light outside of San Juan Bautista. On Fridays and Saturdays, that is.

You may also see the sign (or one similar) as you're turning left from San Juan Bautista onto Highway 156. If you're like the Husband and me, you see the sign too late and head home wondering what the sign is all about.

Well, it took several weeks before the Husband and I remembered to be in the correct lane to cross Highway 156. We followed additional signs and just past the fork to the Juan Bautista de Anza Historic National Trail, we found Pacific Harvest Seafoods.

Yep. You read correctly. A seafood distributor in San Juan Bautista! Pacific Harvest Seafoods processes and delivers fresh and frozen fish and shellfish  to restaurants and markets throughout San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas. They sell both wild-caught and farmed fish.

Every Friday and Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the fish place sells directly to the public. Cash only. The other week, we bought fresh snapper. And, I mean fresh! Yummmmm.

Note to FTC: Nope, I was not given any money or free fish to write about this company. I'm just happy there's a source for fresh, wild-caught seafood in my neck of the woods. I'm sure others would be happy to know, too.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Hello Art!

You never know when you'll meet or see Art as you take a walk on San Benito Street in downtown Hollister.

Here. . .

Blak Sage Gallery of Fine Art

 And Here. . .

Hollister Muffler

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A View from Sunset Drive

I usually think of Sunset Drive in Hollister as the street where Hazel Hawkins Hospital and various medical offices are located. So, I'm always surprised at the sights when I'm walking or pedaling my bicycle on the eastern end of Sunset Drive. For example:

The view of St. Benedict Church from Sunset Drive.



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