Usually no trip to the river house is complete without a stop-over at Dahlonega, GA. It’s a nice town with a great town square with restaurants, a cool general store, and some outstanding candy shops.  With my parents heading off to go pickup my aunt and uncle due to their car trouble, the rest of us were left to fend for ourselves that afternoon.  With the day ahead of us we figured we would go by Dahlonega and my folks meet up with us later.  Apparently this past weekend was the Gold Rush Festival in Dahlonega.  And it’s a big deal.

We quickly called my folks to let them know that the festival was going on and that they may want to skip it. My mother is still recovering from a double knee replacement and even though she’s doing really well with her recovery, there would be no way she could navigate walking all over with this many people.  After getting set up for parking, the five of us:  my wife and I, our son, and my sister and her boyfriend set out to enjoy the festivities.

There were hundreds of vendors set up all over the square selling all kinds of things. They had jewelry, wooden toys for kids, lawn art, metal working, leather booths, and tons of food. My sister found a great pair of earrings to get my mom for Christmas.  My wife found a cool wrap that featured red elephants, so naturally as Alabama football fans we had to get it.  After walking around for a bit we stopped in to get some pizza at one of the restaurants.  We timed it perfectly and went straight to a table even though things were still pretty busy.  The pizza here was really good.  The best I had eaten in a while.  We finished and went to the chocolate stores to pick up some sweets for later.  This was the for real deal with the fudge made in house and all kinds of good stuff.  My wife was looking for a chocolate covered apple with nuts, but had no luck.  We may have to make this one ourselves.

Another candy store we stopped in had a model train running through the top of the store. To see what they had was really cool.  It was a lot of stuff that you don’t normally find anywhere else.  Kids all around had balloons and I had promised my son I would get him one.  Now that the day was winding down I went to the DARE tent to get one (I didn’t want to keep track of a balloon all day and risk it flying off) just to be informed that they were completely out.  I headed back to my family a little disheartened knowing I had failed in my promise to obtain a balloon.  Just a few beats after I had uttered the words “They have completely run out of balloons” some sweet woman from out of nowhere placed a plastic fireman’s hat on my son’s head and said “I think you would make a much better looking fireman than me” and gave him this hat.  My son loves fire trucks and I couldn’t have asked for a better thing to get him than what she had offered.  We told her thank you and went on to the car.  I’m convinced that this was a small blessing from God to make up for me not getting the balloon.  Thank you, Lord, for the small things.

We had a really great day. Good food and a great time.  They had a stage set up where music was playing all day and the local sorority was doing some kind of money drive where if you dropped change into some buckets they would sing some kind of “Thank you for your change” song.  It was a happy accident that we stumbled on to the Gold Rush Festival.  If you are ever around here next year and can make the trip, I’d really recommend it.


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