Candy Dance Arts & Crafts Festival

For 99 years, Genoa has hosted this event and this was the first year we actually made it.

The Candy Dance originated in 1919 as an effort to raise money to purchase street lights for the small but enterprising community of Genoa, Nevada's first settlement. Lillian Virgin Finnegan, daughter of then prominent Judge Daniel Webster Virgin, suggested the idea of a dance and making candy to pass around during the dance as an incentive for a good turn-out of couples.
The Genoa community did raise the needed funds for streetlights, but realized the monthly electric bill had to be paid. The candy makers were then called upon each year to help promote the Candy Dance and pay a year's worth of electricity for the streetlights throughout the town. This annual event became the Big Event of the Season. Couples came from Reno, Carson City, Minden, Gardnerville and surrounding areas to join in the evening's fun.
This was also a day of history lessons. I had to stop at this darling home. This red brick cottage (1855) was built by William J. "Lucky Bill" Thorington, rancher, entrepreneur, polygamist, and the first man hanged in Nevada (lucky?). What a beautiful, historic spot in this quaint, little town.
I had no idea that our day would be as diverse as it was. I am drawn to Barn Sales. This one was extra appealing because it was at the Dake House. I had been here once before for an evening of communicating with ghosts.
While no ghosts were seen, unique items were ogled. I do love a sale like this. It's as if we were in a museum where treasures lurked.

In the 70s, the Candy Dance expanded by adding a two-day event - The Arts & Crafts Faire. The first Faire was held on the front lawn of a private residence. Within just a few years, it became so popular, it was moved to the Mormon Station Historic State Monument grounds. Today, thousands of shoppers come each day and the vendors are everywhere. There were great finds, unique items for purchase and delicacies to eat.

There was even a tractor exhibit and we were drawn to it.
This Model Z, the Plugoscillator, was made in 1919, and was interesting because of its "spark plug and high-tension magneto engine", oh and the intense chugging noise it made which drew us to it in the first place.
The Fairbanks Morse Co., which dates back to 1823, produced oil and naphtha engines in the 1890s before moving into kerosene and diesel engines, eventually becoming a dominant force in the fast-growing engine industry. The two old-timers hosting this display were informative and fun to talk with.
Also on display was my favorite local author, Todd Borg. It is always a good day when we bump into Todd.
If we are in town next year on the last weekend in September, we plan to attend the actual Candy Dance for its 100th Anniversary. Today was a great introduction to this historical event. Fun stuff just down the hill from us.

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Water Lantern Festival...

"Welcome to the Water Lantern Festival by One World. Experience a celebration of happiness, peace, and hope. It’s a time where we can come together, love one another, and heal ourselves. One World brings individuals from all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life to join together in one memorable night."

We really did not know what to expect.
Upon checking in, we were given a backpack with all the supplies needed to create our water lanterns.

Some people came with their own supplies with everyone creating a unique and special memory.

"The Water Lantern Festival is the only festival in the United States that combines the magic of friends, family, great food, and a beautiful array of twinkling lanterns on the waterfront. There is something to do for everyone."
The amount of positiveness oozing around the Sparks Marina was inspiring. Even Yoda was quoted, "Do or do not. There is no try."

"As the sun begins to set in the evening sky, the Water Lantern Festival begins to shine as the lanterns are launched onto the water. Watch your unique lantern drift on the water as it joins other lanterns carrying hope, love, happiness, healing, and connection. Reflect on your life, share your dreams, and feel the peace of all those around you as you enjoy the reflection of the lanterns upon the water."
This event certainly evoked emotions within me. The stillness of the night, the idea of goodness & gratitude, and the peaceful reflections upon the lake all combined to make the evening magical and memorable.

  “The mind is like water.
When it’s turbulent, it’s difficult to see.
When it’s calm, everything becomes clear.”
-Prasad Mahes

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance,
chaos to order, confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home,
a stranger into a friend.
-Melody Beattie

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Books Read on the Plane...

Airplane travel equals guilt-free reading to me. So for 5½ hours, each way, I was able to devour a book in its entirety.

I chose Flush by Carl Hiaasen as my 'going to Florida' book because it takes place in Florida and because I love Carl Hiaasen. He shares so much of his love of his home state while solving environmental crimes with intriguing bad guys.

A Woman of Independent Means is the only book I've read for a second time (there are so many books to read, why would I re-read one?). This book was gifted to me on my 30th birthday. I wanted to read it again to see if it had the same impact. The answer was, "Yes, even more so."

At the turn of the century, a time when women had few choices, Bess Steed Garner inherits a legacy—not only of wealth but of determination and desire, making her truly a woman of independent means. From the early 1900s through the 1960s, we accompany Bess as she endures life's trials and triumphs with unfailing courage and indomitable spirit: the sacrifices love sometimes requires of the heart, the flaws and rewards of marriage, the often-tested bond between mother and child, and the will to defy a society that demands conformity.

The author, Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey, provided so much insight about life. It has the added advantage of having the story being told solely through Bess' letters to others. She encapsulates so much of what I love in life: history, family, travel, love, letter writing and so much more. This novel was the ideal end to my own travels.

"Please write again soon. Though my own life is filled with activity,
letters encourage momentary escape into others lives
and I come back to my own with greater contentment."
-Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey, A Woman of Independent Means

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Our 12 Hour Orlando Day...

For my last day in Florida, we chose a pretty aggressive itinerary: TWO Parks. Though neither park was explored thoroughly, there was comfort in knowing that I'd be back one day.

Our first explore was at Animal Kingdom which was celebrating its 20th year. Wild indeed. Erline was there for the opening and all day shared stories of it all. It is pretty awesome to be in the company of a Disney historian.

Erline had not traveled to Pandora- The World of Avatar. I hadn't see the movie but the extravagant details have me very interested now.
Because of its newness, this area was pretty packed. We did take the Na'vi River Journey. It was a 70 minute wait, in a pretty interesting environment, but we both agreed we should have chosen differently. Still cool, just not worth the wait.
This was the start of character greetings (my favorite aspect of all Disney parks). Russell & Dug from Up were adorable.
And what's not to love about Pocahontas... a strong woman who led men.
Ducktales was one of our sons' favorite cartoons. There are a ton of memory evokers in Animal Kingdom.

While we didn't see any alligators, we did see a super smiley crocodile.

We took the Discovery Island Trail to admire the carvings on The Tree of Life.
The Trail ended with us watching the darling 3D movie It's Tough to be a Bug! There is truly something for everyone here.
Park #2 was Disney's Hollywood Studios  for a different kind of fun.

We dined in a most unique place- the 50's Prime Time CafĂ©. This restaurant serves classic American comfort food,’50s kitsch and good old-fashioned family fun, which took us back to a bygone era. 
"This is an Authentically Vintage Atmosphere. It’s a blast from the past when you walk into this all-American eatery themed like Mom’s kitchen. Bring your appetite and your sense of humor, because Mom and the extended family aren’t above giving you lessons in table etiquette—and doling out punishment to misbehaving boys and girls."
A meet up with Minnie & Mickey is always a must!

One of my favorite of the Pixar/Disney films in Toy Story so off to its land we went.

This was the BEST restroom sign ever (and believe me, I am a connoisseur of them).

There is never enough time to do all we had hope to do but there is always some day. Erline and I made some great memories in a very short period of time. I have thoroughly loved my Florida escape! Ah, home tomorrow.

"Sunsets, like childhood, are viewed with wonder
not just because they are beautiful but because they are fleeting."
-Richard Paul Evans

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