Thursday, May 6, 2010

A New Local Flea Market

Betabel Station Open Market
Pashmina/silk scarves for $8. Fashionable mini-purses for $10. A lowrider bicycle for $145.  A very old welder's mask, price unknown. Those are a few of the items that I interested me at the new flea market last Saturday.

Yep, folks, there's an honest-to-goodness flea market in town—Betabel Station Open Market. Well, it's not in in Hollister, nor is it on highway 25. The market is on Highway 101 and it is very easy to find. If you're heading south on Highway 101, go pass the 25 exit, and take the next exit, which is called Betabel Road. Heading north on the highway. It's the second exit after the one for San Juan Bautista. The market is right next to the RV Park and an apple orchard. It's a beautiful site.

Betabel Station Open Market will be open every weekend through October, from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parking is free.  Entry is $2/per person on Saturdays, $3 on Sundays. Kids who are less than 3 feet tall get in for free.

Last Saturday was the market's grand opening. The market has a good set up on the grass. There's a section for kids to play, which includes pony rides and a house for kids to go crazy bouncy-bounce. Adults can pop into the market's open-air bar for a beer, which is an enclosed area away from the stalls. The food vendors—tacos, hot dogs, corn on a stick, among other foods—also had their own section.

It was a fair size crowd while the husband I were there. Maybe 40 vendors, more or less, selling fresh produce, packaged foods, clothing, accessories, tools, collectibles, and so on. One vendor buys gold, and she plans to be there through the month of May. According to the market's web site, it has the capacity to have more than 150 vendors. The husband and I plan on going back later in the summer to check out new vendors, especially folks who have personal stuff, such as that welder's mask, to sell.

For more details about the local flea market, check out the Betabel Station Outdoor Market Web site.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sweet Saturday Night Jazz

Dinner and jazz. What a sweet combo, no? Especially if there is a slice of lemon cake in front of you, like the yummy type that is served at The Knife and Fork Cafe on San Benito Street.

Well guess what? You're in luck. This Saturday, May 1, 2010, a jazz combo will be playing during dinner (6:30 to 9 p.m.) at the restaurant.  Cool!

According to Luis Lenzi, the saxophonist,  the trio will play outside on the patio if the weather is good.  A spring evening listening to jazz while eating lemon cake, or other delicious food that the restaurant has to offer, sounds heavenly.

Here are some links to check out for more about the restaurant and Mr. Lenzi:
Furthermore, for your pleasure, the sounds of Mr. Lenzi!

standalone player

Friday, April 16, 2010

Free Week at the Pinnacles

April 17 to 25 is National Park Week. In honor of the week, the National Park Service has decreed that entrance to all national parks, include the Pinnacles National Monument, is free. So, if you can take advantage of the freebie, head on out.

The husband and I ventured over to the Pinnacles last month, entering via Highway 25, of course. The day was gorgeous! Wildflowers were popping. Ravens were calling to each other and condors were circling above us. I think I even heard the flutter of bat wings.

The Bear Gulch Cave was open and we did our best to scramble all the way up through it. Alas, we couldn't figure out the path at the stream so swerved to the left and out of the cave, and walked along an outside trail to get back in. We did climb up the stairway out of the cave to the reservoir. As always, it was well worth the effort to see the views.

The Bear Gulch Cave is home to a colony of bats. The park plans to close it in mid-May to safeguard the bats as the babies grow up. The caves will re-open sometime in July when the bats leave the cave. Check out the Pinnacles Web site for more particulars by clicking here.

Here are some other links to check out:
And, here are a few more photos for your pleasure.

Bear Gulch Reservoir

View off the Chalone Peak Trail

Rocky Scales

Do you see Dino the Dinosaur?

One of the Faces at the Pinnacles

Looking Back From Where I Came

Friday, April 9, 2010

San Benito Gold

"Are you a beekeeper?" the Honey Guy asked the husband, as we pulled up next to his truck.

The husband was wearing beige pants, white shirt, and a white cap with a neck drape. He sometimes gets mistaken for a beekeeper or someone in the French Foreign Legion. The husband is neither. He gladly explained to the actual beekeeper that he is very sun sensitive, hence the special get up. The Honey Guy nodded and then took a turn at happily answering our questions about San Benito Gold— honey produced from local bees.

The Honey Guy's name is Jim. He and his dad Leon are Hollister beekeepers who own the Bray Apiaries. Hurrah! I like shopping locally for my staples, and honey is definitely one of them.

San Benito Gold is definitely delish! Rich tasting and very smooth going down my pipes.

And, no, I was not paid to say that. I confess that we stopped by merely to find out how much the honey cost for future purchases. When I stepped out to take a photo of his products, he handed me a sample of his wares. Just like that. Sweet as a bee, the Honey Guy is. Nope, I wasn't paid to say that either.

The Bray Apiaries' stand is the back of the Honey Guy's truck. He parks it on Mitchell Road, off of Highway 156, a few miles west of downtown Hollister. (Local folks, you may know the spot as the intersection of Highway 156 and Union Road.) If you're heading west on Highway 156, turn right at the traffic lights, or left if you're going east. If you're on Union Road, just cross the highway to the opposite side.

You can find the Honey Guy at his spot on Sundays. Depending on his schedule, he may also show up on Thursday, Friday, and/or Saturday. I can't remember if he says he'll be at the Hollister Farmer's Market that begins in May. For more info, give him a call. (Just look up there on his sign in the photo.)

Some links you may enjoy checking out:

Friday, April 2, 2010

Who Wouldn't Want to See a Crab Dance?

The husband and I did a double take when we saw this banner waving high yesterday, though not at the same time.  He saw it the moment after I shot the photo as we were driving down the street. No, I will not say who was driving.

The annual Crab Feed and Dance is a fundraising event by the Hollister Exchange Club, a local volunteer group that likes to raise money to do good deeds around town.  The event will be held on Saturday, April 17, from 5:30 p.m. to midnight. Dinner starts at 7 p.m., I'm told. The place—Bolado Park, which is also the San Benito County Fairgrounds. For more information check out this Calendar Events page of The Weekend Pinnacle.

Other web sites that may interest you:
National Exchange Club
Bolado Park/San Benito County Fairgrounds



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