Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween Fun

Halloween decorations around Hollister are quite chilling for chickens like me. Bwak, bwak, bwak.  Be safe and enjoy your All Hallow's Eve!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Welcome to San Juan Bautista

Jill Pagaran, Volunteer at the San Juan Bautista Welcome Center

San Juan Bautista may be a very small city (population about 1,900),  but you'll find a lot to discover and explore in and around the once-upon-a-time Mission village.

The Mission San Juan Bautista and the San Juan Bautista Historic State Park are probably the top historic sites that visitors check out, which can be a full day adventure in itself.  You may need and want to come back another day to check out other things that San Juan offers: historic walks. . .trails to hike. . .places to bike. . .back roads to drive. . .thrift, antique, and boutique shops. . .art galleries. . .El Teatro Campesiño performances. . .a variety of eating and drinking establishments. . .wine tasting. . . events (such as the annual BBQ cook off, antique fair, Ghost Walk, and Holiday Bonfire). . .and much, much more.

To get your bearings and learn about events while you're visiting, check out the San Juan Bautista Welcome Center inside the San Juan Bakery at 319 Third Street (the main street) during business hours, Tuesday through Sunday, 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Volunteers man the desk Friday through Sunday, from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

October—Full of Wandering and Wondering

My appreciation to San Juan Bakery, in San Juan Bautista, for reminding me about the joy and wonder of October. The Husband and I have had lots of fun adventures in, around, and out of Hollister this month. Who knows what these next three October days shall bring.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Dia de los Muertos with El Teatro Campesiño

This weekend, El Teatro Campesiño will start off its 50th year with its annual Dia de los Muertos celebration in San Juan Bautista. Through dance, music, art, and altar offerings, the locally-based, renowned theater company will honor and remember the dearly departed. The event will begin on Friday, October 29 and go through Sunday, November 1.

Joining in the celebration is the Esperanza del Valle Folkloric Dance Troupe, which will perform throughout the weekend at the Playhouse on 705 4th Street.
  • Friday, 8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
  • Sunday,  4:00 p.m.
The dance group will perform traditional dances from the Huasteca, Veracruz, Nayarit, Jalisco, and Colima regions, as well as perform Macaria, an original choreodrama that the dance troupe adapted from the novel written by B. Traven. Tickets can be purchased online at Brown Paper Tickets.

El Teatro will also have traditional and artistic altars on display at the Playhouse. The public can view the altars, for free, during these hours:
  • Friday, 7:00 p.m. with Altar Blessing and Danza at 7:15 p.m.
  • Saturday, 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, 1:00 p.m. with a closing Danza Blessing
As in past years, El Teatro will lead a Dia del los Muertos procession through the historic streets of San Juan Bautista. The parade will be held twice—6:00 p.m. on Saturday and 2:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Eyes Playing Tricks

Does that dark shape on the right hand side of the photo look like a dog, boar, or some other kind of animal to you?

I took this photo on Bolsa Road (aka Highway 25) as the Husband and I were driving home to Hollister. Perhaps the "creature" only runs along Briggs Road at sunset.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Talented High School Thespians

On Friday evening, the Husband and I enjoyed watching No Signs of Intelligent Life, a comedy performed by the San Benito High School Drama 3 class at the Baler auditorium.

The play was about extraterrestrials from the far distant planet of Gilroy pretending to be humans so as to study them more closely. The space aliens are hilariously confused and dumbfounded with the ways of the humans as they relate to them in such situations as gossiping around the workplace water cooler, substitute teaching, dating, survival camping, and purchasing a fast food hamburger.

The young men and women totally delivered the funny. Their passion and joy for the craft of acting was so infectious that I wanted to suddenly audition for a play.

The drama department has several other performances scheduled for the rest of the year. No doubt, they'll be as entertaining as the one we saw.
  • November 13: ComedySportz (competitive improvisational comedy)
  • January 15: ComedySportz
  • March 17, 18, 19, 24, and 25: Thoroughly Modern Millie (musical)
  • April 8: Variety Show/Faculty Follies
  • April 22: ComedySportz
  • May 12 and 13: Student-directed One-Act Festival

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Chocolate To Go, Please

This is the large chocolate that the Husband ordered to go from Vertigo Coffee in San Juan Bautista yesterday. After seeing it, I wished I had, too.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Nano's Caribbean Restaurant

Nano's Caribbean Restaurant is something different for Hollister. It's a wonderful difference, too. Jamaican jerk chicken, coconut prawns with a mango dip, fried plantains, black beans, and more.

The restaurant opened several months ago in the former site of Ella's near Ace Hardware on Airline Highway (aka Highway 25).

The Husband, the Godmother, and I had dinner there earlier this week for the first time. We all ordered dinner plates—jerk chicken for the Husband, coconut prawns for the Godmother, and pulled pork fajitas for myself. Each plate had generous portions of the entree, grilled vegetables, black beans, rice topped with a bit of slaw and pineapple, and a slice of fried plantain.

I not only had a delicious dinner, but lunch as well the next day.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Standing Guard. . .Kind Of.

What's with all these tree photos, you ask?

Beats me. I'm simply walking along and bam! A tree shows its uniqueness to me. And, we have quite an amazing lot in and around Hollister, thank goodness.

This tree—some kind of conifer, which I want to say is a Monterey Cypress—hangs out in front of the San Benito County Tax Collector's Office on Fifth Street.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Final Free Fall Concert

This Saturday, October 24, 2015, will be the last concert of the Music in the Park series in Dunne Park on Seventh Street in Downtown Hollister. The concert will run from 4 to 6 p.m. Bring your own blankets or low-back chairs, as well as snacks and drinks. No alcoholic beverages are allowed in the park.

Performing from 4 to 5 p.m.  will be Folklorico Juvenil de Lucy Rodriguez, a dance troupe composed of girls and boys, ages 3 to 15. The dance group performs traditional folkloric dances from Mexico.

Closing out the concert will be The Flashbacks, which will perform from 5 to 6 p.m. The local group, with its smooth voices, is popular for singing 1950s doo-wop songs.

Music in the Park is a monthly concert sponsored by Mr. O's Academy of the Arts, which began this past August. The free concert series will return in Spring 2016. Thanks, Mr. O!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A Happy Palm Tree

Isn't that a gorgeous palm tree? It's huge, too. Quite huge. The Husband and I came across it as we were walking through Briggs Alley the other day. I like how it happily waves over the fences.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Floating Downward in Tres Pinos

"What's that noise?"

Last Sunday afternoon, the Husband and I looked upward for the source of the fluttering sound. We saw a bunch of solo and tandem skydivers floating towards their drop spot in the field across from the Immaculate Conception Church in Tres Pinos. 

I remember my own downward journey through the sky several years ago quite well, thank you very much. It was amazing way up there in the sky. Definitely, though, skydiving is not for everyone. But, if you're interested, Skydive Hollister is located at the Hollister Airport.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Delicious and Cool Stuff in Tres Pinos

I took this photo yesterday afternoon when the Husband and I went to pick up BBQ plates at the annual fundraiser that the Immaculate Conception parish in Tres Pinos held.

Talk about yummylicious! It was the parish's 77th year, I believe. And, the cooks, chefs, bakers, and assistants certainly gave the touch of love to their barbecue chicken, pasta (rigatoni with marinara sauce), wedge of lettuce with Thousand Islands dressing, garlic bread, and a piece of pie. My lunch came with a slice of cherry pie, the Husband's, apple pie, and the Mama's, apricot pie.

If you haven't gone to this fundraiser yet, try it next year. If you're from out of county, you can tie it in with some other splendid activity, such as skydiving, hiking at the Pinnacles, wandering around San Juan Bautista, checking out the Swank Farms corn maze, doing the wine trail, or simply pedaling or driving the back roads on a Sunday autumnal day. The last three years, this BBQ fundraiser took place the day after the San Benito Olive Festival. Hint, hint.

Speaking of Fall, notice the sprouts of green on the top of the hill on the right. Cool, huh?  These hills are across from the Immaculate Conception Church.  The photo was enhanced with Photoshop art filters, in case you're wondering.

See you tomorrow. Maybe with photos from the San Benito Olive Festival.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

See Dar Tree?

Okay, a bad pun. Seriously, have you ever noticed this very, very tall and beautiful cedar tree on Fifth Street?

Bertha Briggs (as in the Bertha Briggs Memorial Youth Center on Memorial Drive) planted the tree as a sapling in her front yard in the 1900s.  Sharlene of the San Benito County Historical Society said Mrs. Briggs brought the cedar sapling back from a trip to Lake Tahoe.

A Hollister native, Mrs. Briggs lived from April 3, 1874 to August 13, 1962. Her parents were Hollister pioneers William and Delia Johnson. Mrs. Briggs was known for her many wonderful community deeds, including donating generously to Hazel Hawkins Hospital and organizing the Girl Scouts and Women's Club in Hollister. You can read a bit more about Mrs. Bertha Briggs in the book Hollister by Joseph M. McMahon and Peter Sonne.

This is a Western Red Cedar tree, which is indigenous to Western North America. Experts say that this species can live over a thousand years old. Mrs. Briggs' tree is a baby. Wowza!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Victorian "Pumpkin House"

This two-bedroom Victorian-style house on Fifth Street was built around 1900 for a young couple named L.H and Myrtle Barker, who were married the previous year.

The house is on the self-guided tour of historical houses in Hollister. It was recently on sale, and according to the property details, the Victorian was restored in 2003. It's known as the Pumpkin House because of its colors.

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Three R's

Recycle, repurpose, and reuse. This bicycle planter that the Husband and I saw on our walk in Downtown Hollister fits the bill. Trés cute, don't you think?

Some Three R's Resources 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Every Bit of Rain Helps

It rained, I was told. It was short but a very heavy pour.

I may not have heard or seen it, but I saw signs of rain on the flowers and on the cement and ground in our backyard this morning.  And, the clouds  almost looked like they were asking, "So, how'd you like that rain?"

I liked it a lot, thank you very much.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Train from Hollister

Yesterday afternoon, we waited for a train to cross Bolsa Road (aka Highway 25) on the track near the county line. Usually I see a train leave or enter Hollister by Burger Factory on San Benito Street. I can't recall the last time I saw a train anywhere else on that track to and from Hollister. What a treat!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Our Own Foodie Festival

Gilroy has the Garlic Festival, Castroville, the Artichoke Festival, and Half Moon Bay, the Pumpkin Festival. 

And, in our backyard, is the San Benito Olive Festival! Whooo-hooo! It's this Saturday, October 17, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Bolado Park in Tres Pinos.

In its third year, this gourmet event celebrates the agricultural bounty and natural beauty of Hollister, San Juan Bautista, Tres Pinos, Aromas, and all that make up San Benito County. It features many of the award-winning olive oils, wines, and other artisanal foods made by farmers, growers, and food companies of San Benito County, as well as from other parts of California. 

All net proceeds earned by the San Benito Olive Festival, a non-profit organization, are donated to community and service organizations. One of the coolest things about the festival, in my book. 

The olive festival offers visitors samplings of olives, olive oils, Blenheim apricots, chocolates, and other foods. A variety of food trucks and restaurants shall be on hand, as well be various wineries and breweries. In addition, patrons can purchase a VIP admission ticket to access a wine and craft beer tasting area.

Scheduled are cooking demonstrations by culinary instructors and professional chefs, featuring dishes using, of course, olives and/or olive oil. Two of the guest chefs are Chef Dorothy McNett, popular culinary instructor of the Central Coast, and Executive Chef Cal Stamenov of the Bernardus Lodge and Spa in Carmel Valley.

Like every foodie event, festival-goers can peruse the merchants' booths for jewelry, fine art and crafts, green plants, packaged food, and other items.  This year, the olive festival offers hands-on activities for the young and old, including a morning and an afternoon paint party hosted by artist Paul Loughridge.

This gourmet celebration has a line-up of live entertainment for the whole day. It begins with the singing of the National Anthem by young singer Joe Fata, who recently competed on La Voz Kids, and ends with the ever popular Mr. O's Jazz Band. Also scheduled to perform are Change in the Weather, Shiloh, The Flashbacks, Folklorico Juvenil, Kaleb Askew, and Zack Freitas.

To learn more about the participants, schedule of festivities, and other information about the San Benito Olive Festival, go to its website or Facebook page.

I'm hooking up with Our World Tuesday, a wonderful weekly meme in which bloggers from around the world participate. To take part or to visit other bloggers, click here.

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Soon-to-Be Memory of a Fair View

The first of the 1,100 houses are going up in the Santana Ranch above Fairview Road, between Hillcrest and Sunnyslope. Enjoy the open-space view while you can.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The View from Ridgemark

In 2010, Ridgemark had a population of 3,016, according to the U.S. census. I had no idea that this private, gated community, a few miles south of Hollister, is a census-designated place until I read Wikipedia. Never too late to learn something.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Irrigation Sprinklers

Irrigation sprinklers make a field happy on Cienega Road. Chuck, chuck, chuck, chuck, chuck, chuck. That's how they—the sprinklers—sound to me.

Enjoy your Saturday! See you tomorrow.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Handsome Old Oak Tree

This handsome oak tree—a blue oak, I think—hangs out in the parking lot in front of the Bolado Park Pavilion.  It's one of several mature oak trees throughout the park. I wonder how old it is.

Looking down into the oak tree.

Looking up the oak tree. 

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

TBT: The Original Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital

This Take 25 to Hollister post was originally published on August 11, 2009. 

Show of hands, Hollister folks: Who was born in this here building?

You. You. You. Me. You over there on the other side of the world. And a whole lot more.

This building stands at 910 Monterey Street. The corner of Monterey and Hawkins streets, to be exact. It’s the original Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital, which was built and presented to the city of Hollister by Mr. Thomas S. Hawkins.

Mr. Hawkins was one of the city’s founders. His granddaughter, the Hazel Hawkins, the sweetie of his heart, died from appendicitis in 1902. She was only nine years old. According to the story I’ve heard, Mr. Hawkins felt she may have lived if there had been the proper medical facility in town. So, he built one for the community as a tribute to his “Little Sunshine.”

Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital opened in November 1907 and served as the community hospital until the hospital district was formed in 1957. In 1962, the hospital moved into its modern digs on Sunset Drive. Today, Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital is part of the San Benito Health Care District which also includes skilled nursing facilities and a home health agency.

The old hospital building was used as a nursing home for many years. Then, somewhere along the line, it was turned it into an office building. And that's what it is today. The hair stylist who does my hair had her salon there for several years, which gave me a chance to prowl the corridors.

It’s a very beautiful building, as you can see. If you ever have a chance, pop in and take a glance of what’s inside. The left (or south) corridor especially. I'll just leave it at that. (Update: These ceiling decorations may have been taken down.)

By the way, does anyone know where the baby nursery used to be? The surgery? Just wondering.

Here are a couple of links to learn more about the hospital and the Hawkins family:

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

See You Next Year!

Last Wednesday was the last day of the Downtown Hollister Farmers Market. Until next year, at least two places to find local, fresh fruits and vegetables are Bertuccio's–The Farm at the corner of Highway 25 and Union Road and the Pinnacles Farmstand in San Juan Valley on Saturday mornings.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Fun at the County Fair

The San Benito County Fair was fun, fun, fun!

Here are a few photos from the Husband's and my day at the fair on Saturday.

The winning Great Pumpkin—771 pounds!

Sleeping cuties.

I love this gal's sophisticated color combination.

Food art by the Girl Scout Troop. 

A blue ribbon winner—well deserved.

"Cowboy boots & local roots was the theme of this year's fair.

Happy memories for these girls.

Pigs can fly!

One of the many amazing and beautiful quilts.

This is a cake!

One of several youth art exhibits featuring a Van Gough theme.

Until next year!

If you'd like to see more fair photos, check out my 2015 San Benito County Fair album at Facebook. You don't need to sign on or have an account to view it.

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