Showing posts with label not in San Benito County. Show all posts
Showing posts with label not in San Benito County. Show all posts

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Free December Days at the Monterey Bay Aquarium


We, residents of San Benito County, are in luck! Between today and Sunday, December 13, 2015, admission into the Monterey Bay Aquarium is f-r-e-e. Free!

The aquarium offers free entry every year during its Community Open House to not only San Benito County residents, but also residents of Monterey and Santa Cruz counties. Thank you very much, Monterey Bay Aquarium!

San Benito County residents: To take advantage of the free access, you must show a valid photo ID with your local address. The aquarium also accepts a recent utility bill or monthly San Benito County Express bus pass as proof of residence. If you're a student attending a community college or university in San Benito, Monterey, or Santa Cruz county, you can show your student ID.

For information about the Monterey Bay Aquarium's hours, exhibits, and other matters, click here to go its website.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs


Some of you may recall picnicking, hiking trails, dipping your toes in the mineral springs, or swimming in the freshwater pool at the Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs in the eastern foothills outside of Gilroy. The resort closed its gates to the public in the 1980s. Today, it is part of Henry Coe State Park.  

A couple of weeks ago the Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs celebrated its 20th year as a historic landmark. It's a California Historical Landmark as well as on the list of the National Register of Historic Places. 


The resort has an amazing history that dates back to 1865 when Francisco Cantua stumbled upon the mineral springs while seeking lost sheep from his flock. He claimed the area and turned it into a campground, but shortly afterwards sold the property to George Roop. He, in turn, with the help of partners, developed the hot springs into a big-time resort. By, 1874, a large hotel and 18 cottages were built, which could house up to 300 visitors. 

And, people did come. Locally as well as from far away. Many, including the rich and famous, such as Adolph Sutro, James Phelan, and Claus Spreckels, from San Francisco took the three-hour train ride to Gilroy, stayed overnight at a hotel, then, the next morning, jostled for three hours in a horse and buggy on 12 miles of dirt paths to the hot springs. Visitors often stayed for one or two weeks. The springs was considered the best in California, and until the mid-1930s, it was a popular destination place. 


In 1938, Harry K. Sakata, a well-known lettuce grower in Watsonville, bought the property and changed the name to Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs. Yamato is the word for Japanese. Sakata's goal was to develop a retreat for Japanese Americans.

Then came the U.S. entry into World War II and the internment of the Japanese American population in very remote locations. Sakata's Caucasian business partners took over the management of the hot springs, returning the property to Sakata after the war. In the postwar years, Sakata invited interned families to live on the property as a place to transition back into American society. 


The famous hotel and clubhouse are no more, nor the soaking pools or the freshwater swimming pool. Many of the cabins are still on the grounds in various stages of disrepair, which are being renovated by volunteers known as the Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs (GYHS), formerly known as the Friends of Gilroy Hot Springs. GYHS is a subgroup of the Pine Ridge Association, the nonprofit group that provides interpretive programs for Henry Coe State Park. GYHS' goals are to protect, preserve, and restore the site and its historic buildings, as well as to re-establish the landmark for public use.


The public can visit Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs when GYHS hold guided tours, which are usually the 2nd Saturday and 4th Sunday of the month. To ensure one is available, call GYHS at 408-314-7185 or send an email to info<at>gilroyyamatohotsprings<dot>org. 

By the way,  GYHS is seeking a campground host, with his or her own trailer or motor home, to live on the site. For more information, contact GYHS. 

Check out these websites to learn more about the Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs
• GYHS
• Gilroy Hot Springs History (The Valley of Hearts Delight)
• Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs (Wikipedia) 

For more of my photos and a bit more story about the Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs, please click here

The once-upon-a-time swimming pool


Friday, September 25, 2015

Look, San Benito!


It's not often when I come across a place or thing called San Benito outside of San Benito County. Same with Hollister, Tres Pinos, or Pinnacles. So, when I do see something, I automatically think of home. For instance, the other day, while wandering Main Street in Half Moon Bay, the Husband and I saw a San Benito Hotel, San Benito Deli, and San Benito Ale House.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Shop Locally: Market 25 on the Bolsa


Traffic karma was on our side and the Husband and I were able to safely pull into the parking lot of Market 25 on Bolsa Road (aka Highway 25) yesterday. Our first time there.  It was at the end of the day, so there wasn't much produce left. But, we did buy six ears of corn for a buck, as the sign along the highway stated. The corn was yummily sweet.

Market 25 is one of three produce stands owned by Uesugi Farms, of which the other two are in Morgan Hill and Saratoga. (By the way, Market 25 is located on the Gilroy portion of Highway 25.) The owners are not kidding when they say they sell local fruits and vegetables. Some produce, such as strawberries, corn, and peppers, are grown by Uesugi Farms. Others are from local farmers in Hollister, Gilroy, Castroville, and other nearby areas.

The stand also sells jams and juices from Gizdich Ranch in Watsonville. We learned that every Thursday, around noon, Gizdich Ranch delivers a frozen assortment of their delicious pies. Whoo-hooo! Guess who will be stopping at Market 25 one of these Thursday afternoons.

To learn more about Market 25, check out its website.


Friday, July 24, 2015

Whale City Bakery, Bar & Grill


Yesterday, the Husband and I ran away from Hollister for a few hours and headed to the coast. I realized it has been a long while since I've been to the beach when I saw the kitesurfers at Waddell Beach. Wowza!

For lunch, we stopped at the Whale City Bakery, Bar & Grill in Davenport on Highway One. A family-run operation, it opened in the 1990s as a bakery. Then somewhere along the line, the family added sit-down service for yummy meals. Several nights a week, the restaurant also offers live music.

By the time I thought about taking photos, our plates were nearly empty. The Husband had a Reuben sandwich bursting with corned beef and sauerkraut that came with a healthy portion of green salad. He was glad he didn't opt for the french fries, otherwise he would've been stuffed.

I had the calamari appetizer, which was lightly coated and fried. I was happy that they threw in the squid heads. While the Husband was working away on his second half of the sandwich, I asked for a cup of coffee and lemon poppy seed muffin. Very mellow coffee. Although the muffin was dense, it did not feel heavy on the tummy at all. The exact nutrition was what I needed to propel me up a hiking trail later on.

Whale City Baker, Bar & Grill is a perfect stop for a meal if you're ever up near Davenport. Some people say that you can actually see whales from the restaurant. And, they didn't mean the murals. For more info about the restaurant, head over to its website or Facebook page.


Monday, June 8, 2015

San Jose Train Station


The San Jose Diridon Station on Cahill Street is a hub for both Amtrak and Caltrain. One day, BART will reach there. Yesterday morning, the Husband and I were sitting at the station waiting for my godmother to board the train. I was excited just sitting there, wishing I was going off on a train somewhere. Riding a train makes me feel like I'm on a grand adventure, even if it's just up to San Francisco and back.


I've probably ridden the train less than 10 times in my life so far, but I think it's the most civilized way to travel. Get on, find a seat, enjoy the scenery, chat, read, nap, enjoy the scenery, and get off.  No hassle of traffic jams, tailgaters, and aggressive (or timid) drivers. Too bad Hollister no longer has a train station.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

John Smith Road


Back road, country road. Same thing, isn't it?

This one is John Smith Road heading into Santa Ana Valley. I enjoy wandering this road, which starts at Fairview Road and goes past the landfill. Pedaling the bicycle is even better. When you get to the end of the road, you can either turn left to cruise through the small valley or turn right to head towards Quien Sabe Road, which takes you to Tres Pinos.



Today, I'm hanging out at Our World Tuesday. Come join me. Click here to visit other participants from around the globe.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

L is for . . .


Location, location, location.

And, Hollister is an excellent location to live.

It's seven miles east of San Juan Bautista, one of the 21 California missions.



It's 30-some miles from Pinnacles National Park, one of the newest parks in the U.S. National Park Service.



It's about an hour away from Monterey and Santa Cruz. 




It's also an hour away from San Jose and Silicon Valley.



And, depending on how you drive, 90 minutes to two hours from San Francisco.



Click here to find other A to Z challenge participants.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The West Side of the Anza Trail


Last week, the Husband and I went up the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail via the Salinas entrance. I read that the west entrance is a few hundred feet higher than the east entrance. That may be why the hike up to the summit is easier. It's also nearer—about 1.5 miles from the gate, as opposed to about 2.5 miles from the San Juan gate.

Looking east towards San Benito County from the summit.

Looking west towards Monterey Bay from the summit.

There is quite a difference in terrain between the two sides. On the east side, you steadily traverse upward on the trail. At one point, it seems like you could walk right into the sky. On the west side, the climb is gradual. Your attention is diverted by the meadow along the start of the trail, then the rounded hills on the north, and the now and then pass through overhanging oak branches.



How to Get to the West Entrance
Via San Juan Grade Road: At the intersection of San Juan Grade Road and Crazy Horse Canyon Road, turn left. At the end of the road, turn left. You're on Stage Coach Road. Drive a few miles to the end of that road.

Via South on Highway 101: Take the Crazy Horse Canyon/Echo Valley Road exit. Go to the left for Crazy Horse Canyon Road, and continue for several minutes until the road dead ends at Stage Coach Road. Turn left and drive to the end of the road.

The west entrance of the Anza Trail



Thursday, March 26, 2015

The California Welcome Center—Salinas


The other day, the Husband and I dropped into the California Welcome Center in Salinas so that I could get some brochures and such about Salinas and Monterey County to inspire me with future story ideas. Sure, I could research the Internet, and I shall, but I also like to read printed materials. Call me old, I don't mind it. Besides, I love going into visitors centers. It's like going into a library, which I also love to visit, and being welcomed by books full of knowledge and entertaining stories. The California Welcome Center in Salinas certainly lived up to that. 

It's a bright and cheery place with friendly, helpful staff. That morning, the Husband and I met Inez Don Carlos, Assistant Manager, who kindly kept pulling out brochures, pamphlets, and maps of some familiar and many not-so-familiar places to check out in Monterey County. She also gave us tips of places to visit in Salinas, such as the windmill at the Harden Foundation (which I'll write about another day), and when are the best times to visit the area. For instance, in the summer, you might plan your trips around the various festivals that take place in Monterey County. 


State welcome centers are located throughout California, each covering a particular region. The California Welcome Center in Salinas is one of three centers in the California Central Coast, and it covers the Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz counties. Although designated by the state of California, the nonprofit welcome centers are not run by it. Some are connected with a city visitor's center or a chamber of commerce, while others, such as the Salinas center, are independent. 

The Salinas center has a plethora of brochures, pamphlets, maps, and gorgeous visitor guides to help you plan your adventures and tours for visiting families and friends, not just in our area, but also in other parts of California. You'll also find books, postcards, and souvenirs of our area for sale at the center. Be sure to check out the maps on the wall that show where visitors to the center have come. It's rather impressive. 

The center is located at 1213 North Davis Road, at the south end of the shopping complex that's on the west side of Highway 101, near the Laurel Street exit. It's open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Here is its Facebook page and website.

By the way, did you know that the artichoke has been our official state vegetable since 2013? Who knows how long I would've gone ignorant about that fact if we hadn't stepped into the California Welcome Center in Salinas the other morning. 





Friday, January 2, 2015

Hiking and Biking Nearby: Coyote Creek Trail


On New Year's Day, the Husband and I took a walk with friends at the southern end of Coyote Creek Trail in Morgan Hill, which is about 26 miles north of Hollister. It's a very scenic trail that anyone can enjoy, from babies in strollers to older folks like me who prefer to stroll. If you're walking, do keep your ears open for bicyclists coming up from behind. That all-of-a-sudden whistling you hear just may be an approaching bicyclist.


Coyote Creek Trail is over 18 miles long that runs through Santa Clara County. It has three sections that will eventually be connected. The longest segment is paved, and mostly flat, going from Morgan Hill to Tully Road.

For more information, check out these links:
 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Took Wing


One definition of to take wing is to become joyful.  Perhaps, these ocean birds flying over the Asilomar State Marine Reserve may not be able to smile, but I like to think their spirits wore joyful smiles. I know that's how I felt as the Husband and I took wing and wandered around Monterey yesterday.


Friday, August 1, 2014

Coming Into View

  
All of a sudden, there it was—the Pinnacles towering over the Salinas Valley. The Husband and I were driving north on Highway 101. The sun was on its way to setting as we passed by the ancient volcano.

I've entered the Pinnacles National Monument, excuse me, the Pinnacles National Park, only a few times from the western side in Soledad. Even though there is no front or back sides to the Pinnacles, I think of the western entrance as the back way in. I wonder if some folks in Monterey County think the same way about the eastern entrance.

Monday, July 21, 2014

2014 Gilroy Garlic Festival


I love the smell and taste of garlic. If you were to ask me to make garlic bread with fresh garlic, do not be surprised when I put a whole bulb's worth of garlic on the buttered french bread. Yum!

So, yup, the Husband and I are ready for the Gilroy Garlic Festival this Friday. The annual event will be Friday to Sunday, July 25 to 27, from 10 AM to 7 PM, at Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy. For all the details, click over to the official Gilroy Garlic Festival website.

By the way, Friday, July 25, is Local's Day. Residents of Hollister, San Juan Bautista, Aromas, Gilroy, San Martin, and Morgan Hill get $5 off the price of tickets. At the gate, locals can purchase adult general admission tickets for $15; senior (60+) tickets, $5; and children (6 to 12) tickets, $5. Also on sale that day for local residents is a 3-day pass for $30. Be ready to show a valid ID with your local address when you buy your tickets.



Monday, June 16, 2014

Comfortably Numb


Comfortably Numb.

"Is the plane called that because of how you feel after awhile?" I asked Kimberly Walsh, an aircraft mechanic, who spoke to us about the Stearman P-51 Mustang at this weekend's Hollister Airshow.

She laughed, then told me that the airplane once belonged to David Gilmour, guitarist of Pink Floyd. So, this former World War II fighter trainer was a tribute to Gilmour.

The plane was one of four Mustangs that demonstrated its power and beauty in the Parade of the Warbirds at the local air show.

The Hollister Airshow was loads of fun. Did you go? What was one of your favorite parts of the sow?

To see more photos, check out this Take 25 to Hollister album on Facebook:

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Feb. 3 - 9, 2014: Free Admission to the Monterey Bay Aquarium


Yes! You read that correctly. From Monday, February 3, to Sunday, February 9, residents of San Benito County, as well as Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, can get into the Monterey Bay Aquarium for free. All you need to show is a photo ID with your current address.

Why such a treat? Because this year is the Aquarium's 30th Anniversary and as part of its celebration it's having this free-admission week.  Whooo-hooo! Congratulations, Monterey Bay Aquarium! And, thank you very much!

Links to Check Out:
Monterey Bay Aquarium
"Visit Monterey Bay Aquarium Free" by Billy Weis, BenitoLink.com


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Monterey Peninsula


Monterey Bay Aquarium.  Fisherman's Wharf. Cannery Row.  17-Mile Drive.  Presidio. Asilomar Beach. Big Sur. Carmel Mission. California State University, Monterey Bay. These are just a few of the major attractions in the Monterey Peninsula. And, of course,  the Pacific Ocean.



The Monterey Peninsula consists of several communities, including Marina, Seaside, Sand City, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Carmel-by-the-Sea, and so on. Hollister is about 32 miles away from the northern end of the Monterey Peninsula. We are fortunate.

To learn more the Monterey Peninsula, check out these links:


The theme for this week, March 4 to March 10,  is the Pacific Coast.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Point Lobos


The Point Lobos State Natural Reserve is another gem on the Pacific Coast that is near Hollister. It's only 48 miles away, just to the south of Carmel-by-the Sea off of Highway One. I suggest you turn off all your electronics when you visit the reserve so you can truly have a relaxing experience. Everything is magical, from watching the ocean waves to viewing the wildlife to seeing the different shapes of trees and rocks.



Point Lobos is the general name for the natural reserve and two adjoining marine protected areas. It's short for Punta de los Lobos MariƱos, or the Point of the Sea Wolves. The sea wolves refer to the rocks off this point. Hmmm.



For more info about the Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, check out these links:

The theme for this week, March 4 to March 10, on Take 25 to Hollister is the Pacific Coast

Friday, March 8, 2013

Moss Landing


It's about 28 miles from Hollister to Moss Landing, a small harbor village off Highway One. You know you're there when you see the menacing looking power plant across the highway from the village. When I was a kid, the brother told me it was the M & M factory, which I believed for the longest of times. Whenever I see the plant, I still like to pretend that I believe M & M candies are being made in it.



Moss Landing is a cool place to hang out. You can walk along the beach. Check out the antique shops. Eat at yummy restaurants. Fish. Bird watch. Go up a little ways and hike or kayak the Elkhorn Slough. And a lot more. One caution: It can be a long wait to turn left from Highway One into Moss Landing. Also, if you turn left onto the highway from Moss Landing.

For more info about Moss Landing, check out these links.

The theme for this week, March 4 to March 10, on Take 25 to Hollister is the Pacific Coast

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