"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Family, Friends & Italian Festivals - AZ & NV

Surprise, Arizona
Happy Trails Resort 

After our visit with Lee & Tracey, it's on to the Great Italian Festival in Reno, Nevada.  But first, a stop in Surprise, Arizona to visit with Bunny.
The Gang!

Crossing over the border with California and Arizona.

Our site in Happy Trails Resort.  FHU.
Our visit was shorter than usual and we were quite busy.  Strangely the only thing I took a picture of was this bag of Canadian Cheezies that Robert brought back from British Columbia.  They were very tasty!
We didn't do much but bike ride, help out around the house and watch the sun go down.
It was a nice visit, as usual, but time to head on up to Reno.  Here we are driving over the Hoover Dam and crossing the Colorado River again.

Las Vegas coming up.
The deserts sure are green this year with all the rainfall.

Always funny to see the wild Donkeys around Beatty.  They just meander around.

I've mentioned this place last time we drove through.  The ornate metal work is really something.  I wasn't sure what it was going to be but this time it's a little further along.  It's going to be, what else, a casino!  A steampunk-themed casino and coffee shop. It should hopefully open in 2024.

Tonopah, Nevada
Miller's Rest Area
It was a long 9 hour drive from Surprise to Tonopah but we decided to chug along a bit more and stay at the nice rest stop at Miller's.  This way we wouldn't have such a long drive tomorrow.  Plenty of room for large RVs spread out around a nice shady grass area.  There are bathrooms and garbage.  We just ate some soup, watched a little TV and crashed.  We needed to be up early to get to Reno in time for the Friday night pre-sauce competition event!
It was a beautiful, super clear night and we could see the milky way bright as can be.  It didn't  come out too good in the picture but it was gorgeous!
So many stars!
The rest of the drive was about 5 1/2 hours through more of the gorgeous green desert.  The snow topped Sierra was a pretty contrast to the rest of the desert.
Always something neat to see of the past.
This flag in the town of Hawthorne, Nevada is HUGE!  It's almost the size of the McDonalds.
Walker Lake, while much more full, is still very low from long ago.

I don't know when we've ever seen this much water still around in the deserts after summer!
Colors were out along the Truckee River coming into Reno.
Reno, Nevada
Shamrock RV Park
We have stayed here before.  It's a nice park close to downtown Reno.  $60, FHU, G19.  While it was on the end, it was still a snug fit with the tree. 

Checking out the sauce competition area the night before.  Pretty empty.
Here it is the next day with a full crowd sampling homemade sauces from different regions of Italy.
Steve made some awesome Bloody Marys to start the morning off.  This year we added shrimp to the bacon, olive, pepperoncini, celery, green bean accoutrements. Next year, maybe we'll add mini grilled cheese sammies?
This is John & Tina's baby.  John's family is from Pico, Italy and their booth is decorated with lots of family items and pictures.
Their sons' girlfriend did a great job of decorating it all.  See the picture in the bottom right just left of the rooster?  A little SNL humor touch.
If you know, you know!
Click the link above to watch the short skit.  SO FUNNY!  Just a little harmless raunchy SNL comedy.

John has been working on his sauce all morning.  It's delicious!  He won 1st place a couple of years ago.
So many people out enjoying a great sunny day and sampling all the delicious pasta sauces.
We snuck off for a bit to check out the rest of the festival.  Plenty of music, food and entertainment. All things Italian!

Time for a new license plate frame.  We also bought some delicious Cuccidati (Italian Fig Cookies served at Christmas).  They were yummy!
It was a very busy and fun day.  On our way out we ran into my old childhood family friends, Pam and Christine.  We knew each other were going to be there and I'm glad we actually crossed paths just before we left.  Our Dad's used to work and hunt together.  We spent every year camping and cutting Christmas trees down with their family.  Good Memories.
What Italian Festival would be complete without some Meatballs?  So here's a couple!  Jaxon is 3 1/2 now.  Starting to lose the toddler look and getting that little boy look.
Ciao for now!


  1. Best cheesies for sure! 🇨🇦 Glad to see the water levels have come up. The Italian Festival looks like a great time. Jaxon sure is growing!

    1. They were delish! It was nice to see full lakes and rivers everywhere we went this year! The festival was a blast as always. My Meatball is growing up so quickly :-)

  2. That steampunk iron work sure is cool. Vegas looked like fun, it always interesting walking the strip and people watching.

    1. The detail in the iron work is amazing and hard to capture in pictures. I'm looking forward to it finally opening.

  3. Seems like so many people visited Nevada this year! Beautiful pics Debbie. Looks like the festival was great fun, and I can smell all those wonderful foods from here :-))

    1. Since we're still sticking close to home, we've sure spent a lot of time in Nevada. It really is an undervisited state. We've really been surprised at how much there is to do. It's always been a drive-through state for us.


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