Run by fourth-generation apricot farmer Paul Fantozzi, Fantozzi Farms spends the majority of its efforts growing a variety of crops such as apricots, olives, corn, and gourds. But since 2003, the farm has also shown its love of fall by providing an autumnal corn maze. Spanning 25 acres and more than 5 miles of paths, the maze conceals 12 checkpoints for intrepid explorers to discover. Meanwhile, the courtyard holds child-friendly attractions such as a hay-bale pyramid, weekend pig races, and corn cannons—with sharpshooters winning a free pumpkin from the patch. And for those who'd like to check their heartbeats with frights and scares after relaxing at a large picnic area and visiting the farm animals, Friday and Saturday evening showcase a haunted corn maze—where visitors carrying flashlights test their wits against costumed frighteners.
The Floral Cottage arms caring friends with an arsenal of poignant bouquets ready to add color and fragrance to any life moment. Prep a mantelpiece for the coming cold with the stellar yellow arrangement ($45–$65), part of the winter assortment of bouquets, or symbolically remind the Christmas tree of its impending doom with an early unveiling of spring flowers ($40+). The custom-design ($55–$75) webpage tasks each customer with organic organization, showering flower fiends in options for special occasions such as graduating from graphology school or successfully forging one’s graphology school diploma.
Despite what its modest name suggests, Simply Hair Salon & Beauty Supply does a lot more than hair. Sure, their stylists can sculpt a beautiful and personalized haircut, straighten curls with keratin, or add some extra dimension with highlights. But the team also boasts aestheticians who revitalize skin with facials, sculpt eyebrows, and turn nails into tiny pieces of art during mani-pedis. Simply Hair's roster of most valuable players also includes a particular inanimate object: candles. When placed in the ear and lit—a process appropriately known as ear candling—they can potentially treat ear problems and annoying issues, such as allergies or a weird voice that only seems to speak during the finale of TV shows. On special occasions, the salon opens its doors to host stylish events. In the past, this has included showcasing the fashionable jeans of Lavender Blues and Vault Denim.
Since its first incarnation as the Daily Evening News in 1884, the Modesto Bee has informed readers about local news, politics, and business with in-depth publications each day. Reporters cover stories from across the Central Valley, from high-school sports to municipal elections, keeping readers abreast of the issues with print editions and digital formats.
Paula Gauthier loved working at Yesterday’s Books through high school and college so much that she ended up there, years later, as a manager. When the owners retired, she and her husband, Phillip, decided to buy the store and continue its more than three-decade run as a repository of new, used, rare, candy-coated, and out-of-print books. Today, the Gauthiers continually update a collection of more than 100,000 titles, all categorized into sections such as general fiction, classics, theology, and children's books stacked on floor-to-ceiling bookcases. They also stock eight always-unlocked display cases with rare books, such as a first edition of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin that would buckle the knees of any bibliophile, history buff, or person named Tom. Other collectibles range from a specially bound copy of Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six to a signed volume by Edgar Rice Burroughs, author of the Tarzan and John Carter series.
The Gauthiers have also brought modern updates to the shop, such as replacing the paper-based store-credit system with an electronic one, which even gives members an online account to track available funds. Phillip observes that some regulars swap out up to 50 books per visit. In addition to book collections, the Gauthiers maintain a catalog of CDs, DVDs, and sheet music.
Color Me Mine Modesto’s studio puts paintbrushes and pottery in the hands of customers old and young. Party guests or budding Toyozo Arakawas follow four easy steps to craft beautifully painted ceramics, first choosing a ceramic piece from a selection of hundreds of seasonally changing items. After charting out a desired design from their imaginations or Color Me Mine's technique sheets, painters will select an underglaze from a cast of more than 50 colors, then apply paint with the focus of a peregrine falcon occupied by a Rockwellian spirit. Color Me Mine handles all kiln-firing work, allowing clients to take home their final products within five to seven days.